Isaiah Cooper, 16, is the youngest African American pilot to fly over the continental United States, according to ABC13. The Compton teenager clocked more than 8,000 miles over 13 days and landed in the Compton-Woodley Airport around 10 a.m. this past Tuesday.
“Just stay focused. There’s a lot of people that will try to detract you from the road that you’re on,” Cooper said about his experience in the air. “Whatever you want to do, you can do it, just put your mind to it.”
The accomplishment didn’t come without its own complications. While the trip mostly went smoothly, Cooper was flying over Wyoming, he encountered a powerful air current called a microburst, damaged his original plane during landing and switched to another one, according to Travel and Leisure. However, the young man was determined to accomplish his goal.
Cooper’s next goal is to be the youngest person to fly across the globe next year. To do so, he’s hoping to raise $45,000 through a GoFundMe campaign.