Flying Octogenarians Embrace Sport Pilot


Access to one of aviation’s most exclusive clubs just got easier. The United Flying Octogenarians (UFO) has voted to allow those holding Sport Pilot certificates to join the more than 600 members of the group, which is restricted to those 80 years of age and older. “You have to be able to prove that you’ve flown solo since your 80th birthday,” Secretary-Treasurer Bart Bratko told AVweb. The club held a lunch and business meeting at AOPA Expo in Hartford and the Sport Pilot issue was on the agenda.

Prior to Friday’s motion, maintenance of a current medical certificate was one of UFO’s requirements but the Sport Pilot certificate only requires a valid driver’s license. UFO’s membership requirements have been amended to require operation of an aircraft in compliance with FAA regulations and holding a Sport Pilot certificate satisfies that. While there’s naturally a lot of history within its ranks (Bratko served under Jimmy Stewart in the Second World War), most members are relatively active pilots. “I’ve flown to every state,” Bratko bragged.