2-year-old ‘obsessed’ with planes meets Black pilot for unforgettable cockpit tour: ‘Representation matters’

A mom thanks American Airlines after her son was given a special tour of one of their planes. 

Keeundra Hatley Smith is a mom of four who vlogs about family life. Her 2-year-old son Knight James Smith loves trucks, horses, baseball and especially airplanes.

Knight’s first time on a real airplane was nothing short of unforgettable. The toddler was able to tour the entire plane and even meet the pilot. 


My son will never forget this. Tag @American Airlines ! I hope the pilot sees this too. Thank you #representationmatters #americanairlines #fyp

♬ original sound – Knix and Kna

“My 2-year-old son is obsessed with airplanes, and today this happened,” Smith wrote in the caption. 

Knight was escorted into the cockpit by a pilot who, like him, was Black too. 

“Come on up! You want to have a seat?” the pilot told Knight with enthusiasm. “We got a lot going on up here!” 

The pilot put Knight in the seat next to him, let him hold the steer and even let Knight borrow his aviator hat. Knight looked completely elated. 

“Representation matters. Thank you, American Airlines,” Smith said. “My son will never forget this.” 

Only about 2% or 3% of airline pilots in the U.S. are Black, according to Reader’s Digest, with even fewer Black pilots in the military. So it’s actually a pretty big deal that a Black pilot was able to give a cockpit tour to a 2-year-old Black boy who dreams of filling his seat one day. 

“It was everything! I fly at least once a year, and I’ve never even seen a Black pilot in person. I’ll never forget this,” Smith added

“Love this. Representation does matter. Looking at a future pilot in the works!” one user wrote

“The pilot saw himself in your son, and your son looks at the pilot like he sees himself in the future,” another said

“This made me so happy and teary-eyed,” someone added.

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