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Final Flight For Delta's Last 747

Jumbo Jet Now Parked In An Arizona Boneyard

Delta's last 747 made her final flight Wednesday, traveling from Atlanta to Pinal Air Park in Marana, north ot Tucson, AZ. Once there, the plane was parked in a boneyard, the fate of many airplanes that are deemed no longer commercially viable.

But the flight was not without its special moments. The Arizona Republic reports that shortly after takeoff from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, flight attendant Stephanie Nelson, a 40-year Delta employee, started handing out black Sharpie pens to the passengers on board. "Feel free to sign the airplane," she said.

About an hour into the flight, Delta flight attendant Holly Rick and veteran 747 pilot Gene Peterson were married in the bulkhead row of the airplane as the plane flew over Memphis, TN.

There were some 50 passengers aboard the flight, according to the report. Many were employees with long histories with the 747. Delta was the last U.S. airline to operate revenue flights with the iconic jumbo jet.

In the cockpit were Captains Steve Hanlon and Paul Gallagher, who had been the Delta pilots to first fly this particular 747 when it entered revenue service in 1999. Gallagher flew the airplane from New York to Tokyo, and Hanlon made the return flight. Hanlon will move to Delta's A350s, while Gallagher retired after Wednesday's flight.

Delta actually retired its own 747s in 1977, but acquired a fleet of 18 of the airplanes when it merged with Northwest Airline in 2008.

(Images from YouTube and provided by Delta Airlines)

FMI: Original Report


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