Isaiah Cooper just flew 8,000 miles across the continental US in a trip that began July 5th and lasted roughly two weeks. Cooper is now the youngest African-American pilot in history to make the cross-country flight, which his flight instructor accompanied him on.
According to NBC Los Angeles, the Compton teen arrived home on Monday after his record-breaking flight, which wasn’t so easy following some rough weather. 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.”
Next, Cooper plans to become the youngest pilot to fly around 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.”
The record for youngest pilot to fly around the world is currently held by Matt Guthmiller of South Dakota, who was 19-years-old when he flew around the globe. Cooper will be 18 when he embarks on the trip.
We wish you the best of luck, Isaiah!