NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) – Excitement is building in Niagara Falls ahead of Erendira Wallenda’s death-defying dangle over the Horseshoe Falls Thursday morning.
Tuesday morning, a Rainbow Air helicopter provided test runs of the intended route, to make sure our News 4 cameras will be in the right spots to bring you the best view of the stunt live as it happens.
Erendira Wallenda intends to be flown by helicopter over the south side of the Horseshoe Falls where she will be suspended over the raging water, holding herself with only the power of her jaw.
The helicopter is scheduled to take off for that stunt around 8:30 a.m. Thursday. A different helicopter was used for Tuesday’s test runs for the benefit of the media covering the big event.
“They presented this as a made for TV event when we talked to them,” explained Angela Berti, spokesperson for New York State Parks. “Because of the fact that it’s so high up, it’s going to be a little difficult to see, so they are urging people to watch it from home.”
Western New Yorkers who want to attend in person will be able to gather at Terrapin Point. If you’re going, you’re advised to arrive early. The Observation Tower will not be open to the public ahead of the stunt.
News 4 will bring you full team coverage live all morning on News 4 Wake Up Thursday, beginning at 4:30 a.m.
For the sake of practicing for the TV cameras, the Rainbow Air helicopter took a few passes over the area Tuesday morning. Erendira Wallenda will only have one shot at her record-breaking stunt attempt.
State Parks representatives hope the test flights will ensure everyone watching the local coverage can see the stunt and the park in the best light. After all, this is an event that’s meant to be remembered for years to come, just as people remember Nik Wallenda’s 2012 high-wire walk over the Falls.
“That’s the reason we’re excited about this,” Berti said. “Stunting at Niagara Falls has always sort of been Taboo, but when we can get international exposure on the Falls and people will remember us when they’re planning their vacations, that’s what events like this are good for.”
Erendira Wallenda and her husband, Nik, are expected to address the media Wednesday morning ahead of Thursday’s event. The helicopter that will be used for the stunt is scheduled to arrive in Niagara Falls Wednesday afternoon.
The helicopter will take off and land Thursday morning on the top level of the Seneca Casino parking garage, which will be closed to the public that morning.