Fly the Y: Meet the pilot repping the Y in the sky
Jonny Hubert, a devoted BYU fan and aspiring pilot, is taking his love for the Cougars to new heights.
The 25-year-old Pleasant Grove native, who currently resides in Washington for his pilot job, has been creating impressive flight path designs in the shape of the BYU logo each week prior to Cougar football games.
With about 200 hours left to fulfill his dream of becoming an airline pilot, Hubert decided to transform his flight training sessions into an art form that has caught the attention of Cougar Nation.
“It just came to me. Instead of flying in circles, I could actually go up and draw something,” Hubert said.
As far as what led him to do a BYU design, he added he was thinking about the Cougars’ week two matchup with SUU.
“I’m a little too obsessed with BYU … I decided I could just draw the Y logo and add ‘beat SUU,’” he explained. He also has done “beat Arkansas” and “beat Kansas” flights, giving “Fly the Y” a solid 2-1 record.
To accomplish these intricate designs, Hubert uses a blend of pre-planning and piloting skills. However, he doesn’t want to fully reveal his secrets. “I like to say that I’m a bit of a magician, so I don’t reveal all my tricks.”
Hubert tracks his flight paths on his phone, explaining, “it’d be impossible to draw a perfect oval like that just by trying.” He adds that all of his designs are hand-flown, with no reliance on autopilot, keeping him fully engaged in the process.
“So I’m keeping myself on my toes, making sure I’m staying away from other air traffic and remembering the design is secondary to safety,” Hubert explained.
Hubert uses a Piper Warrior plane for his designs. However, he admits that the most challenging part of his is the letters with steep turns, which can make him feel a little nauseous despite having grown accustomed to flying.
For fans of the Cougars, Hubert’s “Fly the Y” posts have become a weekly source of excitement.
“I’m just grateful that everybody cares about it,” Hubert said. His efforts have garnered tremendous support, and he was even featured in an episode of BYU Sports Nation.
Hubert has set up a Patreon account, acknowledging that fuel costs can be expensive but wants to be able to fly every week. On X, the platform formally known as Twitter, he goes by the nickname “Captain Butter,” which was given to him because his “landings are as smooth as butter.” Captain Butter also has a YouTube channel where you can track his flights in real-time.
Hubert plans to “Fly the Y” Monday or Tuesday every week, factoring in the weather. He says he will give updates on when takeoff and the live streams will be but delays may be likely.
Hubert will be at the BYU game in Provo against Cincinnati Friday and hopes to witness a Cougar victory.