Caleb Smith, a Black teenager from Prince George’s County, Maryland, has become the country’s youngest glider pilot. Malik Sinegal, then 23 years old, made history by becoming the youngest African American to be certified as a Boeing 777 pilot last year.
Smith, a 10th grader at Charles H. Flowers High School in Springdale, first encountered flying when he was 10 years old at Bowie Freeway Airport.
This experience aroused his interest in aviation and motivated him to pursue it. He obtained one-on-one ground and flying training from a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI). As a result of his accomplishments, he was awarded a gliding school scholarship in May 2021.
Despite the pandemic, Smith, 16, continued his training. He even flew solo for the first time after 33 attempts. He’s now done 12 solo flights and passed the FAA written exam recently.
According to WUSA-9, Smith has been confirmed as the United States’ youngest private glider pilot. Since then, he’s worked for Destiny Aviation Services and obtained a scholarship from the Skyline Soaring Club at Front Royal Airport.
Smith thanked the Front Royal Airport’s Skyline Soaring Club for giving him a scholarship that allowed him to achieve his goal.
He also hopes that his story will serve as an inspiration to many other teenagers, particularly those from underrepresented groups. He believes that if children obtain a good education, uphold morals, exhibit love and respect for others, and maintain a spiritual connection, they will be able to achieve their goals, just as he did.
Smith’s ultimate goal is to become a commercial airline pilot, and he wants to do it after graduating from high school by enrolling in the United States Air Force Military Academy.
UP, UP AND AWAY!️CHECK OUT THIS @WUSA9 STORY ON @CHFLOWERSHIGH SOPHOMORE CALEB SMITH, THE YOUNGEST PRIVATE GLIDER PILOT IN THE COUNTRY! #PGCPSPROUDHTTPS://T.CO/JV5WMAJTMC
— PGCPS (@PGCPS) NOVEMBER 29, 2021