'Very emotional': Mother and daughter MAKE HISTORY as they pilot Southwest flight together
A mother-daughter duo made history when they teamed up to pilot a Southwest flight last month.
Captain Holly Petitt and First Officer Keely Petitt became the first mother-daughter pilot duo in the history of the airline when they flew from Denver to St Louis on July 23, according to a press release from Southwest Airlines.
'A dream come true'
The mother, Holly, in a statement said, "It's been a dream come true," adding, "First, I found this career and fell in love with it, and then that one of my kids fell into this and in love with this career too. It's surreal."
According to the press release, Holly began her aviation career as a flight attendant right after college, but after riding the jumpseat in the flight deck, she realized her calling - to fly planes.
As Holly took flight lessons, she "welcomed three beautiful kids," while supporting her family as a full-time mom. With the support of her husband and mom, Holly was able to make her dream of being a pilot a reality.
In a company blog post, Holly recalled her interview of becoming a Southwest pilot. She said, "It was the most amazing interview of my life," and added, "Eighteen years later and I'm still giddy to do my job."
Naturally, Holly's daughter, Keely, fell in love with flying at the age of 14, when she and her siblings received the gift of a discovery flight. It was at that moment, Keely knew she wanted to follow her mother's footsteps and become a pilot.
As Keely pursued her passion, she earned her pilot's license, landing an internship at Southwest in fall 2017 to further her aviation career. Keely said, "Southwest was always the end goal for me," adding that "there was really never any other option."
Meanwhile, the company in a statement said, "Not only are Holly and Keely making Southwest history, but also they're breaking barriers and empowering women of all ages to pursue their dreams in aviation, and pun intended, reach for the skies."
Remembering the big day when the mother-daughter duo were about to create history, Holly shared that the morning of July 23 was "very emotional."
The proud mom wrote in a Facebook post, "One moment you are holding this tiny little premature baby in your arms and in a blink of an eye she is sitting next to you on the flight deck of a Boeing 737 jet!" She added, "I love you to the moon and back, Keely Petitt!"
As the mother-daughter duo continued receiving love from people, Holly thanked everyone for their support in a Facebook post. She wrote, "I just want to take a moment to say thank you for all the incredible outpour of love from our friends, family, and even people we haven’t had the opportunity to meet yet! It’s been beyond incredible. Thank YOU ALL for making this even more special for Keely and I!!"
The mother-daughter duo may be the first for Southwest airlines but others have done it before. In September 2019, Captain Suzy Garrett and her daughter Donna Garrett became first mother-daughter duo to fly a plane together for SkyWest Airlines.