Ethan Takes Flight!
You may remember our youngest November Smiles kids, Ethan and Colin, from their experience with the Chicago White Sox this summer (CLICK HERE to learn more about that)! If you aren't familiar, Ethan and Colin lost their father suddenly on May 24th, 2019 at the age of 36. We were blown away when we received Ethan's nomination form and saw that his dream job was to be a pilot. We immediately went to work on a special day.
Through a lifelong family friend, we were connected with the most caring, generous, kind-hearted man you will ever meet, Chris Gray. Chris is a retired Air Force pilot, a Delta pilot, and a Delta flight instructor. From first contact, Chris expressed his desire to help this family. After learning more about the boys, Chris was able to help us coordinate a once in a lifetime experience for Ethan at Delta World Headquarters in Atlanta.
Ethan became a pilot for a day, and he received once in a lifetime training as the pilot of a Boeing 737 in a flight simulator. In the simulator, Ethan was able to fly around Atlanta, New York, and even Juneau, Alaska. Chris taught him how to take off, land, and how to react in the event of engine fires, failures, and stalls. After we landed for the last time, the boys were given a special tour of the training building. They were shown where the flight attendants train, where more simulations are held, and even where they practice an emergency water landing!
We cannot thank Chris enough for his generosity and creating a special memory that Ethan, Colin, Kenisha, and even us at November Smiles, will never forget!