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Mayetta Behringer 100-Year-Old Pilot, Flies High

Image: Mayetta Behringer 100-Year-Old Pilot, Flies High

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By    |   Wednesday, 13 June 2018 10:25 AM

Mayetta Behringer, a 100-year-old pilot, is still flying high after receiving a gift from her fellow female pilots on her birthday last month in California, KPIX-TV reported.

Behringer, a former commercial pilot and flight instructor, received her first pilot license in 1945, a rarity for women, the television station said. Six years ago, Behringer decided she was no longer strong enough to continue piloting a plane at 94.

But she was offered the co-pilot seat for her 100th birthday and flying over South Bay near San Jose, KPIX-TV.

"I loved it … I started crying … as we took off," Behringer told the television station. "I think it's the freedom of being up there all by yourself and you are in control."

Behringer's friend and pilot Pat Gregory, who flew the plane, said that she understands Behringer need to get up in the air.

"I think not being able to fly the plane herself hurt more than anything else," Gregory told KPIX-TV. "She just loves it."

Behringer lost her first husband to an airplane crash at the end of World War II and married Navy pilot William Behringer, who has since died.

SFGate.com wrote about Behringer and the Santa Clara Chapter of the Ninety-Nines, an international organization of female aviators who support dreams of flight for women everywhere, in 2000.

She said then that she had to get a private pilot license rating, an instructor rating, and then another 200 hours of instruction to get her commercial license. She said her plans to fly full-time were put on hold to raise children while veterans returned from the war.

"We weren't supposed to take work away from a war veteran," Behringer told SFGate.com then. "Women were thought of as incapable of doing anything."

Behringer told SFGate.com that she became a full-time flight instructor, though, once her children were grown. She said young women today were eager, but flying was about being prepared in the air and on the ground.

"So much depends upon the student," Behringer told SFGate.com then. "The young gals are so enthusiastic, they just want to go out and fly. They weren't as interested in studying the written part."

According to the United Flying Octogenarian newsletter in 2008, Behringer was still flying at 90 in private planes to visit relatives in Florida, Michigan, and Minnesota. The newsletter said that past articles had dubbed her the "Flying Housewife," "Powder Puff Pilot" and "Pilot in Petticoats."

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Mayetta Behringer, a 100-year-old pilot, is still flying high after receiving a gift from her fellow female pilots on her birthday last month in California.
mayetta behringer, 100-year-old, pilot, flies
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2018-25-13
Wednesday, 13 June 2018 10:25 AM
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