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Shenandoah Valley Veteran Prepares for Trip Around the U.S.

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Captain John Billings takes a test flight in preparation for the long journey ahead. Captain John Billings takes a test flight in preparation for the long journey ahead.
Billings volunteers as an Angel Flight Pilot, providing emergency flights to people in need of serious medical attention. Billings volunteers as an Angel Flight Pilot, providing emergency flights to people in need of serious medical attention.
Billings' plane takes off from a runway at CHO during a test flight in preparation for the upcoming journey. Billings' plane takes off from a runway at CHO during a test flight in preparation for the upcoming journey.
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

Captain John Billings, a World War II veteran, and his Co-Pilot, Nevin Showman are preparing for the trip of a lifetime. These two valley pilots are getting ready to take off on a journey around the perimeter of the U.S.

"There's only two things that can stop me my health and money whichever runs out first,” says Billings.

The trip is a bucket list item for John Billings, who is currently 91 years old, but will turn 92 during the trip. The two men will take off at Luray this Sunday. They plan to make many stops along the way, but if the weather is good, they may finish the trip in around two weeks, and they think the trip could take a month if weather isn’t favorable. 

Billings has flown ever since the war when he flew missions on B-24's for the Army. "He is completely legal and current, and he is one of the most experienced, best pilots that I have ever flown with," says Showman.

Although Billings is 91 years old, he stays busy as a pilot for the nonprofit, Angel Flights; they provide emergency flights to people in need of serious medical attention. He has been flying patients with the organization for years. 

"Been flying patients from wherever they are to wherever they need service," says Billings.

He says the reason he is making this trip is pretty simple. "It’s very satisfying to be able to do two things that I love; I love to be with people and I love to fly."