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Teen Pilot From Compton Returns to SoCal After Record-Setting Flight

Isaiah Cooper, 16, touched down at Compton airport after a roughly two-week flight around the country, becoming the youngest African American pilot to complete the cross-country flight. A flight instructor accompanied him. Cooper's 8,000-mile flight was not without difficulty. Bad weather forced him to make a hard landing that heavily damaged his original plane in Wyoming. ( More...

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ToddBaldwin3 7
I generally dislike record setting "stunts" like this. I don't consider them a real flight if the "pilot" has to have a CFI on-board to make it legal. The added pressure of trying to set a record has to contribute to some questionable decision making (getthereitis), such the flight linbb mentioned below.
jmilleratp 4
Yeah, maybe get your Private Pilot Certificate first and show that you have accomplished a goal in your aviation career before trying to break records. I personally think that these records are all pretty stupid, unless they accomplish something like Lindbergh. Plus, he planted an aircraft during this little trip. Who's his sponsor? Oprah?
Record setting??? Around the world flight in the USA??? I'm going to sire a daughter. At the age of one, I'll put her on one of those flights with a CFI to make some records!!!
linbb -5
And die like the other little girl did due to the stupidity of the CFI. This guy wrecks the airplane with a CFI on board due to bad weather, if an instructor is on board and does not take the controls when things are over the students head its his nickel.
allench1 5
you are an idiot, thrustt has been on this site for well over a decade and had you known that you would have known he was making a joke and a satire at the same time about two things. 1. around the USA does not constitute around the world. 2. having an instructor there does not legally make the flight a SOLO flight
chalet 3
Once and for all aviation records have to be approved and sanctioned by the NATIONAL AERONAUTIC ASSOCIATION whose rules follow very tightly those of the FAI FEDERATION AERONAUTIQUE INTERNATIONALE based in Laussanne, Switzerland The claims these types arfe making that they broke such record are just pure PR BS.
Egadnow 3
"A flight instructor accompanied him"!!!
What was the record? Eight thousand miles of cross country dual with only one accident???
Richard Loven 2
If he was 17 and went Solo it would mean something. This is like a 16 year being the 1st to borrow the money for a Million dollar House after his folks co sign the note at the bank.
Jeff Lawson 2
Here's a news article of this teen's crash in Wyoming a couple weeks ago:
Andrew Stagg 2
The CFI should be getting a 709 ride...
Ruger9X19 1
Here is the actual preliminary report, seems like all the damage was done at the end of the landing roll. Don't see anything untoward at the moment, we will see what the investigation turns up.
joel wiley 1
That is a much more informative article than the OP. Given it is from a newspaper rather than a TV news program, I don't find it surprising.
wb2cjs 2
Wasn't there something done after Jessica Dubroff's misadventure making attempts to set fligh records without an actual pilot certificate illegal?

I remember this idea was put forth by AOPA after there were many (idiotic) calls to not allow teens to take the controls at all after that crash.
linbb 5
So now race and color are part of records along with age? Too much of a circus atmosphere to the whole thing along with politics. Anytime something other than just the flight governs the record its more than the flight.
Jeff Lawson 4
Women's only aviation competitions like the Air Race Classic still exist. Many other unexpected qualifiers are frequently thrown into records (first solar circumnavigation, first nonstop circumnavigation, youngest solo circumnavigation, greatest number of ratings at initial certification, etc).

As long as it encourages more people into doing something, that should be viewed as a good thing.
joel wiley 2
On the other hand, was this pilot right or left handed. If another pilot with the same age, gender, ethnicity criteria save for handedness repeated the feat, would it also be a record?
dee9bee 2
Dang, I'm left handed! Back in my early flying days, I may have set a speed record for a 'lefty' flying a C150 between KSNA and KLGB and never even knew :-)
Egadnow 1
I guess if we can have official records based on gender we can have them based on race as well.
Sounds like an insult to Blacks, somewhat akin to calling thrm inferior!
namotlagh 3
This is not news and it doesn't relate to aircraft spotting. Instead, this event is actually a poor attempt at publicity that was already attempted by a non-pilot Jessica Dubroff who tragically died on takeoff in Cheyenne, Wyoming while climbing into a microburst due to her CFI's and father's rush to get her to her next "appearance" on April 11, 1996. I find it appalling that this "crew" took off in the same conditions in almost the same place as young Jessica did 20 years ago. This flight instructor and student pilot should pay more attention to aviation safety and human factors by taking a lesson from the history book. The FAA needs to step in and possibly take certificate action against the so called CFI here. This event is exactly how not to promote general aviation.
30west 2
So called "Records" by those under the supervision of a CFI are meaningless. It's just a fluff piece for those who don't understand anything about what it means to be the PIC with the ultimate responsibility for the flight.
Ruger9X19 2
Wow, the jealousy in this thread is a bit ridicules.
How dare a young man have a dream and attempt to do something positive in his life? Oh no, he set a goal for himself a took a small step toward achieving it. When will the youth in our country just learn to fall in line and not do anything? We can't have people go about setting goals, planning difficult international itineraries, traveling and being excited about it. If he keeps this up he just might learn something. Where will we be as a society then? Won't someone think of the children???
I don't see jealousy in the posts. I agree with the rest of your post though. The only thing I'm knocking is that it's not a record...
I wish every child could have their dreams fulfilled, and every dog, a bone and a comfy place to sleep!!!
ToddBaldwin3 1
I'm sorry Ruger, but speaking for myself, it's not jealousy. I'm glad to see the boy has dreams, but I stand by what I said in my earlier post.
joel wiley 1
You do make a good point, which IMO was not well served by the news report. The pilot has set a goal to fly around the world, if only for a temporary spot in Guinness. I found the 'record setting' headline hard to swallow. Jealousy does not enter into it.
bentwing60 0
Some would if they didn't harbor the sneaking suspicion that in the background the 16 year old didn't come up with the mission or goal. At least the faux Amelia didn't wipe out an airplane in her venture. Must have had a better Noonan.
Read "Flight of Passage" by Rinker Buck. Now there was a record setting flight!
Ruger9X19 1
That one is a classic. If you liked that you might check out "Border Pilot" by M. W. Bourne.
David Loh 1
The headlines says record breaking referring to youngest pilot (or youngest african american?)..not sure which. The record is not youngest SOLO pilot. So all these comments about having a cfi onboard is either jealousy or inability to comprehend english.
The article says...This flight across the nation in preparation for what he hopes will be a record-setting around-the-world trip. By then he will 18 and presumably will be a fully qualified licensed pilot. He will then be absolutely entitled to try for a record breaking round the world SOLO flight if that is what he wishes to do. Why are so many people so negative about his ambitions?
The written article didn't state it, but the news video clip said it was a record setting flight, which it wasn't. I'm not jealous, so it must be my comprehension skills. I got D's, E's and F's in school...
joel wiley 1
His ambition is admirable. The reporting is execrable. Headline claims a record was set, which appears to be quite untrue. That, at least for me, was a major trigger.
chalet 1
Stupidity beyond belief
dbaker 1
Andrew Stagg 1
I think she crashed at CYS too...
Jeff Lawson 1
That's an interesting coincidence! Inexperienced pilots can easily underestimate the severity of cross-country weather when they both had done their primary training in the typically subdued weather of California.
Andrew Stagg 1
Hardly severe WX: METAR KFEW 081758Z AUTO 19012G17KT 10SM CLR 29/04 A3017 RMK AO2 SLP136 T02910044 10291 20108 58005 $
Perhaps the CFI was just inexperienced with operating at high density altitude... the aircraft was substantially damaged, so we can expect an NTSB report...
Egadnow 0
I understand it was an off airport landing due to bad weather!
Don't know how far away the airport with the clear weather was but unless there was a fuel problem a local thunder bumper should not have been a problem!
Egadnow 0
Don't know which runway was being used but a CFI should be able to handle a 5 KT gust spread, even 90 degrees!
Ruger9X19 1
Why are we comparing a young man who seems to be taking his training seriously with a 7 year old child? There are plenty of stupid accidents by people who should know better (and were much older), should we all stop trying to do anything that challenges us personally? He is going to be 18 if/when he attempts his circumnavigation, I'm sure he learned a lot on this flight and it will serve him well for his entire life. Who knows in a few years he will be have a ton of experience for his age, maybe he will be sitting next to one of you guys in the next decade. In WW2 we were sending 18 and 19 year old pilots into battle, now we can't let one try to fly around the world?


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