At 102, veteran WWII pilot takes to the skies on a delightfully bumpy ride for charity
Jack Hemmings, an ex-squadron leader with Britain's air force
A former Royal Air Forces pilot has taken to the skies in a Spitfire at 102 years old.
Jack Hemmings, an ex-squadron leader with Britain's air force, is believed to be the oldest pilot to fly the World War II plane.
His 20-minute flight, from an airfield in southern England on Monday, was to raise money for a charity he co-founded nearly 80 years ago.
The veteran who had never flown a Spitfire before said it was absolutely delightful being back behind the controls, though he said the ride was very bumpy.
To be honest, it felt a bit rusty. Not surprising I am rusty, he said.
Hemmings was raising funds for Mission Aviation Fellowship, a humanitarian air service he helped launch after WWII alongside D-Day veteran Stuart King. The organization has since grown into a Christian organisation that uses planes to deliver relief, medicine and emergency cargo to countries in need.
The flight marked 80 years since the D-Day landings and paid tribute to King, who died in 2020.
Hemmings previously performed aerobatics on his 100th birthday and raised more than 40,000 pounds ($50,000) for the charity.
Barry Hughes, a pilot who accompanied Hemmings in the aircraft, said the veteran had a natural touch.