A Once-in-a-Lifetime Flight

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What's the best birthday gift for a 102-year-old? Whatever she wants -- and Myrtle Carroll wanted to go for a ride in one of the little airplanes she enjoys listening to from the porch of her home near the Platte Valley Airport and Vintage Aero Flying Museum in Fort Lupton, Colo. Carroll had only been flying once before in her life, and never in a small airplane. But she loves the sound of the engines buzzing nearby, and when a friend asked if she'd like a ride for her birthday, she said, "Well, yes, I would." On Sunday, Mark Holliday, the museum's chief pilot, who is also the husband of Carroll's caretaker at the assisted-living home, Marilyn Taylor, took her for a spin in the back seat of a Cessna 182. "When you're 102, if you want to fly, you should be able to fly," Taylor told the Greeley Tribune.

Carroll said the launch felt like a parade, with all the well-wishers seeing her off. And once she returned, Holliday asked if the flight was not too bad. "It wasn't bad at all," she said. "Not bad at all."