Two Pilots, One Home: Ryan and Kat Pullis

Ryan and Kat Pullis, both captains at Virgin America, met in Hawaii 17 years ago when Kat showed up to flight training with Ryan as the instructor. Three months into their budding relationship came the first airline-related roadblock: Ryan got his first airline job, entering the duo into a long-distance relationship. “Some initial challenges were learning the life of an airline pilot and the crazy schedules that come with that,” Ryan admits. “Also, learning how to cope with the trust issues that come with the career and distance.”

 Kat soon followed into the airline industry, and they learned that trust was still a top issue, especially with the varying schedules and time apart. “Once we both learned that we need to be completely honest about what we do when we are apart,” explains Kat, “and also how to make the other person feel completely loved, trust was no longer an issue.”

The two enjoyed the perks of the job early on; “We could just up and go anywhere in the world,” says Ryan. But they also ran into one of the challenges early on, too, and met it headfirst. “Our career paths may have been different if we weren’t married to another pilot,” says Kat. “We were constantly working toward being based in the same city because if you don’t have to commute, you have more time together.”

To learn more about the sacrifices made, challenges met, and opportunities enjoyed by Kat and Ryan and five other married pilot couples that spoke to us, read: Love is in the Air: When Pilots Marry Pilots.


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