As a veteran pilot for United Airlines, Victor J. Saracini placed great stock in paying attention to time. But as a father to his two daughters, the concept of time — or rather, maximizing the limited amount of it he had — took on an almost transcendent meaning.
Thank goodness, then, that Mr. Saracini, 51, a former Navy pilot, was about the most reliable person you could ever meet, and always thinking of his daughters, Kirsten, 13, and Brielle, 10, according to his in-laws, Bernard F. and Bernadette G. Hildebrand. “He taught them computers even before they could count, basically,” Mrs. Hildebrand said about Mr. Saracini, who was the pilot of United Airlines Flight 175.
Once, Kirsten used her allowance money to buy a souvenir in Pennsylvania. After she paid for the item, she counted the change. Satisfied, she said, “Thank you,” and picked up the package. “What kid would do that?” Mrs. Hildebrand said.
Mr. Saracini beamed, too, when his daughters did practice flight plans with him, or learned to read a compass. “He was very thorough with everything,” Mr. Hildebrand said. “One time, he called to say, ‘You won’t have to worry about a thing if anything ever happens to me. The girls will be taken care of.’ ”