First Hand Account: Emotional Delta Pilot Flies Airbus A321 Into Hibernation

Over the weekend, it was reported on how one of the runways at theworld’s busiest airport, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson, was  being used as a parking place for Delta. Now, it appears some planes are heading to the desert for storage too, as one co-pilot shared on Facebook this week.

Co-pilot Chris Dennis was asked to fly an Airbus A321 to Victorville for ‘hibernation’ earlier this week. The sight that greeted him on arrival he described as ‘horrifying’, as a sea of Delta aircraft stretched off into the distance. Here’s his account of the emotional journey to drop off the aircraft.

Delta Air LinesThe pilot described the scene as ‘horrifying
An emotional journey; Delta Air Lines co-pilot Chris Dennis walked us through what it was like to operate a flight to put an aircraft into what airlines are increasingly calling ‘hibernation’. His post on Facebook is enough to send chills down your spine, as the impact of the global grounding of airline fleets really begins to hit home.

In his own words, he found the experience “chilling, apocalyptic, surreal”, pointing out that every one of those aircraft parked at Victorville in California for storage is representative of hundreds of jobs, and more.

He goes on to compare the experience to the post-9/11 grounding, where aircraft were parked at airports all across North America until it was deemed safe to fly again. He noted that this situation somehow feels “more real, more urgent”.

Back in 2001, the grounding was localized and temporary. Aircraft stayed at their home airports, and were kept ticking over by maintenance engineers, ready to take to the skies as soon as the all-clear was given. With the current crisis, there is no end in sight, and as such the groundings are more dramatic in appearance. Chris said,

Now, they are all concentrated in huge lots and mothballed waiting for this battle to turn around against an enemy we can’t see or fight.”

He concluded his post by saying that the situation was nothing short of “horrifying”, along with a warning for people to follow the government’s advice.

Source: Simple Flying.

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