Meet Delta’s First Mother and Daughter Airline Pilots: flying is a family affair.


Piloting is a family business for a mother and her two daughters at Delta: Kelly Jacobson is scrutinizing nearly every external inch of her 200,000-pound aircraft through the heavy aviator sunglasses she wears with her Delta Air Lines outfit on a hot Los Angeles afternoon. She’ll be flying the Boeing 757 with a pilot with whom she’s spent a lot of time outside the cockpit. Several families are gathering their belongings inside the terminal in anticipation of the more than three-hour journey to Atlanta. The pilots have attached fresh plastic wings to some of the children’s blouses as a gift.

Kate Dixon, who is also a Delta pilot, flies the airline’s Airbus A320, making flying the “family business.” Wendy’s oldest daughter, Kelly, told ABC News, “We would run around in their captain hats and have fun like small kids and go on their adventures with them.” “I started flying when I was 16, and I had the honor of being Kate’s instructor and she was my first student.”

“Kelly was my professor. She was my instructor, and I didn’t treat her like a sister because, well, she wasn’t at the time “Kate was the one who responded. “She was my instructor, and I believe that helped both of us grow.” Kate, the youngest daughter, admitted that she “dabbled” in different careers before falling in love with aviation.
A Rexon trip was unlike any other. Kate and Kelly donned the figurative captain’s hat at an altitude of several thousand feet at an age when many parents wouldn’t dream of letting teens drive on a long road trip.

“We go on holidays in little airplanes when Kate and I were building time in little airplanes, and mum and dad are in the rear seat,” Kelly explained, her mother and former flight instructor sitting next to her. Wendy says, seeing the possibility for her kids as a safer alternative to other temptations. However, not many young women are born into a family of pilots. Wendy’s spouse is an American Airlines pilot, and she began flying at the age of 16. It’s no secret that female pilots are in scant supply on American carriers. According to data from the Federal Aviation Administration from 2017, only 7% of pilots are female.

Wendy and Kelly first flew professionally together in February on a flight out of John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, and the journey didn’t go precisely as planned because of “an unexpected twist.” The jet was taking off towards Los Angeles when smoke and fumes appeared in the cockpit, which is not an uncommon occurrence but necessitates a diversion before the situation worsens.

Wendy and Kelly made the decision to fly back to JFK. On-air traffic control audio obtained by ABC News via, Kelly is heard telling the JFK control tower, “Delta 1975, we’re going to stop on the runway, we need them to come to check us out, there’s no smoke in the cabin, but there’s smoke in the cockpit, we’re going to open the windows.” The plane landed safely, and the passengers were transported to Los Angeles, but Wendy was witnessing her daughter make an emergency landing for the first time.

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Video resource: aviatrix99

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