As a boy growing up in Austin, Texas, Anthony Oshinuga was fond of pilots and their airplanes. He recalls visiting the airport with his father just to watch the airplanes take off into the sky or land on the tarmac.
Almost three decades later, Oshinuga is the pilot who is admired by young children.
Oshinuga has made history as the first African-American pilot to enter the Reno National Championship Air Race and earn a podium finish. He’ll show off his skills at the Miramar Air Show later this month.
Oshinuga has been a certified pilot for 10 years. He received his training in Riverside County before becoming a competitive flyer. He said he became a competitive pilot because of the challenges.
“Competitive flying requires every ounce of focus and thought to complete a maneuver as perfect as possible,” Oshinuga said. “I think pilots would agree that this form of flying makes you a better pilot. Executing maneuvers have to be perfect, the lines that you choose to fly require smoothness and precision.”
The career requires Oshinuga to fly up to three times a day. But the training isn’t limited to the airplane. Oshinuga said he works out daily and eats healthy.
“My training consists of waking up in the morning going for a one-mile run just to get the body going and to warm up the muscles,” said Oshinuga, 32. “Then when I return home I perform a 45-minute core workout, which directly translates to the physical fitness required within the aircraft I fly.”
When he isn’t training, he’s running his own business, hosting scenic aerial tours above Southern California and Temecula’s wine country on board AirOshi’s Cessna 170A.
Despite the rigorous schedule, Oshinuga said he’s living his dream. Best of all, he’s able to share his passion with the community.
“Since I believed in myself and the dream of being a pilot, I’ve been fortunate enough to inspire the youth and be contributor to the community,” Oshinuga said.
Oshinuga will fly a custom S-1S Aerobatic Biplane dubbed “Black Hawk” at the Miramar Air Show, which takes place from Sept. 22 to Sept. 24. For more information, go to www.miramarairshow.com.
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