101-Year-Old Pilot Jack Hemmings Takes To The Skies On His Birthday

Former RAF Squadron Leader Jack Hemmings AFC, has taken flight to celebrate his 101st birthday. Hemmings was an early pioneer of Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) – the world’s largest humanitarian airline. He marked his birthday on 10 August 2022 by heading to an airfield in Battle, East Sussex where he was greeted by a surprise landing from a 1947 Miles Gemini aircraft piloted by Stu Blanchard. The Miles Gemini is the same wooden model Jack piloted in January 1948 from Croydon to Nairobi commencing the first British aerial survey to assess humanitarian needs across Central Africa. The 10-month mission birthed MAF – which now operates in more than 25 low-income countries with a fleet of 120 light aircraft. Jack was then given a special birthday flight in a Robin DR400 aircraft, alongside his son-in-law, retired BA Captain Chris Watts. Jack even took control of the aircraft during the flight The centenarian called the experience “thoroughly enjoyable!” He is thought to be one of the oldest British pilots still flying having taken a trip in the Gemini earlier this year and even performed aerobatics in 2021