Biplane Rides Offer Ageless Adventure

Aug. 27--DECATUR -- Darryl Fisher has a "come fly with me" attitude, believing in giving back to those who have given.

In 2011, he formed the Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation to give free flights to seniors and military veterans, using two 1940s Boeing Stearman biplanes, the kind used in training World War II pilots.

He now has three airplanes and has provided more than 540 flights in 27 states with a priority on World War II and Korean War veterans.

Fisher was here last August for a few hours and, with the help of Gini Smith of Decatur, will be here Saturday, Aug. 30, and in Shelbyville Sunday, Aug. 31. Fisher is flying in from Stevens Point, Wis.

He's has booked 14 veterans for rides on Saturday from the Decatur Airport starting 8:30 a.m. On Sunday, five trips from Shelbyville are booked, starting at 9:30 a.m, before Fisher heads for Olympia, Wash.

The exhilarating, open-cockpit rides are about 40 minutes from start to finish at about 1,600 feet and 110 mph and include observations by Fisher.

"I'm a senior housing executive " he said. "This is a worthwhile thing to do. We like to provide something special, something to remember."

The nonprofit organization has 10 sponsors and is based in Carson City, Colo. The 2014 tours started in Reno, Nev., in June and continue until late November. The goal is to visit 49 cities in 18 states and give more than 400 dream flights.

Everyone involved in the flights is a volunteer. Mike Winterboer, Gini Smith's brother-in-law, is one of Fisher's pilots.

bfallstrom@herald-review.com|(217) 421-7981

Copyright 2014 - Herald & Review, Decatur, Ill.

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