Guyanese-born aviator Beverley Drake excels at NTSB

Beverley Drake, pictured at the National Air and Space Museum, in Washington DC. where she is a volunteer.
Beverley Drake

Guyanese-American aviator, Beverley Drake, told Caribbean life, in a recent interview, that it was important to honor trailblazers “so that their stories can be seen all over the world.”

“I am an ambassador and advocate for STEAM, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics,” were the inspiring words of Drake, who is celebrating eight years, since she was honored with her own $20 Commemorative Stamp on World Post Office Day, in 2013, from the Guyana Post office, in recognition of her outstanding career as an aviator.

“I feel honored to have a stamp and it is a great feeling to share it with my family and friends when I am alive.” “I can inspire girls and the underrepresented to pursue aviation as a career choice,” she said. “Stamps represent ambassadors when they arrive at your home,” and her stamps would arrive worldwide in lots of homes and there would be a story behind it. As they travel around the world, people would learn of the contribution of Guyanese women to their country,” she shared.

Currently, the program manager in the Office of Government and Industry Affairs for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), where she has served for more than 30 years, Drake feels blessed to be the first and only female African American in Aviation at the prestigious investigative agency in the world.

Like, late African-American pioneering sculpture Edmonia Lewis who the United States Post Office, honored with a forever stamp, highlighting Lewis’ work as a 19th century marble sculpture, Drake made history, when she served as one of the first of two female military pilots in the Guyana Defence Force, after graduating from the distinguished Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, in the United States.

Her outstanding service has earned her many firsts, and many accolades, to cement her work as the Federal Women’s program manager, and her annual participation at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC at their “Women in Aviation and Space Family Day” and “African American Pioneers in Aviation” programs.

The brilliant airwoman who was the keynote speaker a virtual “Valiant Women of Yesterday and Today” — Women’s History Month kick-off at the NIHF Museum in 2020 during the pandemic, and a speaker at the office of the Inspector General, Department of Labor in March 2021, continues to break down barriers.

She has proven her worth as a brilliant aviator, at industry, government agencies, flying clubs, youth safety leaders, educators, and international audiences, at her talks about the NTSB’s safety investigations and resulting recommendations.

Drake also addressed, the Aircraft Owner’s Association of Guyana and the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority and offered a U.S. perspective at the high-powered International Safety Conference in Guyana in 2017.

Participants included, then prime minister,  the minister of Transportation and the director of the Civil Aviation Authority. Most recently, she addressed the FBI and the City Club of Washington and highlighted the accomplishments of professional women in business.

Drake, who was recently nominated for the inaugural Forbes/Know your Value 50 over 50 list, has more than 45 years of aviation experience, that began in her homeland from a very young age, and to this day continues to inspire up-and-coming aviators as she imparts her skill and knowledge. She has investigated more than 300 small and large-scale high-profile aviation accidents as an accredited representative for many investigations.

Quite an accomplished woman, a mother of two sons, Drake, who holds a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics, and a Master’s Degree in Aeronautical Science with specializations in Management, Safety and Operations, continues her passion to share and volunteer, in her field, from her home in Montclair, Virgina.