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Beaver Island Pilot Recognized for 50 Years of Service

A Beaver Island pilot has been recognized for his decades of service.

The FAA award ceremony took place Tuesday in Charlevoix.

Paul Welke of Island Airways received two awards for his 50 years of service.

Welke was presented the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award and the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award.

These awards are the highest aviation awards given to civilians and recognize pilots for maintaining safe operations.

“Just in awe,” Welke said. “I didn’t even know these awards existed. It’s certainly very humbling. There’s no place else I’d rather be. I enjoy what I’m doing.”

Welke now joins the ranks of Chuck Yeager and Neil Armstrong who are also recipients of the award.

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