MIAMI — Delta Air Lines officially retired its last two DC-9 aircraft on Wednesday, January 22nd. Although Delta publicly celebrated the final farewell earlier this month with a tour spanning three states, two of the aircraft remained for ad-hoc action to support delayed 717 deliveries.
Unlike the much vaunted retirement tour, the final flight ended quietly and without fanfare after landing under a clear Atlanta sky. N779NC was the lucky airplane to fly the very last commercial DC-9 flight in the United States, operating Delta 310 from Eglin Air Force Base in Valparaiso, FL to Atlanta, Georgia.
The last flight caps a 48 year run of the airplanes flying the skies over the US.
Last week, Delta finished ferrying the last of its inactive DC-9s to Blytheville, Arkansas. The remaining three DC-9s will begin their journey to their final home shortly.
N779NC will be ferried to Charlotte, North Carolina, where it will reside at the Carolinas Aviation Museum. N782NC will be ferried to Thief River Falls, Minnesota. It is rumored that it will be donated to Northland Community and Technical College, as Northwest donated a DC-9 to the college in 1997.
Another DC-9, rumored to be N675MC, will be housed at the Delta Flight Museum once it re-opens after undergoing major renovation later this summer.
Dominican start-up Pawa Dominicana has been in talks with Delta to acquire 20 of their retired DC-9-50s. If successful, it seems like the old Diesel 9s could have a few more years left of flying, though not here in the US.
Happy retirement, DC-9s!