Southeast Alaska Aviation Pioneers recognized

Fifty years of flying through Southeast Alaska’s fickle weather and spectacular views were rewarded to three pioneering Southeast pilots and a fourth who is helping deploy pioneering safety technology.

The Federal Aviation Administration on Monday presented the Wright Brothers’ Master Pilot Award to Bush pilots Layton Bennett, Ken Eichner, and Ken Loken, and former Eastern Airlines pilot Steve Thompson.

FAA administrator Nick Sabatini, the top administrator who oversees safety regulations and certification, gave out the awards. Sabatini says the number of fatalities in Alaska – known for its high aircraft accident rate — continues to decrease as more planes and helicopters are being equipped with new technology.

Rosemarie Alexander spoke to some of the recipients of the award.

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