Tour de France & the Delta pilot

Old Jul 20, 17, 1:43 pm
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Tour de France & the Delta pilot

I've always been a Tour de France fan. This year there are 3 American riders - riding for Cannondale-Drapac is Nate Brown in his first Tour. Nate was being interviewed the other day and mentioned that his father is a Delta pilot. This Saturday, he will pilot a flight to Paris and get there in time to watch his son finish the Tour on the Champs-Elysees on Sunday. If anyone's flying to CDG on Sat, keep an eye out for Capt Brown.

Last edited by Tomphot; Jul 20, 17 at 4:56 pm
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Old Jul 20, 17, 4:33 pm
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Wowee!
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Old Jul 20, 17, 5:18 pm
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Originally Posted by Tomphot View Post
I've always been a Tour de France fan. This year there are 3 American riders - riding for Cannondale-Drapac is Nate Brown in his first Tour. Nate was being interviewed the other day and mentioned that his father is a Delta pilot. This Saturday, he will pilot a flight to Paris and get there in time to watch his son finish the Tour on the Champs-Elysees on Sunday. If anyone's flying to CDG on Sat, keep an eye out for Capt Brown.
It might be a little difficult to track him down without knowing his flight details, as there are 11 daily DL flights to CDG:
ATL x2
BOS
CVG
DTW
MSP
JFK
PHL
RDU
SEA
SLC
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Old Jul 20, 17, 6:50 pm
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Originally Posted by audidudi View Post
It might be a little difficult to track him down without knowing his flight details, as there are 11 daily DL flights to CDG:
ATL x2
BOS
CVG
DTW
MSP
JFK
PHL
RDU
SEA
SLC
Understood - they usually announce the pilots names at the beginning of the flight. Even though it would be unlikely that anyone here would be flying with Cpt Brown, it would be cool to send congratulations if it happens.
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Old Jul 20, 17, 6:57 pm
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Originally Posted by Tomphot View Post
Understood - they usually announce the pilots names at the beginning of the flight. Even though it would be unlikely that anyone here would be flying with Cpt Brown, it would be cool to send congratulations if it happens.
I'm not so sure how unlikely it is in that my impression is that whenever there's a major incident on a DL flight such as a diversion, at least on FT member will post about their personal experience. My guess is that the typical DL flight using a large aircraft will have at least one FT member on board. So I suspect the odds are in favor of someone here being on Captain Nate Brown's TATL flight to CDG.

If we knew where the son lives or where he trained when he first started cycling, that could help us to guess the father's route, although of course pilots can be based other than where they live or where their family lived when the offspring were growing up.
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Old Jul 20, 17, 7:10 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I'm not so sure how unlikely it is in that my impression is that whenever there's a major incident on a DL flight such as a diversion, at least on FT member will post about their personal experience. My guess is that the typical DL flight using a large aircraft will have at least one FT member on board. So I suspect the odds are in favor of someone here being on Captain Nate Brown's TATL flight to CDG.

If we knew where the son lives or where he trained when he first started cycling, that could help us to guess the father's route, although of course pilots can be based other than where they live or where their family lived when the offspring were growing up.
Nate was born in Colorado Springs, so Dad was possibly associated with the AF Academy. Grew up near Memphis and now lives in Tx and Spain
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Old Jul 20, 17, 7:16 pm
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OOPS, in my post I assumed that Nate was the father/pilot, not the son/athlete.

So Air Force pilot works for DL. He might have been MEM based (perhaps having started his career with PMNW since MEM was a PMNW hub, RIP) but presumably would have transferred to a base with more DL flights and especially more TATL flights, although he wouldn't necessarily have moved to the new base. If we're speculating, we might try to guess the aircraft type he does (A330 coming from PMNW I would think rather than the 767, while the 777 doesn't go to Europe often and the 747s are dying out, RIP). So let's check the DL routes that have A330 service to CDG and operate on Saturdays. That should eliminate a few hubs.
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Old Jul 20, 17, 7:27 pm
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WAAAAAAY too much gee-whiz what-about-this-idea speculation there, MSP
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Old Jul 20, 17, 7:29 pm
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Originally Posted by jrl767 View Post
WAAAAAAY too much gee-whiz what-about-this-idea speculation there, MSP
Yeah, it's speculation, but based on the information we have, I think it's better than just assuming that the all of the eleven routes to CDG are equally likely to have Captain (unknown first name) Brown as a pilot. Plus, it's fun to see what we can reasonably deduce from the OP.
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Old Jul 20, 17, 8:01 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Yeah, it's speculation, but based on the information we have, I think it's better than just assuming that the all of the eleven routes to CDG are equally likely to have Captain (unknown first name) Brown as a pilot. Plus, it's fun to see what we can reasonably deduce from the OP.
And the simple comments I saw in the interview with Nate about his father flying the Delta plane over to Paris and watching the finish during his layover. If I were a passenger and wanted to be on time - that's the flight to be on!
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Old Jul 21, 17, 7:26 am
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BTW, Nate Brown wore the polka-dot jersey on Days 3 and 4 of the Tour, as the race leader on those early days in the King of the Mountains competition. Quite an honor. He took over from teammate and fellow American, Taylor Phinney. who wore it after Day 2. Neither is a true climber, but both were in a breakaway group and scored the point or two needed on the minor categorized climbs on those days. Plus, his teammate, Rigoberto Uran is currently 3rd overall, with three days to go, and--barring a bad individual time-trial tomorrow, should end up on the final podium.

Last edited by atl runner; Jul 21, 17 at 7:42 am
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Old Jul 21, 17, 10:54 am
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This is a pretty cool story. As someone who works in the cycling industry, I can safely say that during most of meetings, frequient flier programs and points are discussed.
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Old Jul 21, 17, 2:18 pm
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Originally Posted by Junior Varsity View Post
This is a pretty cool story. As someone who works in the cycling industry, I can safely say that during most of meetings, frequient flier programs and points are discussed.
The whole thing has been cool, to Brown and Phinney both getting to wear the polka-dot jersey in their first TDFs, and Brown's father being a Delta pilot, flying over to see his son finish on the Champs-Elysees.^
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Old Jul 21, 17, 2:26 pm
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I watched the Tour de France finish near Place Vendome one year. I was surprisingly not crowded and easy to get a front row spot to stand, although I envied the folks who could watch from their hotel rooms or balconies. There was a festival atmosphere with a parade early on, and then lots of waiting for a short period of action. For me, I just happened to be in Paris that day almost by accident and decided not to miss the big event. I hadn't planned the trip to be there on the final day.

Some years earlier, I managed to be near the tour with a rental car in the French countryside, IIRC vaguely in the Burgundy area where I saw the bike riders pass by the side of a field. Later I started following the map so that I could avoid the congestion and road closures around Le Mans.
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Old Jul 22, 17, 11:17 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Yeah, it's speculation, but based on the information we have, I think it's better than just assuming that the all of the eleven routes to CDG are equally likely to have Captain (unknown first name) Brown as a pilot. Plus, it's fun to see what we can reasonably deduce from the OP.
Well based on your hunch, there are only 3 Delta A330s going to CDG on a Sat.

ATL - DL 82
DTW - DL 98
SEA - DL 34.

The guy is a Tennessee native, so I am guessing it'll be the ATL flight.

According to a local (Memphis suburb) paper, the dad's name is David Brown.


Edited:


From the dad's tweet, it looks like he is a 767 pilot. It also looks he is flying from Atlanta because of the indicated 9h30m flight time to Rio. Delta serves Rio from ATL either through a 767 or an A330.

My bet is still ATL but on the 2nd flight (DL 84) which is on a 767.

Last edited by muishkin; Jul 22, 17 at 11:59 am
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