Our own Don Christiansen along with Richard Rudolf from Hicks Airfield were presented with the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award in a ceremony at the EAA983 hangar this past Saturday.
FAA Safety Team (FAAST) Program Manager Joe Murphy with the North Texas FSDO made the presentation. Joe mentioned he was here about 4 years ago to present to one of the largest groups of Master Pilots ever assembled for 13 pilots based at Pecan Plantation. Joe also recognized 5 Master Pilots in attendance to watch Don and Richard receive their awards.
The Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award is the most prestigious award the FAA issues to pilots certified under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 61. This award is named after the Wright Brothers, the first US pilots, to recognize individuals who have exhibited professionalism, skill, and aviation expertise for at least 50 years while piloting aircraft as “Master Pilots”.
Don’s wife, Linda, and several other family members were in attendance. Don has built 3 airplanes and he ain’t done yet. He is working on a Rans S-21 bush plane and plans to add a lot more to the 3,700 hours of flying accumulated to date.
Several of Rich’s friends from the DFW area joined us for the ceremony. Rich has an RV-6A he built about 20 years ago, and he has noted significant experience in an Aventura II an Weedhopper ultralight models. He was the Weedhopper factory pilot in the late 70’s and early 80’s.
From what we can tell, Pecan Plantation has one of the highest concentrations of Master Pilots anywhere. It speaks directly to the level of pilot experience and professionalism right here in our community, and the opportunity the rest of us have to learn a thing or two from those who have been there, done that. Congratulations Don and all you other Master Pilots!