Breaking News
More () »

Dublin veteran earns 50 years of flying award

A 79-year-old Dublin Veteran received the Wright Brothers Award for more than 50 years of safe flight and instruction.

DUBLIN, Ga. — A 79-year-old Dublin Veteran received the Wright Brothers Award for more than 50 years of safe flight and instruction on Thursday.

Soon, the Dublin terminal building will even be named in Fred Houston's honor.

"Anybody that works in a job or profession they have a passion for it," Houston said.

For six years Fred Houston served in the National Guard, where he made a few friends.

"They were pilots and I got interested in it and learned to fly that way. Some of them moved into crop dusting then I got into crop dusting," Houston said.

He did that for 25 years, along with 17 years of flying small passenger planes for businesses. 

But that's not all-- Jerry Sikes has known Houston for close to 15 years.

"A legend at the airport. He's done everything known possibly to man. Anything to do with aviation, he's done it," Sikes said.

Sikes isn't kidding. 

Houston also became a flight instructor, and now he serves as a designated pilot examiner working 3-4 days a week making sure pilots are ready to go. 

He's done close to 7,000 ride checks in his life.

"Meeting different people from different walks of life and giving them a fair check ride so they can progress with their aviation career," Houston said.

"He'd give you the shirt off his back. If he seen somebody run out of gas on the side of the road you best believe he ain't going to leave 'em stranded," Sikes said.

Fred's advice to those looking to have a long career in aviation is to be mindful of the rules, and stay safe.

"The rules and regulations are put there for a reason and they are put there for safety. If a person will abide within the rules and within the standards of the airplane they will have a much safer career," Houston said.

Houston says he might retire in a year or two, and spend his free time traveling and camping with his wife.


Empowering women: Wesleyan's match campaign raises over $2 Million

'They say it takes a village': Macon dance studio celebrates 15 years

Before You Leave, Check This Out