December 31, 2016 - Dubois, WY. - Pilots transport us from place to place, keep us safe, amaze us with aerial acrobatics, provide us with imagery of our world, spray our crops and lift us and our gear high above the earth. These engineers of the skies have skills only seen in the most elite athletes in the world.
Imagine the traits of Formula 1™ or MotoGP™ racers, elite military units training, stuntmen performing unbelievable tricks, top engineers creating new technology, marksman executing amazing feats of accuracy, attorneys arguing a case, people independent enough to give orders yet adept at taking them or professional athletes extracting the most out of their bodies. All of this while being kind, humble, friendly, smart, laser focused and capable. You are identifying the traits of the best pilots in the world. All of these qualities are within the pilots listed here.
The skill of flying is one that may or may not come naturally but is mastered through skill, will and desire. For example, in 2015, in the United States, there are approximately 170,718 licensed pilots out of 324 million people. Far less than 1% of the US population is a licensed pilot. The skills and qualities that one learns to become a pilot are both intrinsic and learned. To bring these skills together and conquer both the earth's atmosphere and space is a talent.
We may not directly notice these skills performed flawlessly day in and day out but pilots' contributions generally affect us all in some way, more than people know. For those "Aerial Engineers", we at River Pilot honor you now.
To be selected a pilot must:
1. Be a current aviation pilot in any discipline
2. Be physically located in the aircraft during flight
The list for 2017 is:
Please help us recognize these and other exceptional pilots. Contact us to nominate a pilot in one of these major categories:
Rescue / SAR / Medical
Last updated 1-8-2017