Idaho couple takes final flight together thanks to local non-profit
HAYDEN, Idaho — Airplanes take off from Resort Aviation Jet Center in Hayden, Idaho every day. But few, if any, have passengers with such an important purpose as one Idaho couple did on Friday.
Neta Daharsh knows what a thrill flying can be. She’s spent decades in the cockpit with her husband Neil. She says they’ve been married 45 years.
“We’re kind of used to each other,” Neta said.
That’s just what happens when you’ve spent countless hours flying across Alaska together. They sold their plane and landed in Idaho for good about three years ago. When they got here, they had big plans.
“We intended to go up when we first got here, but we never ever got around to it,” Neta said.
Neta and Neil climbed back into a Cessna 172 Friday afternoon, thanks to a collaborative effort by S.O.A.R.I.N.G, Inc. and Auburn Crest Hospice.
S.O.A.R.I.N.G has been helping children and teens take flight through a unique mentorship program for 25 years, but S.O.A.R.I.N.G board member Bob Clark said he and the other non-profit leaders expanded the program when they heard Neta’s wish.
“Flying is in her blood. Once you get it in your blood you can’t get it out,” Clark said.
That’s why a pilot donated time and a plane to take Neta and Neil up for one final flight.
“I was so surprised that they were gonna take us up,” Neta said.
It was a great surprise for an aging couple both battling health issues. Neta doesn’t know how much longer she has. She said she has a heart condition and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. But that doesn’t stop her from living every day in the best way she can.
Clark said getting to help Neta and hundreds of kids in the community is a great reminder that there are good people out there and easy ways to make a difference.
“There’s people all over the country saying what can we do? You know, what can we do? We are already doing something,” Clark said. “There’s so much negative stuff going on in our world and our program is designed to be a positive influence on people’s lives.”
Doing good for Neta and Neil meant one last flight together, seeing their new home from new heights and a new perspective. Neta said her favorite part was seeing her house and the mountain she loves.
“We always stare at that mountain and now I know what it looks like on top,” Neta said. “I sure enjoyed today.”
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