Delta Pilot Finds Hopeful Pre-pandemic Note from Last Pilot to Fly Plane

A note dated March 23, 2020 was found in a Delta plane by a pilot assigned to “wake up” the plane and bring it out of storage. The last pilot to fly the plane gave a hopeful message: “If you are here to pick it up then the light must be at the end of the tunnel.”

On March 23, 202, Delta Pilot Chris Dennis left behind a note in the aircraft he was parking in a storage lot in California. Dennis assumed that the note would be found after a two-week quarantine, but after being discovered 435 days later, the note is being referred to as a “time capsule.”

Dennis said he parked the plane among dozens of other planes that represented hundreds of jobs. He described the scene as “chilling, apocalyptic, surreal” in a Facebook post.

The note he wrote said, “Hey pilots — It’s March 23rd and we just arrived from MSP (Minneapolis-St. Paul). 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!”

The pilot assigned to “wake up” the aircraft and get it out of storage, First Officer Nick Perez, found the note on June 1, 2021. He said the note instantly took him back to the beginning of the pandemic.

Last March, Delta announced flight cuts due to the pandemic, and in October the airline reported a $5.4 billion quarterly loss. Perez said many employees assumed they would lose their jobs.

“I kept thinking about my mindset now compared to his when he left this note,” Perez said. “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.”

Image source: Insider