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WWII Female Pilot Flies Favorite Fighter Plane 70 Years Later


One daring nonagenarian took to the skies to relive her remarkable past.

British World War II pilot Joy Lofthouse had the chance, earlier this month, to fly an iconic plane she flew during the war -- the Spitfire, BBC News reported. The 92-year-old's flight took place about 70 years since she had last flown the legendary aircraft.

"It was lovely. It was perfect, of course," Lofthouse told BBC after her flight. "It made me feel quite young."

Lofthouse was one of about 168 trailblazing women who were employed by the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), an organization that helped transport aircraft, during the war, the outlet reported. The 92-year-old told BBC that she was particularly excited to fly the Spitfire, saying that it was "the nearest thing to having wings of your own and flying."

Lofthouse's love of flying started back in 1943 when she first joined the ATA, according to the Gloucester Citizen. She didn't even know how to drive a car prior to becoming a member of the organization. During her time in the ATA, she learned how to control 18 different aircraft, but maintained that the Spitfire was always her favorite. And while the group was involved in the important job of delivering planes between air bases and factories, Lofthouse said she and her colleagues had an amazing time doing it.

"There was a wonderful togetherness among members of the ATA," Lofthouse said back in 2010, according to the Gloucester Citizan. "We loved what we were doing and didn't think it was the least bit dangerous."

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly described the Spitfire as a fighter jet. We regret the error.

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