A Delta first officer discovered an early-pandemic letter left by a fellow pilot on a parked aircraft.
The note, which was written in March 2020, predicted there would be "light ... at the end of the tunnel."
"Amazing how fast it changed," First Officer Chris D. wrote more than 400 days ago.
As the world starts to creep back to normality after more than a year of life defined by uncertainty and tragedy, one Delta pilot discovered an early-pandemic artifact offering a flash of prior hope and proof of resilience.
Delta First Officer Nick P. arrived at the Victorville Airport in Southern California earlier this month, ready to start the "wake up" process on ship 3009 after it spent more than a year out of commission due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Delta Facebook post.
As he went through his checklist to awaken the aircraft, Nick found a letter "tucked away" on a tray table in the flight deck, the post said.
The handwritten note was dated March 23, 2020 - more than 400 days earlier - and had been left by a fellow first officer, Chris D.
As the virus rapidly took hold of the world in March 2020, forcing airlines to cancel flights and halting many forms of travel, Chris had flown ship 3009 from Minneapolis to Victorville to wait among a fleet of Delta planes parked in the California desert.
"Feeling the weight of the moment, he wrote a note for the pilot who would do the return-to-service flight and left it on the parked plane," Delta's post said.
In his brief letter, Chris captured the early anxiety and uncertainty that had afflicted the world as the coronavirus took hold.
"Very chilling to see so much of our fleet here in the desert," he wrote.
But even at the onset of the pandemic, Chris predicted a reprieve would come.
"If you are here to pick it up then the light must be at the end of the tunnel," he wrote. "Amazing how fast it changed."
The letter concludes by wishing his fellow pilot a safe flight bringing the plane out of storage.
"While the world certainly has changed over the past year, one thing is for certain: we won't be taking that open runway for granted anytime soon," Delta wrote.
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