June 13, 2018

Q&A with Matt Thurber – AIN Publications

Matt Thurber, Editor-In-Chief, AIN Publications

How long have you been at your current organization?

18 years

What are your responsibilities within your organization?

As editor-in-chief of AIN Publications, I’m responsible for all editorial content in our various products. These range from AIN’s monthly print magazine, Aviation International News, to our business aviation, air transport, and defense e-newsletters, online content, and show daily issues.

Describe a typical day or week in your role.

There is no typical day for this job, and what I do depends a great deal on my travel schedule. When I’m in the office, I write, edit, and proofread stories, consult with my colleagues on upcoming projects, work with AIN’s management team on business development and strategy, and deal with normal office challenges. I travel frequently to visit the companies that we cover in AIN’s publications, including to fly new and interesting airplanes, and during these trips I try to visit as many people as possible to learn what’s new in our industry.

What do you love most about your job?

I most enjoy seeing first-hand how innovative people are solving problems and meeting challenges in aviation during my travels. Also top of the list is the opportunity to fly new airplanes and evaluate new technology and explain these developments to AIN’s readers. I have a unique big-picture view of the aviation industry, while at the same time I get to participate as a pilot and aviation aficionado. This year so far I’ve joined a winter ferry flight in a TBM 910 from France to California, flown the Bombardier Challenger 350, tested the FalconEye head-up display in a Falcon 8X at night in the Alps, and flew a new Quest Kodiak from the factory in Sandpoint, Idaho, to Santa Monica, California.

Why did working in the Business Aviation industry interest you, and how did you get started?

I learned about AIN while working at Flying magazine, and I was impressed at the hard-working writers at AIN and also by then-editor-in-chief and co-founder Jim Holahan. I knew a little bit about business aviation at the time, but truly had no idea of the size of this segment of the industry and the important role it plays in the nation’s economy.

Who or what has been your greatest professional influence?

There are so many people who have helped me in aviation, from Steve and Ora King, who took a chance on me by giving me my first aviation job as a lineboy at Taunton Airport in Massachusetts; Ronnie White, the World War II pilot who sold his flight school to my father and taught me to fly on instruments; Keith Connes, the Air Progress magazine editor who bought my first story; Dick Collins, editor of Flying, where I first learned the magazine business, and then-executive editor Nigel Moll; AIN’s Jim Holahan and Wilson Leach, founders of AIN, good friends, and strong supporters of my career.

Describe yourself in 3 words.

Passionate, observant, curious

What one item would you never travel without on a long haul flight?

My backpack with all my gadgets, books, and magazines.

Finally, what is your hidden talent or hobby?

Unicycle riding. I am also an active motorcyclist and pilot and aircraft mechanic. I hold the following certificates and ratings: ATP, CFII, A&P, type rating in CE500 and GV/550, and LSA seaplane endorsement.

About AIN

Founded in 1972, AIN Publications is an independent media company focused on the aviation sector. Our stated mission is “To provide timely, accurate, and balanced aviation and aerospace news, analysis, and data around the world.” We accomplish this mission by employing a dedicated staff of experts in their respective fields. We adhere to strict guidelines of ethics and good-practices, a policy that has made AIN Publications one of the most trusted sources for aviation news in the world.


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