ATLANTA (AP) — Delta Air Lines' longest-serving pilot is hanging up his captain's stripes and retiring after 37 years in the cockpit.
Cal Flanigan joined Atlanta-based Delta as a mechanic in 1968. After two years in the Army he was able to pay for pilot training and became a first officer flying Delta DC-9s in 1976.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Flanigan landed his final flight Friday — a Delta 777 widebody returning to Atlanta from Los Angeles. He received a water-cannon salute and a celebration at the gate.
When Flanigan started with Delta, the airline mostly flew routes east of the Mississippi River. Decades later Flanigan has piloted Delta's first inaugural flights to Dubai and other cities worldwide.
Flanigan is turning 65, which is the mandatory retirement age for airline pilots.