Peter Weber Jr. got word Tuesday from Guinness World Records that he – at age 95 – is officially the oldest active pilot.
Guinness record keepers said his flight last month in Placerville set a record as the oldest qualified pilot still licensed and flying solo. Weber was officially 95 years, 4 months and 23 days old at the time of the flight.
Guinness World Records lists Cole Kugel as the oldest pilot ever. Kugel, who lived in Longmont, Colo., flew for the last time in 2007 at age 105. He died the same year.
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Weber, a Cameron Park resident, sent a video, still pictures, names of witnesses and a Sacramento Bee story about his March 30 qualifying flight to the Guinness records management team as documentation of his feat.
“You will shortly receive your Guinness World Records certificate in the post,” Guinness e-mailed Weber on Tuesday. “Congratulations!”
Weber was anxious about whether he would set the record, but was confident that his qualifying package was a good one.
“I’m overwhelmed,” he said. “I’m getting all kinds of phone calls, e-mails and all that stuff.”
Weber’s military career began in the Army’s combat engineers unit. However, after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, he passed the test to be an aviation cadet and started his flying career in the Army Air Corps, forerunner of the U.S. Air Force.
During World War II, he flew P-38 fighters in the South Pacific, was an instrument flight instructor during the Korean War and flew an AC-130 gunship in Vietnam.
Weber retired from the Air Force in 1970 as a lieutenant colonel. Since then, he has flown for fun.
Weber already has a plan for his next goal:
“I’m going to write Guinness and find out what I have to do when I’m 96,” he said with a chuckle.
Call The Bee’s Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.