Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals brings Black aviation students to Oshkosh Air Show

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Wednesday, July 27, 2022
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A group of aspiring aviators are back in Chicago tonight after spending the day at the EAA AirVenture air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A group of aspiring aviators are back in Chicago tonight after spending the day at the EAA AirVenture air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

The students are part of the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, which promotes diversity in the airline industry.

Noah Dawson, from Bronzeville, is still reliving the high from cruising altitudes.

"I personally love how the planes work, the physics behind it, how to make the planes and all of the technical stuff," he said.

"I was definitely excited to see all the schools and different planes and career paths," said OBAP student Madiso Nero.

The 14-year-old was ready for takeoff from first thing in the morning.

"It was exciting," Nero said. "I love waking up to go to the airport."

Dawson and Nero are among 100 teenage aspiring aviators selected from the Chicago area by the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals to be treated to a day at the world's largest aviation event, the Oshkosh Air Show in Wisconsin.

The day trip of a lifetime came courtesy of American Airlines, who partnered with OBAP in recognizing the need to diversify its flight deck.

"We're giving opportunities to students who might not have been able to see some of the opportunities that they are going to see today," said Cory Glenn, director of pilot recruiting and flight captain for American Airlines.

Leland Patterson, 15, said this trip was about continuing a family legacy.

"One of my grandfathers was a Tuskegee Airman so seeing one of the planes that he flew was amazing," he said. "It was surreal like, wow, this was something he did. This is my history, my personal family's history, and now I'm following that legacy."