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Words of Wisdom from John Billings
At the ripe young age of 94, World War II pilot John Billings is still flying, and with a friend, transporting medical patients to treatments.
Billings briefly flew for TWA before becoming a pilot for 35 years for Eastern Airlines. He left that job in 1983 when he hit the mandatory retirement age of 60, he said. These days, Billings flies his Cessna Cutlass about once a week for Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic. The organization provides free transportation to patients needing specialized medical treatment and coordinates flights across nine states and Washington, D.C. The organization’s 400 pilots flew more than 900 patient trips last year, 21 percent of those were for injured or sick children, according to Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic’s website.
Billings said he is paid in “big smiles at the end of the trip and hugs.” The trips cost him about $120 per hour.