24-Year-Old Becomes Youngest Black Female Licensed Commercial Pilot in the U.S.


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A post shared by Miracle (@pilot.mira)

While women have made great strides in male-dominated industries over the past few decades, piloting planes remains an old boys club. Only about 5% of those with commercial pilot licenses are women. While Bessie Coleman and Amelia Earhart were famous pioneers of early aviation, it remains difficult for women to break into the industry due to lack of representation and lack of support for family life. Miracle Izuchukwu, a young Nigerian-American pilot, became a licensed commercial pilot at 24 years old, making her one of the youngest commercial pilots in the U.S. She aims to inspire other women to pursue aviation, particularly Black girls and women who make up only about 1% of commercial pilots nationwide.

Izuchukwu has worked for years to achieve her dream. She served as a flight attendant for American Airlines while pursuing the many steps of her pilot's license. She has set these steps forth in her Instagram journey to illuminate the path for others. As she explains, those interested should research pilot schools, take a test flight with an instructor, and prepare for a series of rigorous written and practical tests. There are many steps to qualify to fly larger and more complicated planes. In 2021, Izuchukwu announced that she became an instrument rated pilot, a pilot rating that certifies the ability to fly using technical instruments rather than sight and which is an important stop towards commercial opportunities. In May 2022 she added a third stripe to her uniform (which indicates experience and rank) when she became a licensed commercial pilot.

This young woman has even more achievements within her sights. Firstly, she is paving the way for other young Black female pilots. Representation is critical, and Izuchukwu's online presence is refreshingly transparent about the long, yet exhilarating process of becoming a commercial pilot. She also serves as an “I'm Enough” ambassador for ForeverFresh. On the flying side, Izuchukwu recently achieved another milestone: her multi-engine license. Now she is logging the many, many hours she needs to fly to move closer to qualifying to fly the massive passenger jets of major airlines. The Federal Aviation Administration requires pilots to complete 1,500 hours in certain required routes before they can work for an airline. Izuchukwu is on the flight path to making even more history, and you can follow her progress on Instagram.

Miracle Izuchukwu, a young Nigerian-American, is a licensed commercial pilot with three stripes.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Miracle (@pilot.mira)

She is one of the youngest licensed commercial pilots in the U.S., and part of the rare 1% of pilots that are Black women.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Miracle (@pilot.mira)

Miracle Izuchukwu: Instagram
h/t: [Rising Africa]

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Madeleine Muzdakis

Madeleine Muzdakis is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and a historian of early modern Britain & the Atlantic world. She holds a BA in History and Mathematics from Brown University and an MA in European & Russian Studies from Yale University. Madeleine has worked in archives and museums for years with a particular focus on photography and arts education. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys hiking, film photography, and studying law while cuddling with her cat Georgia.
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