Making History, Malik Sinegal has become the youngest African American to be certified as qualified to pilot the worlds largest aircraft, the Boeing 777. In a story right out of your favorite mystery novel, Sinegal, who said he grew up with a passion for flying, and more specifically to fly the Triple 7, wasn’t even aware of his monumental achievement until he was contacted by the people at Boeing.
It is rare for anyone so young of any background to have the opportunity to get in the Left seat of the 777, but Malik is no ordinary pilot. He was handpicked at a young age after graduating from Delta State University’s Dept. of Commercial Aviation, to be part of an Ambassadorial program with Republic Airlines, through Delta State. In this capacity he would not only represent the company but was also exposed to locales including Egypt, Australia and Dubai.
The mark of a true leader is his ability to take on responsibility. Malik took on a huge responsibility at an age when most of us were still wondering what we wanted to do in life. His response was typical of one with obvious maturity. “We have the best teachers and instructors. Dr. Speakers, Sam Washington, Chip Cooper, Rogel Campbell and Brett Oleis definitely need more credit for their hard work on campus.
Statistically, African American’s are woefully underrepresented in the aviation industry in the United States. With numbers estimated at below 5% for blacks, Sinegal is a shining example of what can be accomplished. Currently, Sinegal is a flight instructor at New Heights Aviation in Batesville, Mississippi.
This reporter can identify with the comment made by Sinegal, who said, “The biggest reason for me is that I’ve always wanted to fly this airplane. I was able to get in it for my first time in 2004 going to Anchorage, Alaska, which is my favorite place in the world.”