#StraightOuttaCompton: Meet the Youngest Black Pilot to Fly Across America

#StraightOuttaCompton: Meet the Youngest Black Pilot to Fly Across America

The teen was determined to make something of his life.

Published July 23rd

At only 16, this Compton teen is already making history. According to NBC LA, Isaiah Cooper completed a record-breaking flight across the continental U.S., making him the youngest Black pilot to do so during a trip that lasted approximately two weeks.

Cooper, whose 8,000-mile flight ended on Monday, had his fair share of challenges. His flight instructor Robin Petgrave, however, said he handled it all like a pro.

"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," Petgrave said. "I mean, he got out of that thing safely."

Now that he's crossed this off of his list, Cooper has his eyes set on another major goal: to become the youngest pilot to fly around the world. He explained on his GoFundMe page that impact flying has had on his life.

"I began attending an aviation younth 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," he said. "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."

Kudos to Cooper for staying on the straight and narrow and making history in the process.

Written by Moriba Cummings

(Photo: NBC News Southern California)

COMMENTS

Latest in news