FAA/FS-I-8700-2 (Rev. 2)

Wright Brothers


Information Guide

July 18, 2014


U.S. Department of Transportation

Federal Aviation Administration

Flight Standards Service – General Aviation and Commercial Division


The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award Program (MPA) recognizes pilots who have conducted 50 or more years of safe flight operations. This information guide:

·          Describes the award,

·          Describes the eligibility requirements,

·          Explains how to submit an nomination, and

·          Explains the selection process of candidates for the award.


FAA/FA-I-8700-2 (REV.1), The Wright Brothers Master Pilot Information Guide dated February 19, 2009 is cancelled.


Pilot awards (such as the Golden Eagle Award) have been presented by various FAA Flight Standards District Offices (FSDO). These awards have been issued to recognize local pilots who have exhibited professionalism, skill, and aviation expertise for at least 50 years as active pilots. The Wright Brothers MPA consolidates these local awards into one national award program.


The Wright Brothers “Master Pilot” Award is the most prestigious award the FAA issues to pilots certified under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 61.  This award is named after the Wright Brothers, the first US pilots, to recognize individuals who have exhibited professionalism, skill, and aviation expertise for at least 50 years while piloting aircraft as “Master Pilots”.  A distinctive certificate and lapel pin is issued after application review and eligibility requirements have been met.  Upon request, a stickpin similar in design to the lapel pin is also provided to the award recipient’s spouse in recognition of his or her support to the recipient’s aviation career.  Once the award has been issued, the recipient’s name, city and state will be added to a published “Roll of Honor” located at https://www.faasafety.gov/content/MasterPilot/RecipientList.aspx .


To be eligible for the Wright Brothers MPA, nominees must meet the following criteria:

·          Hold a U.S. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) or Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) pilot certificate.

·          Have 50 or more years of civil and military flying experience.

o    Up to 20 years of the required 50 years may be U.S. military experience.

o    The effective start date for the 50 years is the date of the nominee’s first solo flight or military equivalent.

o    The 50 years may be computed consecutively or non-consecutively.

·          Be a U.S. citizen.

·          Have NOT had any airman certificate revoked.  Revocation of any airman certificate will disqualify a nominee for this award.



Any person who meets the eligibility requirements, or a sponsor on behalf of the eligible person, may apply for the award by submitting an nomination package to the nearest Flight Standards District Office (FSDO).  The nomination package must consist of the following documents:

·          A completed Wright Brothers MPA Nomination Form

o    The Wright Brothers MPA Nomination Form is attached to this document and can be found in electronic form at https://www.FAASafety.gov/content/MasterPilot/ .

·          Nominee’s flying history

o    Can be a detailed description, resume, or company records.

·          Three (3) letters of recommendation

o    Must be from holders of FAA pilot certificates who can attest to the nominee’s 50 years or more of U.S. piloting experience.  See sample letter attached to this document.



A FAASTeam Program Manager (FPM) will verify the nomination is complete and that the applicant meets the eligibility requirements listed within this document.  Verification of eligibility is performed by obtaining initial certification information through the FAA Airman Certification Branch (AFS-760) and reviewing the enforcement  investigation database.  Additional information or an interview by the FPM may be necessary to verify a nominee’s qualifications.  If there is any question as to whether the nominee qualifies for the award, the FAASTeam Regional Point of Contact shall be the final authority. 

      Additional notes on nomination acceptance:

·          A current flight review or medical certificate is not required at the time of nomination.

·          Prior accident history will be reviewed and can be disqualifying if the nominee was at fault.

·          Prior enforcement actions (excluding revocation) are not necessarily disqualifying but, will be disqualifying if they show that the nominee lacks a dedication to safe flight or professionalism.

·          The award may be presented to a nominee up to 3 years posthumously if the nominee has acquired 50 years of U.S. piloting experience prior to passing away.

·          There is no limit on the number of awards that can be presented each year.

·          Nominations will take a minimum of 60 days to be accepted.






Presentation - The FPM will contact the applicant or sponsor to schedule the award presentation.  The FPM will try to arrange a public presentation at a suitable FAA or industry function.  An appropriate FAA representative shall present the award to the nominee at the event. 

Roll of Honor – The nominee’s name, city and state of residence plus the month and year of the Master Pilot Award presentation will be posted to the electronic Roll of Honor after the award has been presented.  The Roll of Honor can be found at https://www.FAASafety.gov/content/MasterPilot/RecipientList.aspx .



Sample Letter of Recommendation



(Nearest FAA FSDO or FAASTeam Program Manager Address)

Attn:    (FSDO Manager or FAASTeam Program Manager)

I have known (Nominee’s name) for (number of years known) years and highly recommend him/her for the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award.  I have known him/her to always operate aircraft in a safe and professional manner, be of good moral character and an outstanding individual who is respected in the aviation community.

My knowledge and association with the nominee consists of (state your affiliation with the nominee, i.e., work associate, personal business, friendship, etc...)

I hold a pilot certificate number (certificate number)____

Respectfully submitted,


(Printed name)


(E-mail address)

(Best contact Phone number)