The black community is really doing us proud these days, in the news. Just the other day a Cameroonian was named best student in the UK. Today, it is this 16-year-old teenager from Compton. He has made history as the youngest African-American pilot to fly an airplane around the continental U.S.
After travelling more than 8,000 miles in 13 days, Isaiah Cooper landed at the Compton-Woodley Airport around 10 a.m. It wasn’t all too easy for him, as he ran into trouble at the beginning.
While flying through Wyoming, he faced extreme wind shear and was forced to land and switch planes. He said quitting was never an option for him. He struggled to the end just like any true fighter.
“Just stay focused. There’s a lot of people that will try to detract you from the road that you’re on.“Whatever you want to do, you can do it, just put your mind to it.”
“Whatever you want to do, you can do it, just put your mind to it,” said Cooper.
Flight instructor Robin Petgrave told NBC LA, “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.”
He doesn’t just want to be the youngest African- American pilot but, the world’s youngest pilot to fly the world. His GoFundMe page for the journey explains his motivation and passion for aviation.
“I began attending an aviation youth program in Compton at Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum (TAM) when I was 5 years old. But as I got older, I began hanging with the wrong crowd, doing seriously self-destructive things. Realizing that this was not how I wanted to live my life, I returned to TAM. My main goal is to become a productive young man with a future in aviation, and not a statistic.”
Who would have thought that the youngest African-American pilot will be a teen. So much inspiration for us all.