Day 27 of Black History Month
Black American pilot Justin Mutawassim, 27, has realized his childhood ambition of flying for the same company where he previously worked as a ramp agent. When Mutawassim first rode in an airplane and looked around the cockpit when he was 5 years old, he developed a passion in aviation. He told the Washington Post that ever then, he had dreamed of being a pilot.
Yet somewhere along the way the way to his goal grew hazy. When his US Air Force-affiliated middle school instructor misinformed him that having perfect vision was necessary to become a pilot, he was greatly disheartened. Mutawassim, who was required to wear spectacles, said that he was unable to confirm it at the time. Because of this, Mutawassim decided to pursue a profession in broadcasting after finishing high school. He began college, got several jobs, and loved them, but he claimed that it wasn’t as rewarding as he had anticipated that studying aviation would be. He made the decision to leave college a year later, and in 2014, he started working as a ramp agent at Delta Air Lines, loading bags. His enthusiasm for flying grew more intense. He rose swiftly through the ranks, first to supervisor, then to teacher. Yet at that time, he lacked the courage to pursue a career as a pilot.
When Mutawassim met the Black pilot Ivor Martin in 2016, his life began to alter. As he mentioned his long-held desire of becoming a pilot, Martin volunteered to be his mentor. Mutawassim was able to finish his licenses in just under a year thanks to Martin’s assistance. He started working as a pilot for a start-up airline and later a regional airline in 2018. He learned that the airline no longer required a college degree for pilots in 2022, so he grabbed the chance to apply to work as a pilot at Delta. He completed a few months of instruction before earning his Delta pilot license. Mutawassim sent a message on Twitter to acknowledge his success. He shared images of himself in the roles of Delta ramp agent in 2016 and Delta pilot in 2022. In his now-viral article, he stated, “This one has been 6 long years in the making.”
Mutawassim is presently pursuing a degree in aviation science in addition to working toward his long-term objective of becoming a captain. He now mentors prospective pilots as a volunteer, giving it forward for what Martin did for him. – Steve Sijenyi
LIT604.com Is celebrating Black history month by publishing Positive news on Black people across Canada and United States throughout the month of February. Lit604 Founder Steve-Safari Sijenyi is producing and releasing a YouTube video everyday at 7pm PT that showcases Black people who embodied the spirit of Black Excellence, black-led Led Enterprises, Black-run organizations, Black allies and Pro-Black Organizations and Leaders from the public and private sector.