2020-06-02 - Delta MD-88 Retirement Trip and Send Off
Delta Air Line’s retiring of the MD-88 & MD-90 was accelerated by the Covid-19 global pandemic. The last day, June 2nd, for passenger service of the iconic Mad Dog for Delta and also in America. The MD-88 holds a special place in Nick Zellich's avgeek heart. We flew into Cleveland and drove to Pittsburgh for the night to fly the 2nd to last flight, Pittsburgh to Atlanta.
Ship 9010 (N910DE) was manufactured in October 1992 by McDonnell Douglas in Long Beach. Growing up in Southern California, I remember the news of the acquisitions, plant closing, the flight marking the end of an era. In 2014, the Mad Dog, a true workhorse represented 50% of Atlanta departures and 900 of the 3,000 systemwide..
From the gate area, to onboard, amongst seating restrictions, masks and service changes, for a brief moment it felt a small bit of normalcy and immense nostalgia. The captain denoted, Delta 2375 “flight attendants, prepare her for departure, one last time”. On taxi out, Pittsburgh fire department and Airport shared in the farewell with honoring N910DE with a water cannon salute for ship 9010. The captain revved up the engine and Delta 2375 took flight one last time. Soaring amongst beautiful blue skies and a flawless touchdown. Her final taxi where she was graciously parked amongst the other MD final arrivals at Concourse A with only one flight remaining, Delta flight 88, N900DE inbound from IAD.
Thank you Delta!