Twenty-five year old Hunter Maxwell is a private pilot, and currently training to be a reserve pilot with the US Air Force. Given that Maxwell’s grandfather, father, and aunt all worked in aviation, you might assume he has long wanted to follow in their footsteps. However, it wasn’t until college that he decided on becoming a pilot, only then turning to his aunt, a corporate pilot and certified flight instructor, to train him for his private pilot license.
When asked what kick started the long process of becoming a USAF reserve pilot, Maxwell credited Fly for the Culture as a catalyst and source of guidance. It all started when he responded to a Fly for the Culture post on Instagram, inviting those interested in being an Air Force pilot to send a direct message. It was just a few weeks later when Hunter received a call back from the unit for a meeting, followed by a formal interview during which he was officially hired.
The man behind Fly for the Culture, Courtland Savage, says he made the post because he knew the Air Force needed pilots and wanted to use his own experience to help others.
“Hunter responded with keen interest, along with 115 hours experience, a degree, and successful completion of the Air Force Officer qualifying test. He already had all the pieces to the puzzle, I just helped him put it together.”
As for what Hunter Maxwell would do differently if he could go back and change one thing about his aviation journey? Well, as a firm believer in everything happening for a reason, he wouldn’t change much except perhaps getting an earlier start.
“The Air Force has certain minimums which kind of prevent you from starting too early, but on the private [pilot] side, I would say to start as soon as you think you’re mature enough,” Maxwell says.
When asked for his best piece of advice, Maxwell advises aspiring aviators not to take no for an answer, stating that “the amount of times I was told no for various reasons, like poor eye sight, is enough to make anyone want to quit and question themselves – but stick with it and it will all be worth it in the end.”