The Greater Cincinnati Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen has a plan to help inner-city youth soar by teaching them how to fly. Youth Aviation Director Marvin Bryce Sr. says that the program will also encourage youths to pursue an aviation career, even if it is not as a pilot. The idea is to show Cincinnati’s inner city youth that there are other careers open to them, even if they are not familiar with the industry because it is not evident in their neighborhood. Bryce told the WCPO Cincinnati that he wants to show the youth that “All things are possible if you just put your heart into it.”
Across the country, youth aviation programs are encouraging teenagers to get their pilot’s license or enter the aviation field in some other capacity. In the next five years, 20,000 pilots will have to retire once they reach age 65 and aviation industry analysts fear that the shortage of pilots will affect how many flights that airlines may offer.
Flight school is expensive; many young adults cannot afford to pay back their student loans with the starting salary offered by regional airlines. While flying a jet airliner is a high paying job, most new pilots start out at smaller, regional airlines to gain experience, therefore, numerous organizations are committed to helping young people gain their pilot’s license and the experience that they need to begin a career in aviation.
The Tuskegee Airmen were segregating black military personnel who trained to be pilots at an isolated base just outside of Tuskegee, Alabama. The nearly 1,000 pilots received numerous awards and decorations and in 2007, they were honored with a Congressional Gold Medal. Founded in 1986, the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen has 60 members who are encouraging people to donate to the program. The program came to life with $10,000 from an anonymous donor.