February 15, 2022

Derrick Jeffcoat

February 15, 2022

Derrick Jeffcoat

Today we highlight @Derrick Jeffcoat, our Zephyr U.S. Aviation Safety Manager.

“#BlackHistoryMonth highlights the accomplishments of my ancestors, the legacy that was left behind for me to follow.” Jeffcoat said, “The road wasn’t easy, but if you look at it from a wide field of view, the achievements and contributions recognized —and those that were not recognized or ignored— are a true testament as to why my parents worked so hard to ensure that their children and generational children develop that mind set of never accepting ‘no’ as a final answer.”

As a child, Derrick was fascinated with airplanes, but it wasn’t until he took his first lesson in a Cessna-152 that he knew he wanted to be in aviation. Today he is in charge of safety for Airbus’ Zephyr HAPS and recalls his favorite memory at @Airbus US Space & Defense was during a Zoom conference with the CEO, Robert Geckle—

“He asked everyone to turn their cameras on so he could look at everyone’s face. At that point I remember scrolling through and looking at all of the faces, saying to myself, ‘Wow I’ve finally made it.’ This one point in time summed up all of the hard work it took to get to this point in my career and at this level of success in aviation.”

Derrick’s favorite Black figure in the industry is WWI Veteran, Eugene Jacques, who escaped racial discrimination in Columbus, GA to enlist in the French Army as an infantryman. He later joined the Lafayette Flying Corp and took part in over twenty combat missions before being discharged in 1919. He along with a few other Black Pilots are credited as the first African American military pilots.

#BlackHistoryMonth #Zephyr #AirbusUS