Ava Seccuro staff writer
When he was 5-years-old, senior Jacob Fox flew in a plane for the first time. The pilot invited him into the cockpit at the end of the flight. Almost immediately, this experience planted a seed in his conscience that soon blossomed into a lifelong ambition. Fox, now 17-years-old, is fulfilling this dream as he trains to earn his private pilot license.
“That basically just kicked off [my thoughts of]…‘I want to get my private pilot license, I want to be a pilot, no matter what it takes.’ I realized that this is something I definitely want to do for a living,” Fox said.
His dreams combined with a high regard for service members influenced Fox’s consideration to become an aviator for the U.S Marines Corps.
“Ever since I was younger, I’ve always had a huge respect for anybody who served in the military, and that’s just something I want to do as well,” Fox said. “I also love this country no matter what’s going on so that’s another major factor in deciding if [this] is something I really want to do.”
Fox will let nothing thwart his ambitions of becoming a pilot because of his dedication to aviation and his love of the military. He is committed to serving his country regardless of its leadership.
“If I want to be in the military, I’m not going to let a president, or a president that most people don’t like, affect the path I want to choose,” Fox said. “I’m not going to let anybody else dictate whether I want to do that [or not].”
Although Jacob’s father, Steve Fox, is mostly supportive, he claims that the family is still in the investigating process.
“I support him, [but] we have concerns…He’s still going to go to college, but he’s considering joining the reserves to learn about the military and to get the benefits of being a part of something that’s important,” Steve said. “We still have a way to go before we reach a final decision…he can decide in two or three years if he wants to take a path of going to the military or looking for a private airline.”
Jacob is a part of the Kitty Hawk Squadron 3 flight group based out of Van Nuys, and flight instructor Jeff Muir preaches of Jacob’s devoted pursuit of to earn his private pilot license. Regardless of the “strictly mentor” relationship Muir and Fox share, Muir believes that Fox is astute enough to tackle anything in the world of aviation.
“Of the kids that have entered this explorer program, maybe 10 percent of those that I give an introductory flight to end up going all the way through the program, and Jacob is in that 10 percent,” Muir said. “He’s very passionate about pursuing [flight]…he’s been an excellent student and [he’s] soaked up the information like a sponge.”
Jacob consistently flies at least once a month; however, that is still not as often as he would like. He plans to complete all of his requirements for his private pilot license by January 2019.
“He’s a really dedicated kid…We found a good flying group up in the valley and he’s got a few more hours [left to complete] before he can take the FAA test. He’s really focused and committed in following this passion of his,” Steve said. “He somehow got the bug and I’ve been able to foster [it by giving him] lessons…It’s a nice journey to watch.”
Despite Jacob’s interest in becoming a pilot, aviation is more so a lifestyle and a way for him release his internal stress. No matter how Fox decides to incorporate flight into his future he will always fly for its euphoria more than anything.
“There’s a whole bunch of emotions…it’s like a whole bunch of relief. If I’ve been stressed out or my week has been stressful, I go flying and it calms me down and resets my week,” Jacob said. “It’s more of a spiritual feeling…just a sense of calmness…It’s a crazy experience every time I fly.”
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