Pleasanton senior living residents get 'dream flight' in WWII era plane

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Eight residents, four of which are veterans, from a senior living facility in Pleasanton took to the skies above the Livermore Municipal Airport on Sunday in a World War II era plane. 

The event was part of the Ageless Aviation Dream Flight, a non-profit organization that has provided more than 3,000 dream flights in 41 states since 2011. The group of eight took turns strapping on headsets and leather helmets before soaring 1,000 feet up for 20 minutes in a 1943 Boeing Stearman biplane, the same aircraft used to train aviators during World War II. 

“Our mission is to give back to those who’ve given,” said Darryl Fisher, founder and president of Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation. “We’re honoring the greatest generation by giving them an experience of a lifetime.

Susan Filice, Stoneridge Creek’s Life Enrichment Director, put in an application for her residents earlier this year. The senior living center got approved. Next was drawing to narrow down eight spots from the 68 residents who entered. 

The volunteer AADF crew brings this event to veterans in cities around the country all year. The crew that launched Sunday ranged from ages 73 to 94. 

“This flight is a great way for us to give back to them for their service and sacrifices,” Filice said. “We received applications from residents of all different backgrounds. Some are WWII veterans, while others are residents who never served but were excited for the chance to take the flight. This will be a fantastic memory for all of us.”