• March



At 90, Cecil McBride’s still flying

At the ripe young age of 90, Cecil McBride’s still flying
Dan Casey Feb 18, 2023 2

Once, Cecil McBride flew in the co-pilot’s seat of an Air Force helicopter that made an emergency landing in a Japanese schoolyard — during a blizzard. The unplanned stop so unnerved some pupils, they bailed out of the schoolhouse windows, he recalled.

On another occasion (while on vacation) McBride surveyed the Exxon-Valdez oil spill from high above Prudhoe Bay, while flying winter provisions to a remote Eskimo village in Alaska. More or less, he hitched a ride on the float plane after meeting its pilot. That was the most fun flight of his life, he said.

After his retirement as a Virginia Tech agriculture professor, McBride remained with the university as a pilot for its “Hokie Bird” airplane. Ex-football coach Frank Beamer was just one of his regular passengers.

Earlier, for a decade, McBride co-owned a Blacksburg-based charter service that had two small aircraft. Blacksburg Aviation used to fly Virginia Tech dignitaries to Washington or Richmond and automotive bearings from the New River Valley to Detroit.

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Story credit: Roanoke.com; https://roanoke.com/news/local/casey-at-the-ripe-young-age-of-90-cecil-mcbrides-still-flying/article_4db2a7e4-afbb-11ed-8826-6fb6840cb8c7.html

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