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