Pilot Finds Colleagues Poignant Note Left In Plane Grounded At Start Of Pandemic

A Delta Air Lines pilot left a note on board an aircraft he placed in storage at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and the message was discovered earlier this month as the plane was prepared for flight once again. 

First Officer Chris Dennis tucked a letter into a cockpit tray table on the Airbus A321 he parked at Southern California Logistics Airport in March 2020. The desert location was used to temporarily house hundreds of aircraft that were grounded during the global health crisis.

“Hey pilots, it’s March 23rd and we just arrived from [Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport]. Very chilling to see so much of our fleet here in the desert,” Dennis wrote. “If you are here to pick it up then the light must be at the end of the tunnel. Amazing how fast it changed. Have a safe flight bringing it out of storage.”

First Officer Nick Perez found the letter 435 days later, just before reintroducing the aircraft back into service.

“He had to have been thinking he was leaving his job,” Perez said of Dennis in a statement released by Delta. “Back in March, I was 100% certain I was going to lose my job.” 

“I kept thinking about my mindset now compared to his when he left this note,” Perez added. “We were getting good at landing empty airplanes, now we’re going in the right direction. I’m in good spirits. I’m very optimistic.”

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