This Mother’s Day weekend, Seattle-based First Officer Brandon Gretch shared a special moment with his Mom! She was thrilled to fly as a passenger with Compass Airlines for the very first time and was surprised to have her son as the co-pilot on her flight. Learn more about their unique experience below:
“Flying with my mom on board made me feel proud and happy! She was so excited, snapped a lot of pictures on the flight and kept her boarding pass as a souvenir,” Brandon said. “She was assigned a window seat, so she had the opportunity to see Mt. Rainier. It was her first time in the Pacific Northwest, and I was proud to make the landing extra soft.”
Brandon knew since the age of 13 that he wanted to become a pilot. After getting denied for his first-class medical due to a residual heart condition from an open-heart surgery he had when he was younger, Brandon thought his lifelong dream to become a pilot was over. However, his mother pushed him to move forward and carry on the pursuit to accomplish his aspirations.
“My mother convinced to me not to give up. We talked with my aviation medical examiner about appeal options and spent more than a year going back and forth to doctors’ appointments, improving conditions and completing tests,” Brandon said. “When I tested again, I scored in the 96th percentile and the FAA provided me with my first-class medical.”
Throughout his college years and flight training, Brandon remembers his mother always being supportive through good and difficult times, even when they were more than 2000 miles away from each other.
“My mother has always been my biggest supporter. Her being there along the way with me throughout my journey has made me the best pilot that I could be.” Brandon said.