David Bradley, New Franklin, Mo., was the recipient of the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award (MPA) on Saturday at the Masonic Lodge in Boonville.
This award is the most prestigious award the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issues1     to pilots certified under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 61. Named after the Wright Brothers, the first US pilots, it recognizes individuals who have exhibited professionalism, skill, and aviation expertise for at least 50 years while piloting aircraft as “Master Pilots”.
The award was presented by Dr. Marvin L. Moore, the Federal Aviation Administration Safety (FAAS) Team Program Manager.
To be eligible for the Wright Brothers MPA, nominees must meet the following criteria:
Hold a US Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) or Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) pilot certificate.
Have 50 or more years of civil and military flying experience.
Up to 20 years of the required 50 years may be US military experience.
The effective start date for the 50 years is the date of the nominee’s first solo flight or military equivalent.
The 50 years may be computed consecutively or non-consecutively.
Be a US citizen.
Note: Revocation of any airman certificate will disqualify a nominee for this award.
Three letters of recommendation must accompany the application.
Bradley’s first solo flight took place on November 3, 1967, at Silver Hill, Alabama. He and his instructor left Pensacola, Florida, and flew to Silver Hill. On the ground, Bradley was given his instructions: take off three times, land three times. Leaving his instructor on the ground, Bradley proceeded to follow instructions. Upon completion, Bradley flew back to Pensacola—without his instructor.
Over the course of his career, Bradley has logged in 30,923.8 hours of flight time.