Payson native and 2003 Payson High School graduate, Layton Howell, can now be referred to as Captain Layton Howell.
Howell has dedicated the last eight months of his life focusing solely on flying, and obtaining as many certifications as he could. He has received all of his training through Premier Helicopter School in Mesa. He recently received his commercial license and is now ready to make his way over to the island of Cebu in the Philippines.
He has taken a job flying helicopters for Island Helicopter Services flying island tours to places like Pangloa and Bohol and will also be transporting scuba divers.
The Philippine Air Force has also recruited him, and others with Island Helicopters to assist in helicopter training for its soldiers.
Howell is the son of Karen Sawyer.
"I couldn't be more proud of him. I get a little nervous sometimes thinking about what he does, but I've seen him fly and he is a really great pilot, who thinks about safety first. I can't wait for him to come home," Sawyer said.
Howell expects to fly full-time in the Philippines for at least two years before he makes his way back stateside.