GENESEO – A local Korean War veteran smiled like little boy as he finally strapped into a powerful stunt plane for a few loops and tumbles over the Genesee Valley, courtesy of U.S. Aerobatic Champion Rob Holland.
Richard ‘Dick’ Walters and his wife Ruth said that though Dick is a pilot himself and has logged plenty of flight hours in his Cessna 172, he has always wanted a ride in something a little more powerful.
“That was amazing! That’s one thing off my bucket list,” said Dick Walters. “Every time I see these guys doing their loops and rolls and stuff I think ‘gosh I’d like to do that,’ and now here I am!”
Ruth Walters was also all smiles as she recorded every moment of the flight with friends at the airfield.
“Even if they just went up and came back down I think he’d be thrilled to death,” said Ruth Walters. “He’s got a lot of flight hours but never in anything this powerful. I’m not worried a bit, I know he’s in good hands.”
Ruth nominated Dick for the flight, part of Rob Holland’s Ultimate Airshows Hero Flight Program, a program Holland created in 2010 to provide rides to veterans all across the country as a way of thanking them for their service and sacrifice. Walters, a veteran of both the U.S. Army and Navy, served in the time of the Korean War.
“I’ve been doing hero flights for a few years now, and I always have a lot of fun,” said Holland. “We did some loops, rolls, and hammerheads, and we even tumbled him a little.”
Holland and Steven Serdikoff, Media Coordinator for Rob Holland Ultimate Airshows, thanked Walters for his service and for coming out to the airshow. They asked Walters what his favorite part of the ride was and if he had any questions.
“That was so cool, my favorite part was all of it,” said Walters. “Now, when am I going to get sick?”