California Teen Sets Records

  • E-Mail this Article
  • View Printable Article
  • Text size:

    • A
    • A
    • A

A 14-year-old Inglewood, Calif., boy is said to be the youngest African-American person to fly an international round trip in a helicopter. Jonathan Strickland landed a Robinson R44 at Compton Airport in California on Saturday after completing a 15-hour return trip from Boundary Bay Airport, in Delta, British Columbia. On his way to B.C., he became the youngest African-American person to fly a helicopter solo and to do so internationally, according to an Associated Press story.While at Boundary Bay, he took a flight in a Cessna 172 and an R22 and, according to AP, became the youngest to solo both a helicopter and airplane on the same day. "It feels good," Strickland told AP. "Anybody can do it. It just takes a lot of hard work." Fourteen is the legal age to fly alone in Canada (aside from age, there are other requirements). While in the U.S., Srickland was accompanied by an instructor. Strickland, who enters high school next fall, was greeted by well wishers, including members of the Tuskegee Airmen and representatives of the L.A. County Fire Department's Blackhawk helicopter unit, who presented the teen with a t-shirt -- and a job application. Strickland's trip was sponsored by Tomorrow's Aeronautical Museum.