It was a day to remember for one Kansas City, Kansas resident and longtime pilot Michael Jacobi.
The Federal Aviation Administration awarded him with their highest honor Wednesday during a ceremony at City Hall with Mayor Mark Holland. Jacobi received the Wright Brothers Master Pilot award. This is the most prestigious award given by the FAA, recognizing pilots of 50 or more years of flying experience and contributions to general aviation.
Michael Jacobi (center) was awarded the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award Wednesday.
“It’s extremely humbling. There’s so many of us who aren’t here, so many of my friends,” Jacobi said.
At the young age of 20, Jacobi flew combat missions during the Vietnam War with the 101st airborne division. He also flew special operations missions behind enemy lines in Laos.
“We lost 200 aircraft and nobody knows about it," Jacobi said.
According to Jacobi, his career is not over yet. He said he still flies today and will do so for as long as he can.
"It's far safer than driving a car, by far,” Jacobi said.
Jacobi’s son and son-in-law are also pilots, following in his footsteps.