His real-life experiences translate well to online entertainment and continue to grow in popularity as he works to inspire the next generation of diverse, aspiring pilots.
Williams works full-time as a maintenance instructor on the Boeing 737NG with Delta Air Lines. He’s also a commercial pilot who enjoys buzzing around the Atlanta area in his Beechcraft Musketeer. He recently became a proud first-time daddy to son Ace Leonard Williams. And he's working to earn his flight instructor certificate while juggling his young family and demanding aviation goals.
His engaging, authentic content documents his everyday life and general aviation flying adventures from taking on spin training and a tailwheel endorsement to brushing up on his aerobatics and instrument skills. His adventures are even better in real life as Williams describes that he is currently, “living out his dreams,” as a GA pilot on his journey to 1,500 hours.
AOPA reached out to Williams to find out what motivates and inspires him, and where his followers can expect to see his journey take him.
I was introduced to aviation when I was really young. My aunt used to take me to JFK airport, and we would watch planes take off for hours! As I got older, I ended up going to Aviation High School in Long Island City in Queens, New York. When I graduated, I earned my A&P Certificate and that catapulted my career!
The freedom and the networking possibilities. I can wake up on a Saturday or Sunday morning and fly to go meet friends for breakfast at Peach State Aerodrome here in Georgia. I’ve made so many friends and connections through social media and just flying around, it’s very exciting!
I’m currently a maintenance instructor on the B737NG at Delta Air Lines. I love it! I get to teach maintenance technicians about the aircraft from nose to tail. It’s a very gratifying job and I have zero complaints! Prior to this, I was an interior technician, then got promoted to line maintenance. I also worked as a maintenance control center analyst on the B737NG and the B757. I’ve learned so much over my 13 years with this airline.
I struggle with this question daily. I’ve thought about becoming an airline pilot, but I’ve also considered becoming a CFI so I can pass along everything I know to the next generation of GA pilots. I’ve also considered exploring becoming an aerobatic pilot and entering competitions with the goal of performing in airshows! My goals change daily, but my main focus is to continue flying as much as I can, working toward accumulating 1,500 hours.
I’m proud of grabbing the bull by the horns and earning my private pilot certificate because it gave me the passion to keep going even further! That was the spark that ignited my fire. Now I just want it all!
I don’t really think of myself as a social media influencer. I just look at it as doing what I love! Sharing my passion with others has been a blessing. Inspiring others to get out there and get involved in aviation gives me a purpose. I get multiple messages from my followers who are taking discovery flights, enrolling in flight and maintenance schools, and are just curious about the industry in general. To me that is what it’s all about, PAYING IT FORWARD!
I mostly enjoy meeting all the different personalities throughout the industry. No one is the same out there and that’s what makes it so interesting for me. Also, you can learn so much out there from some veterans with incredible stories to tell.
The financial challenge was the biggest obstacle for me, as it may be for others as well. You really have to be focused and smart about all of your decisions. If flying is what you want to do, you’ll eventually figure it out. I was blessed enough to have access to some residual income from real estate investments I made in my early 20s to help soften the blow of paying for flight hours.
I definitely feel that there aren’t enough people of color in this industry. I believe that is due to the lack of generational wealth and unfamiliarity with the aviation industry. That is why representation is very important to me! Some might find this hard to believe, but I still get messages from people saying, “I’ve never seen a black pilot.” That’s unfortunate considering it’s 2020! There are a lot of kids that don’t even know that becoming a pilot is a real possibility for anyone determined enough.
My advice is do it for the love of aviation and enjoy it! There is a lot to explore and appreciate out there! If you’re in a pinch financially, seek out scholarship opportunities. There is a lot of money out there that is available to passionate aviators, that many people miss out on! And take every opportunity to fly as many airplanes as you can. It’s so much fun. Flying has given me a space to be free. In those moments that I am flying, absolutely nothing matters to me except for the task at hand. It’s my escape!