UNION TOWNSHIP — Local resident Capt. John L. Lundblad was presented the prestigious Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award on Sunday.
According to the FFA website, “This award is named after the Wright Brothers, the first U.S. pilots, to recognize individuals who have exhibited professionalism, skill, and aviation expertise for at least 50 years while piloting aircraft as ‘Master Pilots’.”
Lundblad told the crowd of well-wishers who gathered at the Clinton County Airport that he feels really lucky, and noted he first wanted to be an airline pilot while in first- or second grade.
Lundblad’s flight career includes Eastern Airlines starting in January 1967, and later Airborne Express and Promech Air in Alaska. He first soloed 53 years ago in March 1964.
In November 1966 he became a certified Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic. He graduated in December 1966 from Parks College of Aeronautical Technology with a B.S. degree in aircraft maintenance engineering.
He married Alice Fillmer in April 1967, and they celebrated their golden wedding anniversary at a reception on Saturday, April 8 at the Wilmington United Methodist Church.
John was hired by Airborne Express in March 1990.
He built a Glasair Sportsman in 2007 which is on amphibious floats. This home-built airplane won Outstanding Amphibian at the Oshkosh Airventure in 2012, as well as Reserve Grand Champion Seaplane at Sun ’n Fun in 2012.
Lundblad has participated since 2013 with Dayton’s Wright Brothers Airport’s annual young people’s Dayton Air Camp.
In 2014, he taught a course about flying in conjunction with Wilmington College’s Institute of Lifelong Learning.
At the recognition Sunday at the North Curry Road airport, Wilmington United Methodist Pastor Dean Feldmeyer said residents are fortunate to have Lundblad in the community, citing John’s generosity in sharing his aviation talents for charity auctions with flights for the winner.