Flight organization aims to create more minority pilots

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A flight organization has its sights set on creating more minority pilots.

The Luke Weathers flight school opens next week with the goal of exposing children to aviation.

FedEx Captain Albert Glenn says seeing the Luke Weathers Flight Academy come to life is a dream realized.

"Our goal is to find those who are passionate but don't have funds, and then provide them with the opportunity to do it," Captain Glenn said.

The school features flight simulators and all the tools to prepare a young pilot.

"The idea was to start a cradle to career," he said.

A plan to show those from minority backgrounds an option is now possible through grants and scholarships.

"Once we get this facility open we will partner with other schools, like East High School - which is starting a full aviation program this fall," Glenn said.

The goal is to create a pipeline.

Since 1992, Captain Glenn says the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals has been working with Woodlawn High to spark a passion for flying. One that leads students straight from high school to the cockpit once they complete their aviation requirements.

Captain Jeffrey Mabry is a product of the Memphis Aviation career education academy, and the new flight academy is an extension of the program that trained him.

"It was love at first flight."

He started flying at 17-year-old. Now at 27, he's still loving the open skies.

"You get bit by the aviation bug once you get that first flight out the way, then you're hooked."

Micah Clark will be teaching the students to fly in the program.

She moved from Detroit to pour into the future of aviation.

"It's a rush. It is pure joy to know that I can put my hand in something and cause a student's life to be changed."

These pilots say the real training starts on the ground. That's where the passion for flying is born.

"I hope it will bring children to the idea that they can actually do this too,"

The Luke Weathers Flight Academy opens next Wednesday.

To learn more about the program click here.

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