The pilot was all set for retirement but he wasn't ready to hang up his boots without paying a moving tribute to his loyal companion.
New beginnings are special, but so are endings. Especially when they mark a fulfilling journey. This is exactly what happened with this pilot in a video shared on Reddit by u/EcstaticSociety4040, who honored his wife of 43 years before his last flight. The bond the couple shares is heartwarming to look at and the speech the pilot delivers is equally so. It just goes to show that good partners can make a huge difference in each other’s lives and make every part of the journey beautiful. This 65-year-old pilot said 'this is it' to his career in a memorable way and the internet is getting emotional over it. Well, how can you not shed a few tears while witnessing love like this?
Andy DeGroot, the pilot who’s retiring, introduces himself to the people in his flight. He says that he’ll be the serving captain for today and that it’s his last flight as he has reached retirement age. He expressed that he feels honored and privileged to be here today and then introduced his wife, Karin, whom he continued to hold in a warm embrace throughout the video. He also points out that his daughter and daughter-in-law were also present on the flight as well. While giving his speech, his sons were present in the cockpit. One of them is a dispatcher at Delta, the same airline the dad was about to conduct his last flight for and the other is a traffic air dispatcher in Atlanta.
He then shared that his wife had been with him for 43 years and had been his wingman throughout their time together. That day, he wanted to give her a set of wings by becoming her wingman. He continued and announced the gift: they have a lot of six-month deployments in the Navy and a lot of three or four-day trips with Delta. His wife had tears of joy in her eyes at the end. His gift was indeed precious for anyone—a true set of wings. The comments found the moment, as well as the presence of his entire family, super touching. While a few others had a hilarious take on the “last flight” announcement, the common consensus was that the couple was absolutely made for each other.
u/SensitiveWasabi1228 commented, “This is so precious. He seems like a lovely man who loves his wife and I really like the fact that his boys decided to work in the aviation business as well. I loved when he said he had them both in the cockpit with him. They must respect him a lot.” Another user, u/Forsaken-visual, joked, “I like all the insurance of all his family members he mentions are on board in case anyone was worried it was going to be everyone’s last flight - very cute, I hope they have many happy years ahead of them!” Many users also thought that the wife would be flying the plane for some reason. Just goes to show that people believed that the pilot could go to any lengths for his wife!