Leslie A. Morris was the first President of Black Pilots of America, Inc. He is an extremely accomplished pilot
who learned how to fly after graduating from high school, and later joined the New York Air National Guard
flying F-86s and T-33s. While serving in the Guard, Les excelled in his career as a Controller and Controller
Instructor at the FAA's New York Air Route Traffic Control Center.
In November, 1965, Les joined Eastern Airlines as a Flight Engineer on the Lockheed Constellation. During
the next twenty five years, Les flew every airplane in the Eastern inventory. In 1978, Les became a Captain and
was promoted to Manager of Flying in 1979.
Les retired from Eastern in 1991 and became the Chief Pilot for the Pan Am Shuttle. He remained in that
position until Delta Airlines purchased the Shuttle in 1993. He is presently a FAA certified Training Center
Examiner on the Lear-60.
In 1971, Les created what is now the BPA “Les Morris” Summer Flight Academy. The Summer Flight
Academy is designed to introduce under-represented youth to the world of aviation. Although the focus of the
program is on the flying aspects of aviation, we take every opportunity to make the student aware of all of the
other career choices in the aerospace industry. The Summer Flight Academy (SFA) has excited hundreds of
young people about flying and their potential as a participant in the aviation field for 44 years.
In 1997, Les developed the Young Golden Wings program which carried out the objectives of BPA in AZ and
provided flight scholarships to the most promising students, allowing them to obtain their FAA Private Pilot's
License at no cost.
In 2001, Les was one of the first candidates indoctrinated in the Black Aviation Hall of Fame. He is also
honored by the FAA as a Master Pilot. In 2017, he was given the BPA Legacy Award.
Les remains an active member of BPA and leads the finace committee.