12:15 pm - Tuesday December 18, 2018

INSPIRATIONAL: NIGERIAN 23YEARS OLD PILOT, KIMBERLY ANYADIKE Youngest African-American to Complete Transcontinental Flight across United States…Flew single-engine Cessna 172 from Compton, California to Newport News, Virginia and back, completing the journey in 13 days at age 15 *Had her first flying lessons at the age of 12, attends after-school aviation program offered by Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum for disadvantaged youths, Successfully navigated through thunderstorms *Paid her flight lessons with ‘museum dollars’ earned by washing airplanes and working odd jobs around the Compton Airport *Studied in University of California, Los Angeles, majoring in physiological science with minors in African-American studies and Spanish *Receives Inaugural Young Aviator’s Award in Tuskegee, Alabama, in recognition of her achievements as a pilot *Aspires to become a Cardiovascular Surgeon *WHY her surname Anyadike means “eye of the warrior” in the Igbo language BY GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/FOREIGN BUREAU CHIEF, UNITED STATES

INSPIRATIONAL:

NIGERIAN 23YEARS OLD PILOT, KIMBERLY ANYADIKE Youngest African-American to Complete Transcontinental Flight across United States…Flew single-engine Cessna 172 from Compton, California to Newport News, Virginia and back, completing the journey in 13 days at age 15
*Had her first flying lessons at the age of 12, attends after-school aviation program offered by Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum for disadvantaged youths, Successfully navigated through thunderstorms
*Paid her flight lessons with ‘museum dollars’ earned by washing airplanes and working odd jobs around the Compton Airport
*Studied in University of California, Los Angeles, majoring in physiological science with minors in African-American studies and Spanish
*Receives Inaugural Young Aviator’s Award in Tuskegee, Alabama, in recognition of her achievements as a pilot
*Aspires to become a Cardiovascular Surgeon
*WHY her surname Anyadike means “eye of the warrior” in the Igbo language

 

BY GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/FOREIGN BUREAU CHIEF, UNITED STATES

SO MANY NIGERIANS IN THE DIASPORA ARE MAKING THE NATION proud, only insignificant few are the ones bringing opporibrium to Nigeria. Kimberly Anyadike, whose last name means ‘eye of warrior’ in Igbo language where her parents come from, has taken Nigeria’s glory beyond the sky, as she broke records for being the first African-American at the age of 15 years to have completed Transcontinental Flight across United States.

Now 23 years old, Anyadike reportedly recalls how at the age of 12 years, she had her first flying lessons at the age of 12, attending an after-school aviation program offered by Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum for disadvantaged youths and three years later, she flew a single-engine Cessna 172 from Compton, California to Newport News, Virginia and back, completing the journey in 13 days.

It is on record that Anyandike is the youngest African-American woman to complete a transcontinental flight across the United States. As earlier explained, she took her first flying lessons at the age of 12, attending an after-school aviation program offered by Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum for disadvantaged youths. In her determination to succeed, she paid for her flight lessons with “museum dollars” earned by washing airplanes and working odd jobs around the Compton Airport.

Transcontinental Flight

In 2009, at the age of 15, Anyadike flew a single-engine Cessna 172 from Compton, California to Newport News, Virginia and back, completing the journey in 13 days. She made about a dozen scheduled stops along the way, and navigated through thunderstorms as she flew across Texas. Anyadike was accompanied by adult safety pilot Ronnell Norman, and Major Levi H. Thornhill, an 87-year-old retired U.S. Air Force pilot who served during World War II as a member of the elite Tuskegee Airmen.

Along the journey, Anyadike’s plane was autographed by about 50 Tuskegee Airmen, who came to meet her during stops in different cities. Though the record had never been officially tracked before her journey, Anyadike is believed to be the youngest African-American woman — and possibly the youngest person of any race or gender — to have successfully piloted a plane solo across the United States.

In May 2015, Anyadike received the inaugural Young Aviator’s Award in Tuskegee, Alabama, in recognition of her achievements as a pilot. In 2017, Anyadike was interviewed about her transcontinental flight for a special Disney Channel segment for Black History Month entitled ‘True Heroes Are Timeless’.

College Education

For her college education, Anyadike enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles, majoring in physiological science with minors in African-American studies and Spanish. In early 2016, during her senior year, she was also working as a registered emergency medical technician, and was volunteering for her local chapter of the Flying Samaritans to bring medical care to Tijuana, Mexico. When asked about future aspirations, Anyadike has said that she plans to enroll in medical school and become a cardiovascular surgeon.

Anyadike’s older sister, Kelly, also took aviation lessons at Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum. On her sixteenth birthday, Kelly became the youngest African-American woman to pilot four different fixed-wing aircraft in a single day.

Born in 1994, Anyadike grew up in Compton, California. She has two siblings: an older brother and sister. Her parents are originally from Nigeria and their surname Anyadike means “eye of the warrior” in the Igbo language.

Filed in: International

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply