LifestyleBlack History Month


United Airlines welcomes 6 Black airline pilots

Posted at 7:52 AM, Feb 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-22 10:56:37-05

As we celebrate Black History Month, we're sharing the story of a group of six friends who are breaking barriers in the sky.

Six Hampton University students first set out to become pilots back in 1997.

And now, more than 20 years later, they're all pilots for United Airlines.

They're joining an industry with almost zero diversity.

Among airline pilots in the U.S., less than 4% are Black. It's even more divided when you factor in gender.

Black women make up less than 1% of all U.S. pilots.

"When I was starting this I did not know that you could be an African American pilot, but through the grace and because of my friends here, I was able to do it," said Capt. Darnel Duckett.

The group of friends are now helping with the groundbreaking program Aviate, which helps usher in the next generation of pilots.