Local pilots receive prestigious award

WICHITA FALLS - Four men from Wichita Falls were awarded the highly prestigious Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award by the FAA, commending over 50 years of active flying.
    
Friends and family attended the celebration today at the Tom Danahare airport to support the local pilots and enjoy a day for the men in the sky. 

"I don't play golf. I don't fish, don't hunt. I just do airplanes," said Mac McGregor, one of the recipients of the award.  

The award is an achievement only a small number of pilots have received. 

An now Glenn Beavers, John Holly, Mac McGregor, and John McMurray can add their names to the list. 

"Now I'm just flying for fun, taking some trips and doing it strictly for pleasure. No business. I'm out of business," McGregor said. 

While McGregor has his reasons for becoming a pilot...

"My dad was in WWII, flew B-29s in the Pacific and he had airplanes and I guess I just picked it up or inherited the desire or something," McGregor said. 

McMurray and Beavers had another. 

"I can never remember a time when I didn't want to be a pilot," McMurray said. "My mom tells the story of the time I was being pushed around in a stroller and pointing at airplanes in the sky. That's the only thing I would look at. It's the only thing I would pay attention to was airplanes."

"I loved airplanes since I was a kid. I had two passions in life and that was airplanes and fast cars," Beavers said. "Cars were a little bit less expensive than airplanes so I spent a number of years playing with fast cars before I settled down and became a pilot."

As for how they feel about flying for 50 years...

"If you stick with anything long enough, you do actually get there after a while," Beavers said. 

"I mean it's kind of a landmark, but I'm kind of looking forward to seeing if I can fly for 50 more," McMurray said.

The Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award was started by the FAA in October of 2003. 
    
There are only a little over 4,000 pilots to ever receive the award.


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