Flying high

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Pilot Darryl Fisher signs a commemorative hat for "Dream Flight" recipient Charles Sengstock. Sengstock is a U.S. Army veteran.
Pilot Darryl Fisher signs a commemorative hat for "Dream Flight" recipient Charles Sengstock. Sengstock is a U.S. Army veteran.

Strapping in for a ride of a lifetime, a group of older adults took to the sky at the Chicago Executive Airport on June 8, in honor of their service in the U.S. military.

Ranging from age 71 to 91, the six seniors from Illinois-based Covenant Village of Northbrook each climbed into a vintage biplane for a brief flight around the local area. The flights were provided by Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring military veterans who are residents of senior living communities.

For many of the participants, the event marked the first time flying in an open cockpit plane.

Charles Sengstock Jr., 83, was part of a scouting flight team during the Korean War. In his time in the U.S. Army, he took countless flights with his crew searching for artillery and providing transport for soldiers. Returning from his “Dream Flight” with a grin on his face, he said the flight was a completely new experience.

“When we got up there, you could see forever,” Sengstock said. “It was a lot different than just looking out the window of a regular plane.”

The plane was piloted by Ageless Aviation President and Co-founder Darryl Fisher. He says the flights provide a special way to say thank you to those who have served.  

“We do flights like this all over the country, and each event is just as special as the last,” Fisher said. “This is all about giving back to people who have given so much to us.”

Ageless Aviation has been honoring veterans since 2009 and 
Rosemary Anderson, 91, gives                has provided more than 1,700 flights. For more information on
thumbs up before her flight.                   the foundation, click here.

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