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Friday, April 19, 2024

17-year-old boy makes history as the youngest black pilot in the USA

17 year old Gabriel Carothers has made history as the youngest black pilot in the United States Of America.

Gabriel Carothers is a student from Albuquerque in New Mexico, who recently just completed his his private pilot check ride making him the youngest black to ever ride a plane on his own.

Gabriel said flying a plane has been his favorite hobby since he was a child. When he was 8 years old, he was given the opportunity to take on the controls of an airplane in flight for the first time during an ‘Experimental Aircraft Association Young Eagles’ event at the Moriarty Airport in New Mexico which fueled his passion more.

“I wasn’t really thinking about making history, I was just thinking about flying and doing what I like to do every day,” he said.

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“I don’t even recognize it, but then it’s days like this that really makes me feel it and reflect on it. The past 4 to 5 years of me training and doing ground school of me waking up in the morning knowing I get to look forward to something like my check ride,” he said.

At the age of 14, he made his own research and learned everything from designing to programming which then led him to build his own flight simulator. Gabriel said his father, Alex Carothers, who is a retired United States Air Force pilot was the one who inspired his passion.

“My father had a family friend who had an airplane that used to fly, so he thought it’d be interesting to take me and my brother up for a flight when we were five and six years old ,just to get a feel for it,” he said. 

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”It might be interesting. Catch your attention,’ and for me, it did. So, that was my first experience around an airplane,” Carothers said. “I had what we call ‘bitten by the bug.’ So, it took off for me. I found that this was an interesting career path for me, and I can have fun and make money doing it, but it’s more fun,” he added.

Carothers is currently a member of General Lloyd “Fig” Newton local chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, where he helps teach the youth and adults the basics of flight at STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) events.

He said he plans to soar even higher as he wants to learn to fly vintage aircraft and participate in airshows and follow in his father’s footsteps by joining the Air Force.

“Leaving a trail behind and leaving a path for other kids to follow really lightens up my heart, and to make sure that they have a future no matter what they do,” he said.

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