Still flying high at 89

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes George Thompson figured he was setting a record last week. He didn’t, but that didn’t bring him down. Jumping out of the plane at 13,000 feet, however, did bring the 89-year-old down to earth. Three days after his birthday, George went with son-in-law Dale Rieb to Molalla to go skydiving last Friday, Oct. 4. “I planned to do that on my 90th birthday,” said George, who along with wife Ruth has lived at Emerald Pointe Senior Living Community since 2008. “Then I thought if for some reason I can’t do it on my 90th birthday, I might as well do it now. I thought I might be the oldest skydiver in Oregon, but my instructor said he’d taken a 93-year-old.” Jumping out of a plane at George’s age may seem extreme, but it’s actually fitting. “I’ve always been interested in flying,” he said. “I built my first model airplane when I was 7. As soon as I was out of military service, I took flight lessons and got my private license.” George built and flew three small aircraft, racking up approximately 1,000 hours in the air before hanging up the goggles in 2006. “I quit and sold my airplanes,” he said. “I knew I was getting to a place where I wasn’t feeling comfortable anymore,” said George, who was 81 at the time....

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