Tag: Robin Petgrave

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Inspiring Stories of African Americans to Air on Disney Channel this February

Disney Animator Floyd Norman (photo via ShadowAndAct.com

article via ShadowAndAct.com

To cultivate kids’ deeper interest in history and inspire them to feel their own significance in the present and future, stories about distinguished men and women including the Tuskegee Airmen Chief Civilian flight instructor Charles Alfred “Chief” Anderson, the history-making commercial airline pilot Stephanie R. Grant, animator and Disney legend Floyd Norman, and physician, role model and activist Dr. Myiesha Taylor, will be presented as part of Disney|ABC Television Group’s “Be Inspired” interstitial series during Black History Month on Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior.

Paul DeBenedittis, senior vice president, Programming Strategy, Disney Channels Worldwide, said, “As television programmers, we work every day to better serve our kid viewers by reflecting the diverse and varied world they live in, and our ‘Be Inspired’ programming is designed to give them access to stories that can spark their deeper exploration into the rich and celebrated history of African Americans.”

The initiative begins with the story of acclaimed African-American pilot Charles Alfred “Chief” Anderson Sr., known as the “Father of Black Aviation” for his brave and innovative leadership as Chief Civilian Flight Instructor for the Tuskegee Airmen. The story, hosted by Nathaniel Potvin (Disney XD’s “MECH-X4”), originates from the non-profit Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum in Compton, California, and includes the museum’s founder and executive director Robin Petgrave, Ted Lumpkin of the Tuskegee Airmen 100th Fighter Squadron, and Kimberly Anyadike, the youngest African-American female to pilot an airplane across the United States. Geared toward kids age 6-14, the interstitial began airing Weds, Feb 1, on Disney Channel and Disney XD.

For younger viewers (age 2-7), Doc McStuffins, the title character from the acclaimed animated series, introduces notable women and men in a series of interstitials to be presented on Disney Junior. They are Stephanie R. Grant, a pilot who led the first all-female African-American flight crew to operate a commercial airliner; Disney legend Floyd Norman, one of the first African-American animators at Walt Disney Studios during the 1950s; and Dr. Myiesha Taylor, an emergency doctor and founder of the Artemis Medical Society, an organization comprised of over 4700 women physicians of color from around the world. Disney Junior and Disney Channel will debut the interstitials beginning Weds, Feb, 8.

To read more, go to: Inspiring Stories of Distinguished African Americans to be Presented During Black History Month on Disney Channels – Shadow and Act

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