PERRY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - After 20 years of military service and more than 8,000 hours of logged flight time, a Fort Valley World War Two and Korean War veteran took to the sky for the first time in years on Tuesday.
"Airplanes have just been everything to me all my life," 92-year-old veteran Frank Cross said.
Cross started flying when he was 17. He flew fighter bombers in World War II and the Korean War. It's his passion that he had to give up eight years ago for health reasons. Now he usually sits and watches the planes at the Perry-Houston County airport instead of sitting in the cockpit.
"I was a grown baby. I cried. I really broke down and cried. Couldn't help it,"he said.
That's when the owner of Perry Air LLC stepped in to give Cross his wings back.
"Just to show him how much we appreciate his services and to get him back in the air," Dale Snyder said.
Once the pre-flight checklist was done, Cross strapped into the single engine airplane and took off. 41NBC's Amanda Castro got the chance to sit in the passenger seat.
"That was like being in heaven and having you along I felt like I had an angel with me," Cross said.
Even though it has been a while since he sat in the cockpit, he was a natural.
"[You] remembered everything? It just all kinda came back to you?" 41NBC asked. "Yea it sure did. It's strange, especially for an old person, you start losing everything," Cross said.
A chance to take flight he will never forget.
"I'll have dreams every night about that."
And an opportunity to give back to someone who gave so much to our country.
"That's a reward, it really is. He appreciated it but really I appreciated it more," Snyder said.
And who knows, this may not be his final flight.
"That was something," Cross said as he got out of the plane.
Cross was invited to fly again anytime he wanted. If your interested in learning how to fly, Perry Air LLC offers flight lessons. Click here for more information.