Morristown's "Mama Bird" Turns 98

By: Nick Bona Email
By: Nick Bona Email

Morristown (WVLT) -- She took up flying more than six decades ago and on Sunday, Evelyn Bryan Johnson turned 98.

To celebrate, the Guinness world record holder simply went to work in her office at Moore-Murrell Airport in Morristown where she serves as the manager.

Mrs. Johnson has been flying since 1944.

In that time, she has taught more than 5,000, given 9,000 flight tests for the Federal Aviation Administration and logged nearly 58,000 hours aloft.

According to the woman they call "Mama Bird," there is no place like behind the cockpit controls.

"It's fantastic, it's a wonderful thing," she said. "Everybody gets into flying and gets all excited about it because even if they thought they were going to be scared, they find their not. Really, if you do it right there is nothing to be scared of."

Mrs. Johnson has not flown in about a year after a serious car accident required doctors to amputate part of her leg.

But she says she should be back up in the sky soon, ready to add to the record amount of flight hours she already has.

When asked if she was getting ready to retire she said she would when she got old, adding that she is only 98.

Evelyn Bryan Johnson has also been inducted into six different Halls of Fame.

The latest came in July when she entered the National Aviation Hall of Fame along side former NASA astronaut Sally Ride and adventurer Steve Fossett.

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