The sky’s the limit for David, 103, as he becomes flying club’s oldest passenger
- Credit: Archant
The sky really was the limit for daring 103-year-old David Smith as he climbed into the cockpit for a flying lesson.
Mr Smith, from Fenstanton, became the oldest person ever taken into the skies by Conington Flying Club as he joined pilot Frank McLurg on June 22 for his belated birthday treat.
Mr Smith turned 103 in April and family members clubbed together to buy him a flying lesson at Conington. He served in both the army and Royal Air Force in his younger years.
The pilot took Mr Smith up to 2,000ft during their flight in a Cessna 152 plane, and he even had control for most of the flight, with Mr McLurg taking off and landing. Mr McLurg said: "He was very comfortable with the controls and kept the plane level the whole time. David was the oldest person I, and the flying club, have ever had up in the skies."
Mr Smith's nephew, Simon Clark, said: "We were unsure what to buy uncle David for his birthday so it was suggested by his niece, Margaret Carrington, that we all contribute towards a flying lesson.
"And, after being cancelled two weeks ago due to poor weather, he managed to take to the skies on June 22."
The weather on the day was calm and sunny and Mr Smith is said to have thoroughly enjoyed himself. He told family he wanted to go back up in the air again soon.
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Mr Smith, who was born in St Neots, is one of six children and has served in both the army and the Royal Air Force; the latter of which he did for 23 years.
He lived in Croxton during his teenage years before working in brick yards and at steel works in Bedford.
He met his wife, Mona, while he was working on milk floats in Brampton and they wed at Fenstanton Church in 1944; a marriage which lasted more than 60 years.
Soon after the wedding, Mr Smith left for Egypt with the army, working in the Middle East for two-and-a-half years before returning to the UK where he took up a post at Royal Air Force Wyton.