A kid posed with his pilot dad in an airplane. Almost 30 years later they recreated the photo


Fatherhood; Airplane Pilots; Ruben Flowers


Ruben Flowers stumbled across the photo by accident.

It was early 2023 and he was thumbing through photo albums at his grandmother’s house. Suddenly, there it was: a snapshot from 1994, taken in an airplane flight deck, depicting him as a toddler, sitting next to his pilot dad.

In this picture, Flowers is looking at his dad in admiration. His father smiles at the camera, ready to fly the plane.

Flowers had forgotten the photo existed, but seeing it again, he was flooded with memories of growing up, inspired by his father. He’d loved their trips to the airport, tagging along to the training center, taking a go on the simulators. He’d beamed with pride when his dad talked about his job at the school careers day.

And the timing of the rediscovered photo was perfect: Flowers, now 30, was just about to follow in his father’s footsteps and begin flying as a First Officer for Southwest Airlines.

Meanwhile Flowers’ father – also called Ruben Flowers – was nearing retirement and readying for his final Southwest flight as Captain.

The two men were excited to briefly overlap at Southwest and hoped they’d get an opportunity to fly together.

“It was a dream of mine to make it to this point to fly with my dad, it was probably my number one aviation goal,” the younger Flowers tells CNN Travel.


By Francesca Street, CNN






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