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National Association Honors Williams Pilot

Staff Reports

The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) has named Williams pilot Anthony Hurst to it’s Top 40 under 40 list for 2020.

The award recognizes talented young people who are driving meaningful change and big results across all segments of business aviation.

Hurst was nominated by Nick Verdea, director of aviation for Williams, who says Hurst exemplifies professionalism and passion for his profession as an aviator. 

Anthony Hurst, right, was named to the NBAA Top 40 under 40 list and was nominated by Nick Verdea, left, director of aviation.

“Anthony consistently goes above the call of duty. In addition to being an excellent aviator, Anthony has led the Williams flight department’s transition to a paperless cockpit system, as well as the department’s record-keeping system,” Verdea said.

Hurst joined Williams four years ago and previously worked as a charter jet pilot and pilot for American Eagle.

The Tulsa native says he been interested in aviation his whole life as both parents worked for American Airlines’ maintenance facility.

Still, he said he was afraid to fly his first time at age 12. “But when I walked in and looked in the cockpit and saw all of the gadgets, dials and buttons, I was fascinated and wanted to know more.”

Only four years later, he was flying solo, and at age 17, got his pilot’s license.

Hurst said working at Williams has been rewarding. In addition to being one of six pilots flying two Citation X jets, he has managed the pilot training program and transitioned the department into a paperless system that modernized record keeping with more real-time data.

Additionally, he mentors youth also interested in careers in aviation and conducts mock interviews with Tulsa Technology Center students.

“I had a lot of mentors when I was a kid,” he said. “Most were American Airlines pilots who took me under their wing. It feels good to give back.”

He says the thrill of being a pilot never gets old.

“I’ll never stop getting excited when I pull onto the runway and feel that initial acceleration that says we are going somewhere.”