Retired Northwest Airline Senior Captain Don Kiel was awarded the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award this week at an Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Safety Seminar at the Manitowoc County Airport.
The award is given by the Federal Aviation Administration to pilots who have practiced safe flight operations continuously for 50 or more years during their aviation career. Kiel started flying at age 19 and flew for a living until the mandatory retirement at age 60.
During his aviation career, Kiel developed the skills of flight instruction, charter, crop dusting, airmail nights, corporate, air taxi, commuter airline, regional airline and ended his career with Northwest Airline flying senior captain on the Airbus A330 carrying 300 passengers to London, Paris, Frankfort, Amsterdam and Rome.
Kiel, now 71, continues, to fly his private aircraft, a four-passenger Cessna 170B, a two-passenger Amphibious aircraft and his Warbird, a 1954 C45H Beech 18, which was used during World War II in the Army Air Force.
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