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UPS Pilots Make U.S. Aviation History

For some sons, a seven-day trip across the country and back with their mother might sound like a drag. For UPS A300 First Officer Nick Donner and his mom, Capt. Terri Donner, it was a part of aviation history. The Donners became the first mother/son flight crew to fly together for a major US airline when they departed Worldport for Lubbock, Texas, June 29. “It’s been an absolute dream come true to see him fly for UPS,” Terri said. “And once things started to fall into place for us to fly together, it was very exciting.” It wasn’t the first time they’d been in the air together. Far from it, in fact. Between small planes and the family’s hot air balloons, which Nick and his brothers race competitively, the Donners are a family of flight. “I’ve been flying and around airplanes my whole life,” he said. “Mom was obviously a big part of that, taking me up in small planes when I was young and things like that. So as far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a pilot.” Well, almost as long as he can remember, according to his mom. Terri has been a member of several women pilot organizations since she was 18 years old, and her kids have attended the monthly meetings since they were infants. “When Nick was about five years old, one of the sweet little old ladies asked him if he was going to be a pilot like his mom when he grew up,” Terri said. How did Nick answer? “I said ‘No way. That’s girl stuff,’ because I had grown up so much around women pilots.” He eventually came around, and four months ago became a UPS crewmember on the A300, setting up the possibility they could fly together. When Terri saw an open trip alongside Nick, she jumped at the opportunity and switched from day to night flying to make it happen. Despite their experience in the air together, the historical significance of this flight made it different – at least until they got in the plane. That’s when Mom and Nick became Capt. and FO Donner, running through pre-flight checks and procedures like any crew would, and landing safely in Lubbock before heading to El Paso, Texas. Terri said her son did a great job, which came as no surprise to her. “Nick is an outstanding pilot. UPS did a great job training him and had him up to standards like everyone else,” she said. “He kept me on my toes. I learned a couple of things, and I think I even taught him a thing or two.” It didn’t take long after landing for them to turn back into mom and son, though, as Nick spent the ride from the gateway to the crew hotel patiently helping Terri share a local news story about the pair on social media. It’s just one way to show how proud she is of her son and their history-making flight. “This is really special for her,” Nick said. “It’s special for me because I’m her son, but it’s really her accomplishments that made this all happen.” While Terri is nearing retirement and Nick is just beginning his UPS career, there’s still a little more history he’d like to check off for the two: “I want to fly with mom – with me in the captain’s seat – before she retires.”
via Youtube at https://youtu.be/t_7srCasnu4

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