Home / Community / Carlsbad Pilot Receives Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award
On the left is Thomas Harnish, the recipient of the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award, being presented by Steve Nelson, FAASTeam Program Manager from San Diego FSDO (FAA) for 'Fifty Years of Dedicated Service in Aviation Safety' (courtesy photo)

Carlsbad Pilot Receives Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award

Carlsbad CA— The Palomar Airport Association recently hosted a special awards ceremony at The Landings, McClellan-Palomar Airport (KCRQ), Carlsbad, with the presentation of the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award to Thomas Dale Harnish of Carlsbad, CA. This award recognizes a minimum of 50 years of U.S. piloting experience since date of a first solo flight and is given by the Federal Aviation Administration in recognition of those pilots who have demonstrated professionalism, skill and aviation expertise as was first established by Orville and Wilber Wright.

Orville and Wilbur Wright were engineers who went from designing bicycles to experimenting with kites and gliders with the aim to create a powered machine that could carry man aloft. Their first successful flight took place in Kitty-Hawk, North Carolina on December 17, 1903 with a 12 second flight that changed history. The Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award was instituted by the FAA in October of 2003 and currently there are only approximately 3600 recipients nationwide.

Tom “Tailspin” Harnish learned to fly on a grass strip in Pennsylvania while in college and took his Private Pilot exam sitting in the tower cab at Santa Fe Airport. He then went into the Navy and flew as a Naval Flight Officer in EA-68 Prowlers. He bought his first airplane – a newly-restored and overhauled Piper Tri-Pacer for $8,000 and flew it coast to coast and border to border. Tom and his wife Kate Lister started a very successful vintage aviation company based at Palomar Airport and flew thousands of visitors and residents over the years. Tailspin now has 10,000 hours total time, 8,000 in taildraggers. More on Tom’s aviation career can be found at http://www.justplaneprints.com/about
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In the photo above, from the left is Tom Harnish, Steve Nelson from the FAA, Kate Lister and Jerry Pendzick (FAA retired). Jerry spoke endearingly of Kate and Tom’s barnstorming business at Palomar and all the calls received from happy customers in addition to their exemplary safety record. Kate Lister and Tom Harnish now run Global Workplace Analytics and have written several books and hundreds on articles about telecommuting and helping businesses update their workplace strategies – more at http://globalworkplaceanalytics.com


About the Palomar Airport Association

The PAA is a 501©3 organization which provides a general-interest, public-benefit community service for pilots and non-pilots at Palomar-McClellan Airport (KCRQ). More information is available on their website at palomarairportassociation.com