92-Year-Old WWII Veteran Flies Her Plane Again After 7 Decades

In her favorite aircraft, no less.

70 years ago, Joy Lofthouse was one of the few female pilots that the British had during World War II. As a service pilot and a member of the Air Transport Auxiliary (AXA) during the war, Lofthouse was tasked with shuttling Royal Air Force and Royal Navy warplanes between the front lines, maintenance units and factories for repairs. Decades later, at the grand age of 92, the WWII vet flew again in the Spitfire, by far the favorite of all the aircraft she handled during her service. 

Lofthouse was given the rare opportunity to return to the skies to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the war. She told the BBC that the experience made her feel "quite young."


"[I'm] excited, but aware of my age, so hoping that things go OK."

Lofthouse seemed understandably nervous before flying considering her age, and particularly since she was about to fly the "iconic" Supermarine Spitfire again, an experience she described as "the nearest thing to having wings of your own and flying that I've known."

She and her fellow female pilots were known as the Attagirls, a group of pioneers who were some of the first of their gender to join the male-dominated department.

"I'm so lucky to be given a chance to fly in it again."

Lofthouse was also known as one of the "Spitfire Girls" during World War II for her penchant for the aircraft.

After her flight, which she described as "incredible," Lofthouse said that the biggest difference between flying back in the day and in the present is that "people talk all the time." Back then, they didn't have radios or any means of audio communication. 

"Once you took off," she said, "it was complete silence." 

She was accompanied by another pilot for the celebratory flight but was given full rein of the controls when they were up in the air. "It's hard to describe the feeling," Lofthouse said, happily, "but it almost makes one feel young again."

Watch her experience below:


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