CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) – You never know where life will land you. 

When Brenda Robinson was a girl, she never dreamed one day she’d land in the history books as the first Black female Navy pilot.

“It was so easy! Just kidding, it was a lot of work,” said Robinson.

She never imagined she would land on an aircraft carrier. The second woman ever to do so.

“It is a mystery,” Robinson said. “We never know what we will end up being when we are kids. You just have to get on a path and keep going.”

Brenda could not have pictured herself being inducted into the Women in Aviation Pioneer Hall of Fame.

“It is a lot of responsibility, a lot to live up to,” she disclosed. 

There’s more. 

Brenda is the first Black woman to earn Wings of Gold as a Naval Aviator.  

“When I was in kindergarten, there were no female pilots or astronauts at that time that I knew of,” Robinson said. “So I told my teacher I wanted to be a secretary on the Moon because women worked as secretaries back then, and I wanted to go to the Moon.”

Her teacher wasn’t her strongest supporter, however.

“My teacher thought something was wrong with me and told my parents,” Robinson explained. “Looking back, that spirit, that anything is possible, to shoot for the Moon with your dreams, is something I never want to lose sight of.”

Robinson’s father told her to work hard and never give up; if she followed those laws, he said she could be or do anything.

“That likely wasn’t true for a Black child in those days, but I believed him, and that was all that was necessary to succeed,” Robinson said.

This ideology feeds Brenda’s present passion, flying it forward as the president of her Aviation Camps of the Carolinas.

Brenda explained that the camps are for youth ages nine to seventeen and introduced them to flying. Held at various Charlotte area airports, the base is a single-day aviation career event where kids can learn about numerous aviation opportunities in addition to piloting.   

As a motivational speaker and camp director, Brenda is one happy camper. She invites kids to join her at camp, where they can learn first hand there are no limits to what they can achieve.

The camps occur quarterly during school and summer breaks; the next takes off at Concord Regional Airport on April 12. 

Space is limited. Register at