Monday, October 1, 2012

Today is October first, the first day of the rest of my life... now, what am I going to do? Just a short report to let everyone know that I'm done and that at some time in the future may write more in depth about the day. I'm really not ready to just yet.

My last trip was a roundtrip between Detroit and Nagoya. Delta, meaning my DTW base manager Scott Harris was great and offered to secure most any trip that I wanted, including seats for my wife Linda and a water canon salute back in DTW.  I passed on this however due to logistics within my family and simply flew my last assigned trip. Frankly, I didn't want any fanfare. His offer was most generous and if I were still flying London, Paris or Frankfurt I'd have accepted his offer.

This is the cockpit crew for the first leg of this trip. Rob is sitting behind me, Jill is in the first officers seat and Paul, who will be retiring soon is behind Jill. Although I've seen Rob around the property for years, this is the first time that we'd met; he serves the pilot group as a 747 check airman as well. In fact it was my first trip with all of these pilots and they went out of there way to make this trip memorable.

This is my flight attendant crew over to Nagoya with many of the same faces returning as well. I mentioned in the brief that this may be my last trip and they went out of their way to make it a celebration. A wonderful crew, thank-you.

We're moments away from push back at Nagoya here to fly the Anjyo Reversal departure. At this point it hasn't quite penetrated my brain that this will be my last airline flight. Jill is in the right seat, Jeff is in the jump seat and the other captain, Jerry is taking the picture. Jill and I will fly the first half of the flight until passing Anchorage, when Jeff and Jerry will return to the cockpit and continue to DTW. As you might have imagined, when Jill and I returned to the cockpit just prior to the top of descent, Jerry got up and offered me his seat and the landing. Again, much appreciated.

I had very little trouble making it through the flight until the flight attendants, congregated by door two at the end of the flight, gathered round and presented me with a card that they'd purchased in Nagoya. Their kindness was overwhelming and I did my best to maintain my composure. After all, I am.... or was a Captain!

To all of you who left comments on the previous blog and sent emails, thank-you as well for your generosity and taking the time over the years to read my stuff, write and send pictures. It's been a privilege for me to spend time with you.

But now it's time to say good-bye and see what lies beyond the next horizon. I wish you all well and thank-you for your camaraderie.



  1. Thank you for your posts, sir! Congratulations on your remarkable career and thanks for sharing so many interesting things with us. I hope the next stage of your life is just as exciting as this one! I hope you'll continue to blog.

  2. Congratulations on your retirement, I hope you enjoy being retired as much as I do. I hope that you continue to post at least once in a while, I sure enjoyed reading you blog over the years. Again, congrats.

  3. Congratulations on your retirement! It will require some adjustments but I can assure you that you will very quickly come to love it. Enjoy each and every day!

    And thank you for sharing so many of your journeys with us! ! ! !

  4. Congratulations on your retirement! I've enjoyed reading your posts and would also like to wish you well.

  5. Congratulations on your retirement, be sure to let us know when you make the decision to publish your book!

    YYC Dispatcher

  6. Congratulations again, Capt. (ret.) Peck! My parents recently retired and are loving it. May you enjoy your next stage as much as they are.

    Shaun O. Skibinski

  7. Congrats Captain!
    So glad to come across your blog and be able to share in the journeys with you. You truly are an inspiration to a new pilot trying to make it to the airlines. Best of luck and thanks again for the adventure you will be surly missed.

  8. Congratulations on your retirement Rand! After an illustrious career like yours, I can imagine there will be adjustments - but - having family around and new family to enjoy, I'm sure you will adjust to it with ease.

    If you ever make it to South Florida, please drop me a note - I would love to buy you a cup of coffee!


  9. Thank you for everything you have done for the community and people around you.
    I am looking forward to reading your blog in the future if you wish to post on there from time to time.
    All the best, your career is a huge motivation for some of us in the airline industry and I cannot thank you enough.

    GC232, an active reader and 737NG F/O.

  10. Rand,

    It has been a pleasure to read you blog over recent years. I am not a pilot myself but I have become interested to learn what is going on in the cockpit.
    3 years ago I took the time to read everything there is to read on the Internet and have been reading your blog since. Also I have a subscription to Airways Magazine as a result.

    Your blog will be missed but I see you have must more pressing issues these days such as seeing your new grandson rather then flying airliners.

    All the best and I sure hope to read some of the undoubtedly many untold stories of your career somewhere sometime.


  11. All the Very Best to you Rand-
    Thank you for showing the real side of our profession. You have brought to the public an excellent vision of what it is really like on our side of the fence. It is a real shame to lose your talents-reading the other blogs I wonder what profession they are in. I regret never being paired with you but meybe someday down the line you'll stick your head in a 767 flight deck and we can swap stories for a bit.

    See you down the line-enjoy the earned it.

    Tim (8_dme_w_ORD)

  12. Capt. Peck,

    Congratulations to you on your retirement! I have enjoyed reading your posts over the years and wish you the best in the next chapter of your life.

    Ron in KPHX

  13. Hi Rand - Congratulations! What an emotional time this must be.

    I would like to express my gratitude to you for the posts over the years. As someone who was barred from being a commercial pilot due to Protanopia (red/green color blindness) I have truly coveted the behind the scenes access you provide.

    I've had 27 segments on the Delta 747-400 in the last 2 years and I would almost always stick my head in the cockpit to see if you were on board. Never did have the pleasure but I did get to chat with many other great aviation professionals.

    Best Wishes - Christian

  14. Hello Captain Rand (ret.) and congratulations, sir!
    I'm sorry to see you depart, but I'm sure that it was a carefully considered decision. Since your first announcement of the pending retirement, I've been most curious about what your last DAL trip would be. Nice of your managers to offer carte blanche, but sticking with the regular assignment(s) is smart. (Yup, hear you 5x5 on the European option, it was not in the cards.)
    Again, congratulations on a wonderful career of 38+ years, Captain. With a , I'll attempt to paraphrase anold old joke about marriage vows: Mrs. Captain Rand may have pledged her best, for better or for worse, but I'm not sure that the pledge includes lunch. Stay busy and please keep writing, sir. Best wishes, -Craig

  15. Hey Cpt Rand.As you know,being a captain means alot more than getting to sit in the left seat.It means being the leader of a group of professionals.It means teaching and learning from those around you.It means comforting nervous passengers on their first flight or coworkers who may continue to work under difficult personal circumstances.I am sure you have touched many people in some small way during your decades as an aviator.Now you are being welcomed into the ranks of retired captains who came before you and left their mark on that great profession.Guys like Morgan and your father.Congrats and Godspeed Captain Rand Peck,you earned it! Mike V

  16. Hi Captain,
    My wife and I have enjoyed your blog immensely over the years. One door closes and another opens, so we wish you much luck and peace in your transition. This time of year...perhaps the perfect time to log some serious X/C in your Stearman around the Northeast! :-) Either way, God Bless and blue skies, wherever you go! PeteF Tampa, FL

  17. Hi Captain Rand,

    First of all, congratulations on your new grandson! Hope you enjoy your retirement and have more time to publish. Thanks again for your help on my MHT book project.
    The best of blue skies ahead to you and your family.

    Moe Quirin

  18. What is a maintenance release document? Is it received via ACARS?

  19. Captain Rand,

    Thanks for taking the time to post the various photos and stories regarding your many trips. I always enjoyed reading your blog and I wish you the very best in your retirement. Salute!

  20. Captain Rand- I can't tell you how much I've loved your posts- your writing always made me feel as though I'd joined you for part of your trip! I wish you all the best for your retirement. Leslie S-P

  21. Thanks for your very enjoyable blog, and best of luck with retirement!

  22. I wish I could do something for you. Thanks for all the great reading.

  23. Captain Peck,

    Congratulations on your retirement! I have a very long ways to go before I get to that point, but I know it will be a joyful and somber occasion at the same time. I hope to see more blog posts in the future about how retirement is treating you. I'm also very glad you had the opportunity to retire at the very top on an airplane many people only hope to ever fly. Again, congratulations and enjoy it!

    Daniel Sallee

  24. Capt. Rand
    I flew on your jumpseat about 4 years ago from SEA to HNL, back when you were still on the 757. i just wanted to thank you once again for how gracious you were to me. As a guy who was and still is plugging away at a regional I can not tell you enough how much of an impact you had on my aviation career, in those few hours over the Pacific. I would run the flight deck just as did, super relaxed having a good time and truly enjoying ones job. I hope that your retirement is great and that you can find time to blog still. Your career has been AMAZING, and it needs to be shared.
    God Bless,
    FO Breton Sholes

  25. Thanks for the private note, Rand. Of course you are still getting multiple hits on the blog! Those that don't know that you won't be writing anymore are just polling once in a while - to see if there is anything new.
    Best wishes for your 'new' life in retirement. We're about the same age. I "retired" early as well, about four years ago. As much as I love my new status, I find that I am the most difficult boss that I've ever dealt with. As I finally told myself, after three years of pushing too, much, "ease up and smell the flowers." "If something looks nice, don't bother with a picture, but give it an extra five minutes. You DO have the time. Best wishes,


  26. Thanks for your insight Craig. I'm now about six months or so into my new life and have finally turned the corner. I still look up every time an airplane flies past, but I don't need to be in it any longer. Next week my wife Linda and I are flying BOS to SFO on jetBlue to see our son graduate from Berkeley Law. This will be my first experience at a major airport since retiring. I'm interested to gage my own reactions.


  27. I have enjoyed your blog immensely over the years. One door closes and another opens, so we wish you much luck and peace in your transition.Meet and greet parking at Luton airport

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