DALLAS (AP) — The first black chief pilot at a major U.S. airline is retiring after a 36-year career that saw big changes in aviation.
Louis Freeman says he felt a special burden when Southwest Airlines hired him out of the Air Force in 1980. He says he wanted to be perfect so that the airline would hire other African-Americans.
Freeman made his last flight as a Southwest captain on Thursday, a few days before turning 65, the federal retirement age for airline pilots.
He says he hopes his story will inspire other blacks to pursue careers in aviation.