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102 Year Old Flies Spitfire - His First Experience In The Iconic Aircraft

Screenshot 2024 02 07 at 11 35 01
Image: PA

102 year old Jack Hemmings has proved that you’re never to old to try your first experience!!

Hemmings, a former squadron leader in the Royal Air Forces, became the oldest person to pilot a Spitfire. His flight in the iconic WWII aircraft lasted 20 minutes, taking off from a Biggin Hill airfield on Monday to support a charity he helped establish almost eight decades ago.

This was Hemmings' first time flying a Spitfire, and he described the experience as "absolutely delightful" despite the "very bumpy" ride. He added: “To be honest (it was) slightly heavier than I expected but we were flying about 210 knots faster than I normally used to fly at in my airforce days. He humorously noted feeling a bit "rusty" at the controls.

The fundraising effort was for the Mission Aviation Fellowship, a humanitarian air service co-founded by Hemmings post-WWII with Stuart King, a fellow D-Day veteran. The organisation, now a Christian group, provides relief, medical supplies, and emergency aid to needy nations via aircraft.

The flight commemorated the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings and honoured the late Stuart King, who passed away in 2020.

Hemmings, who performed aerobatics for his 100th birthday, has previously raised over £40,000 for the charity. Barry Hughes, who flew alongside Hemmings, praised his "natural touch" in the cockpit, noting that Hemmings required little guidance and thoroughly enjoyed the flight, demonstrating skilful control and execution of basic manoeuvres.

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