Lieutenant Colonel Luke Weathers Jr. was the first African American air traffic controller for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) based at the Memphis International Airport (MEM). On June 25, 1945 Lt. Col. Weathers also became the first African American to receive the key to the City of Memphis declaring the day "Luke Weathers, Jr. Day."
To honor his contributions to aviation & aerospace, the all-new Lt. Col. Luke Weathers Jr. Flight Academy (LWFA) has been established at the Olive Branch Airport, just a short drive from his Memphis home. The new Flight Academy will offer FAR 141 and 61 Flight Training, JET Transition Training, a Maintenance and Air Traffic Control Academy, UAV Pilot Training, Military Rotor Fixed Wing Transition, Air Force Candidate Flight Training, Mentoring and more.
Through the establishment of the Lt. Col. Luke Weathers Jr. Flight Academy, OBAP is excited to provide a new facility that offers life-changing training for students from Memphis area schools and beyond who possess a desire to fly.
The Luke Weathers Flight Academy aims to grow and diversify the future pilot pipeline. We have aggressive plans to increase the diversity of the airline industry by 50 pilots per year within the next 5 years.
Train by 2025
Certified Flight Instructors
High School Solo Academy Pilots
Shelby County Students Private & Instrument RTGS
U.S. Air Force Candidates a Year
Black Women to Fly
Success to date
50 Certified Flight Instructors0%
125 High School Solo Academy Pilots0%
Teach 100 Black Women to Fly0%
OBAP LWFA Professional Pilot Program provides the training and resources you need to go from zero experience to airline pilot within two to three years.
The OBAP LWFA Program:
- Time Frame: Fast track training — zero experience to airline pilot job within two to three years.
- Tuition Reimbursement: If qualified.
- Cost: As a non-profit keeping fixed costs low and training that exceed FAR Part 61/141 minimums.
- Private, Instrument
- Commercial Single/Multi
- Certified Flight Instructor
- Certified Instrument Instructor
- Certified Multi Engine Instructor
- Basic Ground Instructor & Instructor Advance Ground
- Jet Transition
- FAR 141 and 61 Flight Training
- Military Rotor Fixed Wing Transition
- Youth Maintenance and Air Traffic Control Academy
- Youth UAV Pilot Training
1. Total immersion training from day one, you will graduate from the LWFA Pilot Program in 9 months (from zero time), earning your Commercial Single-Engine pilot certificate with Certificated Flight Instructor certificate.
2. After graduating from the program, you receive a guaranteed Flight Instructor job with LWFA/Air Venture, where you can be eligible to receive airline tuition reimbursement and gain the necessary flight experience to reach airline hiring minimums of 1500 hours.
If you are enrolled as an OBAP member and you have been accepted to the LWFA Pilot Program, you will receive a 10% discount on flight training.
Luke Weathers Flight Academy has a professional staff of instructors who are dedicated to helping you achieve your aviation goals. It is our desire to provide the best in-flight training to our valued customer base.
LWFA Application Form
Basic LWFA Cadet Eligibility Requirements:
- Age 16 or older (Must be 16 by July 1st of the summer participating)
- High School Diploma
- No criminal record
- Cadets must successfully complete an FAA medical exam.
- All applicants' medications must be disclosed and shall not disqualify such applicant according to FAA and ADA standards.
- All applicants' prior medical procedures must be disclosed and shall not disqualify such applicant according to FAA and ADA standards.
- OBAP Membership
Required Qualification for High School Students:
- High School GPA 2.75 or higher
- Age requirement between 16-19 years old (Must be 16 by July 1st of summer participating)
- East High T-Stem program, Desoto School Systems & Shelby County Schools
- Ace Academy (Required starting in 2020)
- National Flight Academy (Required starting in 2020)
- 3 Recommendation Letters -- 2 from teachers & 1 from OBAP Member
- Pass Medical Exam
- OBAP Panel Interview
- OBAP Youth Membership
Ready to get started? Contact us today!
MEET THE LUKE WEATHERS JR. FLIGHT ACADEMY TEAM
OBAP is grateful for the support of a growing and committed group of partners to achieve the long-term vision for the LWFA.
- Project Aerospace
- Aerospace Professionals in School (APIS)
- Aerospace Career Education (ACE) Academy
- Solo Flight Academy (SFA)
- Luke Weathers Flight Academy (LWFA)
- Aerospace Professional Development Program (APDP)
- View All Programs
- Program Regions