15 years old Nigerian girl turned out to be the first young pilot to fly across USA
According to How Africa, the 15-year-old Kimberly Anyadike of Nigerian descent was inspired by the Tuskeegee Airmen and she flew a single-engine Cessna cross-country from her hometown of Compton, Calif., to Newport News, Va. Anyadike is thought to be the youngest 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. Robert Petgrave, told the Times that the brave teenager came up with the idea for the trip on her own, the museum’s founder, “I told her it was going to be a daunting task, but she just said, ‘Put it on. I got big shoulders,’” Petgrave said.
“I wanted to inspire other kids to really believe in themselves,” Anyadike 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. About 50 Tuskeegee Airmen autographed the young pilot’s plane during her journey, the Times reported.