Sixteen-year-old Isaiah Cooper is making headlines for a great feat. He’s the youngest Black pilot to complete a cross-country mission, according to NBC Los Angeles.
Cooper, accompanied by a flight instructor, capped the end to his two-week journey on Monday when he landed at his home base in Compton, California. He traveled non-stop a total of 8,000 miles, minus an emergency landing due to bad weather in Wyoming.
His instructor, Robin Petgrave, said Cooper showed expertise beyond his 16 years, successfully steering the plane to safety.
“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,” Petgrave told NBC.
The aviator has his sights on another record, aiming to become the youngest Black pilot to fly around the world on a solo mission. Cooper will begin the flight when he turns 18. Matt Guthmiller of South Dakota holds the Guinness World Record, completing the flight at age 19 in 2014.
Cooper’s journey to becoming a pilot began at age five, though his plans were thwarted after he became involved with what he calls, “the wrong crowd.” He hopes his exemplary achievement will inspire other young people to find their inspirations.
“There’s a higher power that’s always there trying to have you focused so whatever you want to do, you can do it. Just put your mind to it,” Cooper said.
SOURCE: NBC Los Angeles | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Twitter