The conversations of life

100-year-old US female pilot returns to the skies


Mayetta Behringer became hooked on flying as a young girl when her father took her up in an airplane.

“It was an open cockpit and it was wonderful – I never came down from that flight,” Ms Behringer said.

Mayetta when she first gained her pilot license. Credit: CBS San Francisco

She earned her pilot license in 1945 – at a time when few women flew – and later became a commercial pilot and then a full-time flight instructor, even training in a military jet to break the sound barrier in 1961.

Sadly six years ago, Ms Behringer decided she didn’t have the strength to pilot on her own and retired from flying.

But for her 100th birthday last month, her fellow female pilots chipped in to help the centenarian get back in the cockpit, co-piloting a light plane over San Jose where she lives.

“I can’t imagine sitting on the ground all my life,” she joked, adding, “That’s an impossibility.”

We can’t see her staying grounded either.

Check out a report on Mayetta’s flight here.

Lauren is a journalist for, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

Leave A Reply