Captain Anthony Copeland-Parker

After two years at University of Pennsylvania, Captain Anthony L. Copeland-Parker left college to pursue his Aviation Career. In 1977 he enrolled at Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, Oklahoma. With 200 hours, Tony began his expansive Aviation career with Wheeler Airlines in 1979, the first and only airline owned and managed by African Americans. During his tenure, he was instrumental in the expansion to Wheeler Regional Airlines, which offered additional service in the Carolina’s and the Northeast. Like himself, many African American Pilots started their careers at Wheeler.

In 1998, Tony left his position as Vice President and Director of Operation at Wheeler to join United Parcel Service as a B727 Flight Engineer. Shortly after, Tony rose to Management, where he held a wide range of positions within Flight Operations, including B727 Flight Training Supervisor, Flight Finance Supervisor and Contingency Supervisor.

In 1992 to celebrate Black History Month, Tony, along with seven other UPS African American crewmembers, flew on the same day in three different Aircraft types. This was a milestone in Black Aviation history to have three all-black crews flying for one major carrier. In 1994, Tony served as Rockford Assistant Chief Pilot, where he opened the Rockford Flight Operations Center. With his move back to Louisville, Kentucky in 1997, Tony was promoted to DC8 Flight Training Manager, DC8 Flight Standards Manager, Louisville Chief Pilot and B757/767 Flight Training Manager.

In 2004, his B757/767 Training team transitioned the B757/767 as the first fleet to AQP. In 2008 Tony held several positions. Those included B757/767 Chief Pilot, Labor Manager, Standards and Planning Chief Pilot. In those positions Tony initiated the Top 5 Safety Risks for the Airline, incorporated the Flight Crew Risk Analysis, Fuel Conservation Web Site, and the Crew Member Currency and Qualification Requirement. He also had a brief stint as A300 Chief Pilot in 2009.

In 2010 he returned as the B757/767 Chief Pilot and held that position for 2 years. During the past 2½ years, Tony’s most recent position has been the MIA/ South America, PHL/European Chief Pilot. Tony’s personal achievement includes completing 52 Marathons in 35 States and 8 different countries. He has also completed the JFK 50 mile Endurathon and the Louisville Iron Man Triathlon. His goals are to complete a total of 60 marathons by the age of 60 and a marathon in all 50 states.

Tony has also been involved with Brooklawn Child and Family Service, now USPIRITUS, in Louisville, KY a United Way Agency, since 1997. In 2008, Tony ran 26.6 miles from his home to work that morning to raise money and awareness for Brooklawn.

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