YAKIMA, Wash- A national non-profit took over one of the runways at McAllister field to get some senior war veterans a chance fly once again.
Veterans from the Korean War all the way to one who’s fought in world war ii were flow in a 1940’s biplane. Thanks to ageless aviation.
The group focuses on helping seniors and vets living in long-term care communities get the chance to fly in one of the planes they might have trained in.
Lee Stuck was part of the air force during World War II and he was part of war campaigns from Normandy to Africa.
This was his first time flying in an open cockpit and it was something that he had to get used to.
“You’re like a bird in a way because you got the wind blowing in your face, can’t hear a thing the pilot says over the earphones,” Stuck said.
Frank Hopkins fought in the Korean War and used to have his own planes that he would fly around.
Now he can no longer fly them himself and uses this to do something he has loved his whole life.
“It’s a blessing from the lord. Let me tell ya. I really live for this day,” He said.
The dream flights almost didn’t happen after the pilot found metal particles in the oil filter of the original plane.
However, that didn’t stop Mike Sommars from flying half way across the country to pick up a different plane in time for today.
“We felt we had a commitment to the local people so I flew back to Chicago and picked up this aircraft and flew it back from Chicago in two days’ time,” Sommars said.
When Stuck found out that the flights were still happening, he only wanted to make sure of one thing.
“I said put me first,” he said.
For more information on the non-profit you can go to their website.