Lieutenant Colonel

Luke Weathers Jr.

About LWFA

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 TrainingJET 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.


Luke Weathers Jr. Flight Academy

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 exceeds FAR Part 61/141 minimums.

Training Available:

  • 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
  • Mentoring

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.

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.

Learn to Fly at LWFA: Book your discovery flight!

Need help? Contact Us

Book a 40-minute discovery flight for only $125 and get a glimpse of life beyond the clouds!

For more information contact: 901-708-0115

Book Your Discovery Flight

Please fill out your contact information to receive more details about the discovery flight.


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Train at LWFA: Frequently Asked Questions

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Complete this form to learn more about training opportunities at LWFA

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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

Airline Pilots

Black Women to Fly

Success to date

  • 50 Certified Flight Instructors

  • 125 High School Solo Academy Pilots

  • Teach 100 Black Women to Fly

  • 50 Airline Pilots


Applicant Requirements

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



Albert Glenn

LWFA Co-Director
FedEx Express - Captain

Jeff Harrison

LWFA Co-Director
UPS - Captain

Germilia Taylor

General Aviation Manager LWFA



The Lt. Col. Luke Weathers Jr. Flight Academy has incredible goals to increase diversity in military and commercial sector of the aviation industry. Each of our long-term plans comes at a cost and with your support, we can efficiently and effectively work towards organizational goals for LWFA and sustain the academy for generations to come.

With great risk comes great reward and with your support, OBAP can do even more!

Please consider making a donation to the all-new LWFA today. Your donation, large or small, will help to support the future of this exciting and invaluable initiative.


To train 25 U.S. Air Force Candidates per year by 2025 will cost nearly $240,000?

To train 125 high school solo academy pilots by 2025 will cost nearly $375,000?

To train 100 Certified Flight Instructors per year by 2025 will cost more than $500,000?

To train 100 Memphis area school students to receive Private and Instrument Certificates by 2025 will cost $1.4 million?

To operate the Luke Weathers Flight Academy including instructor and administrative expenses for the next five years will cost $250,000?

LWFA Partners

OBAP is grateful for the support of a growing and committed group of partners to achieve the long-term vision for the LWFA.

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Contact LWFA

11299 Airport Rd, Olive Branch, MS 38654
Phone: (901) 708-0115

LWFA Location