16-year-old hopes to become youngest black pilot to fly around U.S.


A 16-year-old boy who learned to fly at Compton/Woodley Airport is aiming to become the youngest pilot to fly solo around the Earth, taking aim at an entry in the Guinness World Records.

After a group prayer, Isaiah Cooper gets a hug before his departure from Compton airport on July 5, 2016. (Credit: KTLA)

Isaiah Cooper intends to break another barrier: he wants to become the youngest African-American pilot to fly around the continental United States.


“I’m so happy that I get this opportunity,” Cooper said. “Most people don’t.”

He hopes his flight will inspire other teens.

His mother just wants him to call home every time he lands. She cried at her son’s departure event, which brought dozens of family members and friend to the airport before takeoff.

As seen from Sky5, Isaiah Cooper takes off from Compton airport on July 5, 2016. (Credit: KTLA)

Cooper and his flight instructor Roger Azad will fly from California to Washington state, to Maine, down to Florida and back across the country, with several stops along the route. They’ll fly about eight hours a day.



The current Guinness record-holder for the youngest person to fly solo around the world is Matthew Guthmiller, who finished his flight in El Cajon, in San Diego County, at age 19 in July 2014.

Cooper wants to break the record when he is 18. An 18-year-old Australian man is trying to break the record now.


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