On Monday, eight senior citizens took a ride in an open cockpit biplane that dates back to 1942. The eight veterans served in World War II and in Korea.
They were gifted the flight by the Ageless Aviation Dreams, a nonprofit group that honors veterans.
“I’m 89 years old. This was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” said Thomas Nelson. Nelson was a staff sergeant during the second World War. He currently lives at the Covenant Village of Northbrook, along with the other seven flyers. The veterans range in age from 81 to 96 years old.
Each veteran sat in the cockpit of the Boeing Stearman military trainer aircraft as it made 20-minutes flights from Wheeling. They flew over their home where they gave a nod or tipped a wing to their friends at Covenant Village.
Ageless Aviation Dreams was founded by Darryl Fisher to honor U.S. military veterans living in long-term care communities. Fisher is a pilot and former senior housing executive. He says this is his way to give back to those who gave so much.