Paradise Helicopters, the leading Hawai‘i-based helicopter tour company, is pleased to announce that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded longtime Paradise pilot and Pahoa resident Robert Blair with the Master Pilot Award.
The award was presented on Wednesday by Airman Scott Allen, FAA safety team program manager at the Honolulu Flight Safety District Office, during a special ceremony in Hilo that also included representatives from the Civil Air Patrol.
The FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award recognizes Master Pilots who have conducted 50 or more years of safe flight operations, exhibiting “professionalism, skill and aviation expertise.” It is the most prestigious pilot award issued by the FAA to pilots certified under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 61. Blair received a certificate and lapel pin, and his wife Mary was also recognized with a stickpin for her support of his aviation career.
“Robert has had an aviation career that exemplifies the best in safety, training and service to others, making him incredibly deserving of this distinguished award,” said Calvin Dorn, CEO of Paradise Helicopters. “We are proud to have his expertise at Paradise Helicopters.”
Blair has worked as a chief pilot and check airman with Paradise since 2000, and also serves as a Civil Air Patrol instructor and check pilot. His aviation career spans more than 23,000 hours of total flight time, including over 11,000 hours flying helicopters. Blair previously served as an FAA-designated pilot examiner, and as a principal operations inspector for airplanes and helicopters at the Honolulu Flight Safety District Office. He also served as a flight instructor in Illinois and flew as a contract pilot in the Marshall Islands, as well as for Royal Hawaiian Airlines.
He holds a Doctor of Law Degree from the University of Nebraska, and participated in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). He completed U.S. Army helicopter flight school, serving active duty in Germany. Blair will be listed among other award recipients at www.faasafety.gov/content/MasterPilot/RecipientList.aspx. There are 28 Hawaii honorees listed since 2006.
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