Maurice Ellis is a second-generation pilot in his family. His fascination with aviation happened due to
him always being around his father, who was the first pilot in his family. As the saying goes, there comes
a time when a pilot catches the “aviation bug”. That moment for Maurice was as clear as day. After
traveling a few hours east of his hometown of Baltimore, he had the opportunity to see his dad take off
in a turboprop airplane. While watching his father takeoff into the sunset, he glanced at his mother and
said “Mom, I want to be like dad when I grow up.” That moment solidified what was soon-to-be his
Growing up, he was always interested in the STEM field. After middle school, he was able to participate
in a competitive STEM Summer program at the United States Naval Academy, where he was one of 375
students from across the nation to participate in that year. During high school, he also had the
opportunity to participate in Southwest Airlines’ Continuing the Legacy in Aviation, where he met
members of the Tuskegee Airmen, as well as the first black chief pilot for any major airline, Louis
Freeman, which attributed Maurice to pursue the airline route in the industry.
Maurice enrolled and graduated from Delaware State University in Dover, Delaware, majoring in Airway
Science as a professional pilot. As a student at Delaware State University, he earned everything ranging
from his private pilot certificate to Multi-Engine Instructor. Once he had his instrument rating, he
already had a conditional job offer upon graduation with Republic Airways, a regional airline. While at
school, Maurice participated as safety officer and team captain representing his school in the National
Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA).
After graduating college, Maurice worked for Republic Airways as a first officer on the Embraer
E170/E175 aircraft for almost 3 years. He is now training to be a first officer for JetBlue Airways.