When some kids say they want to fly, they are wishing they could be superheroes. But when Isaiah Cooper said he wanted to fly, he meant behind the controls of an airplane. But the 14-year-old Compton, California native didn’t just want to learn how to fly, he wanted to set records. This week he did, becoming the youngest pilot to fly around the continental United States despite crash landing his original plane in Wyoming.
Sixteen year-old Isaiah Cooper began his journey on July 5 and flew a total of 8,000 miles in 13 days. Although the adventure wasn’t particularly easy all the way through (Cooper experienced extreme winds in Wyoming where he ended up making an emergency landing on a street in Cheyenne, WY and switching planes) he successfully returned to the Compton-Woodley Airport.
Having accomplished one goal Cooper has already set his sights on another: he’s planning a solo flight around the world when he turns 18. Matthew Guthmiller currently holds the Guinness World Record for youngest person to fly solo around the world at age 19 back in 2014. So if Cooper were to successfully pull this one off, he would replace Guthmiller.
Currently there’s a Go Fund Me page for Cooper, where the aspiring aviator was trying to raise money for the practice flight he recently embarked on (the post was originally created on May 13).
“I began attending an aviation youth program in Compton at Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum (TAM) when I was 5 years old. But as I got older, I began hanging with the wrong crowd, doing seriously self-destructive things,” Isaiah wrote in the Go Fund Me post. “Realizing that this was not how I wanted to live my life, I returned to TAM. My main goal is to become a productive young man with a future in aviation, and not a statistic.”
(Photo ABC7.com Screenshot)