CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – A North Carolina veteran is breaking down barriers in the aviation industry.

Fly for the Culture is helping the next generation soar.

“When I was serving in the military I was one of only two black pilots in the squadron,” said Courtland Savage, 29.

When he left the Navy, Savage felt called to give back.

“I was never a person to give or volunteer but it was all I wanted to do,” Savage said.

Inspired to bring about change Savage launched the non-profit in hopes of promoting diversity and inclusion in every aspect of the aviation industry.

Savage flies commercial flights and recently launched a staffing company to support airlines and airports.

“I’d like to see the industry more diverse. When you see the flight deck you’ll see a woman or a minority flying. If you see it now you’re kind of shocked because it’s rare,” he said.

Savage takes students on introductory flights and for many, it’s their first time around a plane. The veteran uses social media to connect with students and he’s using it this month to share history about the pioneers in the sky before him.

“It’s a time to go back and look at our history and re-write it and even learn from it. We can look at the mistakes and not make those same mistakes over and over again,” Savage said.

This year, a generous donor gifted the non-profit with a Piper Cherokee plane. It is a gift, Savage says, will be used for years to come.

“I do it for my culture. I do it for my community and I do it for my country because we all need to come together,” said Savage.

Each and every flight Savage takes is helping push the industry to new heights.