Guard Pilot identified in Ukraine crash


From my company's VP of Flight Operations

November 19, 2018

Saying Goodbye to a Southwest Hero

On October 16, we lost a member of our Southwest Family, LAS First Officer Seth Nehring. While serving as a NATO partner in the Ukraine, Lt. Col. Seth “Jethro” Nehring was aboard a Ukrainian Su-27 Flanker when it crashed 175 miles southwest of Kiev during an orientation flight with a fellow NATO pilot. As part of the California Air National Guard for nearly 24 years, Seth flew the F-15 and F-16 for the 144th Fighter Wing, and he was looking forward to retiring from the Air National Guard in January of 2019 to spend more time with his friends and family.

On Saturday, November 17, we had the solemn honor flying Seth, his family, and fellow members of his squadron to the home of the 194th Fighter Squadron in Fresno, California where the Travis Air Force Base Honor Guard then carried him to his final resting place at the Clovis Cemetery in Clovis, California. It was a tremendous honor and privilege Seth’s family afforded us, bidding our final farewell to a fallen serviceman and a deeply missed part of our Southwest Airlines Family.

Military service is such a large part of our People’s story here. The sacrifices made by members of our Southwest Family are revered and always will be. We are deeply grateful for those of you who, at great sacrifice to yourself and your families, dedicate precious personal time to serve your country and community. We are all in your debt. Somber news like this is a frequent reminder that our freedom is not free. Please have Seth’s family in your thoughts and prayers.