In aviation, few things are as remarkable as a family of pilots. The Mihalcin family, however, is one such remarkable group. Captain Mike Mihalcin passed down his love of flying to his three sons. Who now also fly for Frontier. The family recently gathered to celebrate Mike's retirement from Frontier Airlines and reflected on a lifetime of shared experiences in the skies. Here's a glimpse into their unique journey and what it means to be part of this aviation-loving family.
Legacy at Frontier
Captain Michael Mihalcin dedicated over 25 years of his life to Frontier Airlines, having been hired on May 4, 1998. This was the foundation of a lifelong love affair with the skies, inspiring his children to follow in his footsteps.
The Early Inspirations
What motivates someone to become a pilot? For Michael Mihalcin, it was a childhood experience at an airport. At just eight years old, he witnessed the sheer joy of people reuniting with their loved ones after a flight. The sight of pilots preparing to take to the skies left a lasting impression on him. He decided then and there that he wanted to be part of those heartwarming reunions, to bring families and friends together through flying. His journey began at 16 when he earned his pilot's license, driven by passion rather than a sense of work.
A Family Tradition Takes Flight
For the Mihalcin children, growing up around aviation was natural. They were fortunate to join their dad on many of his trips, experiencing new cities and the thrill of traveling the world. From a young age, they knew they wanted to fly professionally and explore the world from above.
As they pursued their aviation dreams, the family bond grew stronger. Each son flew with their father on numerous occasions.
A Heartfelt Send-Off
Michael Mihalcin's retirement from Frontier Airlines was a significant milestone. Notably, Matthew, the eldest brother, was privileged to serve as his first officer on their dad's retirement flight. Jonathan, the second eldest, often joined his father on flights too. Jason, the third brother, could not be on the final flight because he was awaiting the birth of his second son, born just one day after their dad's retirement. Although Jason couldn't be on the flight, the rest of the family eagerly awaited their dad's return at the Denver airport gate. They waved "welcome home" and "congratulations on your retirement" signs, marking the beginning of a new chapter in his life.
It was an honor for Matthew to be on his dad's final flight. They enjoyed perfect weather and a breathtaking view over the Rocky Mountains, with the first snowfall adding to the moment's magic. In the jump seat, Jonathan said he had a unique and profoundly emotional experience. As they flew, they remembered the lessons and stories their dad had shared over the years, making the experience all the more poignant. The flight attendants added a touch of retirement celebration, and passengers joined in to congratulate their captain's retirement.
Retirement Plans and Celebrations
Michael Mihalcin's retirement isn't just about hanging up his wings. He plans to build a home in the mountains, spend quality time with his wife Janet, enjoy family moments, and stay involved in aviation. The Mihalcin family also celebrated their dad's retirement with a family get-together, sharing a meal and continuing the festivities at their parents' home.
A Legacy of Love and Aviation
For the Mihalcin family, aviation isn't just a career; it's a legacy of love, adventure, and shared experiences. Michael Mihalcin's passion for flying was infectious, and he passed it on to his children. They witnessed his joy in his work and the beauty of constantly changing office views from above. The love for aviation instilled in them became the driving force behind their careers, a legacy they are proud to carry forward.
As Michael Mihalcin embarks on his retirement journey, the Mihalcin family reflects on their incredible journey together in the world of aviation. It's a shared love that will continue to inspire and bond them for years to come. Thank you for your many years of service, Captain Michael!