Octogenarian Experiences Thrill

The U-2 force at Beale AFB, Calif., gave former World War II pilot and long-time US military advocate Oliver “Ollie” Crawford the rare opportunity to ride in a two-seat U-2 reconnaissance aircraft. Crawford, who is in his 80s and piloted an Aero L-39 to Beale in December for the event, became the oldest person to fly in the high-soaring airplane, according to a Feb. 18 Beale release. “Being above 60,000 feet was an experience in itself,” he explained. In addition to the actual flight, Crawford said his training, which included time in a decompression chamber, was fascinating, and the overall experience left a lasting impression. “The flight itself was very exciting, but meeting and knowing the men and women who are part of the Air Force team reaffirms my faith in the future of our Air Force and our great country,” he said. (Beale report by TSgt. Luke Johnson)