The Sky is the Limit

Senior pursues career in aviation

Senior Jesse Minton signals for an airplane at the Greenwood Airport. Photo contributed

Senior Jesse Minton signals for an airplane at the Greenwood Airport. Photo contributed

Finn Nowacki, Website Editor

For most seniors, the final year of high school can be the last chance to find themselves. Some students decide to be doctors, lawyers, teachers or any other variety of career. Senior Jesse Minton, on the other hand, pictures himself up in the sky.

Minton has seen himself following a career in aviation since as long ago as elementary school.

“The first real memory of me getting interested in aviation was Christmas in late elementary school or early middle school. I was talking to my uncle who used to be an airforce fighter pilot actually and then he moved on to being an airforce instructor and then after that a captain for FedEx,” Minton said. “He just started talking to me that day at Christmas dinner and told me I should watch the movie ‘Top Gun,’ and I watched that that night and got super interested in it. That’s just kinda where my passion for it started.”

Freshman year in Keystone, Minton received the opportunity to job shadow at the Greenwood airport, an experience that would set him up well for a future in the aviation industry.

“When I was in Keystone and we had the job shadow assignment, I job shadowed at the Greenwood airport for a day my freshman year. That’s how I initially made the connections there, but as of more recently I got accepted into the work-based learning class at C9 and since my junior year I took the aviation class at C9,” Minton said. “My internship for the work-based learning class was aviation related and just so happened to be at the Greenwood Airport.”

From his experience in aviation, Minton received the opportunity to work as a line technician at the Greenwood Airport, a role that has him wearing a lot of hats.

“At an airport as small as the Greenwood airport, [line technicians] pretty much do everything, from refueling planes to marshaling in the bigger jets when they come in to land to pulling planes in and out of the hangar with the tug when they need to be moved around. Even the small menial jobs like taking out the trash and cleaning the bathroom; they just really do pretty much everything to keep the airport up and running.” Minton said.

While he has been at the Greenwood Airport in some capacity for some time, Minton’s new role at the airport has given him a lot more opportunities.

“I’ve been working at the airport only a couple weeks now but I’ve been interning there since the beginning of the school year. A lot of the jobs I’m doing now I was already doing as an intern but some of the things like actually fueling the planes moving them around with the tug I wasn’t able to do as an intern but I can do now that I’m actually employed there,” Minton said.

Being on line crew is not only an interesting job for Minton right now, but is also giving him valuable experience for the future.

“I definitely think I’m getting some really good career experience even though I don’t plan on being a line technician far out into the future. It’s definitely getting me better acquainted with the aviation community,” Minton said. “Allowing me to make connections and just learn more about the aviation industry in general that will hopefully benefit me in my endeavors to be a pilot in the future.”

For that future, Minton has aspirations in aviation, both short and long term.

“Long term goals, where do you see yourself in 20 years or whatever, I would love to be an airforce pilot. Right now I plan to hopefully go to college and do Air Force ROTC and get commissioned into the Air Force and move on to pilot training,” Minton said. “In the short term I’m working on getting my private pilot’s license right now and just being around the aviation industry and knowing things that I have to know as a line technician help with things I need to know for being a private pilot.”