Landenberg native William “Bill” Stuefer has been honored with the prestigious Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award from the Federal Aviation Administration for his spotless, 55-year career in the industry, writes Richard Gaw for the Chester County Press.
The award is given annually to pilots who have practiced safe flight operations continuously for at least 50 years.
“It’s a very great honor to pilot for that many years without ever having a violation or aircraft accident, and aviation has been a big part of my life for 55 years, so this recognition means a lot to me,” said Stuefer, who graduated from Avon Grove High School in 1962.
His aviation career began on a dusty runway in Oxford, where he took his first flying lessons as a 21-year-old. He then received his commercial pilot’s license to fly fixed-winged aircraft in Texas, after which he enlisted as a pilot in the U.S. Army.
He also received advanced helicopter training and flew a gas-turbine helicopter in the Vietnam War. Upon returning to the U.S., he became a pilot for the SeaWorld blimp.
Now retired, he still flies a Cessna out of his local airport.
Read more about Bill Stuefer in the Chester County Press here.