AG­ING PI­LOTS

Flying - - INBOX -

I am sure you will re­ceive many let­ters per­tain­ing to Martha Lunken’s trea­tise on avi­a­tion and ag­ing [Oc­to­ber]. And I am sure my dad will not take the time to write about his fly­ing, so I will.

To­mor­row, Dad turns 88. He has been fly­ing since he was 25. And he was ahead of his time. Since the FAA re­quired him ev­ery year to jump through many hoops to re­tain his med­i­cal, five years ago he de­cided to sell the Cessna 182 we owned and go light­sport and driver’s li­cense med­i­cal.

Why is he so spe­cial? Af­ter re­tir­ing from the FAA 30 years ago, he has had a se­ries of med­i­cal is­sues that in­clude prostate pro­ce­dures (twice), knee re­place­ment (twice), a blood clot on his right op­tic nerve that es­sen­tially blinded his right eye and the loss of my beloved mother, Dr. Emma Wal­ton, who was also a pi­lot, un­ex­pect­edly, six years ago. Not to men­tion his hear­ing, or lack thereof. So, four years ago he bought an S-LSA sea­plane, a Searey, and had to get his sea­plane rat­ing to fly it.

His goal? Fly solo legally on his 100th birth­day. He doesn’t have that far to go. I would not bet against him.

Jim C. Wal­ton, I am proud to call you Dad. I hope I can fol­low in your foot­steps. Jim K. Wal­ton via email

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