We would like to Congratulate former student Mychal Martin for reaching a significant milestone in his aviation career. Mychal has logged 1,000 flight hours. Mychal, served in the United States Navy as a Naval Flight Officer on the P-8 Poseidon. After leaving the Navy Mychal embarked on following his dream of building his flight hours in pursuit of his dream to become a airline pilot. He is currently serving as a civilian flight instructor in the Pacific Northwest and is on his way to fulfilling his dream. Mychal started our program as a young 11 year old student and excelled at every level in our program. He went on to become a mentor for several years after his first experience as a student before he went on to college. We are very proud of Mychal and wish him well on his journey. Mychal hopes to visit the flight academy this summer for our camp in June so he can share his journey with the new class.
The Pensacola Chapter of the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge honored the Chappie James Flight Academy with the Liberty Bell award. The event took place on March 5th at the Pensacola Yacht Club. Board members Mike Griffin, Mike Fowlkes and staff member Miles Wright were on hand to receive the award. While we do not look for recognition this award is a reflection of all the hard work of our team members, supporters and volunteers who believe in this program. We accept this award on behalf of all of you. Thank you to the Pensacola Chapter of the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge for recognizing our contributions to the Pensacola community.
Pensacola has a rich history of African American aviators. Most of them served or are serving in the military sevices as pilots. Most of us have heard of General Daniel Chappie James Jr. and his story but most have never heard of Lt James Polkinghorne Jr. Lt Polkinghorne is a graduate of Washington High school. Lt Polkinghorne was attending Florida A&M University when he joined the Army Air Corps and became part of the famed Tuskegee Airman class of aviators. He served as a fighter pilot and was part of the famous 332 fighter group. Unfortunately Lt Polkinghorne disappeared and lost his life during a combat mission over Italy on May 5th 1944. The Chappie James flight academy would like to salute and thank Lt. James Polkinghorne for his service and personal sacrifice. He is part of Pensacola African American aviation history. His story is told is a new book called Lost in Heaven by Leo Murphy.