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Retiring Lufthansa A380 Captain ‘Waves’ Goodbye With Controversial Wing Tip Manoeuver During Take Off From Los Angeles

Retiring Lufthansa A380 Captain ‘Waves’ Goodbye With Controversial Wing Tip Manoeuver During Take Off From Los Angeles

a jet plane spraying water on runway

A retiring Captain for German flag carrier Lufthansa caused some controversy on his very last flight as a commercial airline pilot after he ‘waved’ goodbye with a so-called wing tip manoeuvre as he took off from Los Angeles International Airport earlier this week.

The veteran aviator has been identified as Christian Pokorski, who had a 33-year career at Lufthansa before his retirement flight on February 27.


Pilot Christian Pokorski last flight for out LAX, Big maneuvering you wont belive it #a380 #lufthansa #retirement #fyp #takingoffa380 #losangeles #california #foryoupage

♬ original sound – Airplane Spotter

Before takeoff, Pokorski was treated to a traditional water gun salute by the LAX airport fire department, as captured by Airline Spotter on TikTok.

Pokorski was the commander of a nine-year-old double-deck Airbus A380 superjumbo with a capacity for 509 passengers, operating as flight LH453 to Munich.

As the aircraft took off and while it was still in its initial ascent, the aircraft ‘tipped’ to the right as if the aircraft was waving and then returned to a steady climb into the grey skies surrounding Los Angeles Airport.

Some social media commentators joked that the retirement is meant to be the Captain’s last flight, not the last flight of all the passengers onboard. Others quickly pointed out, however, that the Captain was experienced and fully capable of carrying out the manoeuvre.

That reassurance didn’t, however, calm the nerves of some anxious flyers who said they wouldn’t be happy to be a flight where a wing tip was performed.

Some airlines ban this type of retirement celebration, but it appears that this is somewhat of a tradition at Lufthansa, and some commentators said they had been on flights where the flight attendants announced prior to takeoff what was about to happen.

Lufthansa didn’t, however, immediately respond to a request for comment.

View Comment (1)
  • Passengers deal with far worse during turbulence than a slight bank right and left.

    Those complaining either don’t travel in planes or like to complain about trivial things.

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