Tag: African-American pilots

The Game Aids 16-Year-Old Pilot Isaiah Cooper’s Mission to Fly Around The World

Compton native Isaiah Cooper made history earlier this month, when at 16 years old, he became the youngest black pilot to fly around the country. Now, he has farther lands to conquer as he hopes to fly around the world. In efforts to make this happen, rapper The Game is lending out a helping hand. Cooper has already started a GoFundMe page for financial support, but Game gave it an extra push when he shared it on his Instagram account.

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If 49,000 people donated $1 we'd reach his goal in 1 hour…. I DONATED the 1st $1,000 & I'm up early & in a good supportive mood this morning & I hope you are too… 2 weeks ago we raised 50k for Officer Norman in ONE DAY !!! Last week we raised 5k in 2 hours for to young brothers MOTHERS funeral…. TOGETHER WE MAKE SHIT HAPPEN over here….. So I will ask ALL MY FANS or just any person with a heart to pay it forward TODAY & DONATE any amount from as small as $1 to @aerosquad.zae #IsaiahCooper the youngest AFRICAN AMERICAN pilot to ever fly across AMERICA. He made the trip in 2 weeks & now has his mind set on being the youngest AFRICAN AMERICAN pilot to fly around the world when he's 18 years old, the required age to be able to make the trip alone. This trip will have costs of things he will need to complete it, fuel, food equipment etc….. so PLEASE CLICK THE LINK IN MY BIO & DONATE ANYTHING you can to help him accomplish his dream…. As usual, I will start with a donation of $1,000 in hopes that by the end of the day we have ALL helped him reach his goal of $45,000…… It takes us ALL to support one another…… IF YOU CARE & WANT TO BE APART OF THE SOLUTION, SHOW IT…. CLICK THE LINK IN MY BIO NOW !!!!!! #BlackBoyFly #SupportCompton #therobinhoodproject #partnersinkynd #SupportIsLove

A post shared by The Game (@losangelesconfidential) on

 

“I DONATED the 1st $1,000 & I’m up early & in a good supportive mood this morning & I hope you are too,” he wrote.

“So I will ask ALL MY FANS or just any person with a heart to pay it forward TODAY & DONATE any amount from as small as $1 to @aerosquad.zae #IsaiahCooper the youngest AFRICAN AMERICAN pilot to ever fly across AMERICA. He made the trip in 2 weeks & now has his mind set on being the youngest AFRICAN AMERICAN pilot to fly around the world when he’s 18 years old, the required age to be able to make the trip alone. This trip will have costs of things he will need to complete it, fuel, food equipment etc….. so PLEASE CLICK THE LINK IN MY BIO & DONATE ANYTHING you can to help him accomplish his dream,” he continued.

From helping single mothers buy groceries to raising awareness against police brutality, The Game has made it a point to help out those in need, and speak up on issues that truly matter.  With that said, we hope we can see Isaiah all over the world. And as always, major kudos go to you Game.

*UPDATE: When this article was published, Cooper’s GoFundMe total was at $4,877.  Click here to donate if you want to see this young man reach his goal to fly around the world.

Isaiah Cooper, 16, Becomes Youngest Black Pilot to Complete Cross-Country Flight

Isaiah Cooper, 16, hugs flight instructor Robin Petgrave upon return from record-setting journey. (Screenshot via abc7.com)
Isaiah Cooper, 16, hugs flight instructor Robin Petgrave upon return from record-setting journey. (Screenshot via abc7.com)

article via nbclosangeles.com

A teenage pilot from Compton arrived home in Southern California on Monday, capping a flight across the nation in preparation for what he hopes will be a record-setting around-the-world trip.

Isaiah Cooper, 16, touched down at Compton airport (to see video, click here) after a roughly two-week flight around the country, becoming the youngest African American pilot to complete the cross-country flight.  A flight instructor accompanied him.

Cooper’s 8,000-mile flight was not without difficulty. Bad weather forced him to make a hard landing that heavily damaged his original plane in Wyoming.  “He was able to execute the emergency procedures flawlessly, got it on the road, landed, didn’t damage the houses, the schools, the construction crew, nothing. I mean, he got out of that thing safely,” said flight instructor Robin Petgrave.

But Cooper has a much larger goal. He hopes next year to become the youngest black pilot to fly around the world solo. He will be 18 years old when he takes off on the planned flight.

On a GoFundMe page, Cooper wrote that he began attending the youth aviation program at Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum in Compton when he was 5, but he dropped out when he began spending time “with the wrong crowd” and doing “seriously self-destructive things.”

He said he hopes his attempt to break a world record will inspire other kids to turn their lives around and work to achieve their goals.  “There’s a higher power that’s always there trying to have you focused so whatever you want to do, you can do it. Just put your mind to it,” Cooper said.

Source:  http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Teen-Pilot-Compton-Returns-SoCal-Record-Setting-Flight-387428791.html#ixzz4F0E1zM7K 

R.I.P. Frank E. Petersen, 83, 1st Black Pilot and General in the U.S. Marines Corps

Frank Petersen (photo via nytimes.com)
Frank Petersen (photo via nytimes.com)

General Frank Petersen, the U.S. Marines’ first Black pilot and general, has died at age 83.

Hoping to escape pervasive racism in his Kansas hometown, General Frank Petersen joined the U.S. Navy in 1950 as a seaman apprentice, reports The Boston Globe.

The following year, motivated by the death of the Navy’s first Black aviator Jesse Brown in the Korean War, Petersen entered the Naval Aviation Cadet Program, the report says. From there, he went on to make history himself, earning a Purple Heart for wounds suffered in Vietnam “when he was ejected after his plane was struck by anti-aircraft fire over the demilitarized zone” in 1968.

He died Tuesday at his home in Stevensville, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The cause was complications from lung cancer, according to The Globe:

President Harry S. Truman had ordered the armed forces to desegregate in 1948, but General Petersen later wrote that the Navy and Marine Corps were ‘‘the last to even entertain the idea of integrating their forces.’’ And whenever he left the flight training base in Pensacola, Fla., he was subjected to the indignities of the Jim Crow South.

Bus drivers ordered him to the back of the coach, and he was barred from sitting with white cadets in restaurants and movie theaters. He largely swallowed the treatment, he later told The Washington Post, because he could not fight two battles at once. ‘‘I knew that I couldn’t win if I were to tackle that, as opposed to getting my wings,’’ he said.

One instructor tried to minimize his performance in the air — giving him lackluster ratings — but he said white peers came to his defense. Upon completion of his flight training, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. He flew 64 combat missions in Korea in 1953 and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, among other decorations.

Besides his wife, Alicia Downes, of Stevensville, Maryland and Washington, he leaves behind four children from his first marriage, a brother, a sister, four grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Rest in peace and thank you, Gen. Petersen.

article by Lynette Holloway via newsone.com

 

Born on This Day in 1892: Pioneering Aviator Bessie Coleman (VIDEO)

Bessie Coleman

Elizabeth “Bessie” Coleman was an American civil aviator. She was the first female pilot of African American descent and the first person of African-American descent to hold an international pilot license.  Coleman was born in Atlanta,Texas, the tenth of thirteen children to sharecroppers George, who was part Cherokee, and Susan Coleman.

In 1915, at the age of 23, she moved to Chicago, Illinois, where she lived with her brothers and she worked at the White Sox Barber Shop as a manicurist, where she heard stories from pilots returning home from World War I about flying during the war. She could not gain admission to American flight schools because she was black and a woman. No black U.S. aviator would train her either. Robert S. Abbott, founder and publisher of the Chicago Defender, encouraged her to study abroad.

Coleman raised money, studied French, and then traveled to Paris on November 20, 1920.  She learned to fly in a Nieuport Type 82 biplane, with “a steering system that consisted of a vertical stick the thickness of a baseball bat in front of the pilot and a rudder bar under the pilot’s feet.”  On June 15, 1921, Coleman became not only the first African-American woman to earn an international aviation license from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, and the first American of any gender or ethnicity to do so, but the first African-American woman to earn an aviation pilot’s license. Determined to polish her skills, Coleman spent the next two months taking lessons from a French ace pilot near Paris, and in September 1921 sailed for New York. She became a media sensation when she returned to the United States.

To learn more about Coleman’s life and career, click here or watch the Smithsonian Channel video above.

article via wikipedia.com

Delta Pilot Retires After 45 Years, Never Missed Day Of Work

calvin-flanigan

Captain Calvin “Cal” Flanigan (pictured) retired from Delta Airlines last Friday, after devoting 45 years of service to the airline. Thirty-seven of those years were served as a pilot for the company. And, to top off his incredible career, he never missing a day of work, according to KTFW-TV Fox 4 News.

Flanigan told Fox 4 that he knew from a very young age that he wanted to be a pilot. “Even as a little kid watching airplanes take off when I was 9 or 10 years old, I knew I wanted to fly,” he said.  When he began his career at Delta, Flanagan started from the ground floor as an airline mechanic back in 1968. But he knew that one day he would be sitting in the cockpit. Eight years later, Flanigan achieved his dream.

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African Americans Fly High with Math and Science

Barrington Irving , a 23-year-old Jamaican-born pilot, at a news conference at Opa-locka Airport Wednesday, June 27, 2007, ending a three-month journey he said would make him the youngest person to fly around the world alone.
Barrington Irving , a 23-year-old Jamaican-born pilot, at a news conference at Opa-locka Airport Wednesday, June 27, 2007, ending a three-month journey he said would make him the youngest person to fly around the world alone.  (Alan Diaz/AP)

This Black History Month, NPR’s “Tell Me More” is taking a look at African Americans in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) who are inspiring future generations.

Today, Barrington Irving shares how his sky high dreams became a reality. A chance encounter in his parents’ bookstore put him on a path that would make him the youngest person and first African American to fly solo around the world.

Barrington Irving remembers a man walking into the store dressed in a pilot’s uniform. The man asked whether Irving might consider a future in aviation. “I immediately just said to him, I don’t think I’m smart enough to do it,” Irving remembers. “Then I asked him how much money he made and after he answered that question, I took an interest in aviation.”

Continue reading “African Americans Fly High with Math and Science”