We all have one more flight in us...

… a quote from a reader for an article in today’s Sacramento Bee regarding Doris Lockness, who is coming up on her 100th birthday. It’s a great article that just makes you feel good, with a slideshow of her. Enjoy.


El Dorado Hills woman, 99, recalls years as pilot

By Cynthia Hubert

On bright, clear afternoons outside her apartment in El Dorado Hills, Doris Lockness sometimes squints up at the sky and wonders: Does she have one more flight left in her?

Probably not, she reluctantly concludes. After all, Lockness is nearing her 100th birthday, and she sold her last airplane a decade ago.

But “oh, what fun I had,” Lockness recalls of her pioneering days as a pilot. “It’s wonderful to fly.”

The recent release of the film “Amelia,” in which Hilary Swank portrays aviator Amelia Earhart, has stirred vivid memories in Lockness, who is one of the nation’s most accomplished female fliers.

“Amelia was a hero to all of us,” Lockness said, “especially to me.”

Lockness began training two years after Earhart’s plane disappeared in 1937 during her attempt to circumnavigate the globe. Sixty years later, at age 87, Lockness became the 100th pilot to fly into Amelia Earhart Memorial Airport in Atchison, Kansas.

“I was thrilled to represent Amelia,” she said, flipping through newspaper clippings about the event. “It was such an honor.”

The petite and feisty Lockness has racked up numerous honors for an aviation career that spanned six decades and 10,000 flying hours.

She trained with the Women Airforce Service Pilots during World War II, was the 55th woman in the world to earn a commercial helicopter rating, and got licenses in flying seaplanes, gyroplanes, hot air balloons and gliders.

She has been recognized for her contributions to the public acceptance of women as pilots by Earhart’s Ninety-Nines group and has awards from the Whirly Girls helicopter organization, the National Aeronautic Association and the OX 5 Pioneers, among others.

So vast is her collection of medals, plaques, certificates, commemorative photographs and other memorabilia that she has trouble fitting it all into her small living space. Her name and pictures appear in several historical books, “but I guess I really should write a book of my own,” Lockness said with a smile.

Her story began in Pennsylvania and moved to Ohio, where her parents farmed grain and potatoes. During the Great Depression she left the Midwest and traveled with her young husband to California. They were raising a family near a tiny airport in Wilmington when the flying bug bit.

"I would see the little planes take off and land, and think, ‘I would like to do that,’ " she said. “I had followed Amelia and the old-time fliers, and I thought it would be so great to be up there, so carefree.”

After “getting my four kids off to school,” Lockness said, she started training. “I was the only woman out there, of course. Cars would line up to watch this crazy woman fly planes.”

Lockness obtained her license at age 29 and later joined the WASPs, becoming one of the first women to fly United States military aircraft. The WASPs, who flew domestic missions to free male pilots for overseas duty, disbanded in 1946.

Lockness had found her passion, but her husband did not approve and the couple divorced.

Lockness became a flight instructor and ultimately owned nine planes, including her beloved Vultee-Stinson warbird, the “Swamp Angel,” which she piloted around the country.

In her second husband, Robert Lockness, she found a man who shared her love of flying and fast cars. “We would map out a route and just go,” she said.

At 99 years old, Doris Lockness still drives a shiny white Jaguar to the market, and is an honorary member of the Sacramento Jaguar Club. She has never had a serious health problem, she said, and her knees are as strong as ever, “probably from pushing rudders for all those years.”

Lockness still gets a little giddy when she hears the roar of an airplane or the thumping of a helicopter rotor. “I look up at the sky, and I can’t believe I used to do all that,” she said.

In February, Lockness will turn 100, and she knows exactly how she wants to celebrate.

“I want to go for a helicopter ride,” she said. “I don’t think they’ll let me fly it, but I want to go up again.”


That’s awesome!

"Lockness still gets a little giddy when she hears the roar of an airplane or the thumping of a helicopter rotor. “I look up at the sky, and I can’t believe I used to do all that”

Every time I hear anything in the sky - jet, airplane or helicopter, I always go outside to look and see if I can tell what it is - at least whenever I’m able. Living and working near an AFB, I go outside to check out what I hear many times a day. My co-workers, friends and girlfriend have made fun of me for that for as long as I’ve known any of them. I always tell them the same thing - “I’m sorry - I can’t explain it.” - and that’s the truth; I honestly don’t know what magnetizes me to aviation like it has. I hope that when I’m her age, I’m still able to enjoy those moments in my day. Thanks for sharing that.

That’s great. She reminds me of every Ninety-Nine and every 99 year old I’ve ever met. :smiley: What do you think dadalope?

Okay I can’t stand it anymore - what’s with the “what do you think” stuff?

:laughing: Its kiiling me!!!

its a form of open ended communications, something common from someone that needs validation from others to feel complete herself.
in the DSM-IV its called co-dependency, which is marginally worse than being iliterate.

Probably something I said that ticked him off.

Pot … calls … kettle … black

What do you think dadalope?

lol i have absolutely 0% need for others opinions or input. i am self energizing, besides i rarely get a patient that is awake let alone thanks me for taking care of them for weeks on end while they are in a coma, my rewards are internal, they would have to be, or i would not be a ICU nurse for a living, id be something more touchy feely.

i have a simple rule, if my patient moves, increase sedation, and make sure restraints are inplace, you only have to have an ET tube removed one time to learn thats the patients only goal is to remove it.