Pilot with Pembroke Roots Flew President Biden, Other Public Figures
Devin Fuller says his dream of becoming a pilot began watching crop duster planes in Pembroke
PEMBROKE, Ga. (WTOC) -President Joe Biden has been in office for just under a month now, and one pilot with Pembroke roots had a special perspective on his inauguration.
Delvin Fuller makes his living flying celebrities, but his dream of becoming a pilot came from a much more humble start.
“It started as a little kid down in Georgia. In the South, there’s a lot of fields and farm fields, and I would always see crop dusters scooting around and about and I was fascinated with these airplanes,” Fuller said. “I actually started cutting out my grandmother’s shoeboxes and taking plastic bags, anything I could make to float or fly.”
Like childhood aspirations often do, becoming a pilot was put aside for other goals as time went on, although Fuller said the thought never left his mind. He was on scholarship as a saxophone player at Delaware State University when he realized he could no longer ignore the lifelong dream.
“While at Delaware State University, it was right next to a military base, so I continued to see airplanes flying over my head, which took my head out of music and back into aviation.”
He returned to Chicago to pursue an education in aviation. Fuller says the first flight was everything he had first dreamed it would be so many years ago.
“It’s magical. It’s that moment of leaving Earth and going into the sky, where all of my threats, troubles and worries literally were left behind, and I was in control.”
Now, as a charter pilot he flies stars and public figures nearly every day - most recently, the Biden family. Fuller served as their pilot from March of last year through the duration of President Biden’s campaign. He says the honor mostly had to do with being in the right place at the right time.
“We had to fill out all this security information and go through that whole process, and then were like, ‘Wow, we’re going to be with the Biden campaign,’ but that could’ve meant anything. We could’ve been a part of the press crew. We could’ve been a part of the PR crew or the camera crew. But lo and behold they liked the way our aircraft was outfitted interior wise. Thereafter, he would always say, ‘Thank you. Thank you for taking us here safely.‘ But once COVID hit, everyone was in masks. I mean they were very adamant. Yet still down to earth, casual, real people. I mean, who would know that our president loves chocolate chip cookies after dinner?”
Fuller says with all respect to President Biden, there’s no question who has been his favorite passenger.
“That would be Beyoncé. Because, I mean, I love her music. I love her. She’s an awesome person. Though she is who she is, she was the most humble, kind person I’ve flown. She was just a kind person and that speaks to her Southern, Houston. Texas mentality and personality.”
Those same Southern roots continue to make a big impact on Fuller’s life.
“My growing up in Pembroke was everything. It instilled my passion for hard work. It instilled in me and my grandparents instilled in me the desire to be the best at whatever I am, whether it was a pilot or anything else. To have self pride in myself and to never forget where you came from. So you never look down on people, but you can look back to help people in a sense. So Pembroke, I owe Georgia and the Southern root of kindness, giving and sharing and loving. I owe it all to that.”
Fuller did live in Chicago as a teenager but returned to Pembroke every summer to spend time with his grandparents. Currently, He travels to schools and juvenile detention centers in the Chicago area to inspire children and provide resources for kids interested in aviation.
Copyright 2021 WTOC. All rights reserved.