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About Us

The Importance
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, through our nationwide program and scholarship offerings, and Tuskegee 99™ campaign.


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.


Tuskegee 99™

Tuskegee 99™ occurs the 99th day of the year, and gives a nod to the Fighting 99th Pursuit Squadron.

Tuskegee 99™ began as a annual giving campaign that occurs on the 99th day of the year aimed at assisting Legacy Flight Academy® in drawing attention to the amazing feats of the Tuskegee Airmen, while also working to raise funds that support all of Legacy Flight Academy’s programs.  Today it is the hashtag used by the organization to show its connection to the the Tuskegee Airmen, and draw attention to its causes, in addition to supporting its fundraising campaign. 

History of the Fighting 99th Pursuit Squadron


“On January 16, 1941, the War Department announced the formation of the 99th Pursuit Squadron, an African-American unit, and of the Tuskegee Institute training program. On March 7, 1942, the first graduating class of the Air Corps Advanced Flying School at Tuskegee Field included Col. (later Gen.) Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., who became the commanding officer of the 99th Fighter Squadron and later the 332d Fighter Group. These units were unique in United States military history because all the personnel were African American” (National Archives)


“The 99th Fighter Squadron went to North Africa in April 1943 and flew its first combat mission against the island of Pantelleria on June 2, 1943. Capt. Charles B. Hall was the first African-American pilot to shoot down an enemy aircraft. Later the squadron, operating from its base in North Africa, supported the invasion of Italy and participated in the air battle against Sicily. The 332d Fighter Group flew more than 3,000 missions in Europe and destroyed almost 300 enemy planes. Eighty-eight of the group's pilots received the Distinguished Flying Cross, proving their test by fire a success” (National Archives)

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.

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Legacy Flight Academy® Board

Kenneth "KT" Thomas
Founder, Eyes Above the Horizon®

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Kenneth “KT” Thomas is a first officer on the Airbus 320 and 321 at American Airlines. He is also a Major in the United States Air Force (USAF) Reserve and is  a C-130 Navigator at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia. He is also a Legacy Airline Pilot !  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 an Airbus 320 First Officer  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®

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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
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 19 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. 

Coming Soon!

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Coming soon....stay tuned!!!

Alex Cole
Board Member


Alex Cole is currently a Captain 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.  

Benjamin “Omni” Ayivorh
Board member

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Benjamin “Omni” Ayivorh is a Captain in the United States Air Force (USAF) and is currently serving as a T-38C Intro to Fighter Fundamentals Instructor Pilot at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi.  He graduated from Southwestern College, Kansas in 2015. He went on to fly the F-15C.  He has logged more than 1,100 flying hours, in the F-15C/D Eagle, T-6 Texan II, and T-38C, and several General Aviation aircraft.


Benjamin is from Burke, Virginia.  He began his Air Force career in 2009 as an enlisted in Tactical Aircraft Maintainer on the F-16. He had assignments with the USAF 16th Weapons School and United States Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds. He then went on to earn his Officer commission in 2016. Benjamin’s beginnings with flight started at a young age from flying with his father  His passion comes from his father, who dreamed of becoming a pilot as a young child growing up in West Africa.  Having grown up in aviation, it wasn’t until he became an Air Force Aviator that he recognized the need for a path for young minorities to learn and about aviation and using his passion for serving others. He participated in his first Legacy Flight Academy event in 2017 and has been with them ever since, helping live and grow the Legacy.

Coming Soon!
Board Member

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Coming soon....stay tuned!!!

LFA Leadership
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