It’s an all too common story in the airline business; father is a pilot, son wants to be like father, son becomes a pilot too.
But Brendon and Derek Buxton are a rare find that has flipped this familiar tale upside down. Brendon works as a Captain for British Airways, and his father Derek followed in his footsteps and became cabin crew for the same airline when he was 60-year-old, and the two recently got the chance to operate together on the same flight.
Brendon made his career choice at the tender age of 4 after taking his first-ever flight with British Airways to Malta. In 2016 he achieved his childhood goal and became a pilot for the UK’s flag carrier.
Derek had a successful career in criminal law, but according to an article in The Sun, he had a change of heart and career late in life. In 2018 he was inspired by the cabin crew on a flight to Kuala Lumpur, and at an age most are gearing up for retirement, he started a new career in aviation. “Many people are surprised to hear that I only started this job at 60,” he told The Sun. “But I have never looked back, and I feel so honoured to be part of British Airways.”
A few years after earning his wings, something extraordinary happened for Derek. He was scheduled a flight where he was under the command of his son. What made the flight even more unique, the father-son team operated the same flight to Malta that inspired Brendon 35 years before. “It was quite a fitting flight. En route to Malta, I remembered that my first flight as a child was to Malta at the age of four – and that was when I decided that I wanted to be a pilot,” Brendon said. “It was fantastic to have my dad on board to share the experience.”
That experience was an extraordinary moment for Derek, too. “Never did I imagine I’d witness Brendon take off and land with the controls at his fingers, or hear his announcements over the PA. I couldn’t contain my excitement, and the customers on board loved hearing about our story.”
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