Delta Air Lines Bankruptcy Emergence, Part 14: We Are Landing in Salt Lake City — Aren’t We?!?
Note: Nine years ago yesterday, Delta Air Lines formally emerged from bankruptcy protection; and this article is the fourteenth of a series of articles which I first wrote nine years ago today.
W e are landing in Salt Lake City — aren’t we?!?
Of course we are!
It was strange to approach the airport in Salt Lake City and see the runway below, but it seemed too high to land on the runway in time. This is because the pilots were doing what is known as a “fly-by”. The aircraft was as low as 300 feet above the runway as it flew by to the delight of hundreds of spectators comprising of Delta Air Lines employees, people representing the media, and politicians, all of whom awaited with anticipation the arrival of Delta Air Lines flight 9998 from Atlanta.
What most people did not know about during the “fly-by” were the sounds of “Terrain Low! Terrain Low!” that loudly bellowed from an automated voice in the cockpit. If I recall correctly, this may have been because an “override” had not been reset from the flight around Atlanta on the previous day, but that was not a problem. Speaking for myself, my confidence in the captain and co-pilot was unwaivering, as it always is on Delta Air Lines flights. In fact, the “fly-by”, complete with the unexpected warnings from the automated system in the cockpit, added an additional level of excitement.
After circling around the airport for the final approach and finally landing on the runway, we slowed down, almost to a stop. I then noticed a contingent of no fewer than eight vehicles in formation, escorting the aircraft to the eager crowd awaiting at the hangar. Before we arrived at the hangar, the aircraft turned left to continue following the official escort. Two chartreuse-green airport emergency fire trucks, one on each side, acted as water cannons to salute the aircraft with a shower of water to dedicate the successful emergence of Delta Air Lines from bankruptcy.
The excitement in the crowd reached a crescendo worthy of celebrity status.
As was demonstrated in Atlanta, the employees in Salt Lake City were unabashedly proud of their airline.
Not Included in the Original Article
Four photographs — which have never before been published or posted via the Internet until now — are included in this article; and those photographs are of a unique view as seen by the pilots as they conduct a “fly by” for the crowds on the ground. I have plenty of additional photographs which I can include in a future article of what was an incredible final 30 minutes or so of this memorable flight…
…and — even more fun — is the fact that the pilots were just like me: we all felt like kids in a candy store.
The runway at Salt Lake City is in view as we were about to land — or so I thought. The pilots were preparing to perform a “fly by” for the crowds on the ground. All photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.