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Pilot who threw pizza party on tarmac wins awesome slice of fame

Pilot to grounded passengers: Pizza is on the way

Frontier Airlines pilot Gerhard Bradner made a not-so-split-second decision after his diverted plane full of passengers sat grounded on the runway in Cheyenne, Wyo., because of bad weather. When food on board ran out, he made the tough call -- to Domino's Pizza to order more than 30 pies, paying out of his own pocket.

Social media and media outlets ate it up. "Greatest airline pilot ever," People magazine gushed. HLNtv.com labeled the act "a slice of awesome."

"Not sure if he was hungry, but it is not unusual for our pilots to go above and beyond to provide care for our customers," a Frontier representative told NBC News. "We had depleted all our food onboard."

The Monday night flight that departed at 6:40 p.m. local time from Reagan International Airport in Washington, D.C., and was supposed to go to Denver. But severe thunderstorms forced the flight to divert to Cheyenne until the weather lifted, according to media reports.

The delay lasted a few hours, which prompted the captain to act. "If the need arises you need to take care of your family; you need to take care of your passengers," Bradner told KUSA-TV in Denver. "They are my responsibility the moment they step on the aircraft until they get off the aircraft." 

The pizza, by the way, was delivered and handed off to flight attendants who served it up on board shortly before the flight was given the go-ahead to continue on to Denver.

The Domino's manager who fast-tracked the overwhelming order told the Associated Press that it was "definitely one of those 'challenge accepted' moments in time." Hmm, does that make him the greatest pizza maker ever?

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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