• Rare Air

    Posted on June 2nd, 2012 John Dorcey 1 comment

    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) established the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award, a recognition award for pilots, in 2003. The award recognizes pilots who have demonstrated professionalism, skill, and expertise by maintaining safe operations for 50 years or more. It’s an appropriate title as it was established in the centennial year after the Wright brothers accomplishment of controlled heavier than air flight. In the nearly 10 years since, 38 Wisconsin pilots have been presented the award.

    A similar award for aircraft mechanics, the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award, was developed in 2008 to recognize the lifetime accomplishments of senior mechanics. Since its inception, 22 Wisconsin mechanics have received the award. Charles Taylor was the Wright brothers’ mechanic and is often referred to as the third Wright brother.

    FAA rep Wes Hakari (left) presents award to Lee Perrizo

    It is rare when an aviator is recognized with both awards. Yesterday, in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, that is exactly what happened when Lee F. Perrizo was presented with both the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award and the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award. Nearly 100 family, friends, and former co-workers joined Lee for the presentation at the Fond du Lac Skyport terminal. Michael Monroe and Wes Hakari, FAA representatives from the Milwaukee Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), made the formal award presentations. Jim Szajkovics, retired FAA Aviation Safety Inspector, shared humorous anecdotes of his interactions with Perrizo.

    Lee was his typical humble self in accepting the awards. He acknowledged the help and support of his wife, Cookie, their family, his employees, and customers. An ice cream social followed the presentation.


  • National Aviation Day

    Posted on August 19th, 2010 John Dorcey No comments

    Long-time aviation advocate Jennings Randolph (D-WV) constantly pushed for programs to advance air travel and airport development. He sponsored the 1938 Civil Aeronautics Act. A year later, he spoke at the National Aviation Forum on February 20, 1939. His remarks, entitled Aviation and American Welfare included, “We must be alert to take every advantage of the air, to fill the heavens with pilots and with planes, to provide the factories and the technicians which we need, to inform our people of the myriad purposes which aeronautics may serve, to encourage them to use and to enjoy the benefits of flight.”

    Jennings convinced President Franklin Roosevelt to proclaim August 19 National Aviation Day. The date coincides with Orville Wright’s birthday. National Aviation Day – is a day where aviation is to be celebrated. Our National Aviation Day celebration includes recognizing those Wisconsin aviators who have been awarded the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award or the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award.

    Selected for the Master Pilot Award are:
    William Bancroft, Poynette (05/2008) WAHF member/supporter
    Gerald Beekman, Oconto (01/2005)
    William Buettner, West Bend (09/2009)
    Donald Burritt, La Crosse (01/2006)
    Gene Chase, Oshkosh (03/2005)
    George Cudahy, Anthony NM (10/2009) WAHF inductee
    Daniel Donovan, Brookfield (08/2007) WAHF member/supporter
    Walter Embke, Marshfield (10/2009)
    Glenn Gauger, Delavan (04/2005)
    David Harmon, Greendale (02/2008)
    James Igou, West Bend (12/2007)
    Vilas Krueger, Clintonville (02/2009)
    David Lau, Oconomowoc (07/2008)
    Donald Mosher, Neenah (02/2009) WAHF member/supporter
    Wallace Partlow, Jr., Hayward (02/2008)
    Charles Pollard, Tomah (10/2005) WAHF member/supporter
    Roland Schable, Janesville (09/2006)
    William Stoeckmann, Rock Springs (04/2006)
    Wilmer Tews, Cascade (09/2006)
    Gunter Voltz, Milwaukee (02/2008) WAHF inductee
    William Wenkman, Wisconsin Dells (06/2005) WAHF member/supporter
    Richard Wixom, Janesville (09/2005) WAHF inductee

    Master Mechanic recipients include:
    Gerhard Buettner, Oshkosh (unknown)
    Robert Converse, Hager City (unknown)
    Dean Crites, Waukesha (unknown) WAHF inductee
    Walter Embke, Marshfield (10/2009)
    William Frisbie, Hortonville (unknown)
    Raymond Goss, West Bend (unknown)
    Eugene Hackbarth, Milwaukee (unknown)
    Bernard Harrington, Appleton (unknown)
    Frank Holbus, Greendale (unknown)
    James Igou, West Bend (unknown)
    Glen Krohn, Brookfield (unknown)
    Donald Mosher, Oshkosh (unknown) WAHF member/supporter
    Donald Nelson, Knapp (unknown)
    Edward Pietrzak, Greendale (unknown)
    Richard Porter, Franklin (unknown)
    Roy Reabe, Waupun (unknown) WAHF inductee
    Bruce Rintlemann, Milwaukee (unknown)
    Nick Quint, Janesville (4/2010)

    Congratulations to these gentlemen who serve as a foundation for aviation as we know it.