Mother and Daughter Become Co-pilots on Southwest Flight: ‘It’s been a dream come true’

​Southwest Airlines Co. / Schelly Stone

Southwest Airlines announced its first-ever mother/daughter pilot duo, after Captain Holly Petitt joined First Officer Keely Petitt in the cockpit.

Mother Holly Petitt started her aviation career fresh out of college as a flight attendant working for another carrier. After riding the jumpseat in the flight deck, she realized she wanted to learn to fly planes. She then got to work training and obtaining her certifications.

Holly also took care of her three kids while taking flight lessons. With the help of her husband and mom, she was able to pursue her dream of being a pilot.

Holly’s daughter, Keely, grew up around the Southwest Airline Family and later became an extension of it. At 14, Keely realized she wanted to follow in her mom’s footsteps and become a pilot. She earned her pilot’s license, and even landed an internship at Southwest in fall 2017—a runway for Keely to learn more about an aviation career.

“Southwest was always the end goal for me,” said Keely. “There was really never any other option.”

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After working hard as the second generation, she and her mother became Southwest’s first mother/daughter Pilot duo.

“It’s been a dream come true,” said Holly. “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.”

Southwest Airlines / Schelly Stone

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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 to reach for the skies.

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