UFO's land and visit East Texas

UFO's land and visit East Texas

UFO's spent the day in East Texas, but they're probably not the type of UFO's you're thinking about right now. CBS 19's Amanda Roberson has more on this unique group.

These special UFO's came in airplanes. UFO stands for United Flying Octogenarians. They're a group of pilots 80 years and older who came to Tyler to meet, take a walk down memory lane, and share a special message.

More than two dozen pilots enjoyed food and flight, including Arthur Cole. He's 83 years old - and flew his Cessna from Houston to Tyler to meet other Texas octogenarians and tour the aviation museum. "They're still flying at 90 and I think there are pilots still flying at 100 years old." 

Like any pilot over the age 60, Cole has flight and physical exams every two years. He said some pilots have exams more frequently, depending on doctor's orders, but said it's keeping him in great shape. "Flying requires you to be active mentally and physically, so it probably extends your age!"

"It's just a great way to stay young when you're past 80," added Wayne Collins.

Collins lives in Mineola and flew in from Wood County. "I started flying on the GI bill when I got out of the Navy in 1946."  
He said the logistics of flying haven't changed much, but welcomes new technology like GPS  systems. "The first time I flew across the Pacific I was at a compass and a clock and I was worried about being lost."

Collins also explained his love of seeing the world from a different point of view. "You fly across different sections where you see timber, then you see plains, then you see through Illinois you see the bread basket of the world. It's just a great way to see what's going on."

These UFO pilots encourage everyone to follow their passion, no matter their age. "Stay active and stay active and that's what makes life great," Collins added.
90-year old World War Two veteran Len Eisner couldn't agree more. "I've seen museums, I've been there and done that, except I haven't been to the moon. I may next time."   

Many of these pilots served in wars from World War Two to the Korean War. This was only the second time for UFOs to meet in Texas, they met in Cleburn the first time. The pilots said they plan to keep their wings in the air for many years to come.

The UFO's are an international organization. If you know a pilot who may be interested in joining the group or want more information, click here.


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