Local pilot recognized for major aviation award

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, November 8, 2023

LANETT — At its Monday meeting, the Lanett City Council recognized a Lanett resident on having received a highly prestigious award in the field of aviation.

On Saturday, Oct. 28, Brad Lynn received the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award in a ceremony at the Lanett Municipal Airport. The award is named for Orville and Wilbur Wright, who are credited with inventing, building and flying the world’s first successful motor-driven airplane.

The Wright Brothers made the first controlled, sustained flight of a powered, heavier-than-air aircraft with the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on Dec. 17, 1903. The brothers were also the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed-wing powered flight possible.

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) presents Wright Brothers Awards based on the following criteria:

  • The individual must hold a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) or Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) pilot certificate;
  • they must have 50 or more years of civil and military flying experience or 50 or more years combined experience in both piloting and aircraft operations;
  • up to 20 years of the required 50 years may be U.S. military experience;
  • the effective date of the 50 years is the date of the nominee’s first auto flight or military equivalent, and
  • the 50 years may be computed consecutively or non-consecutively.

The nominee must also be a U.S. citizen who has not had an airman certificate revoked for any reason.

“The City of Lanett Mayor and Council do hereby congratulate Brad Lynn for this most prestigious recognition,” the proclamation reads.

Lynn thanked the council for this recognition. 

“I have lived in Lanett for 24 years now and have enjoyed being here,” he said. “It’s close to the Atlanta airport and is across the state line in Alabama, the state I love.”

Police Chief Denise McCain promoted five Lanett police officers in the Monday meeting. Officers Darryl Dawkins, Jeremy Reaves and Dwayne Fears were promoted to the rank of sergeant, and sergeants Ryan Smith and Asim Hicks were promoted to the rank of lieutenant.

In a work session preceding the regular meeting, Building Inspector Randall Aikens talked to the council about several options that were available to the city to acquire new radio-read water meters. Aikens said the city is losing a great deal of revenue due to water meters that are not working as they should. Some businesses that use large amounts of water, such as laundromats and car washes, are being charged minimal rates because the water meters aren’t operating like they should. Aikens recommended going with meters supplied by Neptune, the company that supplied the now-outdated meters. Water meters have a 15-year life cycle. Most Lanett meters have been in service for more than 20 years. 

“The city is losing a lot of money by not having updated water meters,” Aikens said.

A resolution was on the agenda to approve the purchase of the new meters at a cost of $883,379 but was tabled for further discussion. This would cost the city $155,703.23 a month for seven years. Billing would start a full year after the city had been receiving revenue from the new meters. Also tabled was a proposed agreement between the city and Clearwater Solutions on the operation of the city’s wastewater treatment plant. Both of these items will be on the agenda for the November 20th council meeting.

An agenda item that was approved was the hiring of a water superintendent at a Position 14 pay grade. Richard Chapman has agreed to take the position. He will be receiving an annual salary of $67,000. He’s retired from the City of West Point and currently works for the City of LaFayette.