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Friday, 17 July 2009

Kimberly Anyadike: Youngest African American Pilot

Kimberly Anyadike, 15, stands in front of her single-engine Cessna plane during her historic cross-country flight.

She departed with a dream and returned home a record-breaker.
Inspired by the Tuskeegee Airmen, 15-year-old Kimberly Anyadike flew a single-engine Cessna cross-country from her hometown of Compton, Calif., to Newport News, Va.
Anyadike is thought to be the youngest African American female pilot to complete the journey, which took 13 days. She arrived home in Los Angeles on Saturday, July 11.

Anyadike learned to fly at age 12 through the Compton-based Tomorrow's Aeronautical Museum, which offers aviation lessons in an after-school program for disadvantaged youths, the Los Angeles Times reported. It was their plane that she flew on her cross-country trip.
The brave teenager came up with the idea for the trip on her own, the museum's founder, Robert Petgrave, told the Times.

"I told her it was going to be a daunting task, but she just said, 'Put it on. I got big shoulders,'" Petgrave said.
Along for the historic ride were an adult safety pilot and 87-year-old Levi Thornhill, one of the Tuskeegee Airmen during World War II.

"They left such a great legacy," Anyadike said of the U.S. Army Air Corps' all-black combat unit. "I had big shoes to fill. ... All they wanted to do was to be patriots for this country. They were told no, that they were stupid, that they didn't have cognitive development to fly planes. They didn't listen. They just did what they wanted to do."

About 50 Tuskeegee Airmen autographed the young pilot's plane during her journey, the Times reported.
"I wanted to inspire other kids to really believe in themselves," Anyadike said.
Anyadike? That sounds Nigerian to me...
Is she?


Anonymous said...

Anyadike? Definately Nigerian!

Gochi said...

How inspiring!!!

Yinkuslolo said...

Yeah, I learnt she is.

The Activist said...

Waoh I am proud of her. Her name sounded Nigerian, may be she is, may be her nanny named her just like Shola Ama or the parents named her after a Nigerian Heroine they know...

I wish her the very best.

Your interview is up.

Admin said...

thats a good and historic innovation

Anonymous said...

Sweetie, is kinda derogatory. Just pointing out the obvious... Good thing u listened..

Anonymous said...

Abeeeeeeg. We are claiming her. She is Nigerian, jo.

Whether she is really Naija or not, that one is her business... She's from my village, sef. Nonsense! lol!

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is so inspiring. I love when i see people who are young, and doing great things with their lives. I'm proud of you Kimberly Anyadike, keep it up.

Anonymous said...

That lil Girl is not African American but Nigerian i give her 10tumbs up! But she does not want to be a pilot when she grows up.

Anonymous said...

Let me AUTHORITATIVELY say she is NIGERIAN, from DELTA STATE precisely. how would i know...?, im d COUSIN AND im sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo proud of her. Thanks guyz for ur lovely comments, ill make sure she sees them.

Anonymous said...

definately 4rm nig.anyadike!sounds more like igbo name.

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