Fulfilling the Wish of a Lifetime

Over the last almost 18 years I have had the distinct pleasure of sharing my passion for flight, in particular, the type where you can feel the wind in your hair.

After almost 13,000 wonderful flights I thought I’d seen it all. But a few weeks back I had the chance to meet someone that once again reminded me that I am a very lucky man.

An  organization called Wish of a Lifetime contacted me about a lady in Roswell, Georgia that had the wish to fly one more time in an open cockpit biplane.

You see, 97-year-old Vilma Hofer was the first female solo pilot in Slovakia in the 1930s. And after all these years she still had a strong passion for flying. So even though I was concerned about getting her safely in the aircraft, the day arrived and it was great.

velma_hoferVilma had her wish, and enjoyed it sitting beside her devoted son, Hugh.  I’m so honored that I was able to help make her wish a reality. 

Her happiness was palpable, her beautiful blue eyes were smiling. Even though Vilma suffered from dementia, when you looked into her eyes after our flight, she was right there enjoying her passion in life.

After the flight, Vilma was interviewed by several media outlets.  When asked how the flight made her feel, in her whisper of a voice, she said “it gave me my life back!”  She was a true inspiration.

For the nine days following her flight, Vilma had her life back.

Vilma passed away peacefully on Monday, September 9, 2013.

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