top of page

Our Mission 

The power of flight is the power to transform lives. The aviation and aerospace fields are challenged by a workforce deficiency. This workforce currently lacks sufficient representation, where for example only 3.4% of airlines, 2% Airforce and 2.2% general aviation pilots are African-American. We are engaged in workforce development by leveraging our organization's legacy to build the future through inspiring youth from underrepresented communities to pursue STEM-related professions, creation of pathways for future aviation and aerospace professionals and provide high-quality aviation training.

Who We Are

Columbia Training Centers (CTC) is a part 61 flight training center offering instruction for recreational and professional flight certifications. We are a 501c(3) non-profit organization with a substantial outreach mission. We are a flight community with an impressive composition of civilian, active and retired military pilots. We are a rare assemblage of women and individuals of color who are accomplished aviators. We are a community keeping the momentum of our historic legacy alive to inspire the future.


Columbia Training Centers is composed of a Board of Directors, an Advisory Committee, standing committees and flight operations division.



Columbia Training Centers board is structured into CORE and DIRECTORATE positions.

We have a board composed of a unique group of dedicated, dynamic, qualified professionals with extensive experiences that provide CTC with profound capacity.

George London_flight school_image.jpg
Col. George London
Executive Director
Chief of Operations


Colonel London is a former test pilot instructor at the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School (TPS) at Edwards Air Force Base in California. During his career he flew over 51 different aircraft, was instructor on five and was the Chief Air Force test pilot on the C-17 program. Several of his students went on the fly the Space Shuttle! George holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina A&T, and a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT).

Dr. Lampkin is a NASA research scientist and former university professor. His expertise is in earth and planetary sciences, polar science, airborne and satellite remote sensing. He has numerous scientific publications, serves on national and international scientific organizations, taught university-level course in earth science and satellite remote sensing.

Dr. Lampkin has a doctorate in Physical Geography and Remote Sensing from University of Arizona, Master's in Physical Geography and Polar Science, and Bachelor's of Science in Geological Sciences, both from The Ohio State University.  Dr. Lampkin currently holds a private pilot's license and is an aircraft owner.

Dr. Derrick Lampkin

Sebastian Cook
Vice President


Mr. Cook is an experienced pilot with over 600 hours in multiple aircraft types. He holds several certifications including private, commercial, instrument ratings in complex and tailwheel aircraft. Mr. Cook has professional experience as a media director, film maker, and aviation maintenance operations manager. Mr. Cook has served as in Global Medical Brigades as a volunteer supporting deployment of medical infrastructure to remote populations in Panama and Nicaragua. Mr. Cook has a BS in Biology from Stetson University and substantive experience in aviation-oriented outreach programs.

Mr. Harden is a accomplished aviator with over 17 years in aviation. He served our nation in the United States Army as a Black Hawk pilot supporting air ambulance and medical operations as well as the Ohio and Washington, D.C. Army National Guard. Mr. Harden has extensive experience as a commercial airline pilot with four years of experience as a first office for GOJET and American Airlines. He has served on numerous aviation-oriented organizational boards. Mr. Harden holds a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering, Masters of Science in Executive Leadership and currently pursuing a Masters of Science in Aeronautics at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Julian Harden.jpg
Julian Harden II


Mr. Hagans is an experienced finance executive with 29 years of experience in governance, finance, audit, and administration. He has substantive expertise in cash management, debt structuring, strategic planning, compliance, real estate, facilities, business process controls, operational improvements, process reengineering, and enterprise risk management.  Among his many achievements, Mr. Hagans was Assistant VP and Treasurer for Asset Management and Treasury Operations at Howard University. He served as Director of Finance for Prince George's County Government, and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Office for AARP. Mr. Hagans has served on numerous boards including the Industrial Bank of Washington, DC. Mr. Hagans has BA in Finance, an MBA in Finance and International Business from University of Chicago, and degree from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

robert Hagans.jpg
Robert Hagans Jr.
Director of Finance

Dr. Art Thorpe
Director of Flight Maintenance


Dr. Thorpe is both an accomplished aviator, physician and engineer. Dr. Thorpe holds a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering with work experience in optics, instrumentation in medical applications. Dr. Thorpe is a practicing physician in gynecological surgery and director of Obstetrics and Gynecology at TidalHealth. He is an experienced educator as well. Dr. Thorpe is an accomplished pilot with several major flight certifications. He holds a Aircraft and Powerplant (A&P) certification with Inspection Authority (IA). He supervises and executes required maintenance of our flight schools fleet. Dr. Thorpe is a member of several medical organizations and boards, notable aviation-focused societies and recipient of medical and engineering awards.

Suriya Douglas is an accomplished educator with over 20 years of experience providing instruction, mentoring and advising of students across the primary school spectrum. She has taught elementary, and middle school students and served in education administration as both Assistant Principal at Capitol Hill Cluster School, Eliot-Hine Middle School Lower School Principal at Inspired Demonstration School and Principal at Kimball Elementary School. She has demonstrative expertise in curriculum development, programmatic development and extensive outreach impact. Suriya holds an Intermediate/Advanced certificate in French Language and Civilization from Universite' de Paris, la Sorbonne, A.B. in Sociology, African-American Studies and Latin American Studies from Princeton University, M.Ed from Trinity University and Executive Masters from Georgetown University.

Suriya Douglas
Director of Outreach

Maj. Diana M. Nickles, USAF (Ret.)
Director of Development


Diana Nickles is a retired United States Air Force (USAF) officer. Her background includes strategic programs with space operations and nuclear missiles, regional security, international treaties' implementation and compliance, capacity building in countering Weapons of Mass Destruction, and security cooperation. Ms. Nickles has executive-level experience in nuclear weapons operations, supervisory duties, policy development and treaty negotiation, as well as strategic activities supporting the U.S. President, Pentagon and U.S. Combatant Commands' senior staff. Ms. Nickles holds a B.S. from the University of Southern California, a Masters degree in Management from the University of Phoenix, and multiple training certifications from USAF, Joint, and U.S. Interagency professional education schools, to include the USAF Air Command and Staff College.

Director of Marketing and

Advisory Committee
bottom of page