The Mission

The Bronze Eagles Flying Club of Texas (BEFC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of aviation. The Club has chapters in several cities in Texas; and it is an affiliate of the Black Pilots of America.

Our aim and purpose are:

  • Training youth to participate and advance in various types of employment within the aviation field.
  • To stimulate and encourage broader job opportunities for underprivileged youth in all phases of aviation.
  • To encourage youth to enter the field of aviation and to remain in school by showing films and lecturing in schools on opportunities in the field of aviation.
  • Organize and set up a school for such training.
  • To develop scholarships for youth who will partake in such training and development.
  • To acquire, own, hold, sell, lease, pledge, mortgage, or otherwise dispose of any property, real or personal, necessary to the operation of the Organization.

Club History

In 1968, Elton R. “Sugar Ray” Thomas and Hulon “Pappy” White, former owners and operators of Sky Ranch Flying Service of Houston, located on the Historic Stevenson Ranch in Almeda, Texas, met with Dr. Jesse D. Hayes, Jr., Attorney Matthew Plummer, Horace Perkins, and several other local Negro pilots. This meeting provided the basis for the establishment of the Bronze Eagles Flying Club. One of the Club’s objectives was to promote aviation among Negroes. Another objective of critical importance began to take shape: exposing the world of aviation to youth.

One of the Club’s first official acts was to become an affiliate of Negro Airmen International (NAI). In 1970, as a result of this affiliation, the Bronze Eagles Flying Club and the Chicago American Pilots Association (CAPA), under the umbrella of NAI, organized the first “Operation Skyhook” in Yazoo, Mississippi, for youth and Negro pilots across the nation.

In 1985, due largely to the statewide role of flying youth in the cities of Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Mexia, and Houston, the Club’s president at the time, David L. Alexander II, accepted a recommendation from Dr. Hayes and Doug Smoots for renaming the organization. The Club’s members voted to accept the recommendation and the organization became the Bronze Eagles Flying Club of Texas, with chapters in the above-mentioned cities. Dr. Hayes accepted the task to chair a committee that would rewrite the organization’s constitution to parallel the Negro Airmen International’s constitution.

More recently, the Bronze Eagles Flying Club of Texas became an affiliate of the Black Pilots of America; this organization was founded by former members of Negro Airmen International. The relationship has cultivated a nationwide network of African-American pilots and enthusiasts that are committed to reaching out to involve inner-city youths in order to expand their interest in achieving aviation-related careers.

Sky Ranch
Sky Ranch
Early Bronze Eagles
Early Bronze Eagles
The Bronze Eagles
The Bronze Eagles