Flight 737 departed Charlotte, North Carolina (CLT) six minutes early for a 2.5 hour flight to The Dallas/Ft Worth International Airport (DFW). As the aircraft taxied from Charlie 11 to runway 18C, the flight was honored with a water cannon salute.
For the non-rev on board, it was a bitter sweet departure. This aircraft type joined the Piedmont Airlines fleet in 1988 (merged with USAir in 1989) and proved to be a true workhorse for the past 26 years.
The beautiful weather made for a great day to fly. The 2-1/2 hours went rather quickly and before we know it, we were beginning our decent into the Dallas/Ft Worth Metroplex.
Cactus (USAirways call sign used by air traffic control) 737 arrived terminal E, gate 29 10 early. The aircraft was serviced and on display at the gate for 2 hours and 45 minutes. Once again the final boarding call for USAirways flight 737 with non-stop service to PHL was made. Passenger loaded and the boarding complete, the aircraft is ready to continue its journey. Just like leaving CLT, the DFW fire department saluted this farewell flight with yet another water cannon.
Like the previous flight, Cactus 737 arrived at the gate in PHL ahead of schedule. The airplane left PHL and made its final revenue flight back to CLT. Each stop this aircraft had little fanfare and to revenue passengers, it was just another flight.
What made this flight so special was not only was the aircraft type being retired but so did Captain Jeff Tarr. The airlines fly a variety of aircraft to support the business, airplane types come and go. What really makes the airline are the employees. Captain Jeff Tarr started his career 33 years ago with Piedmont Airlines. I am thankful that I was able to spend this day on this airplane surrounded by many great Piedmont/USAirways employees.
I wish Captain Jeff Tarr the best in all his adventures.