72-year-old Turkish man pilots aircraft he restored at home

SAMSUN, Turkey
Published 22.11.2018 22:29
Updated 24.11.2018 00:01
72-year-old Turkish man pilots aircraft he restored at home

Flying has been a lifelong dream for Aytekin Turgut, a dentist from northeastern Turkey's Samsun. "My biggest dream was to become a pilot," he says. So, 29 years ago Turgut bought a 1950 Piper PA-20 Pacer aircraft from the Turkish Aeronautical Association (THK) and started repairing it on the roof of his house.

"We used a crane to put it there. We worked day and night for almost months to restore the plane and brought it back to flying condition," he said.

Turgut, a member of Samsun Sportive Aviation Club, has flown the aircraft ever since, making his dream of flying above the clouds come true.

He uses Samsun University Civil Aviation Vocational School airfield to fly his plane.

"Ever since I was a little boy, I dreamed of becoming a pilot. I love flying. Even after becoming a dentist, I did not give up on my dreams and eventually got my pilot license. Now, I fly during my spare time," Turgut said.

Although he got help from his technician friends, Turgut repaired most of the plane by himself on the roof of his house - something most people find hard to believe.

"When I first bought the plane, it was in really bad shape. I repaired every single part of the plane myself. My biggest supporters were my wife and children during this time. We worked together as a family. When I did not have a patient to attend to, I ran to the house to continue with the repair. I gave the plane the first try after I mended the wings. After that, I began flying regularly. I have had this plane for the last 30 years. Flying makes me feel young again. I will continue to fly as long as I am healthy," he said.

Turgut has passed down his interest in flying to his children. One of his sons is a pilot for a private aviation company while the other is a licensed paraglider.

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