STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

The world's oldest fighter pilot retires at 66

The world's oldest active fighter pilot, a grandfather of four, has retired and taken his last flight at the age of 6...

Posted: Jul 20, 2018 8:59 AM
Updated: Jul 20, 2018 8:59 AM

The world's oldest active fighter pilot, a grandfather of four, has retired and taken his last flight at the age of 66.

Squadron Leader Phillip Frawley of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has served for more than 49 years -- over half of the RAAF's 97-year lifespan. He took his final flight last month and has officially stepped down, according to an RAAF statement released Thursday.

"It's been a special day but all things come to an end -- that's what's happened to me today," Frawley said in the statement. "It has been wonderful, absolutely wonderful."

He has been the oldest active fighter pilot for years now since surpassing the last record holder, a 60-year-old Israeli F-16 pilot, according to The Drive.

His retirement marks the end of a long and colorful career, which has racked up more than 10,000 hours of flying, 6,000 of those flying fighters.

Frawley first began as an RAAF apprentice in 1969 and worked his way up to become a fighter pilot, instructor, and commanding officer. He even spent five years serving in Saudi Arabia.

He first flew the Hercules transport aircraft, before successfully applying to train on fighters. Afterward, he flew a range of fighter jets, including Mirages, Macchis, and F/A-18 Hornets.

Frawley watched the RAAF change over the years, from evolving tactics to adopting "that digital stuff" in recent decades.

However, most meaningful was his time as an instructor, Frawley said. He has helped train almost 500 Air Combat Group pilots throughout his service, and he says it was "probably my best achievement."

He took his final flight on June 29 in a 76 Squadron Hawk 127 Lead-in-fighter, with his squadron and family members present.

However, just because he's taken his last flight, doesn't mean he's done with his active lifestyle. Frawley also spends his time instructing civilians, performing flight demonstrations, and taking passengers on jet fighter flights.

When he's not in a jet, he enjoys surfing on the beaches of New South Wales, and writes blog posts about his prank-pulling time in the RAAF.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 4038

Reported Deaths: 148
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah109358
Marion92025
Washington70317
Clackamas30010
Deschutes1200
Linn1159
Umatilla1123
Polk9810
Lane672
Yamhill677
Jackson650
Benton555
Clatsop450
Klamath410
Coos310
Malheur280
Douglas250
Josephine251
Jefferson240
Wasco201
Columbia160
Hood River130
Morrow120
Lincoln110
Curry60
Union60
Tillamook60
Crook60
Wallowa20
Lake20
Sherman10
Harney10
Grant10
Baker10
Unassigned00
Eugene
Few Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 75°
Corvallis
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 74°
Roseburg
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 76°
North Bend
Few Clouds
62° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 62°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events