Saturday, April 15, 2017

Havasu pilots to receive Federal Aviation Administration award

Jerry Fischer with his Bede BD-5 homebuilt aircraft.

When Orville Wright made the first powered flight over Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903, he encountered a new realm of human experience sought by every pilot since.

Three Havasu pilots will receive recognition at Saturday’s meeting of the Experimental Aircraft Association. Ed Weber, Ron Pounds and Jerry Fischer will each receive the Federal Aviation Administration’s “Wright Master Pilot” award, recognizing each for more than 50 years of accident-free, incident-free aviation.

Each pilot will be given a plaque and a certificate of appreciation from the FAA. For one pilot in a city to receive the award is remarkable, according receive the award in one week, he said, is something special.

Weber entered high school after WW2, and it was there when he first decided he wanted to fly. “Plans have always been magical to me,” Weber said. “I wanted to be a pilot…I wanted to fly.”

Weber, 80, received his pilot’s license in 1957, and has flown continuously for more than 60 years. He’s flown tours over Havasu in a WW2 biplane, and still operates a two-seat propeller aircraft in his spare time.

“Anybody who hasn’t done it…it’s different. You see things, a thousand feet up, with a panoramic view, that you don’t see on the ground.”

Fischer, 86, is a charter member of Havasu’s EAA. He flew aircraft from 1961-2011, before hanging up his wings. “I miss flying, but there comes a time when you have to slow down,” Fischer said. “I had a wonderful flying career…(the award) is an honor. I appreciate it, but I’m not sure if I deserve the recognition.”

To Fischer, flight didn’t offer only the feeling of adventure. “It was fabulous,” Fischer said. “I had a plane for 50 years…when I worked in California, I could come to Havasu for lunch, and be back in the afternoon. I’d do that at least once per month. It gave me a feeling of freedom.”

Saturday’s meeting will gather all three pilots for recognition, honored among Havasu’s most senior aviators.

Original article can be found here:

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