Married Pilots

News
Monday, October 11, 2010 - 9:29am

Love is in the air for this working couple.

One couple knows what it's like to work in close quarters with your spouse, but theirs is no office romance.

It's been ten years since these two American Airlines pilots have flown the friendly skies together.

Pilot Lauren Canatella says "I was excited and anxious about it and everything and it felt a little awkward at first I think and then we kind of settled into, 'Well, we're just doing our job here.'"

They've known each other since 1976.

Lauren says "He sat next to me, or behind me in our first aviation class in college so we became friends and we stayed friends."

Pilot Mike Canatella says "she actually was my flight instructor for awhile."

They're more than colleagues. You could say they're best friends.

Mike says "when we come home, she knows to probably to leave me alone for just a little while."

That's because when they fly, love is in the air.

Lauren says "we make it look easy, I think, but it's not easy especially when you have kids."

Lauren and Mike Canatella are part of a very unique group. Married pilots, working for American Airlines.

Lauren says "I would not change a thing."

Mike started at American first.

Mike says "it was in 1986 and I was in the Guard unit down in New Orleans and a lot of the guys were American pilots and they talked me into coming over."

Followed years later by Lauren.

Lauren says "we had three children so somebody, he was in the Guard and at American so somebody kind of had to hang back for a little bit, for a little while."

Now their children are all grown up. Their youngest son determined to make aviation a family affair.

Mike says "Michael Junior is down at TSDC in Waco and he's got his private and is working on his commercial and instrument and is doing real well."

So next time you fly American, don't be surprised if your captain and first officer are Canatella and Canatella.

Mike says "come take a ride with us."

It's sure to be a bird's eye view into their little family business.

Out of the 8,000 pilots flying for American right now, only a handful are married to each other.

Before 1998, married pilots were not allowed to fly together.
 

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