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Kelsey Hughes (74 Gear)

Kelsey Hughes is a Boeing 747 pilot, and a popular aviation YouTuber.

He has more than 1.1 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, ‘74 Gear.’


Kelsey Hughes hails from Dallas, Texas, United States.

He grew up near the location of ‘Top Gun’ and MCAS Miramar in San Diego, California by watching the fighter jets flying.

NameKelsey Hughes; hails from Dallas, Texas, United States
EducationFlight school, obtained Private Pilot License
Occupation  Boeing 747 pilot, YouTuber
YouTube channels  ‘74 Gear,’ ‘74 Gear Español,’ ‘74 Gear
Years active on YouTube  2018-present
Genre  Aviation
Subscribers  1.15M on ‘74 Gear’
Marital StatusUndisclosed
ResidenceDallas, Texas
Kelsey Hughes information

Inspiration for becoming a pilot-

Kelsey’s uncle was a smart pilot, mechanic and an aviation engineer.

And thanks to his uncle, he wanted to become a pilot.

Later, Kelsey approached his uncle for advice for whether he could become a pilot or not because he was an average student and his uncle inspired him that he could definitely become a pilot.

Kelsey’s aunt was a flight attendant in between 1970s and 1990s for Pacific Southwest Airlines (later bought by USAir).

His uncle inspired him so much that he right away joined a ground school even without flying a demo flight and he started working to save money for the Private Pilot License (PPL) and later, he joined a flight school.

In the flight school, Kelsey had the most flight time in Cessna 172, Cessna 152 and Piper PA-28 Cherokee aircraft.

He also had some flight time in his friend’s Cirrus Aircraft and got his Private Pilot License in Las Vegas.


After completing his flight school, Kelsey started off his career by joining a private regional jet company, flying small charter jets which were poorly maintained and thanks to them, he had to consider emergency landings a few times.

He also did regional flying on Bombardier CRJ900 airliners and he also flew Bombardier CRJ700 series airliners.

Then, Kelsey joined a passenger airline company and he also flew corporate and private jets.

Later, he flew military charter flights.

Then, Kelsey joined a cargo airline and started mostly flying cargo planes and occasionally flying passengers.

Here, he pilots Boeing 747 airliners and sometimes also Boeing Dreamlifter aircraft.

Kelsey holds an airline transport pilot license (ATPL) and is a commercial pilot and loves travelling.

He hasn’t publicly disclosed the airline which he works for as a part of his employment contract.

Starting ‘74 Gear’-

In 2017, Kelsey had a layover of a couple of days in Hong Kong and at that time, he was flying from Hong Kong to Delhi and back to Hong Kong.

As he was bored in his layover, he started a YouTube channel, ‘74 Gear‘ on 30 May 2017.

Kelsey publishes aviation related videos onto his channel and also collaborated with other YouTubers like Sam Chui, Mentour Pilot, etc.

His channel became popular thanks to his Hollywood vs Reality videos and TikTok Roast videos and also because of the unique Boeing Dreamlifter aircraft.

A successful YouTuber-

As of January 2024, Kelsey has 1.15M subscribers on ‘74 Gear’ YouTube channel, 131K followers on Instagram and 102K followers on ‘74Gear’ Facebook page.

Kelsey also has a couple other YouTube channels namely, ‘74 Gear Español’ (Spanish channel) and ‘74 Gear 日本’ (Japanese channel).

He earns from advertisements on his YouTube channel, YouTube memberships and affiliate marketing.

Kelsey films his videos with Panasonic Lumix G85 and GoPro HERO7 cameras.

He uses Bose QuietComfort 35 as a travelling headset and uses Bose A20 Aviation Headset.

So, how are you inspired by the success story of Kelsey Hughes?

Share with me in the comment section below. 

About Author

Hello folks, I'm Naveen Reddy.
I love writing the inspiring success stories of people so as to inspire you.
Enjoy the well-researched, thorough articles!
Every article takes many days of effort; so, why not pay it forward by sharing them and spreading positivity.

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Stan Hodges

Monday 1st of January 2024

My dad was a private pilot and riding in his Cessna 172 sparked my interest in also learning to fly. This was 55 years ago in Austin, Texas and something that never gets old, even at the advanced age of 72 yrs. I noticed Casey recently started wearing 4 bars which would indicate he's now a Captain, but if he mentioned it, I missed the episode and just wanted to say congratulations Casey!


Wednesday 1st of February 2023

I can reply to the 1st question, 3 stripes is for 1st officers and 4 for captains...both are pilots !!

Naveen Reddy

Wednesday 1st of February 2023

Thanks for your answer Adriarizzo!


Friday 14th of October 2022

Kelsey ... here a video of a 747 loosing it wheel on take off...

Naveen Reddy

Saturday 15th of October 2022

Thanks for sharing this, Clint. Hope the 747 Dreamlifter landed safely.

Mike Pittard

Tuesday 13th of September 2022

I enjoy Kelsey's videos vicariously, and I like his personality---and I even like his tag line "keep the blue side up". I like his explanations about hopscotching on landings and personality vs. performance and turbulence and lightning strikes and flying a big jet on a single engine for 3 hours. I've traveled on big jets, and my father once rented 15 minutes in a Cessna over Baltimore (oy, there's a view!), in which I actually got to hold the yoke---a big mistake which the pilot corrected immediately! In any case, I have no plans to become a pilot: I'm old, and I top the list of people who are challenged beyond measure by voodoo such as mathematics and physics, so... Couple of three questions: 1) why does Pilot Kelsey wear only 3 stripes instead of 4 if he's a pilot? Is that a matter of rating or his choice? 2) Why does no one carry a flashlight when they do a walk-around. The wheel wells appear to be deep and seem to be occupied with bundles of wires and cables, etc., which may not be clearly visible in fog or at night, yet may present problems later? 3) Finally, I know the flight deck is crammed with gadgets that help you diagnose problems, but it seems odd that the ability to actually see wings, top and underneath, and engines cranking away, and chunks of airplane that may have been blown off, etc., would help enormously; since these are all blind to pilots, why don't planes have built-in video cameras in strategic locations? Thank you so much. I don't fly but I do drive, and I keep the tar-side down! Mike

Naveen Reddy

Tuesday 13th of September 2022

Thank you Mike Pittard for sharing your experiences. I will try to get in touch with Kelsey and will convince him to answer your questions.

Sarah Foley

Tuesday 1st of March 2022

Kelsey’s story inspired me to look into doing my pilot training with a ground school connected to a regional airline, for ease of a career track. His channel is really great, and having a glimpse into his pilot’s life is so interesting! Thank you Kelsey!

Naveen Reddy

Tuesday 1st of March 2022

Thanks a lot, Sarah Foley.