Mum And Daughter Pilots Make History Flying Commercial Plane Together

by : Emily Brown on : 07 Nov 2020 23:37
Jam Press

It’s always nice to follow in a parent’s footsteps, but two family members from the US made history when they became the first mother-daughter duo to pilot a commercial passenger plane together.

Captain Suzy Garrett has been flying planes for more than 30 years, and during her career previously made headlines by becoming one of the first women hired by SkyWest Airlines.


Suzy’s husband, Doug, is also a pilot, and the couple passed their passion on to their two children, Mark and Donna.

Mum and daughter in cockpitJam Press

After being ‘exposed to aviation [her] whole life’, 26-year-old Donna was also hired to work for SkyWest, giving her and her mum the chance to share the cockpit of a commercial passenger plane.

In an interview on the SkyWest Airlines blog, Suzy explained that her kids weren’t thinking about becoming pilots until they started ‘looking at other careers that are out there, sitting in an office, and then see[ing] how happy we are’.

Donna in cockpitJam Press

The mother believes her and her husband’s work ‘opened [their children’s] eyes’, and she has explained that she is ‘super grateful’ for a job with ‘work schedule flexibility’.

She added:

What better career is out there where you can make this kind of money and not have to have high stress by taking your work home with you? Scheduling is a big reason why I’ve stayed with SkyWest.

It was great when the kids were growing up. I could volunteer for field trips, parties at school and be that mom, while also having this wonderful career!

Suzy stood outside planeJam Press

Donna confirmed that it was her parents’ ‘passion and love for flying’ that made her want to follow in their footsteps, saying Suzy and Doug ‘made it sound so much fun’.

She added:

I got to do a lot of travelling growing up.

I was exposed to the world, which was a big inspiration. Experiencing my mom and dad’s lifestyle was wonderful. It revealed to me the possibilities the industry offered.


Now they both work at the same company, Suzy said she ‘really loves’ to be able to spend time doing what she loves with her daughter. She said it was ‘neat’ to have Donna experience the same things she had, and expressed her beliefs that it’s ‘going to be a great career for her’.

Mum and daughter in cockpit on first flight togetherJam Press

Suzy now feels like she can be a ‘role model for young girls who come on board and show them what’s possible’. Similarly, Donna urged women not to ‘disqualify yourself or think that there is anything limiting you just because you are a woman’, pointing out that there are ‘so many opportunities’ to be successful in the aviation industry.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Life, Aviation, career, family, flying, Now, Travel


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