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Posted: December 31, 2016

Delta pilot turns plane around to get family to funeral

By Cox Media Group National Content Desk

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A Phoenix family is thankful after Delta pilot turned around before takeoff to make sure they could get to a funeral.

Nicole Wibel and her family were traveling to Tennessee to bury their father, whose final wish was to be buried in his hometown.

Their first flight was delayed 90 minutes at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, leaving them only 10 minutes to get to the gate to the connecting flight in Minneapolis, Fox 10 reports.

The flight was the last one of the day.

The plane was starting to taxi when the family got to the gate.

"I was just crying. I couldn't believe we were going to miss that flight,” Wibel said.

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Wibel’s brother, Rick Short, said an airline worker said there was nothing she could do.

“(She said) the tower wasn't going to let them pull back in and my sisters and mom were sitting there in tears and I'm sitting there screaming through the glass. All of a sudden (there was) another phone call.”

Short was screaming and waving his hands when the pilot saw them.

Once the pilot saw the family’s desperation and heard they were going to their father’s funeral, he turned around.

“We are very, very thankful for those pilots," Wibel said.

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