Queens native, 18-year-old Ariel Messam, announced the history-making news in an Instagram post.
“Youngest certified Black female pilot in New York? You’re looking at her. Thank you to my instructors @jocelynjones00 & @rustic___ y’all are dope, and nothing is possible without God,” she wrote.
“I’m so grateful for those who made it possible. God is so good. I took my first flight at 14 years old, and couple years and financial breaks later, I made it official.”
Messam’s accomplishment comes a year after she graduated from Aviation Career & Technical Education High School. According to Black News, the young pilot also played varsity basketball and earned an Aircraft Powerplant Technician certification in high school.
Once she completed high school, Messam joined Level Up and Take Off, a New York-based 501(c)3 organization, as a flight simulation instructor. Her brother, Anthony Messam, started the nonprofit to promote diversity, inclusion, and equity in aviation, real estate, and financial management.
Messam is also an ambassador for Girls Love to Fly. She shared the news about the partnership last month.
“Girls Love to Fly is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit with one mission in mind, to empower women from all walks of life!” she explained. “Their mission is to help women who are interested in becoming aviators through many different ways, including offering scholarship opportunities continuously as well as discovery flights!”
Ariel Messam Takes Flight
After revealing the news about her pilot certification, she posted photos of her flying to Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Messam typically flies from the Republic Airport in Farmingdale, New York. And she loves to share clips of her flying adventures via her social media.
“Happy International Women’s Day😊,” she wrote.