Before the Golden Tigers and the Miles College Bears take the field at Tuskegee University’s homecoming game on Saturday, Nov. 9, a special group of Golden Tigers will take to the skies above Cleve Abbott Memorial Alumni Stadium.
As part of pre-game festivities, Tuskegee student and alumni pilots representing the Red Tail Scholarship Foundation will perform a stadium flyover. The four-pilot team will include the foundation’s chief pilot Torius Moore, a senior from Attalla, Alabama, who is also an Air Force ROTC cadet.
Moore noted that the Red Tail Scholarship Foundation’s purpose is to bring greater diversity to the aviation field.
“Currently, minority pilots in both commercial and military aviation hover around 2% — an alarming statistic that the Red Tail Scholarship Foundation is dedicated to change,” said the aerospace science engineering, physics and mathematics triple-major, and the foundation’s first scholarship recipient.
Established in 2017, the organization draws its inspiration from the renowned Tuskegee Airmen. Before 1940, African Americans were barred from flying for the U.S. military. It was not until the U.S. Army Air Forces established a combat pilot program at Tuskegee’s Moton Field for African Americans during World War II that minority pilots took flight. This select group — commonly referred to as the “Red Tails” because of the paint scheme on their planes — were the first African Americans trained by the military and permitted to engage in combat operations.
These brave pilots possessed unwavering courage, professionalism and patriotism that continue to define our nation’s aviation history. The foundation’s goal is to find qualified, motivated students who demonstrate all of the values the original Tuskegee Airmen embodied and give them the tools necessary to succeed in this competitive career field.
Joining Moore for the flyover will be Daniel Croom of Atlanta, a 2018 sales and marketing graduate and certified flight instructor who will be soon be starting his professional airline piloting career; Rodney McKnight of New Orleans, an enlisted Marine Corps veteran who pilots both helicopters and airplanes, and who serves as the foundation’s chief aircraft mechanic; and Jared Savage, a senior from Compton, California, and certified flight instructor majoring in mathematics.
Assisting the Red Tail scholar pilots will be members of the Alabama Air National Guard’s 187th Fighter Wing Squadron based in Montgomery. The squadron of F-16C+ Fighting Falcon aircraft with their distinctive red tails further continue the Tuskegee Airmen tradition.
Pre-game activities begin at Cleve Abbott Memorial Alumni Stadium begin at 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 9, with kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m. For more game details and other homecoming activities, visit www.tuskegee.edu/homecoming.
Reference website https://www.tuskegee.edu
Published: November 06, 2019