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Pilot Instructor honored for 50 years of achievement
Robert Charles Kovarik, pilot instructor at the Eastern Regional Flight Simulator here, received the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award from the Federal Aviation Administration Feb 17. The award, named after brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright, designers, builders and pilots of the world’s first powered airplane, recognizes pilots who have demonstrated professionalism, skill and aviation expertise by maintaining safe operations for 50 or more years. (U.S. Air Force photo/Don Peek)
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Pilot Instructor honored for 50 years of achievement

Posted 2/18/2010   Updated 2/18/2010 Email story   Print story

    


by Tech. Sgt. James Branch
Public Affairs


2/18/2010 - DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga. -- The Federal Aviation Administration awarded Robert Charles Kovarik, pilot instructor, the Wright Brothers' Master Pilot Award at the Eastern Regional Flight Simulator here Feb. 17.

The award, named after brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright, designers, builders and pilots of the world's first powered airplane, recognizes pilots who have demonstrated professionalism, skill and aviation expertise by maintaining safe operations for 50 or more years.

"Today, the Wright Brothers' Master Pilot Award is widely considered the most prestigious award the FAA issues to pilots certified under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations," said Michael J. Mullaney, FAASTeam program manager for FAA Aviation Safety. "It specifically recognizes senior aviators' dedicated service, steadfast professionalism, technical expertise and outstanding contribution in the field of aviation safety."

Mr. Kovarik's first solo flight was accomplished Mar. 22, 1958 on a 90 horsepower Champion 7FC while he was an Air Force ROTC Cadet at the University of Detroit and a flight student at City Airport in East Detroit, now known as Coleman A. Young International. He enrolled in Air Force flight training the same year, upon college graduation.

Mr. Kovarik served in a variety of C-130 Hercules squadrons as aircraft commander, pilot instructor and mission commander until his retirement from active duty Air Force in 1980. Over the last 24 years, he has served as simulator instructor, captain, supervisor of training, consultant and excepted expert for Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems Co.

"I am very humbled and never would've thought I'd win a prestigious award such as this," said Mr. Kovarik. "Very honored, but surprised!"

Recipients are awarded a commemorative wooden plaque, certificate of recognition, gold lapel pin, a copy of their entire Airman record currently maintained by the Airman Records Branch in Okla. City and are published in the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award Roll of Honor, also known as the Aviation Safety Hall of Fame, a leather-bound book displayed at the FAA Headquarters in Washington D.C.



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