Sayville, NY - June 15, 2017 - Civil Air Patrol 1st Lt. Albert “Al” C. Cerullo Jr., of Syosset, has been awarded the Wright Brothers “Master Pilot” Award for his 50 year record of safe flying with no aviation mishaps by the Federal Aviation Administration. According to the FAA, “The Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award is the most prestigious award the FAA issues to pilots certified under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 61. This award is named after the Wright Brothers, the first US pilots, to recognize individuals who have exhibited professionalism, skill, and aviation expertise for at least 50 years while piloting aircraft as ‘Master Pilots’.”
Complementing his love of flying, Al has been a member of the Civil Air Patrol since 2009 and currently serves as the aerospace education officer at Civil Air Patrol’s Bethpage-based Lt. Quentin Roosevelt Cadet Squadron - its commander, C.A.P. 1st Lt. Mark Del Orfano is pictured at right with Al. At different times, Al served as testing officer, cadet activities officer and deputy squadron commander.
While serving as a helicopter pilot with U.S. Army’s 176th Assault Helicopter Company during the Vietnam War, Al flew 1,605 combat hours in 241 flying days from 1967 to 1968. During that year of combat flying as a disciplined 23-year-old Chief Warrant Officer Two, Al had earned many decorations and recognitions, including the Distinguish Flying Cross, the Air Medal with multiple citations, and the Purple Heart. After returning from overseas, he was able to achieve his instrument instructor rating and accumulated over 35 years of flight experience with over 25,000 hours.
As of late, Al currently runs Hover-Views Unlimited, an aerial cinematography service, catering mainly to the New York metropolitan area. According to HoverViews.com, the company website, “his numerous credits include breathtaking cinematography in film, television and commercials.” Additionally, Al is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, a founding member of the Motion Picture Pilots Association and is a recipient of the 2009 Society of Camera Operators Lifetime Achievement Award.
Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees.
C.A.P., in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 78 lives annually. C.A.P.’s 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the C.A.P. cadet program.
Performing missions for America for the past 75 years, C.A.P. received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. C.A.P. also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit www.capvolunteernow.com for more information.
Long Island Group Civil Air Patrol is headquartered on the grounds of Long Island MacArthur Airport. For more information, please visit the Group’s website at http://lig.nywg.cap.gov.