During World War II, Joy Lofthouse flew Supermarine Spitfire planes over Britain as part of her county’s Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), taking the planes from the factories that assembled them to Royal Air Force stations.
Now, 70 years later, Lofthouse, who’s 92, has returned to one of these planes, and once again taken it for a solo trip above her homeland.
“I’m excited but aware of my age, so hoping that things go okay,” she told the BBC before her nostalgic flight. “I’m not as confident as I was when I used to fly them alone.”
Seven decades didn’t dull Lofthouse’s instincts as an aviator, however, and the flight went smoothly. Lofthouse, who said the experience “almost makes one feel young again,” told the BBC that the Spitfire aircraft was “iconic” and “the nearest thing to having wings of your own and flying.”
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Lofthouse’s flight commemorated V-E Day (marking the end of WWII in Europe) on May 8.