Retiring American Airlines captain gives his wings to child with Down syndrome

An American Airlines pilot capped off his 35 year run in the air by giving one passenger a very special gift.

Captain Joe Weis gave his AA Captain wings to Ki Klitenick, 2, a child with Down syndrome on the tarmac of Miami International Airport following a flight from Madrid on Oct. 2.

Flight 69 was the pilot’s last before retirement, which was fitting considering it was Klitenick’s first time in the air.

When he received his new wings in the cockpit, Klitenick smiled and clapped. He even said “thank you” in sign language after Weis pinned them to his shirt.

“It’s so amazing what he did. The whole thing was so cool,” Ki’s mother, Sarah Tamar Klitenick said.

“My last flight was very special for many reasons,” said Weis on Facebook. “Wendy was sitting in a row with Ki and his mom back from Madrid. She found out that this was his first flight. Since it was my last and his first we decided to make it special. So I pinned my AA Captain wings on him after we landed in Miami.”

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