Teen pilot crashes near Cheyenne's Central High School

Courtesy of Gary Hamilton
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Cheyenne, Wyo. - A plane that crashed near Central High School on Thursday (7/7/16) was being piloted by 16 year-old Isaiah Cooper.

Cooper was not hurt in the hard landing; he was on a quest to become the youngest African American to pilot an airplane around the continental United States of America. His crash comes just moments after we spoke to him about his flight.

Immediately following takeoff, he encountered extreme wind shear in what is called a microburst. Recognizing this adverse weather phenomena, Isaiah executed emergency procedures flawlessly, avoided obstacles, and landed on a nearby street. During ground rollout, the plane struck a street sign and sustained damage. No people were injured, and no property was damaged in this landing.

He will stay in Cheyenne, WY until a replacement aircraft is secured. Isaiah remains determined to complete his flight around the continental United States.

Information on Cooper's flight:

Compton, California – July, 5th 2016 (TAM) A pioneering African-American teenage pilot from Compton, who learned how to fly at the Los Angeles inner city aeronautical program, is Piloting an airplane around the Continental United States from Compton to Washington, to Maine, to Florida, and back to Compton on a record setting journey.

On July 5th, 16 year-old Isaiah Cooper started his quest to become the youngest African American to pilot an airplane around the continental United States of America. He left from Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum at the Compton airport at 9:00am. This is a practice flight in preparation for the Guinness World Record breaking attempt to be the youngest person to fly solo around the Earth at age 18.

Isaiah was mentored by Robin Petgrave, founder and Executive Director of Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum (TAM). In 1998 Mr. Petgrave, a successful entrepreneur and pilot, decided to focus his attention on at-risk inner city youth so he sold his multimillion company, Bravo Helicopters & Wings and build TAM.

In addition to aviation, TAM offers after-school educational programs, gang and drug intervention, life skills, safe haven and many other activities designed as an alternative to self- destructive behaviors. TAM is noted for being the recipient of a unanimously passed United States Congressional Resolution 532 in recognition of the museum’s achievement and success in teaching aviation, engineering, and flying to “at-risk” and economically disadvantaged minority students. Mr. Petgrave was an Ebony Power 100 in 2013.