Female teen pilot flies across country with new friend

Female pilots take cross-country flight

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Just over a month ago, 18-year-old Maci Minor and 36-year-old Lauren Puckett didn't know each other. The two are both from Charlotte but met for the first time at a flight school in Sacramento.

"It's just a coincidence, all of it's a coincidence it's really interesting," Lauren said about the chance meeting of her new friend.

Lauren got her pilot's license when she was 35, the relatively much more experienced Maci has been flying since she was 15. The two met at the school and formed a bond over aviation. They formed a life-long friendship over the 21 hour flight they made in a tiny airplane together.

"We sang, we talked, I have a People magazine in there I would read to her," Maci said motioning to the tiny cockpit of the Cessna 172 airplane they made the journey in.

The two flew thousands of miles over a three-day span. They took turns piloting the airplane for more than 21 hours of actual flight.

"She has much more experience flying," Lauren said."And she also has that curve of having a different level of confidence because she started flying at 15."

Lauren said the two complement each other very well because Lauren is the more motherly of the two because she has two young daughters.

Maci and Lauren left Sacramento on Friday and landed at the Monroe airport on Sunday night after flying across the entire country, including the Rocky Mountains.

Maci's Mom, Mica, watched the whole flight path live on an app on her iPhone.

"When I was tracking them flying over the Rockies and they're flying at a high altitude and they're flying into weather, I could see enough and know enough that it made me really, really nervous," Mica said.

Her husband, Maci's dad, is a commercial pilot.

With one mother on the ground waiting in Monroe, and one in the cockpit with her, Maci did something not many teenagers get to do.

"I think it's humbling because you learn so much. Every time you fly you learn 10 new things," Maci said of the journey she hopes to make again soon.

The two plan on being flying buddies for life with their new flight plan hopefully taking them to the Bahamas for a little vacation.

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