Major General Irene Trowell-Harris Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen Inc. celebrated the opening of the Redtail Flight Academy (RFA) located at Stewart International Airport (SWF) in New Windsor, NY. Original Tuskegee Airmen Lt. Col. Enoch Woodhouse and United Airlines Pilot Carole Hopson were both were guest speakers at the event .
The Redtail Flight Academy opened on September 10th at SWF with seven minority youth scholarship recipients from various parts of the country and the Caribbean. The Redtail Flight Academy is designed to take these students from little or no cockpit time to commercial multi-engine rated pilots within ten months.
The Director of the program, Ret. Air Force Lt. Col. Glendon Fraser recalls seeing one of the two brand new Piper 100i aircraft flying over head, and he immediately notices the distinctive red tail. The white Piper with the red tail was chosen to honor the legacy of the Tuskegee Airman; the P-51 Mustang flown by the Airmen were Pipers with a red tail.
The Academy was created by a group of volunteer aviators and other community members that have been working with elementary school kids and high school kids every week for over 23 years.
Former Marine and Part 135 pilot Carlos Rodriguez and FedEx Check Airmen Sheldon Richards are on the Board of Directors along side Lt. Col. Fraser who is a Check Airmen for United Airlines where he has worked for more than 35 years. The entire staff is made up of aviators; from the Safety Manager to the Dispatcher.
Redtail Flight Academy has already put in place strategic partnerships with American Express, Coca Cola, Wheels Up, Flight Safety International, NBAA, Women in Aviation, Baldwin Aviation, and GuardianJet.
Redtail Flight Academy strives to continue the legacy of the Tuskegee Airman and work to further diversify the aviation industry, while helping to create young productive Leaders.
The Redtail Flight Academy has launched its Corporate Ambassador Program designed to work with Corporate Flight Departments interested furthering the diversity of the aviation industry. There is also a Redtail Society that is for individuals that want to help foster the next generations aviators.