FAA honors Coulter’s service

Rick Stednitz (left) from the FAA’s Safety Team surprised Meeker Airport manager Gary Coulter (right) with a personal visit to present the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic award for Coulter’s lifetime contributions to aviation. Coulter’s award included a plaque, a certificate and a pair of lapel pins, one for Gary and one for his wife, Relda (center).
Rick Stednitz (right) from the FAA’s Safety Team surprised Meeker Airport manager Gary Coulter (left) with a personal visit to present the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic award for Coulter’s lifetime contributions to aviation. Coulter’s award included a plaque, a certificate and a pair of lapel pins, one for Gary and one for his wife, Relda (center).

MEEKER I Former Meeker Airport manager Gary Coulter was surprised when Rick Stednitz of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Safety Team showed up in Meeker to honor the retired pilot and aviation mechanic with the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic award.
“Thanks for coming all this way for this,” Coulter said. “I’m retired now, I just go to work every day.”
“We like to come out to present this special award in person,” Stednitz said.
Charles Taylor was the first aviation mechanic in powered flight, serving as the Wright brothers’ mechanic. He is credited with designing and building the engine for their first successful aircraft.
The Charles Taylor Master Mechanic award recognizes the lifetime accomplishments of senior aviation mechanics.
“It rewards significant contributions to aviation,” Stednitz said.
Coulter’s family submitted his name to the FAA and Stednitz completed a background check of Coulter’s FAA records.
“In more than 50 years of service, you have a lot of records,” Stednitz said.
Stednitz presented Coulter with a plaque, a framed certificate, and lapel pins for him and for his wife Relda.
“We also want to recognize your spouse for her support over the years with the additional lapel pin,” Stednitz said.
Coulter was also presented with copies of all the documents he had submitted to the FAA in compliance with his 50 years of service, bundled together with a ribbon.
Coulter took over as the Meeker Airport manager in 1957 and semi-retired last year.