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Max poses next to one of the aircraft he practiced flying in for his license.

Max poses next to one of the aircraft he practiced flying in for his license.

Max Symonds

Max Symonds

Max poses next to one of the aircraft he practiced flying in for his license.

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Senior Max Symonds has always had an admiration for all things aviation. Even as a young boy, he was fascinated by the sky, and it has stayed with him all throughout his life. And now, just as he’s about to be done with school and go off into the real world, he plans to follow the path of aviation to build his career.

At 12, Symonds came to the United States to fly for the first time in his life. In this introduction to flight, he discovered that he not only had a fascination with aviation, but an affinity for it, too. He spent the summer here learning about piloting due to the lower costs for such in the U.S. At the age of 16, he was finally eligible to fly solo for the first time. In doing so, he began the final, difficult training he would need to finish to obtain his license. He spent the next year training and preparing for the final tests he would need to take to finally earn his pilot’s license.

It wasn’t just flying for fun with an instructor, it was really training for it –a lot of hard work. I loved every single minute of it, but it was difficult and challenging at times.”

— Max Symonds

At last, at 17, he was old enough to to get his license. By then, he already had 87 hours of flight time, more than twice the required amount. He only needed to do a few specific flights before taking the final test and becoming a full-fledged qualified pilot.  

“By then I pretty much had all of my hours accounted for. You need forty, I have eighty-seven. But I just had to do one cross-country flight, another solo flight, and a flight at night, just a flight here and there,” Symonds said, “The test was a bit challenging but I came prepared and didn’t miss a single question nor did I mess up on any maneuver.”

Now, with his license in hand, Symonds looks to the future.

“The next step is to go to a flight academy, most likely in the UK,” Symonds said. “I won’t do any more training before that because the schools don’t want you having more than private pilot’s license so that they can groom you into the pilot the airlines want you to be. After 18 months in the academy I’ll find myself as a first officer for an airline. Hopefully for Air France or British Airways.”

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