Martha King Receives FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award


Martha King was officially presented with the FAA’s Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award at two ceremonies held during AirVenture 2022 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The award recognizes pilots “who have exhibited professionalism, skill, and aviation expertise for at least 50 years while piloting aircraft.” King has been eligible for the award for several years but its presentation has been delayed due to COVID-related event cancellations.

“Martha and her fellow Master Pilot John used technology and clear, simple, and fun teaching to make aviation knowledge more accessible to pilots,” said Ken Kelley, Aviation Safety Airworthiness FAASTeam program manager. “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.”

Martha King, who co-founded King Schools with her husband, John, earned her private pilot certificate in 1969. She gained an instrument rating in 1970 and commercial pilot certificate in 1974, followed by becoming a flight instructor in 1974 and airline transport pilot in 1977. She continued to earn certificates and ratings and, in September 1994, she and John were recognized as the first couple to both hold every category and class of FAA rating on their pilot and instructor certificates.

“As a pilot and a teacher of learning pilots, I have had a meaningful and rewarding life,” Martha said. “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.”

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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  1. I have SO MUCH respect for Martha.

    I’ve spent more time with her than my family since January, I’m working on my IFR with her lessons 😉

    I’d like for my (step)daughter to meet her someday. Wonderful inspiration and role model.

  2. Atta Girl Martha! I’ve enjoyed meeting and speaking with you and John at Sun ‘n Fun. Well deserved!

  3. The husband and wife team of John and Martha King are a great example of a good marriage and a good business partnership profiting through innovation and focusing on customer service. Not chasing government grants. Hats off to them.

  4. John and Martha King are surely the greatest aviation educators and role models of all time. They mastered the nearly impossible feat of making learning accessible, interesting, and enjoyable. Particularly significant was their identification of risk identification and mitigation as a key element in air safety. Their contributions cannot be overstated.