Virtual Museum To Honor African American Aviation Pioneers <


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Virtual Museum To Honor African American Aviation Pioneers

By Mike Mitchell

February 10, 2010, Airlines has a new virtual museum,, that explores the history of African Americans in aviation from pre-civil rights to the present. Launched today, the virtual museum highlights the challenges and accomplishments of African-American aviation professionals, including the struggle for racial equality in commercial airlines, the military and aerospace. 

The virtual museum is a Web site that provides written profiles along with video interviews, photos and historical documents to cover this chapter in American history. Some of today's most accomplished aviators assisted American Airlines with Blacks in Aviation, including NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, who was chosen to lead the aerospace agency in 2008 and members of the Tuskegee Airmen. 

"Blacks in Aviation tells a story within a story," said Capt. Mark Hettermann, American's Vice President – Flight. "It is a tribute to an industry that our country has dominated since its very beginnings on a sand hill in North Carolina. A sharper focus falls on the heroes and heroines who overcame significant obstacles and social stigmas to make extraordinary contributions to that industry. The example set by these pioneers has turned a most exclusive group of professionals into the most inclusive of ones. These stories need to be celebrated and brought to our children to inspire all."

By launching Blacks in Aviation, American continues its legacy of bringing aviation career opportunities to students. Today, American has several programs designed to expose students to aviation careers. College students majoring in Aviation Studies may apply to the airline's Pilot Internship Program, and the American Airlines C.R. Smith Museum holds a summer camp for kids in grades 5-8. 


The airline also participates each year in Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals' Aviation Career Education (ACE) Camp, which introduces middle and high school children to aviation careers. (see American Airlines Hosts Entertainer Steve Harvey And 100 Campers At Airline-Sponsored Flight School)

The Blacks In Aviation videos will be provided on DVD to local schools for classroom viewing, and American Airlines and American Eagle pilots who volunteer at schools will use these videos during Black History Month and throughout the year. Each week during Black History Month, new video interviews will be added to the virtual museum. 

American Airlines, American Eagle and AmericanConnection serve 250 cities in 40 countries with, on average, more than 3,400 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 900 aircraft.  Together, its members serve nearly 700 destinations in more than 130 countries and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AmericanAirlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection,, We know why you fly and AAdvantage are registered trademarks of American Airlines, Inc.

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