Two Bell Helicopter Employees Win Master Pilot Award


Fort Worth, Texas – Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced today that two of its retired employees, Dwayne Williams and Wayne Brown, were honored by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with its Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award – one of the most prestigious pilot safety awards in the industry.

The “Master Pilot” award recognizes pilots who have demonstrated professionalism, skill and aviation expertise by maintaining safe flight operations for 50 or more years. Recipients are awarded a certificate and a lapel pin and are recognized in the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award – Roll of Honor. “The Wright Brothers Master Pilot award is the most prestigious award the FAA issues to pilots certified under Title 14 of the Code of Regulations (14 CFR) Part 61,” said Darrell Hughes, FAA Safety Team Program Manager. “This award is named after the Wright Brothers, credited with the first powered flight, to recognize individuals as Master Pilots.”

Both Williams and Brown have held successful, storied careers with countless accomplishments. They have had a very large impact on many past programs for Bell Helicopter, and also in the development of many of the test programs and processes the company still utilizes today. Williams retired from Bell Helicopter in 2005 as the Chief Pilot of the Bell Helicopter Training Academy. During his time at Bell Helicopter, Williams made the first flights on numerous helicopters including Bell Model 400, 206L-3, 230, Huey II, 407 Fantail Tail Rotor and the Bell-Augusta 609 Commercial Tilt Rotor, with safety as the top priority. “Experimental flight testing can be extremely difficult, but safety was always paramount during each test,” said Williams. “Having survived Vietnam then becoming a Bell Helicopter experimental test pilot, I consider being honored as a recipient of the FAA’s Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award as the crowning achievement for an aviation career that has surpassed my wildest dreams.”

Retiring in 2008 as the Assistant Chief Flight Instructor, Brown has acquired approximately 14,500 flight hours and is experienced in FAA part 131, part 135 and part 141 operations. “I am proud to be counted among the recipients of the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award,” said Brown.

“At Bell Helicopter, we are thrilled to celebrate both Dwayne and Wayne in this very impressive career accomplishment, said Ray Lamas, general manager for Bell Helicopter’s Global Customer Training. “Safety is a top priority at Bell Helicopter and it is our goal to achieve and sustain world-class safety performance in everything we do. Both Dwayne and Wayne exhibit a passion for safety which has been prominently displayed throughout their careers at Bell Helicopter and beyond.”

Requirements to receive the award include being a U.S. citizen with 50 or more years of favorable civil and military flying experience, receiving three letters of recommendations from holders of FAA pilot certificates and holding a U.S. FAA pilot certificate. This event was broadcasted live via Periscope on our Twitter page, stay tuned for future live-stream opportunities by following us at @one_bell.