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Sat, Feb 09, 2008

Teens Prepare World Record Tribute To Tuskegee Airmen

TAM Assists Students In Preparing For Record Attempts

Young people at Tomorrow's Aeronautical Museum (TAM) in Compton, CA celebrated Black History Month recently, by making plans to set new aviation world records.

Kelly Anyadiki, 16, plans to become the youngest African American female to solo seven airplanes on the same day, and 16-year old Jonathan Strickland will solo seven airplanes and two helicopters in tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen. The world record events are scheduled to take place at Compton Woodley Airport (CPM) on March 15, 2008.

"The kids at Tomorrow's Aeronautical Museum want to tell the world that the heritage of the Tuskegee Airmen is alive and well in a new generation," said TAM founder Robin Petgrave. "These new world records the kids will set are an example of where the past meets the present and the future!"

At age 14, Jonathan Strickland became the youngest African American to fly solo in a Robinson R-22 helicopter and a Cessna 152 on the same day. As ANN reported, Strickland flew an R44 with an instructor from Compton, CA to Canada to set those records, and in doing so also became the youngest African American to fly a helicopter internationally, and to fly a helicopter on an international round-trip.

All four of Strickland's world records have been recorded by the Smithsonian Museum. Strickland also appeared on the Montel Williams Show to celebrate his accomplishments.

On March 15, Kelly Anyadiki will fly solo in a Piper Tomahawk, a Cessna 150, a Cessna 172RG, a Cessna 152, a Piper Cherokee 140, a Cessna 172SP and a Piper Warrior. Jonathan Strickland will solo in each of those aircraft as well, plus two more flights in a Robinson R22 and an R44 helicopter.

Tomorrow's Aeronautical Museum offers aviation-themed afterschool programs for more than 800 kids from grades K-12. Kids can take part in projects ranging from washing airplanes to graffiti mitigation. Instead of earning money, kids are earn ‘museum bucks,' which they can apply toward flight instruction.

The museum plans open additional locations across the country, with the support of the Organization of Black Airline Pilots and the Tuskegee Airmen. The Newport News, Virginia chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen will open a TAM operation this spring, and the city of Norwalk and the ‘Adopt A Bike' program in San Bernardino, CA. have plans to open a TAM as well.

FMI: www.tamuseum.org

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