A 90-year-old veteran combat pilot returned to the cockpit of a T-33 Fighter Jet for the first time in 65 years at an air show in Wisconsin.
Clyde Bridger, who flew combat missions in the Vietnam War, took control of a T-33 Fighter Jet for Saturday’s Oconto Elks Fly-In, a celebration of Oconto J. Douglas Bake Airport’s 75th anniversary.
“I feel like a teenager all over again. There’s not very many times that you see somebody especially my age even getting into one, much less actually doing the flying,” Bridger told WBAY-TV.
Stephen Jones, the owner of the plane, served as the safety pilot during Bridger’s flight, and boarded the aircraft with the veteran at Executive Air in the Austin Straubel International Airport.
“He flew it better than I did,” Jones said in a Facebook post.
Bridger demonstrated maneuvers including a 360-degree overhead approach and a touch-and-go landing.
Patrick Trepanier, chairman of the Oconto Elks Airport Fly-In, praised the pilot’s skills.
“It raised a hair on the back of your neck to know that a 90-year-old gentleman as Clyde, who happens to be in fantastic shape, did an awesome job, and he’s a hometown boy on top of it,” Trepanier said.