97 year old pilot flies again - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

97-year-old pilot flies again

COBB COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

Vilma Hofer, 97, was the first female pilot in her native country Slovakia. Vilma Hofer lives at Brookdale Senior Living Solutions in Roswell.

Kimberly Haydon helps care for Vilma Hofer.

"She was crying one day in her apartment really bad. The one thing she said she wished she could do is get into the cockpit of a plane," said Haydon.

Haydon submitted Hofer's life story to A Wish of a Lifetime. Haydon and Vilma's son Hugh Hofer were overwhelmed with joy when they found out Vilma Hofer would get her wish.

"This is a great day for her to relive that free spirit that she had," said Hugh Hofer.
"We've been talking about this day a lot. She does suffer from dementia."

Vilma Hofer was born in Slovakia that's where she became the first female solo pilot in 1941.

"She started this whole venture of flying, it really was a dare. Some lady said, 'we need a girl to fly so we dare you to fly.' She said, 'OK,'" said Hugh Hofer.

Now 72 years later, Vilma Hofer is back in the cockpit of a biplane. Lee Kluger, the owner of Bi-Plane Adventures, took Vilma and Hugh Hofer on a 30 minute flight over North Cobb County.

"She was asking where the controls are so she can fly," Hugh Hofer said about his mother.

Once in the air, you could see the joy of a familiar sound and feeling take over Vilma Hofer. She waved as her plane flew over Lake Allatoona. It was a beautiful day to fly.

Hugh Hofer said the flight brought back memories when his mother was a tomboy growing up doing things young ladies didn't do in 1941.

"What did you enjoy most about the flight?" Hugh Hofer asked his mother.

"That it was very nice and slow," she replied.

It was a very special moment for Vilma Hofer and those around her. It brought tears to Haydon's eyes.

"I was the person who submitted the wish for Vilma and it's rewarding to see her smiling when she go out of the plane," said Haydon.

Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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