Delta pilots find year-old note in stored plane written at start of pandemic

Posted by David Henning on 15 June 2021

Delta Air Lines mechanical workers made an unusual discovery when they went to pick up airplanes that were stored in the Southern California Logistics Airport back when flights ceased at the very onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

“If you are here to pick it up then the light must be at the end of the tunnel” is how the letter ended, left by pilot Chris Dennis when he dropped off a plane for storage 435 days ago.

The Note left by Chris Dennis after dropping off the plane for storage. Picture: Delta Airlines

The Washington Post reported on the letter left by Dennis on March 23, 2020. Dennis described the desert scenes at the logistic airport as “chilling, apocalyptic and surreal” in a Facebook post he shared after dropping off the plane.

The final picture in his post was that of a note written by Dennis to an unknown recipient, which Delta now refers to as a “pandemic time capsule” left in the tray table of the cockpit.

The note was to be found as mechanics were preparing the plane to fly again and Tom Trenda who was servicing the plane knew that the next pilots would be interested. He told the first officer of the team picking up the plane to check the tray table before taking off.

Even though the note was written during an uncertain and sombre time of landing empty airplanes, not sure when they will take off again, the letter still managed to convey a message of hope.

Delta commented that the note would be added to another time capsule, as a symbol of the 15 months the airline navigated the pandemic, and the photos Dennis took of the airport are now part of Delta Flight Museum.

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