Red Oak Man Celebrates 99th Birthday Flying a Plane- as World’s Oldest Pilot

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RED OAK, Iowa- Ernie Smith turned 99 years old on Wednesday December 21. He celebrated by taking a rented Cessna 150 for a flight around Red Oak.

In September, it became official, Smith is now the World's Oldest Active Pilot, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

Smith took a short flight around Red Oak in the crisp morning sunshine.  He then met with reporters, family and some well wishers, before he had to pay a visit to the doctor. Smith is in great health, just a routine visit to the doctor.

Smith became the World's Oldest Living Pilot, after it was discovered the former record holder, was younger than Smith.  Red Oak community officials took their case to the Guinness Book of World Records. It took a lot of documentation, and some one had to video Ernie piloting the aircraft alone.

At the airport Wednesday afternoon, there was a birthday party for Smith, he even was given the gift of a P-51 Mustang, toy.

Smith was asked if he planned to be flying at 100 years old.  He quipped, "someone already sent me a card 'Happy Birthday 100 years' by mistake, the sender told me to keep it for next year," said Smith

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