Cap’n Dillon: Adventure-Inspiration-Hope!

Happy April Fool’s Hangover Day!

I trust you didn’t get caught by (too many) pranks! If you missed out on the shenanigans, however, here’s a fun prank unleashed by Southwest to start your day!

Direct Link:

What were some of YOUR pranks out there yesterday? We’d love to hear it in the Comment section below!

But First, today’s post!

Me Dillon Hug!Long-time readers of the blog will remember one of the stars of our show, the inimitable “Cap’n” Dillon. If you don’t know him yet, well, as we say in the video: You’re about to fall in love!

Here’s is Cap’n Dillon’s Ecstatic Adventure, one of the most beloved videos I’ve ever made, which still never fails to draw a tear of joy. This 5-minute film inspired a local TV station to do their own story on Cap’n Dillon, along with the CAF (Commemorative Air Force—See the link below!)

If you’ve seen this video already, well . . . you KNOW you wanna see it again!

Direct Link:

Dillon SEZ 2

Cap’n Dillon preflights Cap’n Dave’s C-310

  While the good Cap’n D has been somewhat out of the limelight lately, he’s been very busy behind the scenes, racking up flight time and adventures, as droves of pilots have come out of the woodwork to offer him a ride in their rigs.

  Last week, for example, we recreated our “Ecstatic Adventure” with a revisit to KSEZ (Sedona) Airport for a $100 hamburger, flying in Cap’n David’s Cessna 310. This time, our Team Aux crew consisted of Cap’n Dillon, Transportation Engineer Cap’n David, me, and Tech Supervisor John “Otto Pilot” Keith.

Dillon SEZ 1

Cap’n Dave fights the turbulence for another amazing landing at the gorgeous Sedona Airport, while Cap’n Dillon looks on!

  Contrary to the original video, however, this time the winds were anything but benign: 30° off the nose for landing, gusting 25-35 knots, and spilling and tumbling over the beautiful red rocks of Sedona! Needless to say, that created one heckofa challenge for Cap’n David on landing, who, true to form, gracefully set ‘er down like the experienced airline Cap’n Boss he is!

Dillon’s favorite part of the trip? The moderate (and occasionally severe) turbulence!

Dillon SWA 1

Blog Buddy Mark S. gives us a tour of the PHX SWA hangar!

The very next day,

we were treated to a PERSONAL tour of Southwest Airline’s KPHX maintenance facility by Maintenance Quality Control Supervisor Mark S. He’d seen Dillon’s videos and was chomping at the bit to give our star a tour.

I’ve been amazed to see just how many people this miraculous young man has inspired!

Yesterday was icing on the cake!


THE CAP’NS AT PLAY! L-R: Mike, Dillon, Aux, and Tony!

  My fellow A320 Cap’ns Tony A. and Mark D. volunteered to surprise Dillon with something very special. So special, I didn’t even know about it till we showed up at the airport. Both Cap’ns are airplane owners, and they cooked up a FORMATION flight with Dillon, his first-ever!

  Cap’n Tony was particularly eager to show off his new plane, a WWII trainer built in 1943 called a Fairchild PT-26.

  To my surprise, I got invited to ride shotgun in Cap’n Mike’s plane, a beauty of a Stearman biplane (the same one Dillon got to fly in his “UnBogus Journey” video.) Both planes had the GoPro’s running overtime, and Otto caught some great footage from the ground as well . . .

Hope and Mike!

Cap’n Mike and daughter Hope!

  The real kicker of the day, however, was not so much Dillon’s adventures, but upon hearing Cap’n Mike’s harrowing story. You see, the whole reason Mike joined us this day was because of the inspiration that Dillon has brought to his family . . .

  Indeed, I got a lump in my throat when I heard grizzled airline Cap’n Mike say to Dillon, “I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. It is an honor to meet you, Dillon.”

  Mike’s teen daughter Hope, it turns out, has  faced incredible challenges after suffering from a stroke last year. Cap’n Dillon, his story, attitude and outlook on life has given, well, hope to Hope, Mike and their family!

Dillon SWA 4

Dillon, you are truly a miracle from heaven! WE LOVE YOU!!!

  We’ll be hearing Hope’s beautiful story in an upcoming video about our formation flight . . .

Needless to say, have a box of tissues ready!

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