Staten Island teen becomes one of the youngest African American-licensed pilots

Chanteé Lans Image
Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Staten Island teen is one of the youngest African American licensed pilots
Chantee Lans has the story on the 17-year-old pilot.

FARMINGDALE, Long Island (WABC) -- The journey of a 17-year-old African American aviator from Staten Island is proving that the sky is not the limit for her future.

For Kamora Freeland, flying is everything.

"I have a passion for it and I love it," she said.

The Kingsborough Early College High School senior says she's ready for the biggest test of her life.

"Today I'm taking my check ride, so that's the test to get my private pilot's license," she said.

That's right! At just 17 years old, the honor student from Staten Island honor hopes to become a pilot.

She has already passed her solo, and cross-country flights, taking her mother last summer to Martha's Vineyard.

"She flew me, and I enjoyed it, and she really did it, and I couldn't believe that she was the pilot of the of the plane that I was sitting in the back of," Freeland's mother said.

But it all boils down to Monday.

"I live in Atlanta, and I came to see it," said Freeland's sister Mariama Toe-Freeland. "I wouldn't miss it for the world."

Freeland's family waited eagerly in anticipation.

"Excited, I'm real excited about this here," said Freeland's grandfather Richard Greene said.

"Me, I'm scared of heights," said Freeland's cousin Aaron Rice. "I'm not going to do that, to see her doing this, it's just like amazing and to be so young and mature at that age to even want to do it, is just amazing."

Freeland flew for about an hour with a designated pilot examiner, before touching down to find out the results.

"I didn't see this a year and a half ago and to be here and see it with my own two eyes, I'm grateful," Freeland's mom said.

"I couldn't even hardly walk but I knew I had to be here," Greene said.

As for the results... the 17-year-old passed!

She received a hug from her dad, and even from a Tuskegee airman.

Her flight instructor started teaching and flying with Freeland when she was 15.

"She's focused and she's still just a kid," Freeland's instructor said.

"It's definitely amazing," Freeland said. "I'm a part of the change that's definitely needed and I want other little Black girls to do the same."

Sky's the limit for Freeland, literally. She's enrolling at Spellman College in the fall.

Her next stop is her commercial pilot's license.


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