Shanita Polk didn’t set out to break new ground in business aviation. In fact, until she enrolled in a college that happened to have an aviation program, becoming a pilot had never entered her mind. But today, as a Part 135 pilot, Polk is one of the few Black women in a business aviation cockpit, pioneering a path for others.
“I do feel unusual,” said Polk, who is currently flying right seat in a Cessna Citation Excel for flyExclusive charter operator and aircraft management company. “A lot of captains have never flown with a Black female pilot.” Because of the example she sets, Polk feels a certain pressure to perform at as high a level as possible. “I am always conscious of bringing my’ A’ game,” she noted.