This Nigerian American Sets To Become Youngest Black Female Commercial Airline Pilot

by Duke Magazine

According to numbers published by ABC News, there are less than 150 professional Black women pilots in the United States who hold airline transport pilot, commercial, military, or certificated flight instructor credentials.

This harsh reality is not lost on Izuchukwu. She is determined to pave the way for others who look like her to emerge, knowing that there are few Black women pilots to inspire other young Black women.

The 24-year-old, who was born in Nigeria to Nigerian parents, is pursuing a career as a commercial airline pilot. According to Black News, Izuchukwu began her career in the aviation sector as a flight attendant with American Airlines.
She first encountered a pilot while working as a customer service representative at American Airlines, and it sparked her desire to become a pilot. She addressed it with her father, who was not supportive.

“If he gets on a plane and sees a woman as the pilot, he would get off the plane,” Izuchukwu’s father told her. Her father’s lackluster remarks, on the other hand, did not deter her from pursuing her dream of becoming a pilot. Instead, she chose to be inspired by her father’s pessimism.

She received her Private Pilots License in 2021. “Please don’t stop praying for me, whomever you are. It’s working.” I became one of only 7% of female pilots in the world, and one of only 1% of black female pilots. Izuchukwu posted on Instagram, “It’s a thrilling, yet bizarre experience to present myself to the world as a Pilot.”

She is currently studying to become a commercial airline pilot and shares stories on her social media pages about how she got to where she is now and how others may do the same, as well as pilot training tips.

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