by Doug “Snake” Byrd
A 2008 graduate of the East Coast Chapter, Tuskegee Airmen Youth in Aviation Program, I am currently a junior at Emery Riddle Aeronautical University (Andrews AFB Campus). Today, I hold my private pilot’s certificate and instrument rating, and have logged over 318 hours of flight time. I am about a week away from my commercial license and I will pursue my certified flight instructor license.
My goal is to become an airshow performer, flying aerobatics around the world. In doing that, I will spread the word of the Tuskegee Airmen and do my best to keep the legacy alive, promoting peace and understanding while setting a positive example for the youth of the world. In my first aerobatic competition I placed first in primary, and hope to someday make to U.S. Nationals and place first in unlimited.
I owe all my success and future success to the men and women of the Tuskegee Airmen and the East Coast Chapter. If it weren’t for their undying support, I would not be here as I am today. The Tuskegee Airmen essentially built and paved the runway that I have the privilege to take off from today, and have inspired many others to follow in their wake. We are all flying in formation together, following the superb, prestigious example that the Tuskegee Airmen have set.