William Hervey Wheeler attended American Flyers School in Ardmore Oklahoma, where he earned his commercial pilot’s license and a multiengine rating at age 19. He opened his own flying school at Horace Williams Airport that same year (1962.) In 1966, he became the first African-American pilot for Piedmont Airlines.
In 1969, he founded his own airline, Wheeler Flying Service – a commercial air carrier – making him the first African-American to own his own airline. The airline grew through the 1970s and 1980s, becoming Wheeler Airlines. In the 1980s, the airline flew more than 40,000 passengers annually. The airline ceased operations in 1991.
Originally posted on Open Durham. Read the full article here.