July 28, 2022, AirVenture – Oshkosh, WI Martha King, Co-Chairmen and Co-Founder of King Schools was honored with the FAA’s Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award during two ceremonies by the FAA at AirVenture. The first presentation was Wednesday July 27 at the FAA Safety Center, and the second was on Thursday July 28 at the Theater in the Woods where Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen presented Martha with her commemorative plaque.
After Martha exited the stage Administrator Nolen said, “This isn’t in my prepared remarks, but I just have to say it. After thanking Martha, I will say that her tapes are the reason I am standing here. When I became an airline pilot it was the King tapes that I used on my flight engineer written that I had to take and be able to pass. And I used her in my ATP training as well. You are a great contributor to my successful journey and the arc of my career. Thank you again, Martha, for everything you are doing.”
Aviation Safety Airworthiness FAASTeam Program Manager Ken Kelley, during his presentation on Wednesday, chronicled Martha’s certificate history:
- Student Pilot 1969, Private Pilot 1969, Instrument Rating 1970, Commercial Pilot 1974, Flight Instructor 1974, and Airline Transport Pilot 1977.
Kelley also listed her certificate privileges:
- ATP Privileges: Airplane Single & Multi-engine Land & Sea and Rotorcraft-Helicopter.
- Rotorcraft Gyroplane, Glider, Lighter-Than-Air Balloon and Lighter-Than-Air Airship.
- Falcon 10, LearJet, Citation 500, Eclipse 500S, and Citation Mustang 510S.
All seven Flight Instructor ratings: Airplane Single and Multi-engine, Rotorcraft Helicopter and Gyroplane, Instrument Airplane and Helicopter, Glider. Plus, Advanced and Instrument Ground Instructor.
Kelley praised Martha’s aviation contributions by saying, “Martha and her fellow Master Pilot John used technology and clear, simple, and fun teaching to make aviation knowledge more accessible to pilots. They have sold more than 700,000 video-based knowledge courses and have had millions of short-subject video views of their ‘Take-off’ courses. Martha and John pioneered ground-breaking courses and vocabulary on aviation risk management.”
The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award Program stipulations say, “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.” Does this mean that both John & Martha King can wear two pins? John received his FAA Master Pilot Award in 2014. FAA representative Ken Kelley said, “I have to do some checking, but John & Martha might be the only or certainly one of just a few couples to be awarded the Master Pilot designation.”
Kelley and Patricia Mathes, Manager, FAA Safety Team, presented Martha with a certificate and a “blue ribbon package” which included copies of everything Martha has on record with the FAA. Kelley added, “It has taken 3 cycles of SUN ‘n FUN and 2 cycles of AirVenture for this award to happen because of the cancellations from Covid. Martha, you are more patient than I am.” Martha replied, “What a wonderful ending and result to get it here at AirVenture with the wonderful sounds of freedom behind us.” She raised her fist and proclaimed, “Pilots and Airplanes!”
Martha further commented on her award, “As a pilot and a teacher of learning pilots, I have had a meaningful and rewarding life. When you help people fly, you help them towards success not only as a pilot, but in life. You help them develop aptitudes that allow them to more fully enjoy life and be contributors to society.”
John added, “When I met Martha some six decades ago, I recognized her as an extraordinary problem-solver. Plus, she was not only capable, but very comfortable with herself. We agreed that we would be equal partners in everything we would we do. Ever since, I have struggled to do my share as an equal partner, especially as a pilot and flight instructor.”
About the FAA Wright Brothers “Master Pilot” Award
According to the FAA, the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award is the most prestigious award the FAA issues to pilots certificated 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 are 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 are added to a published “Roll of Honor” located at https://www.faasafety.gov/content/MasterPilot/RecipientList.aspx