At 102, veteran WWII pilot takes to the skies on a delightfully bumpy ride for charity

The veteran said it was absolutely delightful being back behind the controls

Britain Spitfire Hemmings

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.

He didn't need any instruction really. He just took control, flown us around, made some turnings and basic maneuvers," Hughes said. I think he really enjoyed every single moment of the flight.

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