Feature Story

Father and daughter bond while building airplanes

She’s determined and has an eye for detail. Natalie Anderson is confident in her abilities as an exterior sealer working on 777 airplanes. The job takes her up high in a scissor lift to apply sealant to exterior surfaces on the aircraft.

“I think I do a pretty good job,” she said. “I’ve been trained well and I have good role models to look up to.”

One of those role models is someone close to her heart -- her dad. David Anderson has worked at Boeing for 26 years. Natalie remembers coming to Family Day gatherings as a child and seeing how proud her father was as a mechanic building the very first 777.

“I’ve been an aircraft nut my whole life,” said David. “I built model airplanes when I was a kid and now I’m building the life-size ones. It’s a great job.”

Her dad’s commitment to airplanes and positive experiences at Boeing left an impression on Natalie. Five years ago she landed a job at the company and found herself working on 777s with her father.

“She did this all on her own,” David is quick to point out. “I didn’t push her, but it’s really nice how it worked out.”

Natalie doesn’t take for granted the time she spends with her dad. David’s time serving overseas in the military, in tense situations, taught her that.

“When he was in Iraq, you don’t know if you will get that time again, so it makes it all the more special that we get to see each other at work,” she said. “I cherish each and every moment.”

David has since moved from the 777 Program into composite work and doesn’t see his daughter as often as he used to. When their schedules permit they catch up over coffee during breaks.

“He has such a great reputation here. I would hate for it to not show up in my work,” Natalie said. “I want to make him proud.”

David beamed in response: “She does make me proud. She has a great work ethic and it’s just a pleasure to be her dad and her friend.”