For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return
— Leonardo da Vinci

Fini Flight



The Fini-flight has been a long-standing U.S. Air Force tradition steeped in aviation history.  An aviator's final flight, either in a specific aircraft or in their Air Force career, is otherwise known as their "Fini" flight, and is concluded with barrages of water and celebrations of champagne, tears, and laughter.

Some say the tradition dates back to WWII, while others argue it stems from the Vietnam War, where aviators celebrated safely reaching their 100th mission.  Today Fini-flights are a celebration with friends and family of the hard-work and countless hours these brave men and women have devoted to the wild blue yonder.  It is an occasion that celebrates both the closing of a chapter and the start of a new one.  

I look forward to the day I'll meet my own showers of champagne, but until then I'll just continue to enjoy the journey of being a pilot in the U.S. Air Force.  I'm honored to have taken part in many of these occasions, and look forward to many more.  Good luck to everyone as they move on to continuing adventures!

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Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air…

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew — 
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

-John Gillespie Magee, Jr