The following article originally appeared in the Fall 2022 edition of Hamptonia. View the full magazine online.
It’s my own world up there. It’s quiet. I control it. Up there, I have control over my entire life. – Cam Hayward ’23
The butterflies never go away, but the focus shifts to doing the job than fear of something terrible happening. – Harry Meehan ’22
Planes make the world smaller. – Ethan Seeler ’23
These are the words of Cam Hayward, Harry Meehan, and Ethan Seeler—the pilots in our midst.
“What do you want to do when you grow up?” For many, it might take 20 years to answer that question. Meehan, Seeler, and Hayward are not interested in waiting or fantasizing about a day in the distant future. They all wanted to become pilots, and all three are actively living those pursuits by learning to fly right now. Seeler and Meehan earned their private pilot’s licenses in the last year, and Hayward is currently racking up the hours he needs in the cockpit to attain his. It takes a certain kind of person to do something requiring so much bravery and skill at such a young age. It’s that bravery, skill, and a whole lot of drive and ambition that has lifted them so high as New Hampton students.
These three have had to learn to manage time exceptionally efficiently. Between classes, co-curriculars, and homework, it’s intensive enough to be a New Hampton student. And yet, they create time to study the physics of lift and drag, prepare for written tests, and fly planes with their instructors on weekends.
Meehan’s mom and dad are both pilots. They met at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas, while they were instructor pilots for the Air Force. Seeler’s father has owned planes his whole life and started teaching his son to fly when he was 15. Hayward also feels the call to fly in his blood, and he’s a lucky guy to have Seeler as a best friend. The two have been going to air shows together since they were kids, and Mr. Seeler is his flight instructor. Meehan is off to Bridgewater State University this fall to study aviation. Seeler and Hayward will be back in New Hampton for their senior years. Meehan plans to become a commercial pilot like his parents: his mother flies for American Airlines, and his father for JetBlue. He’s also considering joining the National Guard. Seeler and Hayward don’t yet know what life after New Hampton will hold for them, as Seeler considers pathways in engineering or aviation, but they both know that flying will always be a vital part of their lives. There are as many unique stories, passions, and skill sets on our campus as there are students, and you never know who might be sitting next to you in the dining hall, class, or dorm room down the hall. For Cam, Harry, and Ethan, the stories, passions, and skillsets all involve flying, and they’ve got the right stuff to do it!