Migration 15: Dr Jerrold Seckler Receives Prestigious Wright Brothers Award for 50 Years of Flying Safety

We were honored to have Matt McDaniel present our beloved Jerry Seckler with the prestigious FAA Wright Brothers award commemorating fifty years of safe flying:

Congratulations to Jerry on this very prestigious award!

Congrats Jerry!

Congratulations Jerry!

Just curious Bill, is this going to be a regular event to those tht reach the 50 year mark and earn this award?

Congrats Jerry!

Congratulations Jerry!!!

Congrats, Jerry!

Yeah, darn I missed it.

Kudos to Jerry. [Y]

That’s kind of like asking the guy who sweeps the floor if they will be having have steak for dinner:).

But my thoughts are pretty simple on this. We are first and foremost an organization that creates a culture of safety. There is no better example of pilot behavior that we should be emulating than of those that receive this award. So in my opinion we should really make a BIG deal out of it when one of our own wins this award. That is what we did for Jerry and as long as I have a say in it that is what we will do for others. It was very heartwarming to see Jerry receive it with his family there.

It was interesting that we had three other Members in the room Saturday night whom have also received this award. They don’t hand these out like cheap candy so that is very impressive.

Congrats, Jerry.

Jerry also gave an excellent talk on his 50 years of flying. Don’t think it is was recorded, but perhaps he will offer a repeat performance someday.

Congratulations Doc!

Were any of the events of Saturday evening or Saturday early morning recorded?


Warmest congratualtions; may we be hearing about your flying adventures for decades to come. Never forget two things: 1) Maddie’s been supersonic (Back seat, USN F-4B for the curious) and you haven’t; 2) As you always remind me, you’re only as good as your last landing, so keep working at that, will you? [;)]

Very best,

And this one could not go to a more deserving guy! I know of at least one or two that are potentially coming up soon which is why I asked.



To be more complete, Jerry’s sponsor for this award is a COPA member and brought this to our attention. As long as I have a vote something this prestigious should be recognized within COPA. A lot of this being done at our banquet was Matt’s doing. We, of course, were more than glad to do it.

But each sponsor needs to know to do that because if we don’t know we cannot schedule the recognition. BTW, Jerry did not know we were doing that. Kinda like the ultimate surprise birthday party.


I’m gonna take a chance… Well deserved and congratulations!!!

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Thanks, Roger. I should point out that I had help too. Not the least of which was Jerry himself who had to fill out the application and solicit other recommendation letters beyond my own. Madelyn, his wife, played a large role in helping with the surprise element of the video (which fellow COPA’n Peter Storer put together for us) and Bill Myers helped us get it into the M15 schedule. Like M15 itself, no such events come off smoothly without a team (big or small) and I had just such a team in my (and Jerry’s) corner too.

I also want to point out that Jerry’s earning of this award, while prestigious, is (I feel) inadequate at recognizing Jerry’s contributions to general aviation. This award can be earned by essentially any FAA certificated pilot who’s maintained their pilot certificates in good standing for 50 years or more. There’s no flight-hour minimum, no requirement for having achieved higher ratings, no requirement for having sought out and/or given quality training year after year, and no requirement for having “given back” to aviation at all. Jerry’s 51 years as an aviator are chocked full of going above and beyond to give back to aviation and aviators. He’s been a CFII for decades, he’d taught multiple ground courses at over 75 CPPP’s. He’s the Dean of Flight Operations in COPA University. He’s a former COPA Board member and forum moderator. He was an AME for 25 years. He’s holds an ATP Cert ASEL, plus a Commercial Cert AMEL, a CFII, an Advanced & Instrument Ground Instructor Cert., and a NAFI Master Ground Instructor. He’s flown Angel flights and done other charitable flying for years. So, while I wish to take nothing away from the achievement of any 50-year Master Pilot award winner, I do wish to point out that Jerry’s life in aviation is far more than a number and he was exceedingly overqualified for this award.


Fly Safe,

Congrats Jerry.

You are a true role model.


Congratulations, Dr. Jerry!

I’m going to have to start my aviation advocation all over again to accomplish even 10% of that list!

Well done!!

Heartfelt congratulations, Jerry!

Besides all the great achievements Matt touched on, I view Jerry as the “Father Knows Best” character of COPA. The conscience of our collective. When in doubt, if you ask yourself “What would Jerry do?”, you won’t go wrong.



Yea! I want to start over as a urologist now![:D] I asked myself “What would Jerry do?” He said “lungs are over rated>”