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STRATFORD, Conn. (CBS) — A big dream has come true for a new, albeit small, honorary test pilot. William Beyer, 6, has suffered from serious heart problems since he was born and always dreamed of becoming a pilot.
Sikorsky, an aircraft manufacturing company, partnered with Make-A-Wish to make William’s dream a reality.
A team of pilots and other staff on-boarded William during a “Pilot for a Day” experience on Sept. 5 at their facility in Stratford, Connecticut.
The Collegeville native was treated to a perfectly fitted and personalized flight suit, a flight jacket with all the proper badges, and, of course, shiny new aviator sunglasses, before taking to the sky in a helicopter with his parents, Wes and Michelle Beyer, and his younger brother Jake.
Born with a rare heart defect called Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome, William underwent a heart transplant when he was only 10 months old. William regularly visits with doctors to prevent organ rejection.
In addition to the helicopter flight, William and his family toured the manufacturing facility, raced in a high-speed helicopter simulator, and enjoyed lunch with Sikorsky pilots.
“Thank you for making his wish come true,” wrote Wes Beyer on Sikorsky’s Facebook page. “His mom and I were especially moved by all the workers who showed him support and gave him the great welcome as we toured the factory. William is truly blessed.”
William impressed pilots and staff with his questions and ability to man controls during the helicopter flight.
“To have a child’s top wish be for the job you do every day, really puts your own life into perspective,” said pilot Mark Ward.
The pint-sized pilot ended his day with new knowledge on the basics of flying a helicopter and an honorary test pilot certificate.