There’s no questioning that I am an airplane fanatic, freak, crazy guy, whatever you want to call me, I LOVE airplanes and everything related to it. One of my bucket list of things to do in life was to be able to fly somewhere just for the sake of the flight and return. Forget about the destination! I would have never guessed how this opportunity would come but it did and to add a cherry on top, it came hand in hand with photography thus mixing so much of my loves in life together, airplanes, photography, capturing stories, flying, traveling with great company, etc.

This  particular shoot was to document Captain Sullivan’s farewell flight as well as his family’s involvement in the trip. It w as such an absolute God-send – an unforgettable trip. I hope you enjoy this photoseries from San Francisco to Frankfurt and back again as I document the life and  family of Captain Sullivan in a weekend’s worth of time. I packed 2 cameras, 2 lenses, 1 flash and a couple cards, batteries, 1 change of clothes and I was ready to go.

Thanks so much to the Sullivan family for your down to earth hospitality in making this possible for me. It was an absolute privelage and honor to have had this opportunity. I hope the photos will continue to help you guys tell a rich part of your family’s history for many generations to come. Happy Retirement

United Airlines Pilot Retirement Farewell Flight Photographs   United Airlines Pilot Retirement Farewell Flight Photographs  

United Airlines Pilot Retirement Farewell Flight Photographs

As we entered the Frankfurt airspace, our callsign was changed to Sullivan One. Pretty awesome. Photo of our water cannon salute from Fraport and the control tower as “Sullivan One” pulls off the taxiway towards our gate.

The water canon salute was fascinating to sit through this from the inside. We don’t get these here much in California due to water shortages and liability. I’m sitting about midway in the plane, starboard side window. It’s also an incredible feeling to say you know all the pilots and copilots flying your flight.


Captain Sullivan’s Sullivan One United Airlines Pilot Retirement Photography documented by documentary photographer Lynn-Kai Chao

Tags: boeing 747, bucket list, captain sullivan, farewell flight, FRA, frankfurt, fraport, queen of the skies, retirement photography, san francisco airport, SFO, sullivan one, united airlines, united airlines retirement