Jason W. Britain paid a surprise visit to his old stomping grounds Friday afternoon, landing his military training plane at the Cleburne Municipal Airport Hazlewood Field.

The future Marine aviator and 1996 graduate of Cleburne High School flew his propellor-driven training airplane to the airport, accompanied by his flight instructor, while completing a cross-country flight, part of his pilot training.

Britain was in the Navy for four years before graduating from Texas Christian University. He then enlisted in the U.S. Marines’ aviator program and went through the Marines’ rigorous Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Va. He is stationed in Pensacola, Fla., which is where his morning began Friday.

Despite a heavy morning fog, the plane landed under clear skies at the airport. He was met by his beaming parents, Barbara and Robert Rose. After many hugs and smiles, the four — instructor included — went out to eat before Britain took off for Austin and then Houston. After a night in Houston, they will fly back to Pennsacola, at which time Britain will have likely qualified as a Marine pilot. He said he hopes to fly jets rather than prop planes, when he is certified.

— Michael Mager

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