An 82-year-old man from Utrecht is cashing in a gift certificate for a flight in a glider, 60 years after it was presented to him, the AD said on Tuesday.
Piet van der Weijden was given the gift as a thank you in 1956 after showing a film for the Gooise glider club. At the time he worked in the Camera cinema on the Oudegracht in Utrecht where there were private rooms for hire.
When Van der Weijden wanted to cash in the gift, he could not find it, he told the AD. However, while cleaning up his home 60 years later, he found an old wallet with the typed letter about his reward inside it.
His nephew helped him get in touch with the gliding club and they have agreed to take him up for his maiden glider flight next week.
Van der Weijden told the AD he would like to glide over Utrecht and round the Dom tower best of all, but that he doubted this would be possible. ‘The air strip is in Hilversum and you are totally dependent on thermals and the pilot,’ he said. ‘And I think it is too far away.’
The retired cinema worker has flown extensively in ordinary planes. ‘It’s not scary, you know,’ he told the AD. ‘At least I don’t think it is.’ And as for gliding? ‘There is a risk, of course,’ he said. ‘But it is one you have to take.’
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