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Oldest Pilot

Old 26th Jun 2015, 17:46
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Oldest Pilot

Encouraging story from AvWeb on how long one can keep flying (and you have to like his choice of aircraft).
As the saying goes: Flying promotes long life, since time spent flying is not subtracted from your lifespan.

George Neal Named World's Oldest Active Pilot

By Elaine Kauh | June 25, 2015

Cresting a sparkling aviating career, George Neal is now the oldest active pilot in the world at age 96, as entered in the Guinness Book of World Records. Neal, a longtime test pilot, flew his Chipmunk from Brampton Airport to Toronto Pearson International on June 2 to set the record. Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame, which inducted Neal in 1995, submitted the record application. “George’s experience is unparalleled in the world of aviation, I believe, holding a Canadian Pilot’s License from 1936 until now,’’ said Tom Appleton, chairman of the Hall of Fame. “He is as tireless as he is professional, and we are proud of his airborne exploits, which seem to go on indefinitely.”

Neal, who has logged more than 15,000 hours in 150 types of aircraft, joined de Havilland in 1947 as a test pilot and in 1948 was one of the first Canadians to be jet qualified on the Royal Canadian Air Force’s de Havilland Vampire, according to the Hall of Fame. He retired in 1983 as director of flight operations of de Havilland Canada and was chief pilot for the National Aviation Museum in Ottawa until 1991. “Flying has been a part of me for most of my life, and I believe it has kept me able to doing what I like best,” he said. “And I plan to continue to fly my Chipmunk for a long time yet.”
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Old 17th Dec 2016, 03:18
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Turns out that this was not the case.

The oldest pilot(now in Guiness) is 99 years old and lives in the U.S. Unless of course, he just soloed recently. Who knows, maybe there is another as well.

George Arthur Neal

Oldest active pilot (current) | Guinness World Records

Congrats to both on their accomplishments. Did meet one of them when part of the '90's(as in age) generation.
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Old 17th Dec 2016, 04:11
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According to a news item I saw the other day there is a 92 Year old pilot who just got his PPL recently. Guess he's a late starter.
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Old 17th Dec 2016, 04:27
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I was fortunate to know George Neal casually for many years. I never had the opportunity to fly with him, other than to be his passenger a couple of times in DHC aircraft. He had a keen knowledge of aircraft, and I always learned something from him. He was present at a retired deHavilland pilots lunch late in 2015 when I attended as a guest.

I attended his funeral (with at least one other PPRuNer) last April. A highlight was a eulogy by a niece, who had brought along with her the very DHC 4 Caribou control wheel which George had bailed with, when he and his copilot left their test Caribou as it broke up during flutter testing. There were many great stories at that event. George was one of a kind.
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Old 20th Dec 2016, 15:38
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There are quite a surprising large number of 90+ old pilots around. Last month I met a 95 year old with a twin Cessna (and his doc as safety pilot in the right seat).
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Old 22nd Dec 2016, 07:47
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World's oldest active pilot turns 99

World's oldest pilot takes flight on his 99th birthday
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Old 10th Feb 2020, 14:56
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Old 11th Feb 2020, 13:13
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The instructor I fly with in Colorado is around 93. And still instructing ! and still signing off my biennial ..
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Old 11th Feb 2020, 15:47
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It might be interesting to take note of the life of Com.te Volpi, an Italian aviator and legend recently flown to higher skies.
Apologies for the link in Italian only.
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Old 12th Feb 2020, 08:32
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In the UK age I don't think necessarily becomes the barrier to continued flying, it is the ability to obtain insurance I am told once above 80 years old. I think it can be found but very expensive.
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Old 12th Feb 2020, 21:24
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A pilot with no accident record, current, and a Class 2 was refused renewal in his early eighties. That would be more than 15 years ago. It might be different with EU Age Discrimination Laws. But we'll soon be outwith them. I've less than 5 years left, in that situation.
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Old 13th Feb 2020, 09:14
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To update the Ernie Smith post above:

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Old 13th Feb 2020, 09:17
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And still going in December last year:

Ernie is 102
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