top of page

Robert B Griffin Florida Chapter of the Black Pilots of America, BPA

Left, Mr. Thomas Newman and his family stand in front of one of their airplanes.

Empowering Future Aviators: Black Pilots of America's Youth Aviation Day a Resounding Success in Volusia County Daytona Beach, FL - In a landmark event that promises to inspire future generations, the Robert B. Griffin chapter of the Black Pilots of America, based in Florida, hosted a transformative Youth Aviation Day. Over 30 young enthusiasts gathered to explore the skies and learn the intricacies of aviation in a comprehensive program designed to fuel their dreams of flight. Held at the esteemed Epic Flight Academy in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, the day-long event was a blend of practical experiences and enriching educational sessions. The Director of Outreach for Epic Flight Academy provides access for the BPA chapter to host this event. The youth participants, hailing from various parts of the state, with a significant number from Volusia County, were treated to discovery flights that offered them a taste of piloting firsthand. Adding to the hands-on flying experience, attendees engaged with hydraulic simulator machines, diving deep into the mechanics of flight without leaving the ground. These simulators, alongside workshops on mechanical aviation, provided a foundational understanding of building and repairing aircraft, an essential skill set for aspiring aviators. The educational journey didn't stop at mechanics. The participants were also introduced to the business structure of aviation, a vital component for anyone looking to navigate the industry successfully. This comprehensive approach ensured that the youth not only dreamed about flying but also understood the vast opportunities and challenges within the aviation sector. But the event wasn’t just for the youth. 

Parents who attended were provided with invaluable information on how to nurture and support their children’s aspirations in aviation. Phebe Fuqua, Director of Youth and Women led this charge. This initiative was aimed at creating a supportive environment at home, fostering the growth of young aviators from their early interest to career realization. The day was punctuated with a tour of Epic Flight Academy, offering a behind-the-scenes look at the operational excellence and training rigor that define the institution. The Academy, renowned for its commitment to fostering aviation careers, became a beacon of inspiration for the attendees. Breakfast and lunch provided the fuel for learning, but it was the incredible speakers from the Black Pilots of America who ignited the spark of ambition in the young attendees. Sharing personal journeys and professional insights, these speakers bridged the gap between dreams and reality, showing what's possible through perseverance and passion. Danny Fuqua, President, and Thomas Newman, Vice President, led the event, ensuring that every participant felt welcomed and valued. The presence of other Black Pilots of America members added to the sense of community and shared purpose.

Participants left not just with youth aviation bags filled with information about Epic Flight Academy but also with an open invitation to join the Robert B. Griffin Florida chapter of Black Pilots of America. This gesture underscored the organization's commitment to nurturing young talent and expanding the horizons of aviation to include more diverse voices. Youth Aviation Day was more than an event; it was a cornerstone for future aviators, a free initiative aimed at educating and inspiring. As these young individuals left, heads filled with dreams of the skies, and their supportive parents equipped with knowledge to guide them, the Black Pilots of America's Florida chapter marked another successful endeavor in their mission to soar youth aspirations in Volusia County and beyond. With initiatives like Youth Aviation Day, the sky is not the limit but the beginning for many young aviators, promising a more inclusive and diverse future for the world of aviation.

Family Legacy Soars: Generations of Aviators

In the world of aviation, some families leave more than just a mark—they create a legacy that spans generations. The Newman clan is one such remarkable example, where a passion for flying runs deep and the sky is not the limit but the playground. 

At the helm of this illustrious family is Thomas Newman, a patriarch who, after retiring from the school board, decided to take to the skies himself. Not content with simply obtaining his private pilot license, Mr. Newman pushed further, earning his certified flight instructor certificate. His ambition didn't end there; he became a guiding force for the next generation, encouraging his grandsons to follow ohias flight path.

Among these eager heirs are Ty Moore, instrument-rated pilot, and William McCluney, private pilot, both diligently working on advancing their pilot ratings. Under Mr. Newman's tutelage, they are honing their skills, poised to soar to greater heights. However, the Newman legacy of aviation excellence extends beyond Mr. Newman himself and his grandchildren. Mr. Newman shared his passion and knowledge with other family members.  His nephew, Christian Childs, a professional pilot, and niece Amy, a private pilot, along with their son Bakari, a student pilot, have forged their formidable path in the skies. With a lineage deeply rooted in aircraft ownership, sales, and management they exemplify the family's unwavering commitment to aviation. The family's reach doesn't stop there. Mr. Newman’s daughter Monica McCluney, William's mother is an executive at Embraer in Melbourne Florida.  In Houston, Texas, their cousin, Joseph Newman, and his wife, Tyla command the skies as professional pilots, adding two more feathers to the family's aviation cap.

This past weekend, the Newman family once again showcased their passion for aviation by sharing their rich aviation legacy with the youth; continuing to inspire future generations of aviators. For this remarkable family, setting goals and reaching them through aviation isn't just a hobby—it's a way of life. As the Newman clan continues to soar, they prove that with commitment, determination, and a love for aviation the sky is truly the beginning.

For more information contact:

SFC (Ret) Danny Fuqua, MBA

Volusia County

State Committeeman


93 views0 comments


bottom of page