90-year-old flying high on life | TheUnion.com

90-year-old flying high on life

Aviation enthusiast Dale Fleck, of Cedar Ridge, stopped flying his two-seater airplane long enough to enjoy his 90th birthday on Valentine’s Day.

Fleck – born only 10 years after the Wright brothers built their first fixed-wing aircraft – always has been enthralled with the idea of flying, and he continues to go up as often as possible, he said.

“I wanted to take flying lessons in high school, and I didn’t have enough money,” Fleck said. “So I got into the service. I joined the Army Air Corps right away.”

The World War II and Korean War veteran served in the Air Force for 20 years, flying B-24, B-29 and B-36 bombers.

Fleck used the G.I. Bill to earn a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering. He went on to help design an accessory for the engine used in the first space flight, he said.

Fleck and his partner of 28 years, Phyllis Sanders, have lived in Cedar Ridge for 17 years.

Sanders, 85, also enjoys flying and often accompanies Fleck during excursions in his Cessna 152 airplane. She also brings three grown children, seven grandchildren and a 9-month-old great-grandchild to the relationship.

Fleck flies about once a week and more if the weather’s nice, Sanders said.

Fleck’s secret for staying healthy enough to fly at 90 is simple, he said.

“I don’t smoke, I don’t drink,” he said.

“And he has me,” Sanders said.


To contact Staff Writer Robyn Moormeister, e-mail rmoormeister@theunion.com or call 477-4236.

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