Paradise Helicopters recently announced that the Federal Aviation Administration awarded longtime Paradise pilot and Pahoa resident Robert Blair with the Master Pilot Award.
The award was presented Sept. 18 during a special ceremony in Hilo.
The prestigious FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award honors pilots who have conducted 50 or more years of safe flight operations, exhibiting “professionalism, skill and aviation expertise.”
“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 more than 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 has a law degree from the University of Nebraska, and participated in ROTC. He completed U.S. Army helicopter flight school, serving active duty in Germany.