According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 9 percent of all commercial aircraft pilots in the U.S. are women and less than 3 percent are black. Let that sink in.

Courtland Savage, a former navy pilot and current commercial airline pilot, hopes to change these disparities. The North Carolina native understands the difficulties that come with being a minority in the field, including the steep financial costs associated with aviation. He decided to do his part to expose marginalized children to aviation by founding the nonprofit program Fly for the Culture. It promotes diversity and inclusion within the aerospace industry by offering free flying lessons as well as mentorship for future pilots.

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“What we do is take kids on introductory flights. Kids who have never even stepped foot on an airfield,” says Courtland. “This organization was created to promote diversity in the aviation industry. Most minority kids don’t even know it’s possible nor have seen pilots that look like them in airplanes, so we show them by putting them in a plane with a black pilot and taking them flying for their first time ever.”

Watch the video above to learn more about the organization and witness some introductory flights at the same flight school where Courtland received his first flight lesson in North Carolina.

Video Producer @ The Root

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DISCUSSION

fiveliters1
FiveLiters1

When I was a kid,my mom worked for TWA,and I was convinced that when I got older,I would become a pilot.

...then I got older and realized all the education/math/money/training/etc. required for it and was like nah.

I sort of wish there was something like this around when I was a kid though.

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