The Youngest Black Pilot To Fly Across Continental US

Isaiah Cooper, 16, touched down at Compton airport 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. He arrived home on Monday, capping a flight across the nation in preparation for what he hopes will be a record-setting around-the-world trip.

The sixteen year-old began his journey on July 5 and flew a total of 8,000 miles in 13 days. Although the adventure wasn’t particularly easy; Cooper experienced extreme winds in Wyoming where he ended up making an emergency landing on a street in Cheyenne, WY and switching planes, he successfully returned to the Compton-Woodley Airport.

Isaiah wrote in the Go Fund Me post, “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.”

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