KEYSER - The Mineral County Day Committee is proud to announce that the 2020 Honoree is Bill Pancake.

For the News Tribune
KEYSER - The Mineral County Day Committee is proud to announce that the 2020 Honoree is Bill Pancake.  
Bill has spent a lifetime in aviation and holds many records, honors, and distinctions.
He and his family will travel to Charleston to receive his citations on Mineral County Day Thursday, Jan. 9.  After years of Pancake bringing attention to Mineral County, it is Mineral County’s turn and  privilege to shine the light on him.  
Pancake is a lifelong Mineral County resident and  an aviation pioneer. He soloed on his 16th birthday and received his private certificate the following year. Bill later worked at the Baker Airpark in Burlington,  which was a district service center for Aeronca Aircraft, later becoming a highly sought-after worldwide specialist on the aircraft.
In 1973 Bill opened his own restoration shop, Pancake Aviation, which allowed him to expand his passion for restoring antique aircraft.
Bill has had 13 aircraft award winners at the world’s largest air show: EAA Airventure in Oshkosh, WI. In 2006, Mr. Pancake was awarded the FAA’s two highest awards – the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award for being an aircraft mechanic for 50 years without any infractions or violations, and the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award for 50 years of piloting without any accident or violation. When Bill received those awards, he was one of only 40 persons in the country to receive both, and the only West Virginian.
Governor Manchin named him a Distinguished Mountaineer in 2007, and the following year Bill was inducted into the Experimental Aircraft Association Vintage Hall of Fame in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. In 2014, Bill was among the first group of inductees into the West Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame, an institution he helped create, joining the ranks of fellow West Virginians Brigadier General Chuck Yeager, Captain Jon McBride, and Brigadier General J. Kemp McLaughlin. That same year Governor Tomblin presented Bill with the Distinguished West Virginian Award.
The pinnacle of Bill’s aviation career was in 2018, when was chosen by the FAA from a field of over 80,000 aviation mechanics as the 2018 National Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year. Bill is the only West Virginian to be named the National honoree of this, the FAA’s most prestigious award.
The citizens of Mineral County are proud of Bill Pancake and all of his accomplishments in the aviation field, and the attention he has brought to our little piece of “Almost Heaven.”