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Jonathan Strickland may as well have wings attached to his back as the young pilot already owns several world records in aviation. The Los Angeles native recently achieved another mark by becoming the youngest pilot hired by UPS at just 25 years old.

At a very young age, Strickland developed a love of flying via his paternal grandmother. After his parents bought him a flight simulator game, Strickland began his quest to conquer the world of aviation.

He is the youngest person to fly a helicopter and airplane in the same day, the youngest Black pilot to fly a helicopter solo, the youngest person to fly a helicopter internationally round-trip, and the youngest Black pilot to fly six airplanes and a helicopter in one day. It should be noted that Strickland did much of this before he turned 18, which is the age he earned his commercial pilot’s license.

Strickland, who earned his bachelor’s degree in aviation business administration from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, became one of the youngest commercial airline pilots in the nation at 23.

His recent hiring by UPS was celebrated by the company, which also recognized the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals and the Young Eagles as partners with Strickland in this new venture.


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Little Known Black History Fact: Jonathan Strickland  was originally published on