RedTail Flight Academy: Taking Action to Diversify the Sky

Global Aerospace Editorial Team, May 20, 2022
Giving Back, Talent Pipeline

The Tuskegee Airmen were America’s first Black military pilots. Fighting in WWII, they also had to battle racism in the U.S. as they broke barriers and paved the way for future generations of Black aviators.

Tuskegee Airmen ca 1943 US Airforce

Unfortunately, Black aircraft pilots and engineers still make up just 3.9% of those employed in the industry, according to 2021 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The RedTail Flight Academy is a charitable 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to “honoring the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen by providing aviation opportunities for aspiring aviators of color.” The organization’s name comes from the red tails on aircraft flown by the squadron and now by the academy’s students.

Lt. Col. (Ret.) Glendon Fraser is the founder and director of RedTail Flight Academy. His goal is to “diversify the sky” by creating opportunities for young Black aviators to become trained pilots and pursue aviation careers.

Increasing Awareness to Advance RedTail Flight Academy’s Mission

Recently, CBS Mornings profiled RedTail Flight Academy and two of the pilots-in-training in the organization’s first class. Both expressed their gratitude for enabling them to pursue their passion for aviation.

As Lt. Col. Fraser explains, there is an awareness problem within urban and inner-city communities, with people in these areas not understanding that aviation careers are possible for them. But he is confident that his program is having a positive impact.

Supporting a Powerful and Important Program

While RedTail Flight Academy, based at New York Stewart International Airport, is a U.S. organization, the lack of diversity in aviation is a global problem. As an RFA Ambassador, Global Aerospace supports the fledgling program and the worldwide impact it will ultimately have.

That support comes, in part, in the form of aviation insurance coverage for the academy’s aircraft operations and support for their safety program, as well as financial support.

RedTail Flight Academy Aircraft

Frank Turtola, Senior Vice President, Underwriting Director adds, “When we learned about the formation of the RedTail Academy, we immediately recognized an alignment with the core values of Global Aerospace and wanted to do all we could to support its mission and its success. We share the objective of supporting the growth and development of the next generation of aerospace industry professionals, respecting and encouraging diversity, and enabling opportunities to join this dynamic industry, taking us forward into a bright, inclusive future.

In addition, Global is a vocal advocate for RedTail Flight Academy, sharing its story and encouraging others to support it through financial donations or in other ways.

Taking Action Today to Ensure a Bright Future for Aviation

Organizations like RedTail Flight Academy, Bob Hoover Academy and others that encourage young people to consider aviation careers produce both near-term and long-term benefits.

Within a few years, they give a student the training they need to be a skilled, confident pilot. And as these aviators make their way into the workforce, their success inspires other aspiring pilots by demonstrating that rewarding careers are available to them and achievable.

Global Aerospace is proud to be associated with these remarkable organizations and support their vital missions.