Local pilot, former WKU Provost logs 10,000th hour of flight

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – It’s taken nearly 35 years, but Gordon Emslie has finally done it – logged 10,000 flight hours as a pilot.

Emslie, who is a former provost at Western Kentucky University and currently a physics professor at the school, touched down at the Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport on Tuesday afternoon with a surprise waiting for him after he notched his 10,000th hour in the air – a water cannon salute from the Bowling Green Fire Department.

An arc of water from the firetruck’s hose was sprayed over the top of Emslie’s plane as he taxied down the runway.

Emslie’s first flight was in 1984 on a small grass strip in Huntsville, Alabama.

He says he reached 1,000 hours in March of 1988, but he never thought he’d reach this milestone in his aviation hobby.

“I enjoy flying,” he said. “This is not my day job. I’m a professor at WKU teaching physics. But I’ve always done a little bit of flying on weekends and evenings. A lot of it’s been with students. Very rewarding time teaching other people how to fly. Getting to 10,000 is good, but there’s far more to come.”

Emslie hasn’t ruled out the possibility of reaching 20,000 hours.