Strongman Pulls 16,300-pound Airliner 12 Feet

If you’ve ever complained about your ears hurting after a flight, read on.

British strongman Manjit Singh pulled along a Jetstream 41 airliner weighing around 16,300 pounds for 12 feet yesterday using only his ears. Manjit wore ear harnesses that were attached to cables that pulled the plane.

The 29-seat aircraft had a pilot on board but no passengers and had its turboprop engines turned off.

“My ears are still hurting a little bit,” Manjit told Aviation.com today. “But they will be OK in a couple of days.” He has performed many amazing feats of strength in the past and doesn’t intend to see a doctor about his ears.

Manjit, 57 years old and weighing a trim 172 pounds, performed his feat at East Midlands Airport near his Leicester home. He hopes the attempt will be verified for inclusion in the Guinness Book of World Records.

India-born Manjit already holds 25 world records for feats of strength. They include pulling an empty double-decker bus over 55 feet with his teeth, pulling a double-decker with 54 passengers on board with one hand for a distance of 180 feet and pulling a similar bus with 30 people aboard for 256 feet using only his ponytail. In 1995 he pulled a 203,000-pound Vulcan bomber for 6 inches using a harness round his body.

When Manjit has told doctors in the past about his feats of strength using his teeth and ears they have always advised him that doing it again would be very bad for his health. “I just ask them if they’ve ever been in a gym,” he said. A lifelong fitness adherent who owns a security services company, Manjit trains in the gym up to four times daily and runs miles every day.

Manjit performed yesterday’s feat partly to celebrate the 10th anniversary of British airline Eastern Airways, which operates the BAE Systems Jetstream 41 used for the record attempt.

But his main reason for the occasion was to raise charitable donations for a small sports and fitness school Manjit plans to build for the poor children of Mahilpur, his native village near the city of Hoshiapur in Punjab. His charity is called the Manjit Fitness Academy.

“I go back there every year and I noticed the children didn’t have anywhere to play,” said Manjit. “They have no facilities at all and are playing only in the fields. The children asked me if I could help them find somewhere.”

He plans to help build the confidence and skills of Mahilpur’s children by having the academy train them in weightlifting, wrestling, table tennis and martial arts. Martial arts training will be given purely to build each child’s confidence, but the other three sports have World Championships at which gold medals can be won, Manjit explained.

Last year he spent nearly $50,000 on buying land in Mahilpur for the Manjit Fitness Academy site. The school itself will cost $220,000 to build, said Manjit. He raised the first $14,000 yesterday from British well-wishers by his feat of strength.

Yesterday’s record attempt came about after Manjit met East Midlands Airport employee Kelly McHughes last October at a bus service launch at which he pulled along a bus by his ears. Manjit told Kelly that, for his charity, “I would love to pull an aircraft with my ears.”

Since then Kelly has tried hard to find an airline to cooperate and excitedly called Manjit the other day to tell him Eastern Airways had agreed to provide a plane for the attempt.

The next time your ears hurt when you get off a plane, think of Manjit. You can check out his web site and contact Manjit at www.manjitironman.com/records1.htm.