07.16.2015 Uncategorized No Comments

2015 Special Olympics in LAX : UPS flying the Special Olympic Flames Cologne to Athens to USA

The below comments and photos are from UPS Captain Brett Gibbons, (B- 767 and B-757 on international routes, a former USAF pilot.

Had a good trip – something different and out of the norm. It was a big a big deal for UPS. Lots of photos and people in both Athens and Cologne. We had our Miami Chief pilot with us and he was the escort of the flame.


flames and Chief pilot

It is actually the 2015 Special Olympics in Los Angles. If you go to http://www.la2015.org It has some information about the lighting of the flame, UPS moving it, etc. The games start July 25th in LAX.

UPS is a Special Olympics sponsor.

There was no cargo on-board. Just Captain, First Officer and escort on B767. Normally, UPS contracts flights to Athens daily. This flight was just for PR.


Cologne is our major European hub. so that’s why the fight started there. The flame then went from Athens to Cologne then on to Philly. At that point it traveled by ground (UPS Vehicle) to D.C. to start its trek to LA. Three flames will leave D.C. on north, central, and southern routes and they will all meet in LA.

The flames are in 2 separate miners lamps on the aircraft. We also had 2 spares, not lit, just in case we needed them. They are mounted in a special device that is designed to be carried in aircraft seats.

UPS and flames

Many airlines have moved these before just like we did. These lamps burn kerosene and can burn for a long time – maybe 20 hrs. They have a high and low setting. On low the flame is quite small, like a match. We also had fuel with us to keep them full. Interesting, fun, once-in-a-lifetime thing.


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