Young pilot soaring to new heights

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Monday, August 23, 2021
Young pilot soaring to new heights
This young pilot is on a mission to help minorities achieve their high-flying dreams!

HOUSTON, Texas -- Tahchiona Smith knew from a young age she wanted to be a pilot. As a child, she would go with her grandmother to watch planes take off and land at Houston's Hobby Airport. She flew a plane solo before she ever got her drivers license, taking flying lessons at Houston's Sterling Aviation High School.

Now 24, Smith is a flight instructor with Houston's Raiders-Tigers Flying Club, a non-profit aimed at bringing diversity to the aviation community. She helps make low-cost flight lessons available to aspiring pilots.

"To be able to be a pilot, let alone as an African American female is phenomenal," said Smith. "The very first time I met an African American female pilot, I was 23. We are less than one percent, African American pilots. So now, being able to see a lot more of us and me teaching a lot of other African American females is just a feeling that I can't even describe."

Smith is currently training to become a commercial airline pilot.

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