23-YEAR-OLD BLACK PILOT STARTS PRIVATE JET COMPANY:
"Apex Flight Management," is described as a full service aircraft charter for clients looking for luxury, security and convenience of private jet travel."
Q: How did you get into the charter industry?
A: I have family members that brought me into aviation. Ever since I can remember I have been around airplanes in one capacity or another. While in college, I began flying chartered flights as a part time job, and I started to see the business potential.
Q: What is a typical day like?
A: No two days are the same! I can do days without a request, then get three in one day. I receive requests for international heavy jet charters to helicopters. The aviation industry typically attracts people who are turned off by the normal mundane office environment.
Q: Services your company offers?
A: I deliver private flight services that fit my clients' specific needs and timetables. I have the advantage of being a broker (I do not own airplanes). I'm never limited to one fleet of aircraft, or even one region. I can arrange flights for an entire football team to go across the country, or I can arrange a limousine ride to the airport for a helicopter tour of downtown.
Q: Any celebrity/VIP clients thus far?
A: Most of my requests come from businesses and wealthy individuals. I have only one celebrity request so far, and he decided to drive instead!
Q: Were you fascinated with aviation as a child?
A: Absolutely. I'm still fascinated with aviation! I love anything that flies, and that passion only adds to the level of service I'm able to provide. As a child and as a teen, I spent hours reading books on aircraft. That knowledge is now second nature, and it has enhanced my business.
Q: Who are your aviation heroes and everyday heroes?
A: My aviation's heroes are the Tuskegee Airmen and others who paved the way for racial integration in aviation. They were the first black pilots trained by the U.S. military, and they exceed expectations by becoming one of the best performing fighter squadrons in World War II. My everyday heroes are Blacks who continue to give back to low income communities and mentor the youth. It often goes unacknowledged, but it's so vital to our future.
Q: Is it true that your company also offers brokerage services for people who want to buy a private jet?
A: Yes, Apex has brokered aircraft sales in the past. We also offer aircraft management services once the sale is complete.
A: I enjoy playing almost all sports (and I'll try anything once). I travel often for business and pleasure. I also volunteer as an instructor at a non-profit flight school for at risk youth. ( www.tamuseum.org)
Q: Favorite travel destination?
A: Barbados. I'd love to own a house there one day.
Q: Favorite food?
A: Caribbean-style dishes.
Q: All-time favorite movies?
A: Man on Fire, Coming to America, and pretty much anything by Spike Lee.
Q: Favorite actors/actresses/singers (male/female)?
A: I respect Denzel Washington's work on and off camera. I like a lot of old school R&B. I love the Roots, Mos Def, Kanye West, Erika Badu, Jill Scott, Alicia Keys, and up-and-coming jazz artist Christian Scott. Ramiyah, Mary Mary, and Byron Cage, can be really uplifting when it gets stressful.