Flying High At

Wednesday, July 6, 2011 - 8:14am

Veteran Navy pilot skydives for the first time.

Getting suited up for a mission is familiar territory for Commander Dean "Diz" Laird.

He's flown everything from dive bombers to fighter jets in his 30 year Navy career, so being in the air is like second nature...except for one thing.

"I've been flying since 1940. I never had to jump out, although I was very close during the war a couple of times when I was badly damaged by anti-aircraft fire, I never had to jump out or eject, and I decided gee that's something I've never done and I'd just like to go do it," he says.

A decision that put him in the dog house with his favorite co-pilot, his wife.

"I'm glad she decided to come and watch it and glad to get her out of the house.
She's pretty much house bound the last couple of years, I'd do anything, go jump out of an airplane to get her out of the house," Dean laughs.

The woman he still calls "the prettiest girl in town" took a front row seat to watch as he walked down a grassy runway toward his latest adventure.

Minutes later he took her breath away with a picture-perfect landing.

Laird says he plans on celebrating his 100th birthday the same way.

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