|Tom and his better half at the Reno Air Races
Tom Butt's Last Flight
LAX - Maui
|Sept 28th, 2004 LAX-Maui Delta Flight # 541
Sept 29th, 2004 Maui-LAX Delta Flight #292
Mike and Jeff arrived LAX at 0900 that morning. In keeping with tradition of trying to embarrass
each other when getting picked up at the airport, we decided to do it to Tom and Michele too. I
stood at the gate and held up a sign that said "Rolling Hills Retirement Home - Tom Butt". Of
course, they were the last ones off the plane. It was a sign of things to come.
(Click on all photos for larger versions)
Jeff and John received special FAA approval at the last minute to ride in the cockpit. Michele
had a positive space pass which left Mike to fend for himself with a lowly S3B boarding priority
in a pool of 40 non-revs. The schmoozing worked a bit as he got the crew rest seats and the
wonderful cabin crew made sure he had more than his share of red wine.
After takeoff, the little electronic gnomes were working their magic on the right wing and an
indication came on that a slat was not fully retracted. After a visual inspection through the
passenger cabin (the passengers love seeing a wing inspection through their window) it was
determined that it was an indication problem. However, MX in Maui consisted of Gomer with a
bottle of Windex and a bottle of Nitrogen so it was decided to divert to HNL and swap planes.
We arrived in Maui about 8 pm and went to the hotel.
We then all went to go eat at the Tommy Bahamas restaurant. (Get the stuffed Chicken) the
night gets blurry from then on but I remember someone yelling "shots" before being awoken
by the 0700 revile call from the front desk to go snorkeling.
Snorkeling was a blast. (Pics coming soon). The crew was awesome. We saw sea turtles
and the co pilot, Perry Lamont, could hold his breath, swim down 70 feet, stay there, and get
back to the surface and not die. He would swim up to the scuba divers and Im sure they
crapped their wetsuits seeing some fool down there with no tank. I have never seen anything
like it. We then went out to eat with the boat crew and really had a blast. The flight home was
the all nighter and nobody lasted more than an hour (except the Pilots).
Congratulations to Tom Butt on a lengthy, safe career and a REALLY fun trip (24 hours in
Maui) for family, friends and crew.