To conclude the Black Pilots of America Fly-In over the Memorial Day weekend, a banquet was held at the Pine Bluff Convention Center Sunday night. Trophies were given to the members who have demonstrated superior flying skills during Operation Skyhook competitions, as well as to the chapter with the highest accumulated points.
There was also an individual “Top Gun Award” for the supreme pilot accumulating the highest number of overall points.
The Wright Brothers Aviation “Master Pilot” Award was presented to Palmer Sullins, who has been flying since he was 3 years old.
To be eligible for the Wright Brothers Award, an individual must hold a U.S. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) or Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) pilot certificate. He/she must have 50 or more years of civil and military flying experience from the date of solo, be a U.S. citizen, and have three letters of recommendation.
Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington and Pine Bluff Police Chief Kelvin Sergeant presented Floyd Miles, president of the BPA, and Fred Lewis, chairman of the BPA board, with awards of appreciation.
“I would like to say thank you on behalf of the city council and all of all the beautiful citizens of Pine Bluff, Arkansas,” Washington said. “We know that when you are looking for a city to host the Fly-In each year, you have choices, and we are so thankful for you choosing to come back to our beloved city for the 22nd year.”
Kenneth “Ken” Johnson, a member of BPA and chairman of the Pine Bluff Aviation Commission, presented BPA President Floyd Miles with an award and proclamation from Jefferson County Judge Booker Clemons.
The Flower Bomb Drop winners include Eddie Kimbrough, Darrell Robinson and Ferguson Evans. Category two aircraft winners include Charles Kelley, Sr., Jessie Hayes and Michael Youngblood. Category three aircraft winners include Kenneth “Ken” Johnson, Rayjahn Bethune and Rolph Bryant.
Category four winners include Hubert Looney, Darrell Robinson, and Eddie Kimbrough. Twin category winners include Ricardo Astillero, Sr., Ricardo Astillero II and Anthony Hall, Jr. Spot landing winners include Rayjahn Bethune, Eddie Kimbrough, and Anthony Hall, Jr. The private category award went to Travis Hayes, Jr.
The Top Gun Award included Eddie Kimbrough and Anthony Hall, Jr. The formation competition winners include The Bronze Eagles of Texas, The Lewis Lynch Chapter and The Atlanta Raptors.