The Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award recognizes pilots who have demonstrated professionalism, skill and aviation expertise by maintaining safe operations for 50 or more years. Recipients are awarded a certificate and a lapel pin and are recognized in the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award – Roll of Honor.
Recently an 80 year old pilot by the name of Dana Smith from Sayre, PA received this award from the FAA. Mr. Smith first soloed on April 1st 1945, and with the exception of a 4 year stint in the U.S. Navy as an aircraft mechanic continued his flying activities.
In 2000 Mr. Smith was awarded the FAA’s Master Mechanic award for 50 years as an aircraft mechanic, and now has added the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award, quite an accomplishment. Today he still flies on a regular basis, as a volunteer glider instructor and flying the tow planes to pull the gliders aloft.
Smith said “I’m turning it over to the younger generation” when asked if he was going to continue as a flight instructor in airplanes.
So Hersch, there IS flying as long as you can get a medical and stay healthy.
So far some 1473 pilots have received this prestigious award, and I congratulate the FAA for promoting safety by recognizing those pilots who have achieved 50 years of safe aircraft operation. This is an award we should all aspire achieve.
Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!
If you were born on an airliner in the US in this decade and never got off you would encounter your first fatal accident when you were 2300 years of age and you would still have a 29% chance of being one of the survivors.
— Les Lautman, Safety Manager Boeing Commercial Airplane Company, 1989.