QuicksilverGeorge Karamitis Given FAA Wright Brothers Award - 50 Years Safe!

Temecula, CALIFORNIA / February 25, 2013 - Flying without accident, incident, or citation for 50 years is a major accomplishment, one significant enough for FAA to issue the agency's prized Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award in a ceremony at Sebring U.S. Sport Aviation Expo 2013. The honor was given to George Karamitis. For half of those 50 years, George has flown a Quicksilver ... several of them.

Karamitis started flying as a youngster who stood at the fence of Oshkosh's Wittman Field, a faithful fascination with flight that generated offers for a ride, the first one from Oshkosh aviation icon Steve Wittman himself. Before the real experience, George's childhood obsession with flying had him "aviating" in the family bathroom with the commode as his pilot seat and a plunger as his "joystick."

That developing early interest led Karamitis into the Navy as a radar operator. While stationed in Newfoundland, he formed a Navy flying club and earned his Private Pilot certificate. Later at the University of Oshkosh, he again formed a flying club, flew a Cessna 140, and earned his flight instructor rating in 1966. His keen interest eventually led to a flying job for Trans World Airlines. After 33 years, he retired as a Captain in 2001. Yet his love affair with aviation didn't end.

"I've been a Quicksilver fan for over 25 years," began George, "owning numerous Quicksilver aircraft as well as a dozen general aviation airplanes." George bought his first Quicksilver, a Sport II two seat aircraft, from Ken Snyder in 1988. Since then, George has own several more Sport IIs as well as the even-simpler Sprint II. He also owned a single seat GT400, a single place Sport, and a single seat Sprint. The Sprint and Sport are completely open cockpit side-by-side models. The Sport uses a double surfaced wing and the Sprint a single surface wing. The latter is commonly used for training and water flying and stalls below 30 mph. The Sport is somewhat faster and is often more elaborately equipped. The GT series uses yoke control and tandem seating in the GT500, a model that distinguished itself by being the very first airplane to be certified in 1993 in the then-new Primary Aircraft Category.

After thousands of hours at the helm of an airliner, George admits, "I love sitting out in the open!" Today his operates a Sprint II (photo) in which he can provide demonstration flights. George's current Sprint II uses the HKS two cylinder four stroke powerplant producing 60 horsepower, more than enough for this very light amateur built aircraft.

"I couldn't write a better story than I've lived," admitted George. His lifelong interest in aviation is, if anything, even stronger today than it was in his Wisconsin childhood. Karamitis continues to train student pilots when he helps out at Lockwood Aviation at the Sebring, Florida airport where he flies a Tecnam Light-Sport Aircraft for flight instruction.

"We congratulate George on receiving this prestigious award and we are extremely pleased to have him as a longtime loyal Quicksilver owner and pilot, said Will Escutia, president of Quicksilver Aeronautics LLC. Escutia and Daniel Perez purchased Quicksilver in the spring of 2012 and continue to operate the enterprise based in Temecula, California.

FACTS ABOUT QUICKSILVER AERONAUTICS

Quicksilver Aeronautics, under new ownership since 2012, is the most prolific builder of light aircraft kits in the world, with more than 15,000 units flying. Quicksilver builds the MX series including the Sprint, Sprint II, Sport, Sport II, Sport 2S and the GT series including the single seat GT 400 and the two place GT 500. The GT 500 is the first aircraft approved by FAA under the Primary Aircraft category (1993). Quicksilver has dealers throughout the USA and the world with thousands flying in nearly 100 countries. The brand has an enviably good safety record owing significantly to exceptional ease of flight, thorough engineering, and long experience dating to the early 1970s.