Events & Conferences: Captain Wagner, Alaska Airlines Retirement

Events & Conferences / People / Photography / Services

Captain Walt Wagner was a pilot for Alaska Airlines for nearly 19 years when he was diagnosed with  multiple sclerosis in 2004.  Mandatory retirement meant that he could no longer do what he loved.  Seven years passed and now he is in a wheelchair. Enter radio talk show host Bob Rivers who met Captain Wagner and heard that he never had a retirement send off.

On July 11, 2011, Bob and a number of pilots and flight crew, and Walt’s family came together to honor this gentle man on his final flight check and a ceremonial ride on the tarmac.  All this culminating in a special water cannon salute.

With permission from Governor Gregoire, Jerry was shooting from the tarmac on an active runway to get the water cannon images.  Lois was on the plane shooting the event from the inside.  The final image brought Captain Wagner and his colleagues together for the last time.

Images from this event were published in the Smithsonian Magazine.