Profile image
Story Views

Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:

Airline Pilot

Monday, January 9, 2017 6:19
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.
 My lead flight attendant came to me and said, "We have an H.R. on
this flight." (H.R. stands for human remains.)

"Are they military?" I asked.
'Yes', she said.

'Is there an escort?' I asked.
'Yes, I've already assigned him a seat'.

'Would you please tell him to come to the Flight Deck. You can
board him early," I said...

A short while later, a young army sergeant entered the flight
deck. He was the image of the perfectly dressed soldier. He
introduced himself and I asked him about his soldier.

The escorts of these fallen soldiers talk about them as if they
are still alive and still with us. 'My soldier is on his way back
to Virginia,' he said. He proceeded to answer my questions, but
offered no words.

I asked him if there was anything I could do for him and he said
no. I told him that he had the toughest job in the military, and
that I appreciated the work that he does for the families of our
fallen soldiers. The first officer and I got up out of our seats
to shake his hand. He left the Flight Deck to find his seat.

We completed our preflight checks, pushed back and performed an
uneventful departure. About 30 minutes into our flight, I received
a call from the lead flight attendant in the cabin. 'I just found
out the family of the soldier we are carrying, is also on board',
she said. She then proceeded to tell me that the father, mother,
wife and 2-year old daughter were escorting their son, husband, and
father home. The family was upset because they were unable to see
the container that the soldier was in before we left.

We were on our way to a major hub at which the family was going to
wait four hours for the connecting flight home to Virginia . The
father of the soldier told the flight attendant that knowing his
son was below him in the cargo compartment and being unable to see
him was too much for him and the family to bear. He had asked the
flight attendant if there was anything that could be done to allow
them to see him upon our arrival. The family wanted to be outside
by the cargo door to watch the soldier being taken off the

I could hear the desperation in the flight attendants voice when
she asked me if there was anything I could do. 'I'm on it', I said.
I told her that I would get back to her.

Airborne communication with my company normally occurs in the form
of e-mail like messages. I decided to
bypass this system and contact my flight dispatcher directly on a
secondary radio. There is a radio operator in the operations control
center who connects you to the telephone of the dispatcher. I was in
direct contact with the dispatcher. I explained the situation I had on
board with the family and what it was the family wanted. He said he
understood and that he would get back to me.

Two hours went by and I had not heard from the dispatcher. We were
going to get busy soon and I needed to know what to tell the
family. I sent a text message asking for an update. I saved the
return message from the dispatcher and the following is the text:
'Captain, sorry it has taken so long to get back to you. There is
policy on this now, and I had to check on a few
things. Upon your arrival a dedicated escort team will meet the
aircraft. The team will escort the family to the ramp and plane side.
A van will be used to load the remains with a secondary van for the
family. The family will be taken to their departure area and escorted
into the terminal, where the remains can be seen on the ramp. It is a
private area for the family only. When the connecting aircraft
arrives, the family will be escorted onto the ramp and plane side to
watch the remains being loaded for the final leg home.
Captain, most of us here in flight control are veterans. Please pass
our condolences on to the family. Thanks.

I sent a message back, telling flight control thanks for a good
job. I printed out the message and gave it to the lead flight
attendant to pass on to the father. The lead flight attendant was
very thankful and told me, 'You have no idea how much this will
mean to them.'

Things started getting busy for the descent, approach and landing.
After landing, we cleared the runway and taxied to the ramp area.
The ramp is huge with 15 gates on either side of the alleyway. It
is always a busy area with aircraft maneuvering every which way to
enter and exit. When we entered the ramp and checked in with the
ramp controller, we were told that all traffic was being held for

'There is a team in place to meet the aircraft', we were told. It
looked like it was all coming together, then I realized that once
we turned the seat belt sign off, everyone would stand up at once
and delay the family from getting off the airplane. As we
approached our gate, I asked the copilot to tell the ramp
controller, we were going to stop short of the gate to make an
announcement to the passengers. He did that and the ramp
controller said, 'Take your time.'

I stopped the aircraft and set the parking brake. I pushed the
public address button and said: 'Ladies and gentleman, this is
your Captain speaking: I have stopped short of our gate to make a
special announcement. We have a passenger on board who deserves
our honor and respect. His Name is Private XXXXXX, a soldier who
recently lost his life. Private XXXXXX is under your feet in the
cargo hold. Escorting him today is Army Sergeant XXXXXXX. Also, on
board are his father, mother, wife, and daughter. Your entire
flight crew is asking for all passengers to remain in their seats
to allow the family to exit the aircraft first. Thank you.'

We continued the turn to the gate, came to a stop and started our
shutdown procedures. A couple of minutes later I opened the
cockpit door. I found the two forward flight attendants crying,
something you just do not see. I was told that after we came to a
stop, every passenger on the aircraft stayed in their seats,
waiting for the family to exit the aircraft. When the family got
up and gathered their things, a passenger slowly started to clap
his hands. Moments later, more passengers joined in and soon the
entire aircraft was clapping. Words of 'God Bless You', I'm sorry,
thank you, be proud, and other kind words were uttered to the
family as they made their way down the aisle and out of the
airplane. They were escorted down to the ramp to finally be with
their loved one.

Many of the passengers disembarking thanked me for the
announcement I had made. They were just words, I told them, I
could say them over and over again, but nothing I say will bring
back that brave soldier.

I respectfully ask that all of you reflect on this event and the
sacrifices that millions of our men and women have made to ensure
our freedom and safety in these United States of AMERICA.

Foot note:
I know everyone who reads this will have tears in their eyes,
including me. Prayer chain for our Military... Don't break it!
Please send this on after a short prayer for our service men and
Don't break it! They die for me and mine and you and yours and deserve
our honor and respect.

Prayer Request:
When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer
for our troops around the world... There is nothing attached.
Just send this to people in your address book. Do not let it stop
with you. Of all the gifts you could give a Marine, Soldier,
Sailor, Airman, and others deployed in harm's way, prayer is the
very best one.

Thank you all who have served, or are serving. We Will Not

NESARA- Restore America – Galactic News


We encourage you to Share our Reports, Analyses, Breaking News and Videos. Simply Click your Favorite Social Media Button and Share.

Report abuse


Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Top Stories
Recent Stories



Top Global

Top Alternative




Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.