Love Is In the Air! Married Couple Who Pilot Flights Together
Some couples find that sharing a workplace places a strain on their relationship.
But for pilots Quinn, 31, and Megan Hutchinson, 27, from Johannesburg, things couldn't be better.
Quinn and Megan Hutchinson regularly share the cockpit for flights with regional airline, Airlink, and say their mutual love for flying and the decision making involved has only strengthened their relationship.
'We both met each other at a flight school called 43 Advanced Training College at Lanseria International Airport,' Mr Hutchinson told Daily Mail.
'Megan had left the airforce and was working as a course coordinator behind the front desk while she was studying for her Commercial Pilots Licence, and I was working at a local charter company.
'I had finally gotten a loan from the bank to finish the last part of my CPL and we basically just starting talking from there as friends. I was not interested in any relationships because all I wanted to do was finish my licence and find work so I could fly.'
Mr Hutchinson said they kept in contact roughly once a year to wish each other a happy birthday but they ended up catching up again when Mrs Hutchinson was on contract in Ghana and he, in Zambia.
Flying with someone you care about, and doing something you both love with each other is a feeling that's difficult to describe.
'She messaged me to tell she was bringing coffee to my house because I loved different coffees. We then met for lunch at a restaurant in Johannesburg and that's basically where it all started,' he said.
'So you can say that coffee and red wine brought us together and the rest is history.'
Initially, the pair didn't see each other much as Mrs Hutchinson was in Yemen for two years on contract and Mr Hutchinson was in either in Zambia, Zimbabwe or Malawi on contract - the couple only seeing each other for 84 days out of the year.
But when a truck bomb went off near Mrs Hutchinson's compound in Afghanistan in 2013, she decided it wasn't worth the salary anymore and moved back to South Africa where she started working at the same airline as her beau.
'We ended up starting on the same day and even on the same aircraft and course together, so we sat next to each other in the classroom. Again, it was just excellent experiencing all of that airline training together,' Mr Hutchinson said.
The first time the couple flew together was to the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2014.
'It was unreal. Flying with someone you care about, and doing something you both love with each other is a feeling that's difficult to describe,' Mr Hutchinson said, who married Mrs Hutchinson in 2015.
'It's only you two up front making decisions and planning your routes, fuel and weather planning. Since then we have come a long way and finally got to fly together for a great regional airline on a jet.'
We completely understand each other and what had to be done to get to where we both are.
Mr Hutchinson recently shared wrote about what it was like to join his wife in the flight deck for his first command flight.
'What most people see are two pilots in a flight deck, but today it is more than that. Today is a very special day,' he wrote on social media.
'Yes, I've just received my command at the airline I work for, but I also got to fly with my wife on my first command flight too, who is a senior first officer and an unbelievable pilot. I am so blessed to share the most precious moment of my career with the most precious and special woman in my life.'
Mr Hutchinson said the best part of flying with his wife is that each of them 'understand the complexity involved' in the industry.
Because it's such a diverse industry it's tough for relationships to survive as you are either away from each other a lot or a partner could have trust issues,' Mr Hutchinson said.
'It's easier for a person to be with someone when they are in an airline, especially when you are with that person from the beginning.'
Mr Hutchinson and his wife know what it's like to have to gain experience, get jobs to 'make ends meet' and finally, catch a break years later and get a good job.
'It's stressful and I think that's where myself and Megan know each other very well,' Mr Hutchinson said.
'Because we completely understand each other and what had to be done to get to where we both are it's very special. We not only know each other personally but we also know each other on a professional base. And it's a very solid base.'
The longest flight the pair have done together is six hours, and while both of them have flown overseas, they don't plan on doing long haul flying together anytime soon.
'For both of us I don't think long haul flying would work as we are actually expecting our first baby. So with a family now being on the way it'll be very difficult to do and be away from home - sometimes at the same time,' Mr Hutchinson said.
'Our regional airline works out perfectly for our lifestyle at the moment, and when things change we will just adjust our job accordingly.
'That's probably what's the most exciting part about this industry, if you work it well, it's such a diverse one and you can change it to suit your entire lifestyle. It's brilliant.'
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