A teenaged pilot flies into the record books. She’s the youngest African American female to pilot an airplane transcontinentally. It was a record she set over the weekend.
It was a flawless landing for a single engine plane piloted by a teen who isn’t old enough to drive. But 15-year-old Kimberly Anyadike is determined to make history, and become the youngest African American girl to fly cross-country.
“It inspires me to do the best I can so I can make some smooth landings,” said Anyadike.
Kimberly is also inspired by her wingmen on this historic flight. World war II Tuskegee Airmen who are flying and greeting her along the way.
“Whew she is amazing. You won’t find a more motivated young lady than that young lady is,” said Tuskegee Airman Levi Thornhill.
The history making trip is also to raise awareness that there are flying programs for at-risk kids like Civil Air Patrol and Young Eagles.
And flying they say, reinforces the importance of education.
“Aviation teaches you why. Like for example, in school, how many times have you heard a kid say ‘why do I need to know all this math? Why do I need to know how to read? When am I ever going to use science?’ well, yeah, when you start flying, it makes sense,” said Robin Petgrave of Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum.
Kimberly also hopes to inspire others teens to reach for the stars.
“I want them to believe in themselves that they can do anything. I don’t care if it’s a doctor or a lawyer or anything as long as they put their mind to it,” said Anyadike.
Kimberly’s journey started June 29th, when she took off from Compton, California.
She set the first record Sunday when she landed in Newport News, Virginia and she hopes to set the round-trip record as well by flying home.
Kimberly says she wants to become a private pilot but for her career, she plans on becoming a heart surgeon.