LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) — A Lynchburg pilot got a surprise welcome and celebration when he landed back in the Hill City Friday night.
Jones Stanley has been flying planes for over 60 years; 62 to be exact.
Friday was the last for the 82-year-old as he goes into retirement. His family, friends, and local fire station surprised him with a water salute as he taxied to the hangar for the final time.
Jones flew three missions in Vietnam off aircraft carriers.
He retired from the Navy with the highest ranking of admiral in 1995 but continued flying commercial for an additional 33 years until the age of 60. That's when he reached the retirement age required by the airline, but still refused to get out of the cockpit.
His passion for aviation continued as he decided to fly private charters ever since.
His family said the celebration was the chance to recognize his remarkable career as he flew for the final time.