Aviation—like much of the travel industry—remains a male-dominated space. Even in 2019, female pilots still only account for an estimated 4.4 percent (or 6,994) of commercial pilots in the US and UK, according to the Centre for Aviation.
Recently, aviation history was made when passenger Dr. John Watrel learned that the duo piloting his Delta Boeing 757 flight was, in fact, a mother and daughter.
Captain Wendy Rexon and her first-officer daughter, Kelly Rexon, are the first mother and daughter pair in history to pilot a commercial flight together. As it ends up, flying is a family business when it comes to the Rexons.
Wendy and her two daughters are airline pilots along with Wendy’s husband, who is a pilot for American Airlines. Wendy and daughter, Kelly Rexon, first flew together on a flight out of New York’s JFK airport. Their first flight proved eventful as the pair was confronted with smokes and fumes in the cockpit.
Despite unforeseen complications, the women landed the flight safely in Los Angeles in what would be Wendy’s first time witnessing her daughter handle an emergency landing. “She was fantastic,” Wendy recalled. “It was a difficult situation that was made easier because of training and because of her competence.”.