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.
On Oct. 21, 1962, Thomas Allen Burke, then 19, successfully completed his first solo flight in a Piper Colt out of the Raleigh Municipal Airport in North Carolina. Now a resident of Greenville, S.C., Burke has safety piloted a number of different makes and models of aircraft.
Chris Linn of Farragut, Tennessee, flies every chance he gets. The retired aerospace engineer, who keeps his floatplane at Sky Ranch Airport, home of the East Tennessee Pilots Club, was recently honored by the FAA with the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award for “practicing and promoting safe aircraft operations for more than 50 years” during a ceremony in Nashville. A story at KnoxNews.com quotes Linn as saying it was one of the greatest moments in his flight career.
Since its inception in 2007, more than 2,000 pilots have received the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award from the FAA. The award, which recognizes 50 years of accident-free flying, consolidated several similar pilot awards, such as the Golden Eagle Award, that had been presented by various Flight Standards District Offices over the years. The award includes a certificate and pin. In addition, the recipient’s name is added to the Roll of Honor at FAASafety.gov.
One of the newest names on that Roll of Honor is Dick Hitt, well-known in South Carolina aviation circles as he is the retired FAA Safety Program Manager from the FSDO in Columbia, S.C. Here’s his story in his own words: [Read more…]