These pilots dug into some cookies appreciatively. But when they read the attached note, they nearly choked.

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Above the low buzz of talking passengers, I heard a rustle behind me. I looked over my shoulder. Just outside the cockpit doorway was a fresh-faced boy of about nine gazing intently at the flight deck. At my glance he started to turn away. ‘Hold up,’ I called. ‘Come on in here.’

Beautiful Boy

I had been about his age when I first saw a flight panel lit up like a Christmas tree and I could hardly wait to get my pilot’s wings. But now that I was 24 and first officer at a commuter airline, I wondered if I’d made the right choice. Here I was spending my first Christmas Eve away from home, and what was I accomplishing? How was I making my mark in the world, or doing any good, just hauling people from city to city?

Pilot



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