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President Uchtdorf pilots plane, first time in 12 years

PROVO, UTAH

In addition to speaking to Utah Valley University students at their Oct. 28 devotional, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency, visited with the university's aviation students at the Provo Municipal Airport.

Speaking inside one of the airport hangars, President Uchtdorf encouraged the students to use their aviation careers in helping to build bridges with people and cultures throughout the world.

He also toured the airport's facilities and took a turn operating the school's flight simulator before joining flight instructor Ryan Lefler in the cockpit for a flight in a Diamond DA42 Twin Star, a four-seat, twin-engine, propeller-driven airplane. It was his first time piloting a plane since retiring as a commercial pilot for Lufthansa German Airlines more than a dozen years ago. He was joined on this flight by his wife, Harriet R. Uchtdorf.

President Uchtdorf first joined Lufthansa in 1965 as a pilot, serving as captain from 1970 to 1996. At the time of his call as a General Authority, he was Lufthansa's senior vice president of flight operations and chief pilot.

During his time at UVU, he complimented both the aviation program and the university's Institute of Religion. "From my own experience, I know that both of these programs bring people closer to heaven," he said.

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