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Latest High Life Issue

Latest HL 306 published June 26, 2019. Not all sections of Blog are on first page. Click OLDER POSTS to view additional newsletter sections. For PDF version and all archived list CLICK HERE. Look for next issue in 2 weeks!

Airlines news

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Mark's Remarks - HL 306 (5)

High Life 306  |   PCN Home  |  Post to PCN   | G-Group   |  Calendar   |  PCN Ads  |  Sign Up  |  FAQs   

Important: If viewing in Google Drive, PDF hyperlinks are hot after you highlight them. If you have trouble navigating to a hyperlink then visit the blog where all links are hot - http://pcnhighlife.blogspot.com/

Dear PCN (of over 2600 subscribers),

As we publish this High Life:
The NCAA College World Series Final is on ESPN tonight and University of Michigan is squaring off with Vandy in the winner take all game.  GO BLUE!!!

PCN subscribers:
I certainly do not need to tell you that since we formed the PCN that we have lost a lot of good people of whom many were subscribers.  1554, is the number of those whose death notice has been archived on the PCN Flight West page.  That is a lot of very very fine people that we have lost.  Our goal is to notify our group and provide a lasting tribute in honor of their life at PCN Flight West. 

Well, with that said, some of you may wonder how our level of subscriptions has been impacted.  In a very real sense the numbers of subscribers, 2670, has remained virtually the same as it was shortly after the merge forming the PCN of my old Retired Slug Network and David Robert’s list back in 2009.   


New PCN subscriber Sign Up:

As you most of you know our PCN is a private subscribed to online community.  We maintain a list of that virtually eliminates spammers or other online undesirables from joining with a simple sign up procedure, so the applicant can be screened.  I am very happy with how this has worked as we can be assured that everyone on the 2670 member list is legit.

If you know of a pilot who wishes to join our community and receive our notices they can easily and painlessly become a subscriber for FREE by simply filling out the SIGN UP form.  If a current member vouches for a friend and simply sends in their former Delta position and email, I have always considered this an appropriate vetting and added them directly to the list.

Thanks for helping the PCN remain the largest retired Delta pilot online community and for helping keep our mailing list made up of all legit subscribers. 


Hello, this is the  IRS and you owe us $18,423!
Yikes, I received the dreaded audit letter this month and have til June 12th to cough up the dough.  Well, I have got some minions working on this problem and will report back as to my appeal success……… or failure. 

Follow up on My Personal Audit:
Well, I do owe but almost 90% less than the IRS wanted.  These were all equity trades within my brokerage account and the IRS completely ignored any “basis” that the position had and added the complete value of the positions rather that the gain.  Leave it to the IRS to scare the devil out of ya, and thanks to my representative for straightening it out.   I owe around $1969.00 which I will reluctantly fork over. 


Barb’s Mom (Wilma) Passed: 
My wife’s mom and my favorite mother-in-law, Wilma Britt from Turner,MI , passed very peacefully at age 93 last week.  Everybody loved Wilma!  I loved her like she was my own mother.  Wilma was a terrific person and all because of her personal choices on how she would live her life.  She chose, humility over pride, gentleness over confrontation, kindness over not caring, and service over being served.  I don’t know of a better earthly example of a person who lived out the fruits of the spirit found in Galations. 
Thank you Wilma for your investment in our family and all you left for us to emulate. Rest in Peace Mom………we all love you!!!


PCN sends out the High Life in 2 ways via a Blog page and a PDF file.  But the PCN also has a website with helpful information archived.   Check out some of the elements of the PCN Website like:

Comprehensive Flown West List page: http://pcn.homestead.com/FlightWest.html

Seniority lists and Hotel page  (password protected): http://pcn.homestead.com/Seniority.html

Thanks for checking the PCN Web Site out and please report any page that needs an update!

Thanks for using OUR updated emails addresses:


PCN specific emails:           pcn.calendar@gmail.com

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Finance - HL 306 (1)

Helpful miscellaneous articles regarding our retirement plan and planning.  Like you, I review my retirement nestegg and plan from time to time.  Recently, I went though some continued education for some credentials I maintain and it occurred to me that we all could use a review about these issues.  So with your help, we will share and post articles and info that may be helpful and of interest to many of you in this section.

  6 Midyear Moves Retirees Can Make to Trim 2019 Tax Tabs

As July Fourth nears, there are fireworks to enjoy and cookouts to attend. But in the midst of all the celebrating, assess where you stand with Uncle Sam halfway through the tax year. “It’s a good time to do a status check,” says Tim Steffen, director of advanced planning for Baird. Consider maneuvers that can shave your tax tab for 2019 as well as over the longer term.
Look to 2018 for guidance. “Review the outcome of that return,” says certified public accountant Robert Westley, a member of the American Institute of CPAs’ Personal Financial Specialist Committee. This year’s tax rules are similar to last year’s; you’ll need to factor in thresholds and limits that are adjusted annually, which should help keep more of your money in your pocket in 2019. Since many tax-reform changes remain in effect through 2025, any longer-term moves could be considered within the same framework.

Consider a QCD

If you are 70½ or older, you can do a qualified charitable distribution of up to $100,000 a year from your IRA directly to charity. The distribution won’t show up in your adjusted gross income and can count toward your required minimum distribution. The QCD move lets retirees be strategic with their RMDs, says David Levi, senior managing director at CBIZ MHM.
To have the QCD do double duty as your IRA RMD, be sure to do the QCD before you satisfy your RMD. (The first dollars that come out of an IRA each year are considered RMD money.) So if your RMD is $20,000 and you want to do a QCD of $10,000, you could ask your IRA custodian to send $10,000 to charity and put $10,000 into your bank account. Your $20,000 RMD will be satisfied, while only $10,000 of income will be added to your AGI for 2019. If you do your $20,000 RMD first, you could still do the $10,000 QCD—but you would be taxed on $20,000, and $30,000 would be withdrawn from your IRA.

Bunch Deductions

Assess whether your itemized deductions might surpass the standard deduction amount, which is $12,200 for single filers and $24,400 for married couples filing jointly. The extra standard deduction for those age 65 and older is $1,300 per person for joint filers and $1,650 for single filers.
If you are in range of itemizing, consider a “bunching” strategy—shifting some of next year’s deductible expenses into the current tax year. Charitable giving is a prime area to use this strategy, because “you have the highest degree of control over that deduction, both in time and amount,” says Westley. For instance, you might pull some 2020 donations into 2019, or set up a donor-advised fund, says Steffen. You get an immediate tax deduction for a donor-advised fund contribution but later direct the money to specific charities.
As you tote up your itemized deductions, check whether your medical expenses may fall into the deductible zone. Unreimbursed medical costs exceeding 10% of AGI are deductible if you itemize for 2019.

Harvest Losses and Gains

Market volatility may have thrown your portfolio’s allocation out of whack. As you rebalance, consider harvesting investment losses—and perhaps gains, too. Investment losses can be written off dollar for dollar against capital gains, and up to $3,000 can offset ordinary income. Mind the wash-sale rules: If you buy back the same security within 30 days, you’ll disqualify the write-off.
Some taxpayers may want to consider harvesting gains. Single filers with taxable income of up to $39,375 and married couples filing jointly with taxable income of up to $78,750 can snare the 0% rate for their capital gains. “There’s no wash-gain rule,” says Westley, so you can sell a security at a gain and “buy it right back.” The higher price will then be your new basis.

Gift to Grandkids

With fall tuition just around the corner, consider gifting money to help cover the costs of school for grandkids. Levi notes that you could pay tuition directly and avoid gift-tax issues. Or you could give up to $15,000 per individual to make use of your annual gift-tax exclusion amount. If you give money to a 529 college-savings account for your grandchild, you may score a state income tax deduction. You can contribute up to five years’ worth of gifts at once to a 529, for a maximum per recipient of $75,000 if you’re a single filer and $150,000 if married filing jointly in 2019.

Set a Conversion Strategy

Consider whether to convert some traditional IRA money to a Roth IRA before year-end. Because taxpayers can no longer undo Roth conversions, take a tactical approach. You could convert small amounts now and later in the year, or wait to execute the conversion toward year-end. If the market swings south, consider pulling the trigger on a conversion at that point—a lower account value results in a smaller conversion tax bill. Conversions are taxed at your ordinary income tax rate.

Check Tax Payments

Compare your expected tax tab with how much tax you have paid already this year through withholding or estimated tax payments. If you’re not on track to avoid underpayment penalties for 2019, adjust your withholding or estimated tax payments. Pay 100% of your 2018 tax tab (or 110% for higher-income taxpayers) or 90% of your 2019 tax tab by year-end, and you’ll avoid underpayment penalties. While the IRS was lenient on underpayment penalties for 2018, Steffen says, “they won’t be this year.”

 (As with any of these informative articles, anyone who needs someone to talk to about

this very subject contact me and I can direct you to a knowledgeable advisor).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Full post disclaimer in left column. PCN Home Page is located at: http://pcn.homestead.com/home01.html

Insurance - HL 306 (2)

Here BELOW are copies of the Annual Reports of these latest plans from Delta:  
               Delta Pilots Disability & Survivorship Plan,  
                   Delta Pilots Medical Plan,
          Delta Family-Care Medical Plan,
            Delta Account-Based Healthcare Plan


For all PCN members who are under 65 and lost your pension, or have a spouse under 65 and are interested in keeping the Fed HCTC program going…….this article is for you!

Time is Running Out!
Please Take a Minute to Make Congress Aware of the Importance of the HCTC Program
We need your Help!
Please Contact the Special Congressional Committee reviewing the HCTC Reauthorization
by clicking this link:

It is Important to also Contact Your Own
Members of Congress ASAP!

Congress has established a committee to review the reauthorization of the Health Coverage Tax Credit. Without action by Congress, prior to the beginning of the 2020 Healthcare Open Enrollment in October of 2019, Insurance Providers will not offer HCTC Qualified Plans unless the program is reauthorized in a timely manner, allowing for the the time necessary to participate in the 2020 Open Enrollment window. We need "All hands on DECK! Regardless of Your Eligibility status today, we need your help for those that remain eligible for this vital program!

Please contact the Committee with your own story of the importance of this program, and what it has meant to your family. Your Voice Matters! You can contact the Healthcare Task Force directly by clicking on the link below. We also urge you to also contact your own Congressional Representatives.
Click Below to Email Your Own Comments to the Committee!
You can find your US Representative and Senators contact information here:
The letter below was sent by Cone Retiree Healthcare Group to explain and support the importance of the reauthorization of the HCTC program and also request the elimination of the 24 month termination for Spouses of HCTC qualified member, aging up to Medicare and losing therir eligibility to the HCTC program. We are also requesting the Committee to consider allowing expanded access for the plans to other HCTC eligible participants in other industries, that today. have no access to plans offering a monthly 27.5% payment process like the plans available today through the Trusts we represent. We need ALL Retirees, to contact their members of Congress and ask them for their support of the HCTC Program Reauthorization before this important program in taken away.
Cathy Cone
John Cone
Cone Retiree Healthcare Group
Reauthorization of the Health Coverage Tax Credit Program (HCTC) is URGENT!
This Program Impacts Trade Adjustment Assistance Workers (TAA) and PBGC Recipients Between the Ages of 55-65 Expiring December 31, 2019
•                        Reauthorization – CANNOT WAIT UNTIL THE END OF 2019 TO BE REAUTHORIZED, INSURERS WILL NOT PROVIDE INSURANCE QUOTES FOR THIS PROGRAM AT THAT LATE DATE!—Unless it is reauthorized prior to Open Enrollment for 2020 beginning in September and October of 2019 for 2020 Insurance Programs. Insurance providers require the ability to determine eligibility, rates and plans designs as soon as possible, in order to provide HCTC Qualified Plans the ability to select providers and assist in enrolling TAA and PBGC Eligible participants in a timely manner for their 2020 Insurance programs.  Please Act Today!
·     Eliminate 24 Month Provision for Spouse To Participate in HCTC - after primary participant becomes Medicare eligible (Section 35 (g)(10)(a)), experience indicates it leaves a huge gap for many of the spouses to bridge to Medicare, and continue to be able to afford healthcare on their limited incomes. This usually finds the spouse and any dependents still living at home, without the ability to afford healthcare and often, finds the PBGC recipient is no longer able to work. Elimination of 24-month time limit for HCTC “Spousal Coverage” would be a tremendous help in allowing the spouse and eligible dependents the ability to continue to afford healthcare as the spouse bridges to Medicare. The disparity in age between the PBGC Recipient and Spouse is due in large part to the high number of PBGC Recipients being classified as “Medicare Eligible” at a much earlier age than 65, in many cases, due to the industries they worked in such as the Steel and Auto Industries. 
·     Expand Access – Allow the IRS to RELAX 501 (c) 9 VEBA rule that today limits access to “HCTC QUALIFIED VEBA’S” in the same “Class and Craft” ONLY– when Deemed an “HCTC Qualified VEBA’S”. By allowing “HCTC Qualified VEBA’s” to permit both TAA and PBGC participants eligible for the HCTC program the ability to enroll in any available “HCTC Qualified VEBA”, regardless of the “Class and Craft”, provided the VEBA is an “HCTC Qualified VEBA” and the Board of the “HCTC Qualified VEBA” permits access to different “Classes and Crafts” of any HCTC eligible participants, both TAA and PBGC recipients. Unfortunately, today, the HCTC program severely limits access to many otherwise HCTC eligible participants and their families due to the lack of availability of “HCTC Qualified VEBA’S” in their industries or locations, following the elimination of the “State Qualified Plans”, otherwise known as “High Risk Pools” in January 2014. These High Risk Pools were in more than 46 states and allowed both TAA and HCTC eligible plan participants to enroll and pay only the 27.5% subsidy on a monthly basis, instead of today, having to pay 100% of the cost of the premium and receiving the 72.5% subsidy on their income tax the following year. This is an untenable cost for most TAA and HCTC Plan participants. 
·     The Effort to Provide Access through the “Individual Market” has not provided the needed access to TAA and HCTC Eligible Participants- the introduction of the availability of the “Individual Market” plans was initiated in order to address the lack of access following the termination of the “State Qualified Plans” when the Affordable Care Act began in 2014, and has not proven successful, to date. The program lacks the ability to offer the needed Enrollment Support, Call Centers, and Billing required to make the Individual Market a realistic option for TAA and PBGC recipients across the country, requiring the plan participant to basically fin for themselves when trying to enroll on the individual market. Unlike eligible participants enrolled in the established “HCTC Qualified VEBA’S” offering those support tools available and accessible, to anyone enrolling in their “HCTC Qualified VEBA’S” today, and work closely with the IRS routinely, to manage the enrollment process and hand off to the HCTC Qualified VEBA Call Center that will continue to provide support for the insurance programs throughout the eligibility period of the HCTC eligible participant and their families. 
·     PLEASE CONSIDER THIS REQUEST TO REAUTHORIZE THE HCTC PROGRAM IMMEDIATELY! This program today provides a vital lifeline to thousands that have been impacted by having their jobs offshored, as well as those that have had their pensions reduced or eliminated, and their healthcare terminated, through no fault of their own, and in most cases, by companies that have filed for bankruptcy and caused these people hardships living with reduced pensions and eliminating their healthcare benefits that were in many cases, unfunded promises to their workers and their families.  
Thanks very much for your consideration of this request on behalf of HCTC eligible participants and their families across the country that we hear from every day, asking for help in enrolling in these plans as well as asking what they can do to make sure that the leaders in Washington DC know how important this program is to them and their families!

If there is anything we can do, or any questions you may have regarding the HCTC program, we will be happy at your request to come to Washington, have a conference call or through email, address your questions and concerns. 
You can also view one of the websites currently offering the healthcare options for HCTC Eligible Participant today through “Qualified VEBA’S” . www.mymedplans.com 
Ask your Representative to Join Representative Mike Turner and Tim Ryan in Co-Sponsoring this Bill 1939 in the House and ask your Senators to establish a Bill in the Senate to Reauthorize this vital program. Tell your Congressmen the importance of the Health Coverage Tax Credit to you and to your family.

Contact Congress Today!

Members of Congress

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Pension - HL 306 (1)

DP3 recent news on progress of claims through the court system and latest election of trustees.  Please either visit you backpage at www.DP3.org or check your recent emails from the DP3.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Full post disclaimer in left column. PCN Home Page is located at: http://pcn.homestead.com/home01.html

Travel / Non Revving - HL 306 (1)

 Note:  About layover hotels (New List as of April 2018) Lists are no longer accessible on the DeltaNet.  The page is password protected for our PCN group ONLY.  Please use the password of pcnpilot
To access the last listing of layover hotels click here:  http://pcn.homestead.com/Seniority.html
RE: TVL (employee parking) lot to park their cars while non-reving

Date: 5/27/2019 2:22:31 PM

     Not sure how much your readers use the TVL (employee parking) lot to park their cars while non-reving, but thought I would let you know of some recent changes (that as retired pilots, we are the last to know). While they are doing construction at the Southside Terminal, they have changed the deposit and pickup points at the terminal after 8:45pm. Now, it is necessary to go to the lower level of the NORTHSIDE Terminal after 8:45pm. There are signs there for the pickup point.
     I came in late (around 10:30pm) last week and waited for 45 minutes for a bus to come to bring me back to the TVL lot after a trip. Finally found someone that told me that they switch from the Southside to the Northside for pickup in the late evenings.
     Hope this helps someone else from waiting around for a non-existent bus ride.

Ted Thomas

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Full post disclaimer in left column. PCN Home Page is located at: http://pcn.homestead.com/home01.html

Good Read - HL 306 (2)

From: Tom Gannon
Date: 6/7/2019 8:19:19 AM
Subject: Article for the HL

I hope you'll find this article I wrote for the "Autopilot" magazine about my last Delta trip good enough to include in the HL.  I wrote this back in 2005; but my retirement rotation was over Memorial Day weekend of 2004.
But it wasn't the end of my aviation career that I thought it might be; like so many of us I was hired by a start-up.  I flew B767ERs for MAXJET between JFK and London (Standsted) for a couple years. As a final gig I went to DGS as a 767 instructor for 5 years until 2013.
I hope the format is ok for your newsletter.  The magazine had some photos embedded.  I included it as a pdf and the original Word doc.
Thanks for the hard work of keep us informed.
Tom Gannon  tgannon767@gmail.com


The early retirement rotation
By  Tom Gannon

That Thursday started like any other weekday morning at home.  I got in my truck and drove to the bagel shop to meet my other pilot buddies for our morning run.  The main topic during the run and the coffee afterward was “…are ya really gonna do it?”  My only answer was “I think so.” It was the same conversation we had been having for months.   Every since 9/11 my airline’s finances had been headed downhill, and I had been getting progressively more worried about the safety of my pension. 
            At the age of 54 I’d planned on 6 more years of flying.  I was a senior wide-body Captain flying the Boeing 767 to places like LAX, SFO and LGA.  I’d already done a stint as an international 767 Captain. My next stop, Boeing 777 Captain, was the pinnacle of my career dream.  Should I leave early?  It was the conservative financial decision, but didn’t feel right.  Why should I have to give it all up?
            At home, after an early lunch, my wife went into our bedroom to fold my uniform shirts for me to pack. She’d been folding my shirts for my entire 27-year career with this airline.  She didn’t have to ask her usual question; “How many do you need 3 or 4?”  I followed her in and found her crying on our bed. This wasn’t easy for her either; she’d seen me lying awake at night for the past six months trying to decide.  I kept one shirt on the hanger; it would be the one for the last day.  I had a red marker and planned on having each flight attendant crewmember autograph this last shirt.  Then I’d wear it on the last day.
            I drove to the airport still trying to decide.  I could still change my mind and stay.  Sure I’d feel a little foolish telling the Chief Pilot “Sorry, I’ve changed my mind.  I’m gonna stay around at least another month or so.”  I signed in on the computer for my trip; Rotation 3761/27, a four day 767-400 sequence with 8 legs.  The airplane was running late due to weather in Las Vegas, but I really lucked out on a copilot. He was Randy Wells, a great guy I’d flown with way back in my MD-88 days.
            I started our conversation with “Randy, this may be my last trip…” He looked at me and said “Not you too; all you senior guys are bailing out”.  Then he smiled and said, “We’ll have a great last trip then.” We got our flight kits and went up to the gate.  Our first day was an Orlando turnaround, then back down to Orlando for a 15-hour layover.  The airplane finally got to the gate, unloaded and we got on, along with our F/A crew.  They were Atlanta based and would fly down and back with us on the turnaround to MCO.  I brought out my shirt and the red marker and got the same reaction I got from Randy.  “Not you too!”  They were all very gracious; signed my shirt and wished me well.  The lead F/A said “Wish I could retire too.”  She obviously didn’t know my frame of mind.
             Randy did most of the preflight; I stood at the Cabin entrance door welcoming our passengers aboard.   We had almost a full ship, 283 passengers.    We had two jumpseat pilots also, junior guys headed home to MCO from their trips and joking that they couldn’t wait to move up another number on the seniority list.  Randy and I split up the legs so I could have the last two and he would still get 4 T/O’s and Landings.  The weather in central Florida was good and I greased on a landing on 17L.  The plan was a quick turnaround of the aircraft to get back to an on-time operation.  But you can’t hurry cabin cleaners paid by the hour.  Finally, we were loaded up again and taxiing out to head back to Atlanta.  Randy flew his usual flawless leg and I worked the radios; giving each controller a heart felt “goodnight y’all” as we switched frequencies.
 Flight 1567 back to MCO was already at another gate when we finished deplaning our ATL passengers; we hurried over and began our preflight.  The aircraft was in great shape and the Flight Attendants were Orlando- based and on their way home.  They were glad to sign my shirt and everyone wished me well.  I know flying back and forth between ATL and MCO doesn’t sound exciting but it is rewarding transporting 700 people to their destinations safely each day.
            We rode to the layover hotel with a Salt Lake City 757 crew.  The Captain was a union representative and we agreed to debrief over a beer in the hotel lounge. The conversation centered on how much of our contract was going to disappear and whether I was right to bail out now.  The consensus was that all the guys age 50 or younger were stuck and guys in my age group at least had a choice.
            Friday morning in Florida was warm; I got out for a short run and stopped at a Starbucks on the way back to the hotel for coffee and a sticky bun.  Today was an easy day, back to ATL and then the same aircraft on up to Boston for a long layover. This was an easy rotation; after all I was a senior dude in this category.  The day unfolded perfectly, no weather, no airplane problems, great F/A crews and an on-time arrival at Logan.  My last shirt was now covered with the best wishes of a couple dozen F/A’s from several different bases.  I talked to my wife passing through ATL one last time. This was it.  ATL-SFO-ATL would be my last two flights and we’d have a big final layover together Saturday night in SFO. Friday night’s layover at the Park Plaza in Boston went by in a blur. 
The next morning I bought donuts for the Flight Attendants. I really wanted to spoil this bunch, as they would be flying with Randy and me for my last three legs as an airline Captain. Our departure from Boston took us right over downtown and I got some great pictures while Randy was flying.  A take-off from Rwy27 in Boston had been my very first jet take-off.  Boston had been my first domicile and a crusty old 727 Captain had put me, the newly hired engineer, in the right seat and let me fly a leg.  I could tell I was going to miss this job.  We used to joke that we would fly the line for half pay because it was so much fun.  Well guess what, if I didn’t retire, I probably would do it for half-pay.  I just couldn’t afford to give up my pension also. 
Randy and I would have been early at the gate in ATL that morning but ATC had a little last minute fun by slowing us down. They gave us a hold over Toccoa; but we were slowed for sequencing only, and were soon on our way down the arrival. Randy did a great job getting us down from a high and fast turn-in and we landed on Rwy 26R at Hartsfield-Jackson. This rotation was so good; we got to keep the airplane passing though ATL.  My wife met us at the gate and I introduced her to Randy and the rest of the crew.
  This would be the last of about 5000 T/O’s from ATL for me; and it was off Atlanta’s oldest runway, Rwy 26L. The standard departure is right to a 280 heading and climb to 10,000 feet.  Our 767 was pretty heavy with a full load of passengers and some extra fuel.  Sometimes we carry extra fuel out of ATL because the airline’s fuel cost in Atlanta was so much cheaper that it justified the cost of carrying it all the way across the country.  On one flight, I checked to see if we had enough fuel on board to make Honolulu and we did, not legally but enough to get there.  Fuel in California and Florida is much more expensive because of state taxes.
Before I roll for T/O on any leg, I always say to myself; “Tom, this time you’re gonna fly a perfect leg.”  I had 12,000 tries and never did fly a perfect flight, pretty close sometimes but never perfect.  Randy called out V1, Vr, and V2 and off  we went on our way to sunny California. It was a great day for a transcontinental flight.  The air was smooth and I was flying a beautiful 390,000 lb. Boeing over the most wonderful country on God’s earth. Our enroute time was 4 hours and 51 minutes and I savored every minute. In the back of the airplane most people were reading or enjoying the movie, but up front Randy and I had a wonderful view as we crossed cities, forests, mountains, and deserts.
NOCAL approach had a surprise for us as we LNAVed and VNAVed our way towards Rwy28R at SFO.  The Navy’s own BLUE ANGELS were in the midst of an airshow over Mountain View’s Moffett Field.  We first saw the four ship diamond in a low pass off our left. I made a quick and probably slightly illegal PA from the cockpit.    (We were already below 10000 ft and therefore sterile.) Eager faces looked out the windows of our 767 just as the two solos made vertical climbs off our left side.
It was time for the last layover. The whole crew showed up!  We had dinner together, in a private room at a great grill near the St. Francis Hotel. Randy made a great master of ceremonies and the Boston F/As made my wife feel at home right away.  We all told old airline stories. Randy gave me a “Retired Old Pilot” ball cap that I promised to wear on the way home to ATL.  I gave Randy a new Captain’s hat and told him, “…he would be wearing it soon.” After the party broke up my wife and I took the cable car down to the Wharf and had an Irish coffee for old time’s sake at the Buena Vista Bar. 
The next morning I put on my autographed shirt and my new ball cap and started on my last flight.  I saved the flight plan for Flight 632, ship 1801. The trip time was 3 hours and 42 minutes and we burned 44,450 pounds of Jet A cruising at .81Mach at FL330.  The controllers gave us direct ATL when Randy spilled the beans about this being my last leg.  He made a wonderful PA to the passengers about my career in aviation. Before I knew it we were talking to Atlanta Approach. The Controller astounded us as we checked in by telling us, he was also working his last shift before retiring. Then we were on downwind and I was worried about messing up my last approach and landing.  The tower called us on final and asked us to switch over to the south complex for landing on 27L.  The landing was okay; and as we turned off the runway we switched frequencies.  ATL ground control congratulated me and told us we were early, and that our gate was still occupied. Some things never change. Then Randy pointed out the ATL airport fire trucks racing down the taxiway to get in position to spray the aircraft. It is an old aviation tradition to wet down a retiring Captain as he taxis into the gate. It gave me a lump in my throat. 
The party wasn’t quite over for me yet though. My Chief Pilot and one of my best friends were standing on the tug at the gate saluting me as I taxied the 767 to a stop. The back of the aircraft applauded as I wished them well with a last PA. The Boston F/As had decorated First Class with red, white and blue balloons and streamers; they actually had the First Class passengers blowing up balloons! I shook hands with every passenger as they deplaned, and then went out to meet my friends for a small retirement ceremony in the gatehouse.
It was over; after 36 years of private, military, and commercial aviation, I was retired.  It was time for new adventures.

Pictures of Capt Tom Gannon on “Fini” Flight: 


From: Dick Deeds
Date: 5/27/2019 6:25:29 PM
Subject: Fwd: Book published by WAL/DAL Captain Henry Best "So, you want to be an airline pilot"

Captain Henry Best, WAL/DAL retired recently published a book that might be of interest to his fellow Wallybirds.
The title of the book is So, you want to be an airline pilot. It is a definitive work on a career as an airline pilot, and how to become one.

The book can be purchased online on Amazon for $13.95 retail.

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Misc - HL 306 (5)

From: ken thomas
Date: 5/27/2019 4:15:25 PM
Subject: IRS

 Mark; Looks like the IRS is picking on Michigan lads (or at least the Prescott, Melita group). I too got a letter from IRS; haven’t had one in years. Oh well….. take Care, Ken & Sherrill Thomas

Editor: Ken, I think I got rid of 90% of what they claimed I owed but still a pain.  I think the IRS is targeting conservatives.   Ha Ha.

Joel Payne
Comments:  Possibly the end of an era-

Joel Payne B-767A [ret.]

Date: 6/2/2019 1:18:34 PM
To: marksztanyo  misc.pcn@gmail.com
Subject: Retiree Business Cards & Check-In

1015pdt 02jun19

Hello Mark:

I'm Pete Heins, RD!!?? (DOH 1991), MDW, rEAL, & USCG Aviator 1504

I've been retired since 2007 and am out of my DAL business cards. Is there any way for retirees to obtain DAL Retiree Business Cards?

I do occasionally have use for them, particularly when traveling.

My wife, daughter, & I just enjoyed a 12 day Princess Cruise around the British Isles. LAX-LHR nonstop on BA B787 & LHR-LAX on AA 777-300.

Coach seats on BA grotesque even for me as a small guy.

Pete Heins
Editor: Well, I could of swore that Delta’s promotion department still has a way for retirees to order Biz cards but I could not find out how.  If anyone knows how to help Capt Pete out, please chime in.  Otherwise, a person can always print their own biz cards online.
When traveling, i always wear my dal ret id card & frequently get 10% at airport stores.

I do not hide my geneology & i still use my Purty Neat Things Suitcase.

Can’t remember your plane quals, but been reading lots of MAX articles!! See NYT of 01jun19!!

I am sick of dishwasher Malf codes, broken ice makers, & Subaru warning msg!!


Editor: Well, Pete when you travel don’t forget to use hotel discounts.  Many many hotels will still offer a crew or discount rate to us with our ID.  You can access a recent list here: 
Note:  About layover hotels (New List as of April 2018) Lists are no longer accessible on the DeltaNet.  The page is password protected for our PCN group ONLY.  Please use the password of pcnpilot
To access the last listing of layover hotels click here:  http://pcn.homestead.com/Seniority.html


From: dbfly@att.net
Sent: 6/5/2019 4:57:14 PM Central Standard Time
Subject:  A Man and his Dog

Recorded at  ATLANTA  International  Airport
As you watch the video, notice the number of people watching from inside the terminal.
Most people have no idea Delta does this.
This soldier was a K9 soldier with a dog trained to find IED's.

Yes, the second small coffin is the soldier's partner.
That's a man and a dog that died for you.

And Hats off to Delta!


Date: 6/13/2019 10:25:38 AM
Subject: Second Delta Pilot Claims Retaliatory Action by FAA Nominee

Kirby Klein sent me this. How Delta has changed.      
Travis Foster
Sent: 6/13/2019 7:17:28 AM Eastern Standard Time
Subject: Second Delta Pilot Claims Retaliatory Action by FAA Nominee
Second Delta Pilot Claims Retaliatory Action by FAA Nominee
Christine Negroni
Substantial allegations against Steve Dickson, the nominee to head up the Federal Aviation Administration have been made by two pilots who worked for him. These suggest the former senior v.p. of Delta flight operations may be the wrong choice to head up a government safety agency with monumental tasks before it.

Read more

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