About Us

 
About Us

 

Legacy Flight Academy (LFA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that conducts character-based youth aviation programs that draw upon the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen. Our comprehensive three-tiered approach works in tandem with partner organizations to help minorities and underrepresented youth achieve success as aerospace and STEM professionals, particularly emphasizing military career opportunities.

 

What We Do

 

LFA’s comprehensive three-tiered approach provides awareness, inspires interest, offers features engaging activities and delivers ongoing opportunities for youth to understand and pursue aerospace careers. Although minority youth figure strongly in our outreach, participation in LFA programs is open to all students, just as the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen transcends any ethnic, racial or gender barrier.

 

Furthermore as exemplified by the Tuskegee Airmen, we emphasize the critical importance of strong character as the requirement for success, regardless of an individual’s ultimate career goal.

 

The Importance

LFA inspires, motivates and educates youth and adults through an intense focus on the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen. Our hands-on programs make a tangible contribution in solving the complex problem of minority underrepresentation in aerospace and STEM careers, especially related to military aviation and officership. Every participant and individual involved with LFA gain an understanding that they are the next generation in the amazing legacy heralded by the original Tuskegee Airmen.

 

LFA Press Releases

EAH Dyess

Dyess AFB Press release

Dyess AFB Press release #2

YouTube video

EAH Moton Field (Tuskegee)

Air University release

EAH Alamo City (San Antonio)

Spectrum News 

EAH Valdosta

Valdosta Times Press 

Moody AFB press 

Team BlackStar Press

Our Motto

"Know, Live and Grow the legacy of the heroic Tuskegee Airmen"

Our Core Values

 

Loyalty Your dedication to yourself and your purpose must be true. Always be faithful to your teammates and your mission.

Excellence This is the standard in which you must live your entire life. Perfection is desired, but giving your all is always required.

Goals You must have a clear destination in mind, and then let nothing stop you from obtaining your goal. Stay focused and do not be dissuaded by whatever obstacles come your way.

Attitude Be proud of who you are and what you do, but have humility. Realize that your success is for the benefit and service of others, not to merely boast in your achievements.

Courage It is your inner-strength and determination that will allow you to overcome adversity. Allow nothing to make you feel inferior, but face every challenge with wisdom and confidence.

IntegritY The strength of your character is what matters the most in determining your success. One only achieves greatness if they have great moral character.

Our Mission

To uphold and sustain the LEGACY of the heroic Tuskegee Airmen while encouraging youth to pursue aerospace and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers.

This is accomplished through:

Promotion of the highest ideals of character, service, and excellence as exemplified by the Tuskegee Airmen

Participation from professional aviators to maximize awareness and knowledge of aerospace career options, to include military opportunities

Partnerships with other organizations and individuals with a shared passion for preserving the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Legacy Flight Academy Board

Kenneth "KT" Thomas

President

Founder, Eyes Above the Horizon

Kenneth “KT” Thomas is a Major in the United States Air Force (USAF) Reserve and is currently serving as a C-130 Navigator and the Diversity and Inclusion project officer at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia.  He is a 2008 AF ROTC graduate from the University of Texas, San Antonio.  Kenny has logged more than 1,700 flying hours, in the C-130 Hercules, E8-C JSTARS, T1A Jayhawk, T-6 Texan II, and T-43. Additionally, he has also logged over 660 combat hours. Lastly, he is a civilian pilot with over 265 hours and is an FAA-certified Flight Instructor CFI/CFII/MEI.

 

Kenny is a Bronx, New York native and is the son of two USAF veterans.  He began his Air Force career in 2002 as an enlisted Electronic Warfare Systems technician and then went on to earn his officer commission in 2008. Kenny’s fascination with flight started at a young age from attending air shows to watching movies and TV.  His drive and determination were rewarded, when he became a USAF aviator and private pilot.  Recognizing the need for a path for young minorities to learn and about aviation and using his passion for serving others, it was only natural for him to develop Eyes Above Horizon.  He has participated in Legacy Flight Academy events since 2012 and officially collaborated with Legacy Flight Academy in 2015. Not stopping there, he additionally is a mentor in the Big Brother/Big Sister and Guide Right programs and the Chappie James Flight Academy.

 

Kenny is the founder of the Eyes Above the Horizon program and co-founder of Legacy Flight Academy. He currently serves as Legacy Flight Academy's President. 

Aaron "Air" Jones

Vice President

Founder, P.A.R. Motivations

Aaron “Air” Jones is an active duty Lt Colonel in the United States Air Force and currently serving as an Instructor Pilot on the T-6A trainer and Air Advisor to the Afghan military in aviation-related matters. He is a 2005 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and a decorated and recognized fighter pilot on the Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle. Aaron has more than 2,000 hours of flight time in various aircraft, including the F-15E, A-29, T-6A, and T-38.

 

Aaron is passionate about giving back to the community and mentoring the leaders of future generations. While dedicated to the aviation industry, he is committed to motivating youth to succeed and pursue their passions in the aerospace arena. Aaron has participated in Legacy Flight Academy events since 2012 and officially collaborated with Legacy Flight Academy in 2015. Realizing a need for visible and present role models within the urban community, Aaron founded P.A.R. Motivations.  He has won and/or been nominated for several awards for his volunteer work and as a direct result of his dedication to the community. From receiving the Wing Staff Agency’s 2015 Volunteer of the Year Award, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina to most notably, helping raise Legacy Flight Academy into the national spotlight as the 2017 National Aeronautic Association’s Distinguished Volunteer Award for Legacy Flight Academy’s Eyes Above the Horizon event in the summer of 2017, Aaron is recognized talent.

 

Aaron is the founder of P.A.R. Motivations and currently serves as Legacy Flight Academy's Vice President.

Valyncia S.H. Thomas

Treasurer

Chair, Fundraising and Scholarship Committees

Valyncia S.H. Thomas is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She is an attorney and has served as an officer in the United States Air Force for over 15 years. Valyncia is a 2003 graduate of California State University Dominguez Hills with a Bachelors of Science in Public Administration, Criminal Justice Administration. She holds Masters degrees in Organizational Management and Military Operational Art and Science; and earned her Juris Doctor from California Western School of Law in San Diego, California.

 

Valyncia has a history of commitment to nonprofit work, community service, and education. She previously served as the Warrior Traditions program director at Veterans Village of San Diego. This reputable charitable organization has been in existence and providing services to veterans in need for over 30 years. Valyncia currently serves as team Captain for Team Mama Dee at Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s PurpleStride events around the country. PurpleStride raises important funds to raise awareness and conduct groundbreaking research in Pancreatic Cancer, a Cancer she lost her mother in May of 2018. Lastly, Valyncia has also served as a University program chair and professor, teaching criminal justice and military studies focused courses to college students.

 

Valyncia currently serves as Legacy Flight Academy's Treasurer and Chair of Legacy Flight Academy's Fundraising and Scholarship Committees. 

Andrea Lewis
Secretary

A true Georgia peach, Andrea Lewis was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in French. She started her military career enlisting in the Air Force Reserves as a Flight Attendant for the 73rd Airlift Squadron at Scott Air Force Base, IL in 2010. She has over 600 flight hours on the C-40C, Boeing 737, supporting missions transporting congressional delegates, Generals, and notable leaders of our nation. Continuing her aviation career, she was hired by Delta Air Lines as a Flight Attendant, and currently has over 10 years with the airline.

Following in her late father’s footsteps, she pursued her Private Pilot’s License, and in 2015, she was selected by the 116th Air Control Wing to fly the E-8C JSTARS, Boeing 707, for the Georgia Air National Guard. She graduated Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training in April 2017 becoming the first African-American female pilot for the Georgia Air National Guard. With over 1000 hours of total flight time, she has 325 combat hours in the E-8C in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel and Operation Inherent Resolve. In addition to having 11 years of military service, she is an Endeavor Air First Officer flying the CRJ-200 aircraft.

Andrea is featured in the National Museum of the US Air Force and dedicates her time to mentoring young aspiring pilots with the hopes of encouraging and mentoring young minority girls to become pilots. Additionally, she is a member of Sisters of the Skies where she is part of the Care Team.

 Andrea Lewis is the current Secretary for Legacy Flight Academy.

Alex Cole

Board Member

Director of Marketing

Alex Cole is currently a First Officer on the Boeing 737 for United Airlines.  He is a 1992 graduate of the US Air Force Academy and a highly decorated Air Force officer/pilot with over 20 years of active duty service, retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 2011. After retirement, Alex held the position of Manager, Air Force Presidential Aircraft and Special Air Mission Aircraft for the Boeing Company until 2016. In 2016, he changed careers to return to his passion of aviation with United Airlines.  He has over 1200 combat hours and over 7000 hours of flight time in the T-37, T-1A, RC-135, C-32B (Boeing 757), and Boeing 737 aircraft.

 
As the son of USAF Col Herman A. Cole Jr and the grand nephew of an Original Tuskegee Airman, Lt Ivor C Mitchell, a pinnacle moment of Alex’s career was as one of the Presidential pilots in support of the White House, Cabinet, and senior military officials supporting both President Bush and Obama Administrations.

 

Alex is passionate about giving back to the community. He has focused his efforts on contributing to the enrichment and edification of today’s minority youth about the world of aviation. He has spoken at numerous events in the Washington DC area with elementary, middle, and high school students about the world of aviation, from school venues to the Udvar Hazy Air and Space Museum to the Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union Black History celebration in Poughkeepsie, NY for African American History Month. He has won numerous awards for his engagement within the community from the EnVest Foundation’s 40 under 40 award for his philanthropic efforts to the Boeing Volunteer of the Year for the Washington DC area and additionally received the Boeing/American Corporate Partners award for his efforts working with transitioning veterans to civilian life.

 

Alex is currently a member of Legacy Flight Academy's Board of Directors.  Additionally, he is Legacy Flight Academy's Director of Marketing.

Kristofer "Judge" Duckett

Board Member

Kristofer “Judge” Duckett is a native of New Orleans, LA and an active duty Major in the United States Air Force and currently serving a Lockheed U2 Reconnaissance pilot.

He has more than 24 years of service to the USAF and was commissioned officer through Air Force ROTC in 2001 from Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA.  Judge has over 885 combat hour with a total of over 4000 flight hours in various aircraft, including the HC-130C/H/P, T-6A, BE-200, M-28 (C-145A), PC-12,  C-208, T-38A and U-2S.  Additionally, he is a civilian flight instructor (CFI/CFII/MEI) with over 850 civilian hours.

 

Judge has a true passion for all things aviation and has made it his mission to speak with, mentor to, and teach all ages. In his endeavors, he was featured at the National Air and Space Museum, Washington, DC, and was the Keynote Speaker for the Michael P. Anderson program, Museum of Flight, Seattle, WA. Judge has been a mentor for students of all backgrounds but focuses on inspiring minority, underprivileged, and underrepresented youth to pursue a path to aviation. He is a current member of The Black Pilots of America, where he was Chief Pilot for the New Orleans Golden Eagles chapter and now formation instructor for the California Redtails chapter.

 

Kristofer “Judge” Duckett is currently a member of Legacy Flight Academy's Board of Directors.

Kenneth Morris

Board member

Kenneth Morris is a Houston, Texas native and the oldest sibling of eight children.  He is a decorated United States Navy Veteran and aviator on the P3-C Orion and P-8 Poseidon aircraft and served his country for over 8 years.  After separating with an Honorable discharge, he graduated from Seward County College in Liberal, Kansas with a 3.5 GPA and a degree in Computer Information Systems. 

 

Kenneth is dedicated to giving back to his community.  Upon returning to Houston, he founded Universal Elite Aerospace in November 2013, an Aviation S.T.E.M. Outreach program that works with youth and teens, motivating and inspiring them to exceed expectations in the aviation and aerospace sector.  Additionally, in December 2016, he was awarded the role of Director of Education and Outreach for the new Lone Star Flight Museum in Houston, Texas creating aviation education, S.T.E.M. curriculum, field trips and more for the 1.2 million youth throughout the Greater Houston and Harris County area. 

 

Most recently, in December 2018 Kenneth made a successful career change as he was selected as one of seven U.S. Military Veterans from a pool of hundreds of decorated candidates, for Forces to Flyers.  This program is designed to address the country-wide pilot shortage while working to provide veterans with the skills and training needed to become commercial airline pilots. Upon completion of the program, Kenneth is a Certified Flight Instructor - Instrument (CFI - I) and will continue his work inspiring, motivating, training and introducing young people to the aviation industry.

 

Kenneth Morris is currently a member of Legacy Flight Academy's Board of Directors.

 
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