Phil-Ebosie was a pilot for former president Shehu Shagari.
Contrary to an earlier report that a 20-year-old, Favour Odozor, emerged as the youngest Nigeria with a Commercial Pilot Licence; investigations have revealed that the feat belongs to Sam Phil-Ebosie.
Mr. Phil-Ebosie, now deceased, graduated as a licensed commercial pilot at 19 at the Nigerian Civil Aviation School, Zaria, in 1970.
Born July 27, 1951, to Emman Phil-Ebosie, Nigeria’s foremost indigenous ENT Surgeon, and Yewande Phil-Ebosie; Mr. Phil-Ebosie was the third of four brothers.
He had his primary education at Ladi-Lak Institute, and later transferred to Government Demonstration School, Surulere, Lagos.
After his secondary education at the prestigious Kings College, Lagos, Mr. Phil-Ebosie’s decision to become a Civil Aviator shocked both his family and teachers as well as his mates.
In Zaria, he graduated at the top of his class, and began his commercial flying career with the now defunct Nigerian Airways.
Through his flying career, which spanned over a decade, Mr. Phil-Ebosie was trained on the Fokker 27, Fokker 28, Boeing 737, Boeing 707, and DC 10.
In 1977, while still at the Nigeria Airways, he was confirmed the youngest Fokker 27 Captain at the age of 25.
The height of Mr. Phil-Ebosie’s professional flying career was when, at 30, he became the youngest ever Captain in the world to fly the wide bodied aircraft in 1981.
During his career, he was the preferred long haul Captain for the Presidential Fleet, flying then President Shehu Shagari to the Hajj in Saudi Arabia; the Commonwealth conference in Australia, United Nation’s conference in New York; and several other destinations.
He also flew the then Vice President, Alex Ekwueme, on several occasions.
Media reports had credited Mr. Odozor with the feat after the young Nigerian graduated, alongside 15 others, at the Afrika Union Aviation Authority in South Africa.
Captain Allan Roebuck, Director of AUAA, had said that Mr. Odozor completed all the 37 flying procedures in record time to become “the youngest commercial licence pilot in both Nigeria and South Africa.”
“I cannot say now if he is the youngest African to attain that record, but I’m sure he is the youngest in South Africa and Nigeria,” Mr. Roebuck had told the News Agency of Nigeria.
Mr. Phil-Ebosie retired from the Nigerian Airways in 1985, and then joined Saudi Airlines where he worked as a Lockheed Tri-Star L1011 Captain.
Between 1986 and 1995, he worked at PH Aviation Teterboro, New Jersey; UPS, New York; and Federal Express, Memphis.
In 1995, after 27 years of commercial flying, Mr. Phil-Ebosie drew the curtains on his career, and then opened Skynote, his own private aviation support company.
Until his death in 2012, he remained a keen aviator, consulting in different areas of the aviation sector.
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