Scottsdale’s newest Master Pilots

by John Washington on November 18, 2017

Three members of the Scottsdale “Thunderbird Field” Chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association¬† were dubbed “Master Pilots” this week by the FAA (Federal Aviation Authority) Safety Team.

“Master Pilots” (L to R), Bernie Gross, Stew Bloemer, and Arv Schultz

Bernie Gross, Stew Bloemer, and Arv Schultz received their awards from FAAST members Ernie Copeland and Tina Buskirk who work at the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) at Scottsdale Airport.

Ernie Copeland and Tina Buskirk from the FAA Safety Team

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.”

Tina and Ernie put together a great presentation with highlights from each airman’s career:

Bernie retired from US Air, is a very experienced soaring pilot, and holds the US national record for distance flown below sea level (above the Salton Sea).

Stew retired from Northwest Airlines, was very active in leadership roles with the airline pilots union, and is well-known in the home-built aircraft community.

Arv retired from Republic Airlines. He is the president of the Knights of the Round Engine Table history group (about which I wrote last week), was the publisher of Arizona Flyways magazine, and is writing a book about Arizona’s aviation history.

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