Ex-Pilot Tackles Channel


In the eyes of the FAA, George Brunstad is a decade too old to fly an airliner but that didn’t stop him from making a transoceanic crossing of a different sort. The retired American Airlines pilot, from Ridgefield, Conn., became the oldest person to swim the English Channel last Saturday. Brunstad celebrated his 70th birthday the Wednesday before the swim, which he completed in 15 hours and 59 minutes. Brunstad, through his swim, raised more than $11,000 for Haitian orphans and said thinking of the kids kept him going. Brunstad claimed the title from Bertram Clifford Batt, of Australia, who was almost 68 when he swam the channel in 1987. “I was going to do this,” he told reporters afterward. “Too many people were depending on me.”