Minnesota woman becomes her family's fourth-generation pilot

Addy Randt, 18, of Glenwood, Minnesota, hopes to join her mom, Captain Michal Randt of Delta Airlines, in the cockpit as a mother-daughter aviation duo.

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Addy Randt, 18, of Glenwood, earned her private pilot's license in July of 2022
Contributed photo

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. — Addy Randt was born to fly. Her mother is a pilot, her grandfather was a pilot and even her great-grandfather was known to mosey through the sky.

In July of 2022, Randt, 18, of Glenwood, Minnesota, completed all the necessary training to earn a private pilot's license. Now, she is soaring through altitudes at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana, to earn a degree in aviation. Her dream: To join her mom, Captain Michal Randt of Delta Airlines, in the cockpit as a mother-daughter aviation duo.

For both of them, flying is more than a hobby or a career, it's a lifestyle. It's their passion and it runs in their blood.

"Growing up around airplanes and having that opportunity — it just was a part of our family, a part of who we were," Michal Randt said. "It's been really special. I feel very blessed to have grown up with an aviation background."

It started with Grant Hustad Sr. — Addy's great-grandfather who began flying in 1947. While Hustad flew only for fun, it was Grant Hustad Jr. who was able to make it his business.


"He was the one that really did a lot with aviation. I think he flew for over 50 years," Randt said. "And, he's the one that really got us all into flying."

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Grant Hustad Jr., left, and his daughter Michal Randt fly her newly purchased airplane from Milwaukee back to Glenwood.
Contributed photo

Hustad Jr. inherited Consolidated Ag Service — a farm equipment business — from his father. After taking over, he implemented airplanes into the business. Beyond that, he made it a livelihood. Instead of Griwsold-style style road trips, Hustad Jr. would take his family on trips via his personal plane.

"We took many family vacations over the years," Randt said. "The Bahamas, Key West, all over the U.S. Ski trips every year."

She added that when she first started pursuing her own pilot's license, she was able to rack up her required hours thanks to her father and the trips they would take. Randt has flown for Delta for the last 12 years. Her career as a pilot started in 1998 with Northwest Airlines. She said her favorite thing about flying is connecting people to their adventures and seeing the world.

And like her father to her, she passed the love of flying to her daughter, Addy.

In 2020, at age 16, Addy took her first solo flight. Over the next two years, she completed her mandated 40 hours of flight time and earned her license in July 2022.

"I always knew I wanted to be a pilot," said Addy, who feels very confident in the sky due to her family's background.

"It was so exciting for us to get there and just know she was up there by herself, flying an airplane... It was truly incredible," said Michal. "We're so proud of her."


Addy says she was inspired by the stories her mom would tell her, from flying over mountain tops, watching the sun rise and set from the sky and exploring different areas during layovers. And also her grandfather, who continued the family traditions with his grandchildren by taking them on flights and vacations as he did with his own children.

Both Addy and Michal's favorite memories of flying are with Hustad Jr.

For Addy, it was when they practiced "stalls" — when the lift no longer supports the airplane's weight, and it begins to sink.

"I've never done them before so I didn't fully let it develop and he's like, 'You need to be more aggressive with it,'" said Addy with a reminiscent smile. "That was a pretty cool fight."

For Michal, it was when she and her dad flew her newly purchased plane back from Milwaukee together.

"It just brought me back to when I was 16," Michal said as tears welled. "That is one of my favorite memories."

Hustad Jr. died on Monday, March 15, 2021, in a plane accident in Pembroke Pines, Florida.

"We have found encouragement and inspiration in his life and the incredible legacy he left," said Michal. "He supported me and my girls (and many others) to pursue their passions and dreams, in aviation or wherever they feel called. I know my dad is smiling down on us giving us the thumbs up."


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Addy Randt, left, and her mother, Michal, pose in the cockpit of Michal's Airbus A320.
Contributed photo.

With Addy taking more and more steps to continue her family's aviation legacy, she says she hopes to end up side by side with her mom, high in the sky, and inspiring the next generation of women pilots.

"My dream is to fly with my mom," she said. "Now that she's captain, I'd like to be her first officer."

Addy is expected to graduate from Rocky Mountain College with a bachelor of science in aeronautical science in 2026.

Michal said she hopes to see the family tradition continue for "many generations to come."

Thalen Zimmerman of Alexandria joined the Echo Press team as a full-time reporter in Aug. 2021, after graduating from Bemidji State University with a bachelor of science degree in mass communication in May of 2021.
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