Meet Kamora Freeland, New York’s Youngest Female Pilot Who Learned To Fly A Plane Before Driving A Car

by Gee NY

Kamora Freeland’s childhood dreams never soared to the sky. The Staten Island native envisioned herself exploring the ocean depths as a marine biologist.

But destiny, in the guise of her mother, Lakema, had other plans. Now, at 17, Kamora is gliding through the clouds at over 5,500 feet.

“I earned my pilot license before I got a driver’s license,” Kamora chuckled during an interview with The Post.

On Feb. 26 this year, Kamora became New York State’s youngest pilot and one of the nation’s youngest licensed aviators.

This achievement, allowing her to command a single-engine plane with up to 12 passengers, came a day before she obtained her driving credentials.

Her exceptional accomplishment was honored with a Proclamation of Achievement by Assemblyman Charles Fall and state Sen. Jessica Scarcella-Spanton at the Capitol in Albany.

“It’s amazing,” expressed Kamora, a graduating senior at Kingsborough Early College Secondary School in Bensonhurst. “I never wanted to be a pilot, but after my first flight, I was like, ‘Wow! I could do this for a living.’ ”

Her aviation journey began when Lakema discovered the United Youth Aviators program in August 2019.

Despite Kamora’s lack of prior interest in flying, Lakema secretly enrolled her then-12-year-old daughter for lessons.

Persistence paid off, and Kamora joined the program at 15 in 2021.

Under FAA-certified flight instructors at Long Island’s Republic Airport in Farmingdale, Kamora honed her skills over 18 months.

Kamora Freeland, 17, was honored at the New York State Capitol Monday after recently becoming the youngest African American female pilot in NYC history.

She learned flight fundamentals, aircraft operations, and weather analysis, becoming proficient in handling a Cessna 172 G1000 and a low-wing Piper plane.

Kamora’s accomplishments are remarkable in an industry where youth participation is limited. According to the Pilot Institute, less than 4% of licensed pilots are aged 16 to 19.

As one of the few African American female pilots in the U.S., Kamora aims to inspire change. With only 5% of flight captains being women and less than 1% black, her achievements break barriers.

In the fall, Kamora will begin studying economics at Spelman College in Atlanta, funded by a full presidential scholarship.

“I want people my age and in my community to know that nothing is impossible,” said Kamora. “You can literally break through any barrier.”

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