Leona Serao, an American who now lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo is looking to become the first female black aviator to fly around the world solo, Yahoo News has reported.
According to the website, Earthrounders, which documents solo flights around the globe, there have only been a total of 142 solo flights around the world in history. Only 11 of them were carried out by women, but no black female has so far accomplished the feat.
Video courtesy Yahoo news
Serao will begin her 3-month long voyage around the globe in August. The journey which will begin in New York City will take her through 33 countries in four continents.
She talked to Marquise Francis of Yahoo News about her journey.
“I’m a 23-year-old commercial pilot, and this summer I’ll be attempting to become the first Black and African woman to fly solo around the world.
There’s only 5% of women who are commercial pilots, and Black women constitute of a mere of 0.09%, and that’s something I want to help change.”
On being asked what got her into flying Serao had this to say.
“I decided to fly whenever my dad passed away. I never really knew that I wanted to fly, but I knew that I wanted to stay in the aviation field. So I was like, why not try to fly? So I applied to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where I found my true passion, which was flying.”
“It means a lot to me. And it is a challenge because it’s a male-dominated field, and us women didn’t really get the opportunity to be– like, we weren’t pilots before. We couldn’t even drive before. And in the aviation industry, it kind of stayed like that. And for Black people, as you know, we really struggled throughout, like, the times.”