The Duncan Banner

December 6, 2012

Robinson joins elite group of pilots honored by FAA

Rebeka Rutledge
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — In December 1957, John and Ann Robinson of Duncan both had news for each other. Ann announced that their family of two would soon become three and John told her he would be taking to the skies.

That next year brought them their first of three sons and John’s first solo airplane flight. Fifty-five years have passed since they shared their news with each other. In the presence of his family and many friends Wednesday at Halliburton Field Airport, John was presented with the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award by the Federal Aviation Administration.

“Your name will join about 2,000 other recipients,” said Stephen Norred, FAA safety team program manager. “There are about 750,000 certified pilots, so less than one percent of them have received this.”

The Master Pilot Award recognizes the dedicated service, technical expertise, professionalism and many outstanding contributions to further the cause of aviation safety of a United States citizen pilot who has more than 50 years of safe flying since their first solo flight.

Robinson took his first solo flight April 13, 1958, and was presented a blue ribbon packet that holds every interaction with the FAA since then including his first student pilot certification. He was also given a plaque recognizing the accomplishment and pins for both he and his wife were presented.

“I’m real pleased and since I started flying, it’s been a wonderful experience that I have enjoyed,” said Robinson. “I can’t buy the friendships that I’ve generated, the knowledge or experiences and places I’ve visited.”

All three of Robinson’s sons were in attendance with their families as well as several friends from the community. After the presentation, a few stories were shared in honor of the occasion.

“I can remember when I was just five or six and after church, we’d come to the Duncan airport, which is where I got the love of flying, and we’d go on a flight,” said John Robinson Jr., Robinson’s eldest son. “Dad was instrumental in my learning to fly and I’m proud of my father for receiving this prestigious award.”

Among those in the crowd were former and current pilots both in general and commercial aviation. Many shared their feelings for the award recipient.

“John is the type of person who always offered encouragement, which is so important for new young pilots,” said Floyd Wininger. “You always have a smile and a handshake for anyone and I appreciate that.”