Mother-daughter Duo Becomes First To Pilot A Commercial Plane Together & Creates History


In 2019, Suzy Garrett and her daughter Donna Garrett became the first mother-daughter team to fly a commercial jet for SkyWest Airlines.

As a child, Donna didn’t think her mother’s job as an airline pilot was unusual. Her father worked in the same industry as her, so piloting an airplane came naturally to her.

Even Donna called it her parents’ “boring job” when they went to work. Her interest in their line of work grew as she grew older. She observed how enthusiastic they were about their jobs and how they were able to travel the world because of it.

Suzy Garrett and Donna Garrett sitting together inside cockpit of a commercial plane

Donna decided to follow in her parents’ footsteps and pursue a career in aviation.

In September 2019, Donna sat in the cockpit alongside her mother as a SkyWest Airline first officer.

Donna was celebrating 30 years at SkyWest when Suzy met her, which added to the significance of the occasion.

Her husband, Doug, and son, Mark, are both pilots, so flying comes naturally to them. What a flying family!

Donna decided to follow in her parents’ footsteps and pursue a career in aviation.

In September 2019, Donna sat in the cockpit alongside her mother as a SkyWest Airline first officer.

When Suey met Donna, she was celebrating 30 years at SkyWest, which made the occasion even more meaningful.

Her husband, Doug, and son, Mark, are both pilots, so flying comes naturally to them. What a flying family!

Since Suzy enjoys “diversity and excitement” in her life, being a pilot is an excellent choice for her.

“It’s nice to see your kid go through what you did,” the ecstatic mother said. “She’s a SkyWest family member.”

Sharing a flight deck with Donna and Suzy was a joyous and significant moment in aviation, especially because many female pilots are challenged to navigate a male-dominated industry.

Suzy was one of SkyWest’s first female employees. Since 1989, she had worked for the airline, pursuing her lifelong dream of becoming a pilot.

She was in eighth grade when she took her second flight from Arizona to Los Angeles and fell in love with flying. She was enthralled by the sunset as she gazed out of her cottage window.

Although she knew it would be difficult to achieve such a lofty goal, she persevered.

Suzy enrolled at Mount San Antonio College in California for flight school in 1984. Before earning her first job at SkyWest, she spent a few years as a flying instructor.

Suzy said she wasn’t discriminated against in the cockpit and that she had the same opportunities as her male competitors.

Negative comments were made by people who had no knowledge of aviation or commercial aircraft.

“I’ve had to convince people outside of my field,” she said.

Suzy is used to watching people’s faces light up when they learn she’s the one who landed the commercial jet.

Suzy asserts that the scene has changed, and people are becoming more accustomed to seeing female pilots. She is most grateful that their viral photo inspired young women to pursue careers in the industry.

Additionally, Suzy noted that flying is a great choice for women since it provides flexible work schedules, which is especially helpful for those who want to raise a family.

“I could help out with field trips and school parties and be that parent at the same time!””” she said.


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