George Miller prepares to celebrate his 80th birthday Oct. 6 by taking to the sky in his Navion airplane at Langley airport.

George Miller prepares to celebrate his 80th birthday Oct. 6 by taking to the sky in his Navion airplane at Langley airport.

Sixty years of flying

George Miller goes airborne to celebrate turning 80

George Miller was wearing  a wide grin on Tuesday, Oct. 6 as he taxied his Navion aircraft into position at the Langley airport, shut down the motor and opened the sliding canopy.

Miller was celebrating his 80th birthday and more than 60 years of flying by taking to the air  with the Fraser Blues formation flying team.

The Blues are one of the few civilian formation-flying teams in North America.

Miller, the founder and flight leader, is the former team leader of the Snowbirds, the Royal Canadian Air Force aerobatic team.

Miller joined the RCAF in 1953 at age 18 and became a fighter pilot serving in Germany,  Egypt and the Arctic.

He served as a base commander in Moose Jaw, Sask. and worked in Brazil before becoming manager of Langley Regional Airport in 1990, where Miller is credited with transforming the small municipal airport into a bustling centre of  aviation-focused businesses.

In June, Miller was inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame at the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, taking his place beside legendary aviators like George Frederick “Buss” Beurling and William Avery “Billy” Bishop.