First Officer Xavier Samuels

Xavier Samuels was born in Hartford, CT to Jamaican immigrants Edgar and Elaine.  After graduating from Bloomfield High School in 1991, he attended the University of Virginia, later transferring to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and graduated in April 1996 with a degree in Aeronautical Science.
Xavier was commissioned an Ensign in the Navy in October 1996 after completing Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Pensacola, Florida and was designated a Naval Aviator in August 1998.  Following Fleet Replacement Training in Oklahoma City (VQ-7), his first squadron tour was in Fleet Reconnaissance Squadron Four (VQ-4) where he flew E-6 TACAMO (B-707) as an Aircraft Commander and Functional Check Pilot.  Early in his Navy career wanted to reach out to his community and show younger students that they can pursue and achieve their dreams.  While there in Oklahoma City he visited numerous schools speaking on the importance of staying in school and perseverance against the odds.
Next, Xavier returned to Pensacola in 2002, where he began his Navy career, but this time as an Instructor Pilot in Training Squadron Ten (VT-10), flying the venerable T-34 Turbo-mentor and also as a husband and father.  He continued his community service efforts in Pensacola also, helping to revive the local chapter of the National Naval Officers Association, which mentors and recruits minorities to the sea services. He also participated in a number of air shows where he was able to speak with children about aviation and reaching for their goals. This was also the time he became active in the Organization of Black Airline Pilots (OBAP) as the regional director for the Pensacola area.  After a successful tour in VT-10, he decided to leave the Navy and pursue his lifelong dream to be an airline pilot.
In July 2005 he joined the Continental Airlines team, where he has served as a First Officer on the Boeing 737, 757, 767, 777 and is currently a First Officer on the Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Since moving to Houston he has become very involved in revitalizing the southwest region of the renamed Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP), trying to assist whenever and wherever he can.  He served as Regional Vice President and Convention Chairman for OBAP in 2007.  When asked to step in as Convention Chairman, Xavier did not hesitate to assume the role. “I just want to do whatever I can to make a positive difference.”
Xavier joined the Brotherhood of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. in 1996 and has been member of the 100 Black Men of Metropolitan Houston, the Houston Area Urban League Young Professionals and the National Sales Network for 3 years and fostered partnerships for OBAP in the Pilots and Professionals In Schools program in Houston, pairing pilots with other business professionals to visit local area Houston schools. Since its inception the volunteers have reached approximately 100,000 students.
Xavier can be reached at xsamuels@obap.org