Air "born" : First time flyers get a ride at Tri Cities Airport in special event

(PHOTO: T. Culbertson / WCYB)

A Vietnam veteran gave people the chance for an aeronautical adventure Tuesday afternoon in Sullivan County for free.

Johnson City Senior Services hosted the outing at Tri Cities Airport to anyone older than 10. Vietnam fighter pilot Lt. Col. Bill Powley was the pilot assigned to take those first-timers to the sky.

For one of the participants -- this was her first time flying.

"Oh, it was magnificent, I can't believe I was up there and down again. He done some Gs," said Ruth Elder Parton.

"She's the only one that hadn't flown before here and so it was priceless," Powley added.

The pilot is a former ROTC instructor in Unicoi County and is a member of the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame. The flights are made possible by the Foundation for Flight.

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