Young Black Pilots Set Records in Flight
Two Young Black Pilots Set World Records in Flight From California to Canada and Back
The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES Sept. 26, 2004 — When Jimmy Haywood and Kenny Roy flew from California to Canada and back, they saw livestock, lakes, a snowcapped mountain and set a couple of world records.
Jimmy, at age 11, became the youngest black pilot to make an international flight, and 14-year-old Kenny passed Canada's flight test to become the world's youngest black pilot licensed to fly solo.
Their three-day adventure ended Saturday where it began, at the Compton/Woodley Airport, with a homecoming attended by family, friends and even the legendary Tuskeegee Airmen.
Jimmy was unabashed about his accomplishment, piloting a Cessna 172 for 10 hours each way between Southern California and Vancouver, British Columbia. A certified flight instructor acted as the boys' chaperone but did not fly.
"I was making history," he said in a telephone interview from the airport.
Kenny was more restrained about his feat, executing stalls, spins and spiral dives to get his license to fly solo. He took the test in Vancouver because Canada allows pilots to be licensed at 14; the age is 16 in the United States.
"It's exciting," he said. "It helps other kids, too, because they're following me. I set an example for them."
After he passed his test, Kenny got a wet welcome on the ground when airmen doused him with a bucket of water. "I guess that's the tradition there," publicist Cynthia Macon said.
The boys got their training in the youth aviation program at the Compton-based Tomorrow's Aeronautical Museum, where they volunteered to work in exchange for instruction.
Before flying to Vancouver, Jimmy had 20 hours of flight time and Kenny had 50.
The world records are something the boys can be proud of forever, said Oscar York, president of the Los Angeles chapter of the Tuskeegee Airmen organization.
"Even if they don't want to fly later in life, it shows you can do something," said York, who welcomed Kenny and Jimmy home. "And they're on their way to a good career, because they have heads that are already turned to the future."
Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Cool they can fly, but can they drive?
Good for them.
I'm so tired of hearing about (and seeing) the "poor, disenfranchised" drop outs hangin' on the corner and selling drugs, blaming "the man" for their situation.
Kudos to these young gentlemen. They deserve them.
Maybe the EAA will sponsor them for a scholarship somewhere?
Edited for code.
Somehow I get the feeling these lads do not list P. Diddy, Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton as role models.
+ a billion or so.......