Black aviators

Ohio, often referred to as the birthplace of aviation, has battled with North Carolina over that distinction for many years. But  there’s no debate that pioneering aviator Lonnie Carmon  was the first African-American to fly in Central Ohio in an aircraft he built from scratch. According to accounts from Carmon’s family and several historical societies, […]

Charles Bolden made history after he was named the first Black permanent administrator for NASA. The retired Marine Corps Major General and astronaut was born August 19, 1946. Charles Frank Bolden Jr. earned his bachelor’s of science in Electrical Science in 1968,and then earned a master’s in Systems Management from the University of Southern California […]

Jill Brown-Hiltz made history 40 years ago by becoming the first Black woman pilot for a major commercial airline company. She is also the first Black woman admitted to the U.S. Navy’s pilot training program as well. Born Jill Elaine Brown in 1950, the Baltimore native’s family were all big fans of aviation. By the […]

Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour made history as the first Black woman aviator for the U.S. Marines, and also became the first Black woman combat pilot across the U.S. Armed Forces. Today, Armour is a motivational speaker and author and one of the faces of a new campaign aimed at recognizing the contributions of women. Armour was […]

Captain Stephanie Johnson is the first Black female captain for Delta Airlines, the second of her historic achievements as a pilot. Twenty years ago, Captain Johnson became the first Black female pilot for Northwest Airlines and last year, Delta promoted her to her current post. The Kent State University graduate caught the flying bug in […]

  General Lloyd W. ‘Fig’ Newton is a retired U.S. Air Force four-star general who made history within the military branch. In 1974, General Newton became the first African-American member of the Air Force’s air demonstration squad, The Thunderbirds. Newton was born December 24, 1942 in Ridgeland, S.C. Newton’s parents enforced education in their home despite […]

Isaiah Cooper, a 16-year-old Compton, Calif. high school student, achieved the first of two record-breaking feats last month. According to flight organizers who planned his first outing, Cooper is the youngest African-American pilot to fly across the United States. Cooper, a member of Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum, made the journey under the tutelage of instructor Robin […]

When some kids say they want to fly, they are wishing they could be superheroes. But when Isaiah Cooper said he wanted to fly, he meant behind the controls of an airplane. But the 14-year-old Compton, California native didn’t just want to learn how to fly, he wanted to set records. This week he did, […]

Kimberly Anyadike made history in 2009 after she completed a cross-country flight from Compton, Calif. to Newport News, Va. when she was just 15 years of age. The feat made Anyadike, who is of Nigerian heritage, the youngest known Black pilot to ever complete such a journey. Anyadike began her training as a pilot when […]

  Clarence E. Huntley Jr. & Joseph Shambrey, who both served as part of the elite all-Black Tuskegee Airmen force, died this past Sunday at their Los Angeles homes. Lifelong friends who enlisted into the Army Air Force together, Huntley (pictured) and Shambrey were both 91. Huntley and Shambrey were both air mechanics for the […]