|John Staber Receives Wright Brothers Award|
|11:53AM / Saturday, May 13, 2023|
|John Staber atop the No. 1 Lake Amphibian with the crew who helped put her together in River Ranch, Fla., in February 2011. They are Bill Greenwald, left, John Werner, Barbara Fioravanti, Judy Staber and Peter Nelson.|
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — John H. Staber of Old Chatham, N.Y., is to receive the Federal Aviation Administration Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award this Saturday.
This is to commemorate his more than 50 years of accident-free flying and devoting much of his career to teaching others.
The presentation will be made at noon by Adina M. Papp, FAA Safety Team Program manager, at the Walter J. Koladza Airport located on Route 71.
While he is certified to fly most Beech, Cessna and Piper light aircraft, Staber has also specialized in maintaining and teaching the art of seaplane flying in Lake Amphibians.
He received his private pilot license in December 1963 at the Great Barrington airport and, over the next few years, added on a Commercial Pilot Certificate, instrument rating, instructor rating, multi-engine land rating and seaplane rating.
In 1999, he found parts from an early Lake Amphibian near Cleveland and brought the contents home to Old Chatham. With the help of flying friends, he assembled, painted and restored the old Amphibian discovering, to his delight, that it was Serial Number One.
The plane was reassembled finally in 2010 and flown from the Great Barrington airport. The following year, she flew to Florida for a Lake Amphibian Fly-In.
Staber has flown all over the United States and much of Canada and has accumulated more than 6,200 hours, most of which was done teaching others to fly in Lake Amphibians. He is a director of the Lake Amphibian Club, whose purpose is to make the owners of the amphibians safer pilots.
He retired from flying in November 2021 after 58 years.