Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter
Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation is returning to Fernley on Wednesday, May 30, to give Dream Flights in an open cockpit biplane to seniors and military veterans living at Fernley Estates.
The event at Tiger Field will begin with a donut breakfast and presentation of colors by the Nevada Veterans Coalition. The first flight will take off at 9 a.m.
Each resident will take off in a 1942 Boeing-Stearman – the same airplane that was used to train military aviators in the 1940s — for a 15 to 20-minute flight in the open cockpit biplane. The flights are courtesy of Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Darryl Fisher in 2011 to honor U.S. military veterans living in long-term care facilities. To date, the organization has provided more than 3,500 Dream Flights to veterans nationwide.
Among those who are scheduled for Dream Flights are:
- 69-year-old Lee Wurz, who served in the U.S. Army as wolfhound in Vietnam. Shot twice, he received a Purple Heart. Loves old planes and his father was a World War II pilot.
- 78-year-old Chief Petty Officer Chuck Garten served in the U.S. Navy for 40 years. While working on an F4 (Phantom 2) plane during the Vietnam War, Chuck slipped on some oil and fell off the plane. Falling from a plane, he said, is like falling in the bathroom. “There’s no good place to land.”
- Loraine Silva was an x-ray technician in the U.S. Air Force, based in Shreveport, Louisiana.
- Joy Murray was married to an Army major, but she has had a passion for flying since she was a young girl. She’s excited to look out of the plane and see Fernley.
- Al Cavin’s stroke has left him wheelchair bound, but when talking about planes, his eyes light up. He’s looking forward to his Dream Flight.