Caleb Smith, a Black adolescent from Maryland’s Prince George’s County, has become the country’s youngest glider pilot. Last year, Malik Sinegal, then 23 years old, set a record by being the youngest African American to be certified as a Boeing 777 pilot.
Smith, a 10th grader at Charles H. Flowers High School in Springdale, had his first encounter with aviation at Bowie Freeway Airport when he was 10 years old.
This incident piqued his interest in flying and inspired him to pursue it. He worked with a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) and received one-on-one ground and flight training. In May 2021, he was awarded a gliding school scholarship as a result of his efforts.
Smith, 16, continued his training despite the pandemic. After 33 attempts, he even flew solo for the first time. He has now completed 12 solo flights and recently passed the FAA written exam.
Smith has been confirmed as the United States’ youngest private glider pilot, according to WUSA-9. Since then, he’s joined Destiny Aviation Services and received a scholarship from the Front Royal Airport’s Skyline Soaring Club.
Smith expressed his gratitude to the Front Royal Airport’s Skyline Soaring Club for providing him with a scholarship that enabled him to reach his objective.
He also hopes that his tale will inspire many other teenagers, especially those from minority groups. He believes that if kids receive a decent education, preserve principles, show love and respect to others, and stay connected to God, they may achieve their goals just like he did.
Smith’s ultimate ambition is to become a commercial airline pilot, and he plans to pursue this aim by enrolling in the United States Air Force Military Academy after graduating from high school.