Fifty years is a long time to do something. For example, it is a long time to be married to the same person. And, it’s a long time to work for the same company. Also, it would be a long time to go to the same church. But in the realm of Aviation, fifty years of safe flying will qualify you to be a recipient of the prestigious WRIGHT BROTHERS MASTER PILOT AWARD. This was the honor recently awarded to Daniel Lorain Allen, Jr. and Gerald Earl Gaige of Greenville County, South Carolina. If you are approximating this record, or hope to in the next fifty years, you should be most interested in THE WRIGHT BROTHERS AND CESSNA 208 TRAINING.
“I understand,” Dale Wolcott, President of TURBINE TRAINING in Manhattan, Kansas shared, “that they are the second and third people to ever receive the award in Greenville County.”
Dale is absolutely right. And, when you understand the qualifications you can understand why there are so few pilots who achieve this particular accolade. Eligibility for consideration includes:
- Hold a U.S. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) or Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) pilot certificate.
- Have 50 or more years of civil and military flying experience.
- Up to 20 years of the required 50 years may be U.S. military experience.
- The effective start date for the 50 years is the date of the nominee's first solo flight or military equivalent.
- The 50 years may be computed consecutively or non-consecutively.
- Be a U.S. citizen.
“When you consider that there are only about 3700 people who hold the award,” Jason Wolcott, TURBINE TRAINING’S Vice President noted, “you can see that recipients are few and far between. There are,” he continued, “several who have received the award here in Kansas. Jim Bridgett of Wichita was given the award in 2009, and Stephen Berry, who is also from Wichita, just received his in July of 2016.
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