IMPERIAL — Though Mitch Pirnie travels by airplane often as part of his job, his flight out of Imperial County Airport on Friday was not the run-of-the-mill affair to which he'd become accustomed.
Pirnie was the first commercial airline passenger to fly out of Imperial's airport since Tuesday's terrorist hijackings. He also was the lone passenger on the 12:15 p.m. United Express flight to Los Angeles.
"I'm definitely more nervous about flying now than before, but I'm confident it will be safe," he said.
Unlike the scores of travelers across the country whose schedules were disrupted by the ban on commercial flights last week, Pirnie had originally planned to be on this flight before Tuesday's tragedies. Though his plans to fly to L.A. and then on to his home in Omaha, Neb., were going smoothly Friday, Pirnie had been in communication with travel agents and others to examine possible back-up plans should he not have been able to fly out of Imperial.