50 years of safe flying

Ohio’s Tom Root was awarded the Wright Brothers “Master Pilot” Award in September. He applied for the award “based on a lifetime of single pilot/photographer with over 5,000 hours doing aerial photography.”

The plaque presented to Tom was in “appreciation for your dedicated service, technical expertise, professionalism, and many outstanding contributions that further the cause of aviation safety.”

From Tom’s letter to me he notes the irony of his application to receive the award in the first place. “This, in spite of astigmatism and red/green ‘blindness,’ which made every medical a real hassle.” A man with less tenacity may have given up long before being eligible to win an award based on his “many outstanding contributions that further the cause of aviation safety.”

To be eligible for the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award, an applicant must have 50 years of U.S. piloting experience; have held a U.S. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) or FAA pilot certificate with 50-plus years of civil flying service or 50-plus years of civil and military experience, of which up to 20 years may be military; and have been a U.S. citizen, or permanent resident, during the 50 years of U.S. piloting experience.

Congratulations Tom!

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