Saint Louis, MO

Mother and daughter pilots make history on Southwest Airlines

Margaret Minnicks

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Southwest Airlines first Mother/Daughter Pilot duo, Captain Holly Petitt and First Officer Keely PetittPhotograph by Schelly Stone

It is fascinating to hear that a mother and her daughter made history when they were the captain and first officer for Southwest Airlines. Mother Holly Petitt and her daughter Keely appeared on Good Morning America on Wednesday, August 10, 2022 to share the story about their first flight together on Saturday, July 23, 2022.

Southwest Airlines' first and only mother-daughter pilot duo took years in the making. The flight was from their hometown in Denver, Colorado to St. Louis, Missouri. The 170 passengers applauded after Holly introduced her daughter as her co-pilot.

Holly Petitt's journey

Holly Pettitt, the mother and captain of the plane started as a flight attendant right out of college. After spending so much time on airplanes, she realized she wanted to learn to fly them. After training, certifications, and flight lessons, Holly’s dream became a reality.

Holly summarized her dream as one coming true. She said, "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.” 

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Southwest Airlines first Mother/Daughter Pilot duo, Keely and Holly Petitt |Photograph by Schelly Stone

Keely Petitt's journey

Keely is the oldest of Holly's three children. She and her two siblings were always around airplanes with their mom. She said she became interested in flying a plane when she was 14 years old after she took a discovery flight. After she got her pilot’s license, she knew she wanted to fly with her mother someday on Southwest Airlines.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines welcomes the mother-daughter duo and posted a video on Instagram of them preparing for their flight. The video has been seen over 34K times.

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I love pop culture, movies, television, and entertainment. I keep up to date on the latest movies and television shows. I like sharing news about them. I also like sharing information about different foods and their health benefits. I have been a high school teacher and a college professor for over 50 years and an online writer for over 30 years. I have three degrees: BA in English and Literature, MA in Christian Education, and MDiv in Theology. Get to know me through my writing.

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