MANITOWOC, Wisc. – Manitowoc area natives Leon Sigman and Jim Wheeler were recently honored by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for 50 years of flying safety and contributions made to general aviation. Plaques were presented by Wesley Hakari from the Milwaukee FAA Flight Standards District Office during an Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Safety Seminar, held at Lakeshore Aviation in Manitowoc.
Sigman and Wheeler are both employed as flight instructors by Lakeshore Aviation. Both began their flying careers in the 1950s, received Certified Flying Instructor status in the 1970s, and have over 12,000 hours of flying experience each.
Sigman has been a legend of flight instruction in the Manitowoc area for many years. He instructs Private, Commercial, Instrument and Multi-Engine pilots, plus Flight Instructor candidates and is active with many civic organizations including the Manitowoc Symphony Orchestra.
After years of flying and a career as a High School science teacher, Wheeler joined the instruction staff at the Manitowoc airport sharing the excitement of flight with many, many people, both young and old. He looks forward to each and every adventure, and takes the extra effort so often missed by other less-experienced Instructors. While Wheeler works with many primary students, his real specialty is Tailwheel and Light Sport aircraft.