Suzy Garrett and her daughter Donna Garrett became SkyWest Airlines’ first mother-daughter duo to fly a commercial jet in 2019. Donna didn’t think her mother’s career as an airline pilot was uncommon when she was a kid. Her father was in the same work line; therefore, flying an aeroplane was second nature.
When Donna’s parents went to work, she referred to it as their “boring job.” As she grew older, her interest in their line of work rose. She noticed how happy they were about their employment and how, as a result, they were able to travel the world.
Donna wanted to pursue a profession in aviation in order to follow in her parents’ footsteps. Donna joined her mother in the cockpit as a SkyWest Airline first officer in September 2019.
When Suzy met Donna, she was celebrating 30 years at SkyWest, which added to the significance of the meeting. Doug, her husband, and Mark, her son, are also pilots; thus, flying is second nature. What a soaring clan!
Donna decided to pursue a career in aviation in the same way that her parents did. Being a pilot is an ideal choice for Suzy because she appreciates “variety and excitement” in her life.
“It’s good to see your child go through what you went through,” the delighted mother exclaimed. “She’s a part of the SkyWest family.”
Sharing a flight deck with Donna and Suzy was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in aviation, especially given the hurdles that many female pilots encounter in a male-dominated industry. Suzy was one of the company’s first female employees. She has been with the airline since 1989, pursuing her lifelong aim of becoming a pilot.
When she was in eighth grade, she took her second flight from Arizona to Los Angeles and fell in love with flying. The sunset captivated her as she gazed out the window of her cottage.
Although she understood achieving such a lofty objective would be difficult, she persisted.
Suzy enrolled in aviation school at Mount San Antonio College in California in 1984. She worked as a flight teacher for a few years before landing her first position at SkyWest. Suzy claimed she was not mistreated in the cockpit and given the same opportunity as her male counterparts.
People who have no expertise in aviation or commercial aircraft made negative remarks. “I’ve had to persuade folks who aren’t in my industry,” she explained. Suzy is used to seeing people’s eyes light up when they find out she’s the one who landed the commercial plane.
Suzy claims that the scene has evolved, and people are becoming used to seeing female pilots. She is thrilled that their viral photo has encouraged young women to pursue professions in the business. Suzy also mentioned that flying is a good option for women since it allows for flexible work schedules, especially for those who wish to start a family.
“I could help with field trips and school parties while also becoming that mom!” she said.