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Sun, Aug 09, 2009

Centenarian Pilot Inducted As SAFE's First Honorary Member

101 Years Old And Still Attending AirVenture

The Society of Aviation and Flight Educators has inducted Captain Joe Grant as its first honorary member. Grant, who is now 101 years old, was born in 1908. He started his flying career in 1927 as a barnstormer and stunt pilot prior to being hired by TWA just before WWII. During the war, Grant flew C-54s for the Air Transport Command in the Middle East. During his long career, Captain Grant has flown everything from WWI Jennies to the Boeing 707!

Capt. Joe Grant At AirVenture

At the end of WWII, President Franklin Roosevelt presented Saudi Arabia's King Abdulaziz llbn-Saud with the latest in American Aviation technology, a DC-3, as a symbol of friendship. Grant served as that DC-3's Captain for two years before going back to TWA. A reenactment of this event was held at AirVenture with Grant and the grandsons of both King Abdulaziz and President Roosevelt in attendance.

The day before the reenactment, Grant visited with SAFE committee member, Mike Coligny.  Grant explained, "When you were a pilot in those early days, it was your duty to pass along this gift to others. It was also your duty to create safe pilots through thorough and continuous education. In fact, education was the key to training safe pilots." Chair Doug Stewart commented "We are thrilled to welcome Captain Grant as our 1st honorary member. We should all be blessed to enjoy such an interesting and, above all, safe flying career."

FMI: http://safepilots.org/

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