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Delta celebrates National Aviation Day with youth pilots on first solo flights

Solo Flight AcademyIn recognition of National Aviation Day 2018 on Aug. 19, Delta highlights two aspiring aviators, Nina Shack, 17, and James McDaniel, 18, as they prepare to pilot their first flights as sole captains.

The two were excited to recently graduate from the Solo Flight Academy, a Delta-sponsored program that offers youth aged 16-19 aviation education, training and mentoring by the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, or OBAP. Solo Flight Academy is one part of OBAP’s larger Atlanta Aviation Career Education program.

“Flying for the first time was magical,” said Nina. “Your adrenaline is rushing, your passion is being ignited and you never want to come down.”

Solo Flight Academy“I feel great to be in the air applying everything I’ve learned in ground school,” James added. “It’s a great accomplishment.”

After two weeks, the program culminates with the students’ graduation, or completing their first solo flight.

In the next decade, Delta expects to hire more than 8,000 pilots. The airline is committed to supporting these future aviators and through its new Propel Pilot Career Path Program, will help identify, select and develop the next generation of Delta pilots.

Solo Flight Academy

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