Compton youth pilots volunteer at annual Air Fair

On September 26, the California Black Aviation Association hosted the 16th Annual Compton Air Fair at the Compton/Woodley Airport. Of the estimated 2,000 “airoholics” who attended the fair, the majority was local school children.

A group of Compton youth referred to as the “Young Eagles” spoke to attendees, helped move planes and equipment, and enjoyed the air spectacles throughout the day, including a sky diver and an appearance by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter.

The youth group consists primarily of teenage boys who share an interest in aviation and attend flight training programs at the airport three days a week.
James Wilson, a member of the California Black Aviation Association, said the Young Eagles were the heart of the fair. “[The kids] are the best parts of this event. They’re always learning. They’re going to have a future, and they’re very proud of themselves,” Wilson said.

The “future” to which Wilson referred was evident in the voice of Compton resident thirteen year-old Jimouri Walker. Walker has been in the after school program for 4 years and has recently earned his junior pilot license.

“This program has changed a lot of kids,” Walker said. “A lot of them used to fight all the time. I don’t know what I’d be doing if I wasn’t here today, probably nothing good.”

Chuck Reece, a member of the California Black Aviation Association, said youth who have access to functions like the Air Fair are likely to realize their own potential. “Our motto is ‘education through aviation,’” he said. “We think that if kids have the opportunity to attend events like this and meet a professional spread of people, that they’ll learn something. They’ll learn that the possibilities are endless and that they don’t have to make their life on the street.”

Compton is notorious for a high crime rate and gang activity, but locals said the annual fair helps diminish poor attitudes about the community.

California Black Aviation Association member Jack Crusor said the crowd at the fair grows every year. “I think people are finally getting over the idea that Compton is a scary place. The people who think that have never been here. There are good families that live here. The kids are great, and we just need to make solid efforts like this to keep them that way,” Crusor said.


  1. i would really liike to get involved but how?

  2. Emily Henry says:

    Hi Janette! If you send us an email with your contact information (email address and phone number) we can put you in touch with our sources and help you get involved. Email southla[at]

  3. Freda Sloan says:

    I am interested in my 14 year old daughter doing her volunteer work there to qualify for matriculation from junior high. She only has a few weeks left so I would appreciate some feedback to the possibility of this. I think it would open her eyes to a new world, one that she would be interested in.

    Freda Sloan

  4. Allison Jean Eaton says:

    Hello. Anyone who wants more information on the Air Fair or Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum program for youth can call 310-618-1155 or visit

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