Det amerikanske flyselskapet United Airlines har i etterkant av den tragiske flyulykken med et Boeing 767 fra Atlas Air i Texas 23. februar i år, valgt å hedre den ene piloten på sin måte.
Pilot og kaptein Sean Archuleta, var med på flyet som styrtet og hadde fått plass i et ekstrasete i cockpiten under flyvningen. Archuleta hadde akkurat fått jobb som pilot i United Airlines og skulle denne uken starte sin obligatoriske opplæring i selskapets rutiner og arbeidsforhold.
Når klassen med nye piloter i United Airlines møtes for sin første time 12. mars, vil flyselskapet holde av en stol som forblir tom i klasserommet. Det er en stol hvor den omkomne piloten skulle ha tatt plass på.
I tillegg har flyselskapet overlevert pilotvingen til uniformen som brukes i United Airlines samt skulderstripene som brukes på skjortene til pilotene i selskapet, til konen til den omkomne piloten.
Konen til Sean Archuleta er bosatt i Columbia og fløy med United Airlines til USA 1. mars i år. Hun fikk fly på førsteklasse og fikk overrakt vingen og stripene ombord i flyet, i tillegg til en rekke kondolansebrev fra kolleger, United Airlines og hans nåværende arbeidsgiver Mesa Airlines.
Kaptein for United med etternavnet Gunn skrev følgende til flyselskapet etter å ha fløyet enken til USA;
“An update regarding Captain Sean Archuleta. He was the jumpseat rider on the prime Atlas/Prime Air crash who had a class date to begin at United, this week I believe. I operated flight 1009 to Bogota on Friday March 1st. Prior to heading to the airport, I was contacted by the IAH Chief Pilot and informed that his widow would be on our flight returning to Colombia where she currently lives. He asked if I could deliver a package to her from United. Of course I agreed to help in any way that I could. United had her booked in First Class and escorted her to the Polaris Club before the flight with plans for a personal escort to the airplane for departure. I coordinated to have her escorted to the plane and be in her seat about 5 minutes prior to general boarding. His wife Titania speaks only Spanish and although I speak some Spanish it’s definitely not conversational. I offered my condolences on behalf of United Airlines and all United pilots. The circumstances were difficult especially considering that I had never met her. I delivered a stack of condolence cards form both United and Mesa Airlines (his current employer) as well as a set of United wings and Epaulets. She was a very lovely lady but she broke down when I gave her the wings/epaulets. It was clearly very emotional for her to receive the wings. However, I could tell that she was very moved and it meant a great deal to her. Through the interpretation of the flight attendant, she told me that she would save these for her children to see and so that they would know that he was a United pilot. I simply said that it would have been a pleasure and and honor to fly with her husband. She thanked me and told me that United had been very good to her and that she was grateful for their support. It appears that united stepped up and treated her with respect and helped an already tragic situation.”