United Airlines Pilot Surprises Son on His Plane Home From Deployment
Cue the waterworks.
Flying is just part of the daily routine for pilot Mario Lopes, but he made a recent flight stand out from the rest when he surprised his son returning from deployment. When the United Airlines captain learned his son was coming home from Kuwait on April 14, he requested to pilot the military flight to Norfolk, hoping his son would be onboard.
“I told my wife that this couldn't be a coincidence," Captain Lopes told ABC News. “No one could confirm or deny if he would actually be a passenger on my aircraft, but I knew I had to take the chance and find out.”
Luckily his intuition was correct. His son, First Lieutenant Mario Lopes, was scheduled to be on the flight and he asked for help from the crew to set up the surprise reunion. As the solider stepped on board, Captain Lopes said, “First Lieutenant Lopes, what are you doing on my aircraft,” stunning his son. “When he turned around we embraced for as long as I could hold him,” Captain Lopes added. “I cannot express the emotions I felt holding my son after not seeing him for so long.”
The sweet moment was caught on film and posted to YouTube on April 18.