Lovebirds soar together in 75-year old plane

A couple with more than 180 years between them take to the skies.

Dick Stanton took his new bride up for a hot air balloon ride in the summer of 2016. For the 96-year old, it was a thrill.

“He’s always getting me into these things,” said Fran Stanton, 87.

Imagine how thrilling it was for the couple of two-years, to soar the skies at a little faster pace.  

“Like Snoopy (and the Red Baron)!” said Fran. “I thought this would be cool.”

The couple, a combined 183 years old, took turns flying in a 1941 Boeing Stearman biplane Wednesday morning. Decades ago, when the two were teenagers, the same planes were used to train American WWII pilots. Dick served over three years in the Air Force during WWII but never made it into a bi-plane. 

The trip high above Tampa Bay was organized by their retirement community, John Knox Village, which encourages residents to get out and try adventurous things.

This clearly qualified.

“My husband, definitely,” Fran said when asked who was the braver of the two.

The Tampa North Flight Center was pleased to give them the ride. Keith Carver, who piloted the plane for both Stantons, said the thrill for him is seeing the joy in passenger’s eyes.

“As many flights as I go, it’s absolutely wonderful every time I go,” he said. It’s nice to see them have something that they’ve never had in their lifetime.”

The flights lasted about eight minutes each. Dick and Fran were able to see breathtaking views of Lutz, Land O’ Lakes and Wesley Chapel, as well as the Tampa skyline and the Gulf of Mexico.

“Every day is special, but this is really special,” said Dick.

The 75-year old biplane’s top speed is 100 miles per hour. 

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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