Col. J. Bradford Lynn, Southeast Region vice commander and former chairman of Civil Air Patrol’s Board of Governors and Alabama Wing commander, has been recognized with the Federal Aviation Administration’s Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award.
Lynn received the award in a ceremony Oct. 28 at Lanett Municipal Airport.
The award is the FAA’s most prestigious honor for a pilot, recognizing “individuals who have exhibited exemplary aviation expertise, distinguished professionalism, and steadfast commitment for at least 50 years of piloting experience and aircraft operations” while maintaining an exemplary flying safety record.
Lynn has logged over 20,000 accident-free flying hours during his 50+-year career.
Lynn became Southeast Region vice commander Sept. 23 after previously filling that position from October 2015-June 2017. He served on the CAP Board of Governors from May 2017-February 2021, including the last two years as chairman, and as Alabama Wing commander from January 2012-October 2015.
Lynn has also served at the national level as chairman of CAP’s youth aviation initiative panel, commandant of cadets for Cadet Officer School, escort officer for the International Air Cadet Exchange, and instructor and seminar leader at the region and National Staff College.
He joined CAP as a cadet in the Alabama Wing’s Tuscaloosa Composite Squadron in 1969 after earning his Eagle Scout award. He completed the CAP cadet program and earned the Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award, the organization’s top cadet honor, in 1973. He was also named National Cadet of the Year in 1973.
Lynn soloed in an aircraft in 1972 when he was 17. He earned his private pilot certificate in 1974 and entered the U.S. Air Force in 1977. After pilot training, he was assigned to fly the KC-135 and later — after he transitioned to the Air Force Reserve — the C-130.
In 1989 he started a second aviation career with United Airlines. In addition to being a captain, he also served as an instructor pilot and check airman with United.
Lynn holds type ratings in the Boeing 707, 747-400, 757, 767, and 777 and the McDonnell Douglas DC-10. His civilian light aircraft experience includes piloting the Cessna 120, 150, 172, 175, and 182, the Piper PA-18 and PA-44, and the Mooney-20E.
Col. John A. Salvador
Central Alabama Senior Squadron