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Goodbyes are rarely easy.

But when your sendoff includes: cake, a plane full of friends and family and a familiar face sitting next to you in the cockpit — they can be a lot of fun. This was the scenario on July 12, when after 21 years of service, Southwest Airlines Captain Phil Scher piloted his final flight for the airline.

A native of San Diego, Captain Scher has logged 27,000 flight hours over the span of his 42-year aviation career. Twenty of those years were spent in the Navy, where he flew fighter and attack jets.

Joining Captain Sher on his retirement flight (SAN to LAS) were his wife, his children and his grandchildren. And helping him pilot the plane was his son, First Officer Brady Scher. Congratulations, captain!

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