Compton teen becomes youngest black pilot to fly solo over the continental U.S.
July 19, 2016 at 10:51 am
Isaiah Cooper is a 16-year-old from Compton, California and he just made history as the youngest black person to fly solo over the continental United States.
Starting his journey on July 5th, Isaiah flew a total of 8,000 miles in 13 days. And the journey was not smooth sailing the whole way. In Wyoming, Isaiah experienced extreme winds that he couldn’t predict. Because of the conditions, his plane ending up making an emergency landing on a street in Cheyenne, WY. But Isaiah executed the landing perfectly with no injuries.
After switching planes, Isaiah continued his journey. And he landed at the Compton-Woodley Airport, 11 days later. So now, that he’s made history, Isaiah will set his sights on another goal. He’s planning a solo flight around the world when he turns 18. Matthew Guthmiller holds the Guinness World Record for youngest person to fly solo around the world at age 19 back in 2014. Breaking records in flight is what Isaiah has worked on most of his life.
“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,” Isaiah wrote in a Go Fund Me post. “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.”