(Real) stories of people passionate about aviation

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Many people may think aviation is an essentially technical professional field. However, for me, a very important factor is emotion. We deal with people, many of whom are passionate about aeronautics, just like me. My greatest joy is to see them happy.

I’m a ground handler at Congonhas Airport in São Paulo. Before, I worked at Guarulhos Airport. In 10 years, I’ve witnessed many unforgettable moments involving passengers. I’m going to share two.

 

 

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One of my followers on Instagram (@diwilliam) used to like and comment on my photos. I realized he knew a lot about aviation. It was a 12-year-old boy with a motor disability. He lived in Londrina, Paraná, and was passing through Congonhas with his parents, on their way to their vacation. On my break, I put my uniform on and surprised him. 

I grabbed a plane from my model collection and wrapped it as a gift. I wrote a letter saying that he should never give up on his dream of working in aviation. There are many great areas in aeronautics, even for people with motor disabilities. With a big smile on his face, he hugged me so tight that I was moved. His parents were really thankful.

 

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In another great moment, an old man, accompanied by his teenage grandson, was traveling by plane for the first time. He lived across from the airport in Uberlândia, Minas Gerais, and dreamed of flying, but had never had the opportunity. His daughter bought him a ticket to São Paulo, to return on the same day. 

Due to a stroke, he was in a wheelchair. In the waiting room for passengers with priority boarding, he told his story to a LATAM employee, confiding that he was loving the experience, but was sad that he hadn’t got to see the cockpit.

Luckily, there was a plane being towed to the hangar, and we managed to make his dream come true. He entered the cockpit and wore a pilot cap. For a few minutes, he had the whole plane for himself. When he was about to board the plane to Uberlândia, I surprised him. I bought a LATAM model plane at the airport and gave it to him as a gift. He was so happy that he started shaking, and his grandson thanked us for that unforgettable day.