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After 34 years of flying, a pilot retired in the sweetest way by gifting his wings to a true angel on earth

After 34 years of flying, a pilot retired in the sweetest way by gifting his wings to a true angel on earth

After 34 years of flying, a pilot retired in the sweetest way by giving his wings to a true angel on earth.
After 34 years of flying, a pilot retired in the sweetest way by giving his wings to a true angel on earth. Credit: Sarah Tamar Klitenick

What started as an uneventful 9 hour flight, turned into a precious moment in time that a retiring pilot and his tiny new friend will never forget.

American Airlines pilot, Captain Joe Weis, ended his flying career last week in the sweetest possible way – by gifting his wings to a little boy who has Down syndrome.

After 34 years of flying, a pilot retired in the sweetest way by giving his wings to a true angel on earth.
After 34 years of flying, a pilot retired in the sweetest way by giving his wings to a true angel on earth. Credit: American Airlines

2-year-old, Ki Klitenick, and his mother, Sarah Tamar Klitenick, were flying back to Orlando after attending a family reunion in Spain – they just so happened to be sitting next to Captain Weis’ wife, Wendy.

After finding out this was Ki’s first flight, Wendy relayed this information to her husband.

Soon after, Captain Weis walked out of the cockpit and came down to the cabin to meet little Ki.

“Since it was my last and his first we decided to make it special,” Weis said in a Facebook post recapping the magical moment.

That’s when Weis invited Ki and his mother to the cockpit so they could end Ki’s first flight in style.

Ki sat in his mom’s lap while excitedly touching the controls – that’s when Weis carefully leaned over and pinned the hard-earned keepsake on the toddler’s shirt.

American Airlines brought back kids’ commemorative wings in 2016, but this was the real deal from a real pilot.

Ki’s mom Sarah was overwhelmed with gratitude.

“With all the negative things going on in the world, it’s just nice when people do things that are unbelievably nice and positive,” Ki’s mother Sarah told Majically News in a phone conversation.

And since the phone interview was conducted on speaker phone, Ki added his own version of the story which included lots of adorable cooing and he even chimed in with a “Hi” a couple times.

After 34 years of flying, a pilot retired in the sweetest way by giving his wings to a true angel on earth.
After 34 years of flying, a pilot retired in the sweetest way by giving his wings to a true angel on earth. Credit: American Airlines

The surprise ending capped off Ki’s first international flight as well as his first flight ever.

Since they’ve been back home, Ki’s mom said he’s been talking nonstop about his gift and his new friend, Captain Joe Weis.
When she says “Captain,” Ki responds “Joe!” and points to his chest.

“It’s absolutely adorable,” she told Majically News. “It’s a really special thing and it was such a great experience,” she added.

As for Captain Weis, well his last flight also included a water canon salute, where two big hoses squirt water to form a massive arch over the plane as it taxis into the terminal.

“I will remember this always”, he said to round out his Facebook post.

It ended up being a beautiful day for two different families and for two different reasons – and that our friends, is Majic!


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