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This is your captain speaking… and his daughter, too: Cathay double-act are Asia's first

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 December, 2013, 5:54am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 December, 2013, 10:16am
 

Zoe Davies was walking on air yesterday after a lovely day out with her father - at the controls of a Cathay Pacific flight to Manila.

The 35-year-old was first officer while father Stuart, 64, was captain, making them probably the only father-and-daughter team flying commercial Boeing 747s in Asia.

"The cabin crew thought it was a joke when they saw we had the same surname and I said I was his daughter," said Zoe. "The only way to prove it was to give him a kiss."

Zoe was just nine months old when Stuart joined Cathay. Now, after 35 years with the company, he is preparing for retirement next July.

"When she was three years old, she just picked up my hat and put it on her head," he recalled. "I asked, 'What are you going to do when you grow up?' She said, 'I'm going to be a Cathay pilot'.

"She got a private licence first - nothing to do with me. Then she said she wanted to do it as a job, and I put her through a flying school, which was very expensive. But she stood by it and I'm very pleased. It's been worth every penny."

Zoe, who also trained at the British Royal Air Force's University Air Squadron, has been living her childhood dream for five years now.

She said: "I wasn't trying to follow my dad. I just think the job is good."

She swapped shifts with a colleague so she could pilot the return flight to the Philippines yesterday with her father. It was the second time the two of them had controlled a flight between them. On another occasion, they shared the duties with two colleagues on a long-haul flight.

Zoe said it was "a fun day out, spending time with Dad".

And she got the thumbs up from her captain yesterday, who praised her "nice landing" and "good sector" for the Manila-Hong Kong flight.

He added: "I like flying with her because it's the only time she has to call me 'captain' or 'sir'. She can't call me 'Dad'. That's not allowed."

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