NEW HAMPTON — Alexander Zawaski Jr. of New Hampton was awarded the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award from the Federal Aviation Administration at a ceremony held on July 10 during a regularly-scheduled meeting of the Orange County Pilots Association at Delancey’s Restaurant in Goshen.

The Master Pilot Award is the most prestigious award the FAA issues to pilots certified under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 61. 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."

The certificate was presented to Zawaski by Robert Thorson, FAA safety team program manager for the Flight Standard District Office covering the Teterboro region. Once the award has been issued, the recipient's name, city and state is added to a published "Roll of Honor" located at

A lifelong resident of Orange County, Zawaski has introduced countless friends and family to the wonders of aviation. He has traveled extensively throughout his career, reaching every state in the United States, every province in Canada as well regions within the Bahamas, Costa Rica, Mexico, Russia and more. In 1991, he and co-pilot Roberta Alexander circumvented the globe, becoming the 53rd pilots to ever fly the world in a single engine airplane.

Zawaski flies a Comanche 260 B. He hangars this plane, along with the Comanche 180 he shares with his wife, Gloria, at the Orange County Airport in Montgomery.

The Orange County Pilots Association, a non-profit group of pilots that gathers monthly to share aviation news and to plan various “fly-ins” to local, regional and national areas, hosted the event. The meeting included a video of Zawaski’s Round-the-World trip.

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