17-Year-Old Makes History, Becomes Youngest Black Pilot in His State
Gabriel Carothers, a 17-year-old student from Albuquerque, NM, made history as the youngest pilot in the state after completing his private pilot check ride.
“I wasn’t really thinking about making history, I was just thinking about flying and doing what I like to do every day,” Carothers told Live5News.
Carothers, who grew up in Albuquerque, has truly been passionate about flying since he was a kid. He said, “My father had a family friend who had an airplane that used to fly us. So, he thought it’d definitely be interesting to take me and my brother up for a flight when we were 5 and 6 years old.”
His father, Alex Carothers, a retired U.S. Air Force pilot, has also been a great inspiration and support to him.
At the age of 8, Carothers’ passion grew even more when he was given the opportunity to take the controls of an airplane in flight for the first time during an “Experimental Aircraft Association Young Eagles” event at the Moriarty Airport in New Mexico.
When he was 14 years old, he had already built his own flight simulator. He did his own research and learned everything from designing to programming it.
Last August 2022, Carothers completed his private pilot check ride just 10 days after he turned 17 years old, making him the youngest pilot in the entire state of New Mexico.
Carothers is currently a member of General Lloyd “Fig” Newton local chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, where he helps teach the youth and adults the basics of flight at STEM events.
“Leaving a trail behind and leaving a path for other kids to follow really lightens up my heart, and to make sure that they have a future no matter what they do,” he said.
Moreover, Carothers aims to soar even higher as he wants to learn to fly vintage aircraft and participate in airshows, and follow in his father’s footsteps by joining the Air Force.
This story first appeared on Blacknews.com.