This story takes us up about 700 feet off the ground, as Osage SkyNews 6 HD Pilot Dustin Stone flies us to his hometown of Coweta. When he’s not in the air, there's a good chance you'll find him at his home on the property he's lived most of his life.
“This is home,” Dustin says. “I'm not going anywhere.”
Dustin and his wife, Stephanie, are raising three daughters.
“My youngest one's almost a teenager, so I've got a house full of teenage girls. So I like to spend a lot of time out here with the goats... as you can imagine,” Dustin jokes.
Growing up, Dustin attended Coweta High and not long after graduation in 1998, he became Stephanie's husband.
“Married my high school and junior sweetheart. We've been married, it'll be 20 years this July,” says Dustin.
Dustin will also soon celebrate another 20 year anniversary, this one with News On 6.
“I love the company,” he says. “I love this business.”
In 2000 Dustin started out as an overnight master control operator. He moved up to running tapes and audio for Six In The Morning, then to a weekend live truck operator and eventually to management positions. He says he sparked an interest in flying after a scary phone call 16 years ago.
“I had gotten a call that my mom had been in a serious car accident over here in Coweta,” says Dustin.
At the time, Dustin was in western Oklahoma with the News On 6 satellite truck. But instead of making the long drive back, our company, Griffin Communications, sent News 9's helicopter to pick him up and fly him home. It was his first ride in a helicopter.
“Ya know, I can't thank them enough for it and it did, it changed my career path,” says Dustin.
His mom survived and is doing well. And Dustin set his sights to the sky and became the camera operator for SkyNews 6.
“I told the pilot, ‘I want your job someday,’" Dustin says.
He started flight training and after 12 years of building his hours through helicopter rides for festivals, Easter egg drops, and Christmas light tours, Dustin landed his dream job.
“If you find something you want to do. If you don't make moves to put yourself in that position, you'll never get there,” Dustin says.
When former pilot Will Kavanaugh retired from news to fly commercial, he hoped Dustin would fill his spot.
“It felt good he would recommend me for the job because he knows what the job takes,” says Dustin.
Dustin says bringing you the news is much more than a job, it's an honor. He says every flight is a reminder that hard work, patience, and persistence, pays off.
“I've waited 12 years to do this and I hope to do this for a very long time,” says Dustin.