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.”

Derek was inspired by BA cabin crew to get his wings at age 60 (Photo from 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.”

Photo by British Airways

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.”

Do you have an inspiring aviation story to tell? We would love to hear it. Please send us an email to AFlyGuyTravels@internationalflyguy


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