Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Come Fly with Me, Come Fly with Me--Let's Fly Away!

Fly Me to the Moon!

When my husband, Joe proposed to me--he had a very passionate speech prepared.  He first just said, "Kathie I am trying to ask you something...will you...will you..."  I said, "Will I what?"  "Will you marry me?" I enthusiastically said, "You betcha!"  Then the proposal continued...

"Kathie, I love flying, I mean, I really love to fly!   You have to understand that when I go to work--I fly, that means most likely I have to be away from you...I want to fly--I love being a pilot.  I want you to be my wife, but I need to know and for you to really understand what it means to be the wife of a pilot!"  I still said yes...and he has been blessed to fly our entire married life.

Joe has flown over 24,220.5 hours = 2.76 years in the air.  

This does not include the times we were apart for a corporate trip at which time he would say, "They pay for me to wait, I fly for free."  

Which means, unlike SWA having 7 take offs and 7 landings a day.  He would have one or two take offs and landings, and a few days later another.  He flew to destinations and waited.

It is one thing to retire when you know it is time.  When the job isn't the same, or maybe when the opportunity presents itself as too good to pass up...but it is another thing when you are a healthy and you are not only good at your job--you love your job, and are not ready to end your career.  Pilots, especially those over 60 are scrutinized during their medical physicals and simulator training, as they should be...as all pilots who command an aircraft with many souls onboard should be.  
In 1960 there was an FAA rule put in place that a commercial pilot, regardless of how healthy or sharp he/she was must retire at age 60.  Well, age 60 looks a lot different in 2013 than it did in 1960.  

Joe joined many other great pilots and actively lobbied on Capitol Hill with the Airline Pilots Against Age Discrimination group and fought for years to have the retirement age moved from 60 to 65.  Finally after a unanimous vote both the House and Senate passed the law to extend the commercial pilot's age to 65, President George W Bush signed it into law! 

So through God's grace he was blessed with five more years of flying for the LUV Airline!

But today, he woke very early.  

Got ready for the day.

Put on his uniform and his four silver bar epaulets.

His crew black bag packed and by the back door ready to go...for this morning was the beginning of his last three day commercial trip.

His final flight is this Friday with family onboard.

He has been a "high flyer" for Southwest Airlines for many years.  Last year he flew 999 hours & 8 minutes. FAA only permitted an individual pilot to fly 1000 hours.  

He has had a great flying career.  On Sept. 6th--the day before he turns into a pumpkin on his 65th birthday

...he will be pulling chalks for the last time as Captain in command of the 737.


I Lasso the day Joe asked me to "Come Fly with Me...Let's Fly Away"!
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