gdcj flight academy

Coolest Place to Fly

General “Chappie” James Summer Flight Academy

1608 Martin Luther King Blvd


Have you ever wanted to pilot a plane over the Gulf of Mexico, Alabama and Florida borders? Then grab your aviator glasses and sign up for the week-long summer camp at the General “Chappie” James Summer Flight Academy. General Chappie was the first African American Four Star General of the Air Force and was from Pensacola. He was a graduate of Tuskegee Institute. “The power of excellence is overwhelming. It is always in demand and nobody cares about its color."

This no-cost summer program is held in the brand new Chappie James Museum of Pensacola. It includes training in Aviation Basics and Aerodynamics as well as STEM lessons for Academic Excellence. Classes are taught by flight instructors and active/retired military and civilian pilots. Summer students also take field trips to Pensacola Aviation, USCG ATC, Airbus, and NAS Pensacola. Lunch is provided daily.

Their mission is to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math while building student confidence in the classroom by using aviation as the key learning discipline. The program aims to provide a future workforce for the aerospace industry and to inspire good citizenship using the legacy of General Daniel Chappie James Jr.  The week-long summer program started in 1996 and is open to kids ages 13-18. It culminates with each student piloting an aircraft at Ferguson Airport. There is a grand ceremony and presentation where friends and family are invited to view the student flights. They will be offering Fall programs this year so look into this early. 

Cool Factors: Piloting a plane at a young age, the volunteers, the history, it’s free!