Southwest Helps Woman With Down Syndrome Become a Pilot for a Day

A California woman with Down syndrome is quickly conquering the aviation industry.

With the help of retired Southwest Airlines captain Steve Snyder, Tracy Sharp became a pilot for a day during a three-hour journey from Sacramento International Airport on Wednesday, CBS Sacramento reported.

Snyder and his grinning co-pilot stopped in Willows, California for some lunch before returning to Sacramento, where the duo was met by fire crews for an extra special arrival. Sharp even got a chance to take the controls, calling it one of her best days ever.

Sharp’s cockpit debut was made possible by Southwest flight attendant Vicki Heath. The two met on a flight last year and became instant friends. In August 2018, Heath invited Sharp to be a flight attendant for a day on a Southwest flight. The low-cost carrier even featured her successful shift in its in-flight magazine.

Heath, who Sharp calls her “fairy godmother,” later reached out to Snyder to get her friend in the cockpit and the rest is history.

“You make me cry every time, Tracy. It’s a privilege to be your godmother. I love you! And, I’m so grateful you and I are best friends,” said Heath via CBS Sacramento.

Tracy called it one of her best days ever.

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