End of an Era: Last Boeing C-17 Military Transport Plane Departs from Long Beach - NBC Southern California

End of an Era: Last Boeing C-17 Military Transport Plane Departs from Long Beach

The final flight marks the end of an era of aircraft and aerospace industries in Southern California

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    End of an Era: Last Boeing C-17 Military Transport Plane Departs from Long Beach
    Boeing
    The last remaining Globemaster III military airlifter will make a final flyover of Boeing's Long Beach facility Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015.

    Marking the end of an era, the final Boeing C-17 Globemaster III military airlifter will fly one last time over the Long Beach facility where the aircrafts were made.

    The pilots waved to a sea of people watching the C-17 Globemaster III roll out.

    "We put our heart and soul in this," Jane Hampton said.

    Hampton, a structure mechanic, joined hundreds of former Boeing employees reuniting near the company's Long Beach assembly plant, sharing memories of working on the military cargo plane.

    According to a Boeing spokeswoman, the final C-17 prepared departed from the Long Beach airport Sunday around noon.

    The aircraft's fly over marks the end of production at the Long Beach Boeing plant, and the end of Southern California's once thriving aircraft and aerospace industries, the spokeswoman said.

    Jose Torres was just a teenager when he began working for Boeing. Now more than two decades later, he still remembers like it was yesterday.

    "I still remember working in wings, unhooking and grabbing that air hose," Torres said.

    Boeing announced the end of C-17 production in 2013 due to the loss of a U.S. Air force contract and declining international orders.

    The C-17s have been integral in both military transport and humanitarian missions, according to Boeing.

    Boeing's Long Beach facility is expected to close at the end of the year, leaving 2,200 people without their jobs at the facility.

    The extended Boeing family watched as it left Long Beach Airport to San Antonio, arriving at its final destination in Qatar.

    Seeing the plane leave brought Hampton to tears.

    "It's gone. Yep, it's gone," Hampton said.

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