During the early morning demonstration on May 19, the 17-year-old student maneuvered a Beechcraft Musketeer aircraft in three take-offs and landings. Her flight instructor, Theo Smith, is a professional pilot for Cape Air and Jet Blue.
Acosta, who plans to pursue a career as a commercial pilot, developed a love of flying in 9th grade after joining the Virgin Islands Youth Aviation Club, where she has been a member for the last four years.
“I have a passion for flying,” Acosta said when asked about her experience.
On Feb. 28, she began training for her private pilot’s license. She has completed 26 of the 40 hours required for the licensure and hopes to complete the remaining hours before the close of the school year.
Acosta’s younger sister, Hazel, an 11th grader at Central High School, also has her eyes on the skies. On May 27, she and her older sister successfully completed their first cross-country flight. Regine flew the aircraft to St. Thomas, and Hazel manned the controls on the return flight to St. Croix.
Upon graduation on June 17, Acosta plans to study aeronautical science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. She is a member of the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals.