Southwest pilot and son recreate cockpit photo 29 years later – KIRO 7 News Seattle

This is a father-son combination worthy of traveling first class.

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Reuben Flowers, a Southwest Airlines pilot, had taken a photo with his young son in the cockpit of his plane in 1994. Twenty-nine years later, Flowers’ son — also named Reuben Flowers — recreated that shot in the cockpit of the plane. While his father was preparing to lead his last flight after 31 years of service.

The younger Flowers said he was looking through photo albums at his grandmother’s house when he saw a snapshot from 1994, CNN reported. The elder Flowers smiles in the pilot’s seat as his son, a toddler at the time, looks on with admiration.

“Robin rode in the car to drive me to the airport for trips I grew up with,” the elder Flowers said in a Southwest Airlines news release. “He always told me, ‘Don’t press the wrong button,’” as an inside joke.

“Robin took me to the training center in Dallas when I was young to learn more about our operations, try out the simulators, and spend time at the airport, which felt like a second home to him. He flew with me in the simulators even before he got his driver’s license.”

The younger Flowers followed in his father’s footsteps and also became a pilot for Southwest.

As the elder Flowers prepared to fly his final flight from Omaha, Nebraska, to Chicago’s Midway Airport in March, his son was by his side again — this time as first officer. Southwest officials said.

There are seven pilots in the family, including a father and son team. Flowers’ older brother, Southwest Capt. Chris Sailor, and his cousin, Southwest First Officer Chuck Jones, were also on that last trip.

“Looking up and seeing your loved ones sitting next to you is an amazing feeling,” the elder Flowers said in a statement. “Apparently my son was 5 and had been running for a few days, and now he’s reading me the flight menu!”

“It was a dream of mine to get to this point and fly with my father, and that was probably my first goal in aviation,” Flowers told CNN.

On that final trip, the father-son duo recreated the 1994 photo, according to the news outlet.

“It was amazing to be able to relive that moment,” Flowers told CNN. “It was a dream come true moment.”

“Family is an important part of our culture of care at Southwest Airlines, and we enjoy seeing family members sharing a love of aviation working together,” the airline said in a statement.

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