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WWII Veteran celebrates 100th birthday by gliding through the sky

Naja Hill

SANTA YNEZ, Calif. - A WWII veteran celebrating his 100th birthday took to the sky in Santa Ynez on Saturday. The ex-pilot went aircraft gliding over the valley.

Bill Croyle had a wish and, though he's 100 years old, he was determined to cross that wish off his bucket list.

“I'm celebrating the fact that I'm still here,” said Croyle.

Croyle is not only still here but vibrant and sharp making life adventures.

“My father is the most positive person you ever want to meet. He is the opposite of an old fud,” said Bill Croyle's daughter Kim Croyle.

It all started when he saw a glider whisking through the sky. He decided right then that before his departure from this earth he would make it to the sky in one.

“It's been a long time since I have been in an airplane, even a commercial airplane, so I will thoroughly enjoy this,” said Croyle.

A dear friend and pilot made it all possible.

“We saw some Gliders and he said I have always wanted to go gliding. And I said well I'll take you gliding,” said family friend Sheryl Tye.

The flight was over the Santa Ynez Valley were Bill and his daughter live.

“Well I'll enjoy it more than some because I had a pilot's license since I was 16 years old,” said Croyle.

Cloud 9 Glider Rides hosted the ride.

“To me, it's dancing in the air, in the glider you are just flowing like a bird. You just move around in that magical feeling of dancing up there,” said Cloud 9 Glider Rides pilot Teri Holt.

Croyle says though he is a century-old he still has more plans.

“I'm looking forward to the next trip, maybe before I am 200 I can fly one more time,” said Croyle.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

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Naja Hill

Naja Hill is a reporter for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Naja, click here.


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