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Captain Calvin “Cal” Flanigan (pictured) said his heartfelt goodbyes last Friday from his home hub of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, when he retired from Delta Airlines after dedicating 45 years to the company. He traveling over 12 million miles and never missing one day of work, according to KTFW-TV Fox News.

Flanigan told MyFox that he knew from a very young age that he wanted to be a pilot. “Even as a little kid watching airplanes take off when I was 9 or 10 years old, I knew I wanted to fly,” he said.

When he began his aeronautical career path, Flanagan had to start at the ground floor as an airline mechanic back in 1968. Even though he tinkered with planes, he knew that one day he would be sitting in the cockpit of one. So he kept his eyes on the prize and worked hard towards achieving his dream. Eight years later, Flanigan was sitting pretty as a pilot, flying massive jets for the company.

In 37 years as a Delta pilot, Flanigan has flown 12.5 million miles and has landed in nearly 100 countries. Flanigan also had the most seniority out of all of his fellow pilots and an exceptional performance record, so the man who had never missed a day of work was a role model for others who had come after him.

“He’s been the number one guy for almost eight years now. I don’t think that’s something that will ever be replicated, certainly in my lifetime,” Steve Dickson of Delta Airlines told Fox.

Unfortunately for Flanagan, 65-years-old is the magic number that Delta goes by in mandating that their pilots kiss their careers goodbye. Even though retirement will be hard for Flanigan, he says, that he has plenty of plans in place and flying is one of them. He and his wife plan on visiting lots more countries, as travel is his first love.

Well Alright! Delta Pilot Retires After 45 Years Without A Missed Day Of Work  was originally published on newsone.com