I’m just going to warn you in advance to get out the tissues. This one’s going to hit you where it hurts.
You are all familiar by now with the story of Captain Sean Archuleta, the jump seat rider who tragically perished on the Atlas 3591 crash in February.
I won’t spend any time on the details. If you missed the previous blogs you can catch them here:
I have been contacted by a dear friend of Captain Archuleta’s, another Mesa pilot, with permissions to share some photos of his last leg home. They are both heartbreaking and breathtaking.
On Wednesday, March 20th, Captain Archuleta’s Mesa Airline family paid final tribute to their fallen comrade as his ashes were carried home with honor to his wife in Colombia, where she and their two young children reside.
As Captain Archuleta prepared for his final flight on UA1009 from IAH to BOG, departure 2359 hours from gate E12, his fellow coworkers lined the concourse to pay respect to a young man whose life was taken too soon. Sean was given a velvet and rose lined gate, his own ticket and seat (22A), a line of honor, and a water farewell salute to commemorate his final flight.
Words cannot truly describe the scene that unfolded as he was escorted to the plane and taxied toward the runway for the last time on this earth. My words will fall short, so I won’t even try. This post will conclude with a series of pictures that will capture the moment far better than I ever could.
But first, First Officer Y. Castellanos would like to express his heartfelt gratitude for each and every person that made this final journey possible, for United for providing a safe ride home, to the airport and fire fighters for their role in sending him off, to the crew of UA1009 for taking such good care of Captain Archuleta, and to everyone who showed up at midnight to pay their final respects as he undertook his last leg home.
Captain Archuleta’s wife simply asks that you keep she and her family in your continued thoughts and prayers as they put one foot in front of the other and face each day without the love of her life at her side. I have expressed our love to her, and she knows that we are standing and crying with her as a community. She is thankful for all of the support she has received.
A Photo Story: The Last Leg Home
Tailwinds, brother. May you soar in the bluest heavens on your forever wings. May God watch over and comfort those whom you left behind, until you meet again. You are fiercely loved and sorely missed my many.
**all photos taken by talented photographer Brianna Pulver
Just Winging It: Prayers for My Pilot Wife (autographed)
Add to cart
Captain on the Road; First Officer at Home (Gold Bars) Soft Jersey Tee