45 years later, a pilot returns to the cockpit

Image 1 of 3

45 years is a long time to wait.

But that's exactly what Bud Weiner, a former pilot who lost the ability to fly with a heart attack, did--patiently--for four-and-a-half decades, finally climbing back into the cockpit on a Sunny October day to pilot a plane once more.

It was, for an hour, a memory brought back to life, with special help from a flight instructor at Twin Cities Aviation and an organization called Wish of a Lifetime that made it all happen.

"Every time we would drive by airports or whatever he was like, 'I wish I could fly again,'" Bud's daughter, Laurie Hunt, said. "I told him to write down fly day on his calendar."

With a view of the fall colors one simply can't get from the ground, Weiner says he was in his element once more. And, despite the years, he managed to bring the plane back in for a smooth landing. 

"It was more than fun," he said. "Terrific."