Monday, July 20, 2009
L.A. teen flew single-engine plane across the country...alone!
A 15-year-old Los Angeles girl who navigated a single-engine Cessna through thunderstorms in Texas and took in breathtaking aerial views of Arizona's sunsets landed her plane to cheering crowds at Compton Woodley Airport on Saturday. She is believed to be the youngest African American female pilot to fly solo across the country.
Kimberly Anyadike took off from Compton 13 days ago with an adult safety pilot and Levi Thornhill, an 87-year-old who served with the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. They flew to Newport News, Va., making about a dozen stops along the way.
Anyadike learned to fly a plane and helicopter when she was 12 with the Compton-based Tomorrow's Aeronautical Museum, which offers aviation lessons to at-risk youth and economically disadvantaged students through an after-school program. The organization owns the small plane Anyadike flew.
Anyadike said she loved the feeling of streaking across the sky. She told her mother that it was like a wild ride at Magic Mountain.
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