Minnesota Pilot Leaves Note in Plane as a Pandemic Time Capsule
This Minnesota pilot left a note in the flight deck of a plane he was flying to be stored out in California and it now serves as a reminder of the early days of the pandemic.
Do you remember the early days of the pandemic back in mid-March of 2020? The entire world, including most things here in Minnesota, was just starting to shut down and while nobody knew for how long things would be shut, we all hoped it would pass in a few weeks. How wrong we were about that!
Many industries were affected by the shutdown, but it was especially tough on the travel industry. I mean, pretty much every state in the US and every country was telling us to stay home. It's tough to run a travel-related business when nobody is traveling!
Which is exactly the sentiment in this note, left by Delta First Officer Chris Dennis, on the flight deck of an Airbus A321 after he flew it from the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport to Delta's storage facility at the Southern California Logistics Airport during the early days of the pandemic.
According to Delta, Dennis first thought the big plane might be parked in the desert for around two weeks-- which, even then, was thought to be an incredibly long time for a jet to just sit there. His note read:
Hey pilots – It's March 23rd and we just arrived from MSP. Very chilling to see so much of our fleet here in the desert. 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!
But of course, thanks to the ongoing pandemic, the plane ended up sitting in storage for a little more than the two weeks Dennis initially thought-- it stayed parked in the desert for over a year, 435 days, in fact, until demand increased enough that Delta brought it back out of storage just last week.
And that's when a fellow Delta pilot found the note Dennis wrote back in those eery days in mid-March of 2020. Delta has since archived both the note, and the unprecedented picture of so many of its idled jets sitting on the runway in California and included them in a new time capsule to mark the 15 months Delta spent navigating the pandemic. Making its way, as his note said, toward the "light we all knew was at the end of the tunnel."
Of course, the pandemic has forced the travel industry-- and just about every other aspect of our lives-- to change how we do things we used to take for granted. Keep scrolling to check out 16 things we now all do differently!