Retired Maine game warden pilot Gary Dumond on Monday received the Federal Aviation Administration’s most prestigious honor, the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award, according to a Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife press release.
Dumond, who lives in Eagle Lake with his wife, Pauline, was a game warden pilot from 1972 until 1992, but has continued to fly with the Maine Warden Service as a reserve pilot and instructor since his retirement.
According to the news release, Dumond flew helicopters during the Vietnam War and has accumulated 21,000 hours of safe flying over his lifetime, helping to save lives and rescue people.
“Flying with Gary Dumond is like traveling with a living history book,” Jeffrey Beach, chief pilot for the Maine Warden Service said in the release. “From the air, Dumond will see a lake, pond or old sporting camp and will often have a story to tell about it.”
According to the release, the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award recognizes individuals who have exhibited professionalism, skill and aviation expertise for at least 50 years while piloting aircraft as “Master Pilots.”