A retired game warden who just took home the FAA's most prestigious award, calls the recognition "quite an honor."
We told you earlier this week that Gary Dumond of Eagle Lake, received the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award in Old Town on Monday.
He went to flight school right after high school and served in Vietnam when he was 20.
Dumond flew for Aroostook Airways and was a forestry pilot before taking a job with the Maine Warden Service. He worked as a warden pilot in Old Town from 1972 to 1992 and says that job meant that he was the eyes of the warden service.
Dumond still flies with the warden service on an as-needed basis. Throughout his career, he says he has helped locate more than 200 lost people, some of them deceased. He was also involved in searching for the Square Lake drowning victims this summer. When we asked him how he feels about receiving this award, he said he owes all of it to one person.
"I'll tell you it's humbling for me because that's quite an award," said Dumond. "My dad is responsible for everything I've done in aviation, ever since I was a little kid and he gave me a chance, I was a junior in high school and I had an airplane to fly. Imagine? And I just wish he could have been here, he passed away a couple of years ago and he was a pilot for 25 years, a commercial pilot."
Dumond says the hardest part of being a game warden pilot was flying in difficult weather, and he says the best part was the freedom.