Pilot Profile: Jon Payson
1. Where are you from?
2. How did you hear about ATC?
I was contacted by a pilot friend and former colleague who introduced me to Gary
3. What is something most people don’t know about you?
I was going to business school after college, but instead decided to enlist in the Marine Reserve. No regrets.
4. How long have you been a pilot?
I learned to fly more than 40 years ago.
5. What made you want to become a pilot?
I was 15 and my (first) girlfriend was taking flying lessons – her dad (also her instructor) took me up for an hour in a super-cub. The romance didn’t last but the flying bug certainly did.
6. Where is your favorite place to fly?
I am a regular at KPSM, formerly Pease AFB. They have a very forgiving 12,000-foot runway, full-featured instrument approaches, and very accommodating controllers.
8. Do you do Dream Flights? Discovery Flights? Cadet Flights?
With ATC, I have only done Discovery Flights.
9. What do you love most about being a Discovery Pilot?
I love flying and sharing the experience with young people, and it has given me a terrific opportunity to get to know a terrific young woman whom I never would have met otherwise.
10. Describe a typical Discovery Fly Day with your Discovery Flyer, Estebanya.
We’ve done a lot of different things, from checking out the whales off Providence to flying down the Charles River through Boston to touring Mount Washington from the air. Each trip we add a little more aviation – flying the plane, talking to the tower, basic navigation…
11. How do you think ATC is changing lives?
Our understanding of the world is very much a result of our experiences and interaction with others, and ATC marries some really differentiated experience with improbable connections between pilot and Flyer – consequently, our young Flyers discover new perspectives of their potential future lives.
12. Is there something I haven’t asked you that you would like to say about ATC?
The generosity of so many pilots, volunteers, donors, and sponsors is inspiring.
13. Describe ATC in one word
To learn more about the Discovery Flyer Program click here: https://abovethecloudskids.org/discovery-flyers/