2022 General Aviation Award Honorees Named

2022 National Certified Flight Instructor of the Year

Dr. Amy Hoover

Dr. Amy Hoover of Ellensburg, Washington has been named the 2022 National Certified Flight Instructor of the Year. Amy graduated from Texas Christian University in 1983 with a B.S. in Geology, completed her Masters in Geology at Oregon State University in 1987, and her Ph.D. in Education in 2005 from Oregon State University. Amy has dedicated over three decades of her life to advancing aviation education with 3,000+ hours of instruction time given in aircraft and an astounding 15,000+ hours of ground instruction given. She specializes in tailwheel and mountain flying instruction. In the summers when not teaching at the University Amy goes home to central Idaho where she has been teaching backcountry flying for 30 years.

In 2019, Amy was the primary author of the ASA book “Mountain, Canyon, and Backcountry Flying” which has sold over 5,000 copies to date. Rod Machado, who wrote the book’s foreword put it simply “All pilots should own a copy of this wonderful book.”

Amy has served in many professional capacities in her career. She is a Full Professor in the Aviation Department at Central Washington University, where she serves as a flight check instructor and assistant chief ground instructor. Amy has mentored new pilots through the International 99s, Women in Aviation, ALPA ACE, Alpha Eta Rho, and the FAA’s ACE Academy. Students of Amy’s have commented she makes many complex courses and subjects fun, interesting, and easy to understand.

In conjunction with her experience as an instructor, author, and educator, Amy has also served on several national and international panels in the last 5 years including, but not limited to, Aerospace Education Live – International Civil Air Patrol, Human Factors and Safe Practices for Backcountry Flying, FAA Wings Seminar: Weather or Not – Where do I go? Backcountry Adventure and Skills (AOPA), as well as numerous FAA Wings Seminars, both live and online. Amy often drives, or flies, at her own expense to provide these key education seminars and panels.

Amy’s experience reaches far beyond the flight deck. During the last 5 years, she has given over 400 hours of instrument instruction in simulators, has developed and taught over a dozen different aviation subjects at the collegiate level, and has conducted more than 40 presentations on a variety of aviation subjects.

Amy’s dedication, steadfastness, and passion for aviation exceed that of many in our industry. Today, Amy is a member and avid contributor of various aviation organizations including, but not limited to, AOPA, EAA, Idaho Aviation Association, International 99’s, NAFI, and many more. It should be noted that Amy received several letters of recommendation from professionals across the industry. Each recommendation mentioned Amy’s dedication to her craft, her passion for aviation and her students, as well as her desire to advance aviation education into the modern era. Congratulations and questions for Amy can be sent to info@canyonflying.com.

2022 National Aviation Technician of the Year

Michael Everhart

Michael Everhart of Charlotte, North Carolina has been named the 2022 National Aviation Technician of the Year. Michael’s professional aviation maintenance career began in 1981 as an aviation machinist mate while serving in the United States Navy. However, Mike’s passion started at an early age while watching his father, an engineer, fix anything and everything around the house. At an early age, Mike’s father taught him how to disassemble and reassemble items such as his bicycle. Sadly, Mike’s father passed when he was only 11, but the passion had already been passed from father to son. 

While still a teen, Mike began restoring cars and after high school decided to join the United States Navy. While on active duty stationed in Sicily, Mike had the opportunity to work on various airframes including the Grumman C-2A, the Rockwell T-39, and the Sikorsky RH-63D. After active duty, and while still serving in the reserves, Mike looked to his long-time mentor and friend Dave Harmon for his first civilian role in aviation maintenance. Mike later received his A&P Certification in 1989 and his Inspection Authorization in 1994. Over this time, Mike had the chance to work with and on a variety of civilian use aircraft including airliners, the EAA’s Ford Tri-Motor, and even a 1946 Funk. 

In 2010, Mike and his family relocated to Hendersonville, North Carolina after he accepted a job with Belle Aircraft Maintenance. A year later, Mike was promoted to Director of Maintenance, a position which he held for just shy of 11 years before accepting a new role as the Director of Maintenance with Fenix Air Charter in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Mike is currently part of the team at Stevens Aerospace and Defense Systems where he performs maintenance on the Beechcraft Kingair. 

Mike is described as a “hands-on” Director of Maintenance as he oversees maintenance scheduling, the other technicians on staff, running a professional and smooth shop, and ensuring the fleet of Beechcraft Barons, Cessna 402s, and King Airs are all in airworthy condition at a moment’s notice. 

Outside the workplace, Mike has represented his trade and the industry well. Mike currently serves as a FAASTeam Lead Representative who conducts in-person and virtual training events for the aviation community. He provides mentorship for newly licensed A&Ps and also serves as the maintenance liaison for the Western North Carolina Pilots Association where he provides crucial advice and updates on what’s happening in the aviation maintenance sector of our industry. In addition to all of this, Mike also makes hangar space available to local middle school and high school students to discuss career opportunities in the aviation industry. Mike is also a Merit Badge Counselor for the Wester North Carolina Council and assets the scouts in achieving their “Aviation Merit Badge”. 

For the last three years, Mike has been awarded Regional Aviation Technician of the Year and in 2018 he received the FAASTeam “Rising Star Representative” award.

At the time of this release, Mike has worked on over 30+ aircraft including popular GAA aircraft such as the Cessna 172, Piper J-3, and the Cirrus SR20, while also having worked with airframes such as the YAK 52TW, ERJ-170, and the CRJ 200/700/900 series aircraft. 

Mike is an avid volunteer and supporter of the Western North Carolina Air Museum in Henderson, the Western North Carolina Pilot’s Association, and is President of the local Volkswagen club. Mike is described in his letters of recommendation as being a safety-conscious aviation professional with a deep dedication to aviation education, mentorship, and excellence. Congratulations and questions for Mike can be sent to mecoh48thnc@wmconnect.com.

2022 FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year

Laura Herrmann

Laura Herrmann of St. Bonifacius, Minnesota has been named the 2022 FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year. Laura is currently an instructor at the Hennepin County Medical Center who conducts lecture and scenario-based training for paramedic students. She also instructs nurses, doctors, and others in advanced adult and pediatric life support techniques. Laura earned her B. S. in Nursing from St. Olaf College and graduated Cum Laude. She went on to earn her Masters of Science in Nursing from the Minneapolis Veterans Administration School of Anesthesia at the University of Minnesota. 

Outside the workplace, Laura is actively involved in many humanitarian causes such as Pilots and Paws where she puts her private pilot certificate and instrument rating to work flying animals to their new forever homes or to be with foster families. Laura has been bringing pets to their new homes for over 19 years. She’s also a volunteer at the Golden Valley Animal Humane Society, where she puts her medical skills to work as a surgical assistant caring for animals before and post-procedure. She does all of this while still being an active supporter and contributor to the Minnesota 99’s.

Since 2014, Laura has served as a FAASTeam Representative and has been holding weekly Saturday morning seminars and webinars for her local aviation community for nearly 8 years. When COVID-19 struck the world, Laura went to work transitioning her weekly seminars to all virtual and even found creative ways to keep attendees interested during the virtual presentations. 

Laura is heavily involved in a monthly “Pro-Tips” series of presentations the Minnesota and Wisconsin FAASTeams put on the first and second Wednesday of each month. Laura will present, manage the questions and answer sessions, and provide training to participants that need assistance. When not prepping for seminars, or assisting at the local animal clinic, Laura is hard at work authoring articles for the next Minnesota Flyer Magazine and her local EAA newsletter. She’s a founding member of the Minnesota Pilot’s Association and the local IMC Club affiliated with EAA Chapter 878. Laura enjoys putting her plane on display for aviation events and speaking to girls and young women about the joys aviation has brought her. She takes time to volunteer to answer questions posed by visitors at the FAASTeam’s booth at Girls in Aviation Day each year. Laura can be found presenting at the local Runway Safety Advisory Team meetings and never misses a chance to relay information from her sessions to other pilots. 

Laura also volunteers on the collegiate level acting as a judge in NAFI’s annual SAFECON at Minnesota State University-Mankato. She carries her message of aviation safety wherever she goes whether it be at Pro-Flite in Fairbanks, Alaska, or right back at home working alongside the Minnesota Department of Transportation during their crosswind runway assessments. 

Back in the workplace, Laura’s work has played an essential role in the lives of many, especially since the emergence of the Coronavirus pandemic. As a trained Nurse Anesthetist, Laura has spent a great deal of time training and certifying other healthcare professionals while never missing a beat with her volunteer activities. Laura is truly dedicated to both her local aviation and medical communities. Leaders in the area recognize Laura’s hard work this year with their nomination and now this award. She’s been described as someone who “radiates aviation safety”, “set the bar unbelievably high” when it comes to her work as a volunteer and medical professional and is also someone who is humble and ready to work with the newest of pilots and aviation community members. 

Laura’s involvement in aviation safety activities and her work in the medical profession are guiding examples for her peers. Congratulations and questions for Laura can be sent to ​​ljherrmann@yahoo.com.