Gardnerville man honored with Wright Brothers aviation award
Carson Valley Senior Living resident Barton “Bart” Welsh received the Federal Aviation Administration’s Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award on Nov. 21 for his more than five decades and 6,000 hours of safely navigating the skies.
The award was presented to 82-year-old Welsh by Larry Cheek, team program manager for the FAA Safety Team, at Carson Valley Senior Living, an assisted living and memory care community operated by Mission Senior Living.
“Bart’s dedication, expertise and professionalism have groomed generations of pilots with the same honorable attributes,” said Darryl Fisher, fellow aviator and president of Mission Senior Living.
To be eligible for the award, nominees must hold a U.S. Civil Aviation Authority or FAA pilot certificate, document 50 or more years of civil or military flying experience, have three letters of recommendation from other pilots licensed by the FAA and be a U.S. citizen. Welsh’s name will be added to the online Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award Roll of Honor.
Welsh’s love for flying started in 1953 while working as a freight handler for Slick Airways in Los Angeles as he earned his Airframe and Powerplant license. Welsh later became a licensed private and commercial pilot with an instrument certification and an airplane multi-engine land class rating. He is a certified flight instructor, trained in search procedures and “canyon turns,” an airplane inspector, and was an FAA safety representative for the Reno Flight Standards District Office. Welsh also served as a major in the Civil Air Patrol in the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary and was a department head for the state of Idaho’s Civil Aviation Department.
The award is named after U.S. aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright and recognizes pilots for their dedicated service, technical expertise, professionalism and outstanding contributions to further the cause of aviation safety.