All posts by Mike Busch

2018 National GA Award Honorees Named

Versailles, Kentucky — February 7, 2018 — Every year for more than 50 years, the General Aviation Awards program and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have recognized aviation professionals for their contributions to general aviation in the fields of flight instruction, aviation maintenance/avionics, and safety.

Recipients of the 2018 National General Aviation Awards are:

  • Daniel Peter Christman of Las Vegas, Nevada—2018 Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year
  • C. William Pancake, Jr. of Keyser, West Virginia—2018 Aviation Technician of the Year
  • Catherine Elizabeth Cavagnaro of Sewanee, Tennessee—2018 FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year

The FAA will present individual awards to each National Honoree in July during EAA AirVenture 2018 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and their names will be added to the large perpetual plaque located in the lobby of the EAA AirVenture Museum. Also included in the prize packages for each National Honoree is an all-expenses-paid trip to Oshkosh to attend the awards presentation and other special GA Awards activities.

“I am very excited to announce the selection of the National Honorees for the 2017 General Aviation Awards,” said GA Awards board chairman Arlynn McMahon, “These awards highlight the important role played by these individuals in promoting aviation education and flight safety,” she added, “The awards program sponsors are pleased that these outstanding aviation professionals will receive the recognition they so richly deserve before their peers in Oshkosh.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Click on any of the headshots below for high-resolution images. If you trim the information about these honorees for copyfitting purposes, please retain the recipients’ email addresses so your readers may congratulate them. Thank you!

2018 National Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year

 

Daniel Peter Christman of Las Vegas, Nevada

Daniel Peter Christman of Las Vegas, Nevada has been named the 2018 National Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year. As a young kid growing up in northern Indiana, Dan always knew he wanted to be a pilot. His father was in the Air Force Reserves and would regularly take Dan to the base to see the planes. When he was 11 his parents bribed him, saying that if he made the honor roll they would get him some flying lessons. It worked, and he has been hooked ever since.

Dan soloed on his 16th birthday and received his Private Pilot certificate a year later at age 17. Since then, he’s earned the following certificates: Air Transport Pilot multiengine land, Commercial Pilot single engine land and sea, instrument helicopter and glider, Flight Instructor single and multiengine, instrument airplane, helicopter, instrument helicopter and glider, Ground Instructor advanced and instrument, Flight Engineer turbojet, and Remote Pilot small UAS.

Dan’s day job is as a Lieutenant Colonel in the USAF—where he’s known as “Taz”—presently serving as Deputy Commander of the Persistent Attack and Reconnaissance Operations Center at Creech AFB, as well as a military instructor/evaluator pilot. His military flight experience includes the Northrop T-38A/C Talon jet trainer, Rockwell B-1B Lancer bomber, and General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper remotely-piloted aircraft (RPA).

Teaching flying is clearly Dan’s passion. In addition to his full-time duties with the Air Force, Dan averages 25-30 hours of flight instruction a month and another 10-15 hours of ground training per week. He has been an active flight instructor either full or part-time for over 19 years with more than 5,000 hours of dual instruction given in a diverse array of aircraft. Dan’s experience and teaching style make him a highly sought-after instructor. As a part-time instructor with Airwork Las Vegas, he currently has six full-time and four part-time flight students plus five ground school students. He currently has a two-month waiting list for any new prospective students. As Airwork’s chief flight instructor, he’s responsible for managing 8 instructors and 25 students.

Dan authored and instructed a 6-week Private Pilot and Instrument ground school for both Airplane and Helicopter’s through UNLV’s continuing education program. He was instrumental in writing, producing, and instructing an ATP Flight/Ground School for Sin City Flying Club which produced over 60 ATP certifications during the last two years. Dan created the first aerobatic/upset recovery training program in the region utilizing Decathlon and Yak-52 aircraft. He is an experienced Technically Advanced Aircraft (TAA) instructor specializing in Avidyne, Garmin, Aspen and Honeywell glass cockpits.

He created and recorded over 55 hours of video content for Helicopter Online Ground School (HOGS) Instrument Rating course. Dan is also a contributing instructor for a weekly free live streaming helicopter safety and education course available on YouTube the HOGS website.

A favorite saying of Dan’s is; “An empty seat is a missed opportunity”. What he’s referring to is any time after you’re a certificated pilot that you fly solo, it’s a missed opportunity to share aviation with someone. Dan is a huge proponent of the Young Eagles program and will routinely share his love for aviation with younger kids, trying to pass on the experiences of his own youth. As an aviation ambassador to young enlisted Air Force airmen, Taz designed an incentive ride program to help motivate them to become officers and pilots. He personally flew 19 enlisted airmen free of charge in personal aircraft, three of whom decided to start flight training. dan@chrisair.net

2018 Aviation Technician of the Year

C. William Pancake, Jr. of Keyser, West Virginia

C. William Pancake, Jr. of Keyser, West Virginia has been named the 2018 Aviation Technician of the Year. Bill’s aviation career has spanned 62 years. By age 12, he knew that he wanted to fly. He would ride his bike to the Keyser Airport, where several local attorneys who were pilots saw Bill was trustworthy and possessed great mechanical skills, and became his mentors, taking him flying whenever they could.

Bill soloed on his 16th birthday in 1956. His instructor was Forrest Miller owner and operator of Keyser Airport. When the airport closed, Bill continued his flying 20 miles away at the Cumberland airport in Mineral Country, West Virginia, where he also got a summer job doing dope and fabric work. In the fall, he found another job closer to home at Baker’s Airpark and Aeronca Sales and Service in Burlington, West Virginia. In 1957, at age 17, Bill passed his Private Pilot written test with a score of 100%, and later went on to earn certificates as Commercial Pilot, Instrument, Multiengine, Flight Instructor, Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic (A&P), and Inspection Authorization (IA). Bill’s lifelong passion for repairing and restoring small vintage airplanes (mostly Aeroncas) began at Baker Airpark. Bill continued to work there until 1962, gaining an encyclopedic knowledge that made him one of the most sought-after Aeronca experts in the country.

In 1960, Bill began working for West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company (Westvaco) as an electronics technician, and remained with the company for 42 years until his retirement in 2002. Despite his employment at Westvaco, Bill never lost his passion for airplane restoration and engine work. So, in 1973, Bill decided to open his own restoration shop: Pancake Aviation. Word soon spread that Bill was back in the airplane business, and what started out to be a sideline grew into a successful enterprise. Today, Bill spends much of his time is helping aircraft owners and mechanics. Most days, he responds to 10 or 15 phone calls and dozens of emails from all over the world. Airmen from all over the world—Russia, Chile, Brazil, Canada, and many of the 50 states—have traveled to West Virginia to meet Bill and visit his shop.

During his career, Bill built or restored 13 EAA AirVenture award-winning vintage airplanes. His first award-winner was a 1949 Aeronca 11CC owned by a longtime friend that took the Best Aeronca Chief award at Oshkosh 1978. Bill restored the same aircraft again in 1998 and it took honors again at Oshkosh that year. Other Oshkosh award winners restored by Bill include a 1951 Aeronca Sedan (1980), Bill’s own IFR-equipped 1946 Aeronca 7AC Champ N1390E (1981), a 1927 Waco 10 with an OX-5 engine (1981), a 1946 Aeronca 7AC (1983), a 1927 Pitcairn PA4 Fleetwing (1991), a 1946 Sweizer glider (1998), a 1955 Champion 7EC (2000), a 1946 Aeronca 7AC (2003), a 1946 Aeronca 7AC (2007), Bill’s own 1946 Aeronca Champ NC1890E (2008), and a 1970 Bellanca Citabria (2015).

In 2006, Bill received the FAA’s two highest awards—the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award and the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award—respectively given for being an aircraft mechanic and a pilot for 50 years without any infractions, violations, or accidents. At the time Bill received these awards, he was one of only 40 U.S. airmen to have received both awards, and the only West Virginian to do so.

In 2008, Bill was inducted into the EAA Vintage Hall of Fame at Oshkosh. In 2010, Bill and his wife Saundra started working on creating a West Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame when they discovered that the state was one of only 14 that didn’t have one. Four years later, in 2014, the Hall of Fame became a reality, and Bill was among the first group of inductees, along with Gen. Chuck Yeager, astronaut Jon McBride, and other notable West Virginian airmen.

Bill has been a member of AOPA since 1970 and of EAA since 1976. He has presented technical forums at Oshkosh for the past 33 years, and presented forums for both the Baltimore and Washington DC FSDOs. Bill serves as an EAA technical counselor and flight advisor. He has written for or been featured in Air and Space Magazine, EAA Sport Aviation, Vintage Aircraft, and the National Aeronca Association Magazine.

Although Bill is best known for his restorations of Aeronca airplanes and Continental engines, he has also maintained or older Pipers, Cessnas (including the Airmaster), Wacos, Pitcarins, Commonwealth Skyrangers, Mooneys, Maules, Ercoupes, Taylorcrafts, Sweitzer gliders, Messerschmitt 108s, Republic Seabees, Stinsons, Staggerwing Beeches, Stearmans, Rearwin Cloudesters, and Bellancas, and worked on engines including Jacobs, Warners, Wrights, Pratt and Whitneys, Curtiss OX-5s, Lycomings, and Franklins. Bill has received FAA approval of five Supplementary Type Certificates (STCs) for modifications to vintage aircraft to make them safer and easier to maintain, including a starter system to eliminate the need for hand propping, and an improved method for attaching fabric to structures.

Bill met his wife Saundra at Baker’s Airpark in 1958. They’ve been married 54 years, and she’s been Bill’s partner at Pancake Aviation. They have a daughter Stacey (a college math professor) and four grandchildren. Bill taught two grandsons to fly and soloed them both on their 16th birthdays. He’s presently working with one of them to build a Van’s RV-8 in Bill’s shop, and he plans to teach his granddaughter to fly soon. wvav8r@comcast.net

2018 National FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year

 

Catherine Elizabeth Cavagnaro of Sewanee, Tennessee

Catherine Elizabeth Cavagnaro of Sewanee, Tennessee has been named the 2018 National FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year. Dr. Cavagnaro is a mathematician by training, having received her B.S. in mathematics at Santa Clara University in 1987, and her Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Illinois in 1995. She serves as Professor of Mathematics and formerly as Chair of the Mathematics Department at the University of the South. In that capacity, she has developed and implemented courses in such areas as aerodynamics, differential equations and mathematical modeling. Aviation provides a treasure trove of real-world examples for her mathematics courses.

Catherine also owns and operates the Ace Aerobatic School in Sewanee, Tennessee, where she has become widely known as an expert on spin training, recovery and avoidance. She makes her own videos that help pilots understand the complex aerodynamics of spins and unusual attitudes and her presentations have drawn rave reviews.  Catherine has filmed a 60-turn spin in her Cessna Aerobat to show that the recovery is the same after three turns. During 2004-2008, Professor Cavagnaro served as a test pilot, spin demonstration pilot, researcher, and visiting professor of aviation systems at the University of Tennessee Space Institute. While there, she served on the icing team that modeled the longitudinal stability characteristics of NASA’s Twin Otter in various icing configurations, and configured the variable-stability Navion to duplicate these characteristics.

She is an Airline Transport Pilot single-engine land, a Commercial Pilot multiengine land, single-engine sea and glider, and a Flight Instructor single- and multiengine and instrument. She serves as the lead representative of the FAA Safety Team for the Nashville FSDO, and was honored as 2017 FAASTeam Representative of the Year for the FAA’s Central Region. She also serves the Nashville FSDO as a Designated Pilot Examiner.

Over the past 15 years, Catherine has become highly sought as a speaker for the FAA, AOPA, EAA, Ninety-Nines, and Women in Aviation International. Her aviation safety articles have ben published in AOPA PILOT, AOPA Flight Training, Aviation Safety, Pipers, and Cessna Owners magazines. She has a knack for making complex aviation concepts accessible and entertaining to non-technical audiences. One attendee at Catherine’s presentation at the 2017 AOPA Regional Fly-In in Groton, Connecticut, told AOPA that “Catherine Cavagnaro’s seminar was the best one I’ve ever seen on any topic.”

Catherine’s two teenage sons, Jack and Pete, are honor students who share their mom’s love of aviation and the adventures that general aviation provides them. catherine@aceaerobaticschool.com

How You Can Support Excellence In Aviation

Please consider sponsoring or donating gifts to the General Aviation Awards program. Sponsorship funds pay for the out-of-pocket expenses of the program (e.g., award winner’s travel and lodging, catering, etc).  Gifts in the form of merchandise or checks are given to the individual national award winners at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh. To become a sponsor or gift donor, please click on one of the following links:

2018 Regional GA Award Honorees Named

Versailles, Kentucky — January 22, 2018 — As Chairman of the General Aviation Awards Committee, I am very excited to announce the selection of 11 Regional Honorees for the 2018 General Aviation Awards. As you may know, this year the FAA reorganized offices and no longer has “Regions” per se.  Therefore, beginning this year, the “regional” GA Awards are based on regions defined by the time zones in which the FAA district offices are located.

Here are the 2018 Regional Honorees:

Region District Office Honoree
Central CE05 Kansas City, MO Christopher Hope
Central C19 Nashville, TN Catherine Cavagnaro
Central SW19 North TX Lloyd Timmons II
Eastern EA07 Baltimore, MD Helen Woods
Eastern EA07 Baltimore, MD C. William “Bill” Pancake
Eastern EA61 Boston, MA Paul Carroll
Mountain NM03 Denver, CO Ken Fukayama
Mountain WP07 Scottsdale, AZ Brent Crow
Pacific WP15 San Jose, CA Eric Alan Cook
Pacific WP19 Las Vegas, NV Dan Christman
Pacific WP19 Las Vegas, NV John “Dave” Monti

Let me put these Regional Honorees in perspective: Considering that we have only five time-zone-based regions covering the entire United States, being selected to represent one of these regions places these honorees in the top five of all the flight instructors, maintenance and avionics technicians, or FAASTeam representatives nationwide. Being selected by the FAA to represent your region is a HUGE step toward the goal of being named the National Honoree.

Congratulations to our Regional Honorees and good luck in the 2018 National competition.  National Honorees are scheduled to be chosen by January 30,.

Arlynn McMahon, Chairman
General Aviation Awards Committee
2009 National Flight Instructor of the Year

How You Can Support Excellence In Aviation

Please consider sponsoring or donating gifts to the General Aviation Awards program. Sponsorship funds pay for the out-of-pocket expenses of the program (e.g., award winner’s travel and lodging, catering, etc).  Gifts in the form of merchandise or checks are given to the individual national award winners at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh. To become a sponsor or gift donor, please click on one of the following links:

Changes to FAA Reorganization and General Aviation Awards

Presently, the FAA has not announced proposed geographical boundaries for the re-organization of Flight Standard Service.  We are continuing to accept nominations using the same process as in the past.  However, it is our intent that judging structure closely match the FAA’s structure.  Nominees will be judged in the FAA geographic area identified on the date of judging, which might possibly be different than the office they represented at the time of nomination. We will keep you posted with updates as we receive them. For more information see a recent article in the AVwebFlash eNewsletter here.

Announcing the 2017 National GA Award Honorees

Recipients of the 2017 National General Aviation Awards are:

  • Charles Orville Gensler of Parker, Colorado—2017 Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year
  • Brian John Carpenter of Corning, California—2017 Aviation Technician of the Year
  • Mark Alan Ducorsky of Lakeland, Florida—2017 FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year

The FAA will present individual plaques to each National Honoree in July during EAA AirVenture 2017 in Oshkosh,Wisconsin, and their names will be added to the large perpetual plaque located in the lobby of the EAA AirVenture Museum. Also included in the prize packages for each National Honoree is an all-expenses-paid trip to Oshkosh to attend the awards presentation and other special GA Awards activities.

“I am very excited to announce the selection of the National Honorees for the 2017 General Aviation Awards,” said GA Awards board chairman Gary Goodpaster, “These awards highlight the important role played by these individuals in promoting aviation education and flight safety,” he added, “The awards program sponsors are pleased that these outstanding aviation professionals will receive the recognition they so richly deserve before their peers in Oshkosh.”

 

2017 National Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year

Charles Orville Gensler
Charles Orville Gensler

Charles Orville Gensler of Parker, Colorado has been named the 2017 National Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year. Chuck’s lifelong interest in aviation began early at the knee of his father—a U.S. Air Force Pilot in three wars—who took him to countless airshows where he watched the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels perform. This led Chuck to enroll in USAF ROTC while at the Citadel earning his B.S. degree in Civil Engineering. Upon graduation in 1974, he entered Air Force flight training, graduating near the top of his class.

The USAF Air Training Command selected Chuck as an instructor pilot, and he quickly discovered his true passion as a teacher. He accepted a position as a career trainer in the Air Force, and spent the next 24 years in various roles educating and training military pilots, including Squadron Commander, Air Ops Inspector, and Director of Ops/Training for the Civil Air Patrol. Chuck retired from the USAF in 2000 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

After military retirement, Chuck turned his attention to General Aviation, embarking on a quest to bring GA pilot training closer to the level of proficiency offered by the military and airlines. For the next seven years, he served as Chief Flight Instructor of the Aspen Flying Club. Then in 2007, he co-founded Independence Aviation in Denver and served as its Chief Flight Instructor for the next six years. At Independence, he helped grow the business from three CFIs and two airplanes to more than 18 instructors and 13 aircraft. Chuck continues to instruct at Independence Aviation as Chief Flight Instructor Emeritus.

Chuck was one of the first CFIs in the Denver area to begin teaching in Technically Advanced Aircraft. In 2004 he became one of the first CIrrus Standardized Instructor Pilots (CSIPs) in the area, and in 2011 qualified as a Platinum CSIP (one of only 81 worldwide). Chuck was also an early adopter of iPads in the GA cockpit, and has conducted numerous safety seminars on the effective use of this technology. He is also a strong proponent of the use of flight simulators and flight training devices to help maintain pilot proficiency, and was instrumental in incorporating the Redbird Xwind training device into the curriculum at Independence Aviation. In 2016, he led a team that developed a novel continuous proficiency training program at Independence called the Complete Proficiency Approach in which GA pilots receive recurrent proficiency training every 60 days throughout the year.

Chuck holds ATP, CFII, and MEI certificates, and has logged 9,400 hours total time, 8,000 of them instruction given. He has been an active FAASteam representative for more than 15 years, and has participated in numerous safety seminars focused on aviation safety, aeronautical decision making, and using technology in the cockpit. Chuck volunteered to be the co-general manager of the EAA Pilot Proficiency Center at AirVenture 2016, supervising 20 instructors conducting more than 25 training scenarios in a variety of Redbird flight simulators. Based on his strong performance, he was asked to fill this role again at AirVenture 2017. Chuck volunteers his time to the COPA Pilot Proficiency Program (CPPP), the IMC Club, and Challenge Air. He is a member of the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE). chuckgensler@gmail.com

2017 National Aviation Technician of the Year

Brian John Carpenter
Brian John Carpenter

Brian John Carpenter of Corning, California has been named the 2017 National Aviation Technician of the Year. Very simply, Brian has become the go-to guy when it comes to the construction and maintenance of—and education about—Light Sport Aircraft. Anytime he’s not teaching a Light Sport Repairman Workshop, you’ll probably find Brian in his hangar at the Corning Municipal Airport working on his Electric Motor Glider or creating an aviation educational YouTube video.

Brian has had a passion for aviation since he was a child, building and flying RC aircraft. In junior high, he progressed to building a self-launching glider out of homemade materials and started jumping off a small hill trying to fly. In 1979 he earned his pilot’s certificate while in the Navy. After graduating from Helena Vocational Training Institute (Montana) with his A&P mechanic certification, Brian worked as a lead mechanic for Aero Union, a large aircraft operation and maintenance company (now defunct) based in Chico, California. By 1985, he was the Chief Inspector, and was promoted to the Director of Maintenance by 1990.

In 1991 Brian opened his own aviation company, Rainbow Aviation Services, a full service FBO in Corning, CA, providing a variety of aviation services including: inspections, maintenance, flight instruction, test flights, and aircraft certification. The principal focus of Rainbow Aviation Services is Light Sport Aircraft. Rainbow’s Light Sport Repairman Courses have been taught throughout the United States and Australia. The company is a source of LIght Sport expertise for aviation enthusiasts, flight instructors, mechanics and even FAA inspectors. Brian has mentored over 3,000 repairmen since the light sport rule was implemented in 2004, and is the only active provider of FAA-approved training for the Light Sport Repairman rating.

Brian has built 36 aircraft so far, and has become an innovative aircraft designer. His current project—the EMG-6, an electric motor glider—is a perfect example. Brian is developing a low cost, electric aircraft to meet the needs of the average person, making the aircraft affordable, and creating complete video instruction for the build. Another example of his innovative approach is that Brian has designed over one hundred 3D-printed parts for use on the EMG-6, and has written at length about optimal methods of 3D printing aircraft components..

Over the years Brian has given back to the aviation in community in myriad ways. He serves as an EAA Technical Counselor, presents workshops, forums and seminars for various aviation events, authors aviation educational articles and videos (including a monthly column in EAA Sport Aviation magazine), and serves as a volunteer technical expert for EAA’s Homebuilder’s Tips video series, just to name a few. Together with his wife Carol, Brian co-authored two books, one about ultralights and another for sport pilots.

Brian holds Commercial Pilot, CFI, Remote Pilot (drone), and A&P mechanic certificates, and a current Inspection Authorization. He is an FAA Designated Airworthiness Representative (DAR) and Designated Sport Pilot Examiner, holds a Light Sport Repairman Maintenance rating, and is a Rotax Authorized Factory Instructor. In 2006, Brian received the John Moody Award, the most prestigious award in Light Sport Aviation. info@rainbowaviation.com

2017 National FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year

Mark Alan Ducorsky
Mark Alan Ducorsky

Mark Alan Ducorsky of Lakeland, Florida has been named the 2017 National FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year. Mark’s introduction to aviation occurred at an early age when in 1973 he took flying lessons at Camp Solo, a youth summer camp in Bangor, Maine. He was bitten by the aviation bug, soloed on his 16th birthday, and passed his Private Pilot checkride on his 17th birthday. After graduating from high school in Hyde Park, New York, Mark enrolled in Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach with the intention of becoming an airline pilot. However, his stint at ERAU convinced him that an airline career was not a good fit for him, and that his true passion was to teach flying.

As a young man, Mark earned his CFI certificate and was mentored by longtime Designated Pilot Examiner and Aviation Safety Counselor Paul Drusik. Mark had the opportunity to observe more than 200 checkrides close up by the time he became an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner himself. He worked as a freelance CFI in Dutchess County, New York, and also worked as a flight instructor at several Part 61 and 141 flight schools including Kingston Aviation Group, Richmor Aviation, Hergin Aviation, Action Aviation, Dutchess County Aviation Center. He taught countless people to fly, including one lady who would later become his wife and who is now a CFI herself.

In 1983, Mark became involved in a communications consulting firm in Poughkeepsie, New York. Ultimately, he became owner of that business and sold the company in 1991. Mark then became sales manager for and later executive and an owner of a fledgling food manufacturer. Over the next 16 years, the company enjoyed dramatic growth, in significant measure due to the company’s use of business aviation that Mark developed during the course of his tenure there. The firm had its manufacturing plant in Mexico and headquarters in El Paso, Texas, so Mark traveled there and throughout North America on a regular basis. While south of the boarder, Mark provided advanced and recurrent multi-engine training to expatriate American pilots residing in Northern Mexico. In 2007 Mark sold his interest in the food manufacturing company while retaining some income-producing real estate, giving him the luxury of devoting himself full-time to his passion for aviation education and safety.

Over the years, Mark has done a lot of his flight instruction on a pro bono basis. Between 1992 and 2002, Mark underwrote a free flight scholarship for an underprivileged young adult from Bronx, New York every other year. His philosophy about flight training was straightforward: He never wanted money to be his motivator as it related to training people to fly. He always felt strongly that this was how he could provide the best, most comprehensive flight training to his students, motivated by his love of and passion for aviation, and he had faith that his monetary needs would come organically, which in fact did happen.

Mark holds an Air Transport Pilot certificate (multi-engine) with Commercial privileges for single-engine land and sea and gliders. He is a high-activity FAA Designated Pilot Examiner in the Orlando Flight Standards District (the largest flight training district in the world), performing more than 200 certifications and practical tests per year in airplanes and gliders. Mark was honored as the 2016 CFI of the Year not only for the Orlando District, but for the Southern Region as well. Mark is a Gold Seal and Master CFI with over 7,000 hours of instruction given, a former Part 141 Chief Pilot and a current Part 141 Check Airman. He’s chairman of the Lakeland Aero Club, a Part 141 instructor and check airman in the Polk State College Professional Pilot Program currently provided by Sunrise Aviation (and previously by HOVA Flight Services). He is also Director of Scholarships and Youth Programming for Sun ‘N Fun Fly-In, Inc. administering the James C. Ray Scholarship Program.These scholarship activities focus on helping high school students pursue an aviation career and receive a quality college education. He is also the Chief Instructor for Sun ‘N Fun, and formerly served as Chief Instructor for Breezer Aircraft U.S.A. (light sport aircraft).

Since 2013, Mark has served as the Lead Representative for the FAASTeam in the Orlando district. In that capacity, he has participated in over 100 Wings-qualified safety seminars, events, and other activities. In recent years, he has hosted two pilot-oriented safety seminars a month, and starting last year has also been offering monthly mechanic-oriented seminars. He also sets a good example for his students by obtaining far more recurrent training than the regulations require. In the past year, he underwent two Instrument Proficiency Checks, numerous Wings training flights (both given and received), graduated from a three-day multi-engine instrument refresher course at a major simulator training center, gone soaring more than 60 times, participated in Upset Recovery training, and generally encouraged others to follow his example with respect to recurrent training. Mark has been an inspiration to the youth of Central Florida, and has been instrumental in launching many of them toward finding success in their aviation dreams. topflier@apexeagle.net

 

Announcing the 2016 National GA Award Honorees

Every year for more than 50 years, the General Aviation Awards program and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have recognized aviation professionals for their contributions to general aviation in the fields of flight instruction, aviation maintenance/avionics, and safety.

Recipients of the 2016 National General Aviation Awards are:

  • Robert James Hepp of Fairfax Station, Virginia—Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year
  • Adrian Allen Eichhorn of McClean, Virginia—Aviation Technician of the Year
  • Richard Lawrence Martindell of San Diego, California—FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year

The FAA will present individual plaques to each National Honoree in July during EAA AirVenture 2016 in Oshkosh,Wisconsin, and their names will be added to the large perpetual plaque located in the lobby of the EAA AirVenture Museum. Also included in the prize packages for each National Honoree is an all-expenses-paid trip to Oshkosh to attend the awards presentation and other special GA Awards activities.

“These awards highlight the important role played by these individuals in promoting aviation education and flight safety,” said GA Awards board chairman Arlynn McMahon, “The awards program sponsors are pleased that these outstanding aviation professionals will receive the recognition they so richly deserve before their peers in Oshkosh.”

 

2016 National Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year

Robert James HeppRobert James Hepp of Fairfax Station, Virginia has been named the 2016 National Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year. Bob owns and operates Aviation Adventures LLC, the largest non-university Part 141 flight school in the Mid-Atlantic region, employing 46 airplanes (16 of them company-owned). Aviation Adventures operates from four Virginia airports: Leesburg Executive, Manassas Regional, Stafford Regional, and Warrenton-Faquier.

Bob has been a pioneer in the use of simulators and advanced flight training devices, and has incorporated them into training programs. Each of Aviation Adventures’ four locations is outfitted with Redbird advanced aviation training devices, two of them full-motion. Recently, the school ordered two new all-electric two-place airplanes to help forge the path forward toward lower-cost flight training.

Bob’s company established and operates the aviation program at George Mason University, and was selected by Liberty University as the first of now over 40 Flight Training Affiliates in its highly successful nationwide aviation program. Bob developed the Rusty Pilot Program and then worked with AOPA to bring that program to a nationwide audience of pilots. In recognition of Bob’s important contributions to the flight instruction community, AOPA presented him with its Outstanding Flight Instructor of the Year award in both 2013 and 2014. Bob’s school and instructors are repeat winners of AOPA’s Flight Training Excellence Awards. It can be truly said of Bob that he’s a CFI’s CFI.

Despite his duties managing the business and overseeing nearly 50 instructors and staff at Aviation Adventures, Bob has remained a very active CFI for more than three decades with more than 14,000 hours of dual instruction given, providing instruction from pre-solo to CFI, ATP, and type ratings. During the past five years, Bob personally endorsed more than 150 pilots for certificates, ratings, type ratings and privileges. In addition, he flies about 220 hours/year as a contract pilot on Citation Jets, mostly single-pilot. He has flown more than 40 types of single-engine aircraft, 9 types of twins, light sport aircraft, and T-6 and P-51 warbirds. He holds ATP, CFI CFII, MEI, and AGI certificates, and type ratings for the Airbus 320, Citation 500 and 525S, and Jetstream 4100..

Bob founded the Manassas Airshow in 2009, and sponsors airshows at both Manassas and Leesburg airports. He also hosts or sponsors numerous other events to expose and educate the local communities of the benefits and opportunities in aviation, such as Women Can Fly, Flight Night, and airport tours.

Bob received a B.S. degree in Computer Science from Bowling Green State University, and an MBA from Boston University. He graduated from the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College. He served in the Army for 21 years as a field artillery officer, retiring in 1998 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In 1989, while still on active duty, he started Aviation Adventures with a single Cessna 172 and himself as its sole instructor. The rest is history. nightowl@aviationadventures.com.

2016 National Aviation Technician of the Year

Adrian Allen EichhornAdrian Allen Eichhorn of McClean, Virginia has been named the 2016 National Aviation Technician of the Year. Anytime he’s not flying Airbus 320s for JetBlue, you’ll probably find him in his hangar at Manassas Regional Airport working on a Bonanza..

Adrian inherited his intense passion for aviation from his father, a decorated U.S. Army pilot who served in both WWII and the Korean War. After graduating from Michigan Technical University with a degree in Civil Engineering, Adrian was commissioned in the Army hoping to follow in his dad’s footsteps as an Army aviator. The Army, however, had other ideas and Adrian embarked upon a distinguished but terrestrial 21-year career with the Corps of Engineers, retiring in 2000 as a Lieutenant Colonel. While stationed in Korea, he began flying lessons at a military flying club and then was transferred to San Francisco where he joined the Alameda Aero Club and earned his private, instrument, commercial, ATP, CFI, and AGI certificates and ratings.

It was in San Francisco that Adrian first became interested in aviation maintenance, performing owner-assisted 100-hour inspections under the tutelage of an A&P mechanic who also happened to be one of his flight students. When the Army transferred him to a position on the Army Staff at the Pentagon, Adrian wound up purchasing a P35 Bonanza with which he has had a very hands-on love affair for nearly 30 years. He personally overhauled the aircraft’s Continental engine, installed a new avionics stack and interior and replaced most of the sheet metal on the wings and fuselage, earning his A&P and IA in the process. Adrian’s latest Bonanza project is a solo round-the-world flight, to be completed prior to AirVenture 2016.

When Adrian retired from the Army in 2000, he took on a series of prestigious pilot jobs, including flying a Challenger 604 for the Washington Redskins, flying the Gulfstream IV “N1” for the FAA Administrator and Secretary of Transportation, and now flying the Airbus 320 for JetBlue Airways. He is also type rated in the Gulfstream II, III, 200, Cessna 560 Excel, and Aero Vodochody L39. His passion remains focused on piston GA maintenance, particularly Bonanza maintenance. As an active IA, Adrian conducts numerous owner-assisted annual inspections for other Bonanza and Baron owners, and has inspected and approved more than 60 major alterations and conducted over 40 pre-purchase inspections. He developed and obtained STCs for gear-mounted landing lights and wingtip recognition lights for Bonanzas, Debonairs, Barons and Travel Airs.

Adrian’s track record of outreach to owners of Bonanzas and other GA airplanes is remarkable. He was the guiding light behind the maintenance training portion of the original Beechcraft Pilot Proficiency Program (now Beechcraft PIlot Training), providing maintenance instruction to more than 2,500 owners and pilots of Bonanzas, Debonairs and Barons in some 20 different venues throughout the United States. He has been a prolific author about GA maintenance, with more than 60 articles and features published in FAA Aviation News, Aviation Safety, and American Bonanza Society (ABS) Magazine. He is a frequent speaker on maintenance topics at numerous major general aviation events including EAA AirVenture, AOPA Expo/Summit and Regional Fly-Ins, The Ninety-Nines, and American Bonanza Society annual conventions.

Adrian spent countless hours developing a high-definition Ultra-Scope engine inspection system that provides stunning, high-quality images of the inside of piston aircraft engine cylinders. He has Ultra-Scoped more than 160 engines, uncovering instances of potential problems or simply providing peace of mind to aircraft owners. Recognizing the importance of Adrian’s work, in 2014 the AOPA Air Safety Institute funded the development of a poster featuring photographs and descriptions of failing exhaust valves provided by Adrian. The poster was sent free of charge to thousands of maintenance shops and individuals to help them assess the health of their valves..

Adrian has served as an Aviation Safety Counselor and FAASTeam Representative for nearly 20 years, giving dozens of safety presentations at airports throughout the greater Washington DC area. He was honored as the National Aviation Safety Counselor of the Year in 2001. The Washington DC FSDO honored him in 2004 with its Superior Contribution to Safety award, and again in 2011 with its Flight Instructor of the Year award. adrian.eichhorn@mac.com.

2016 National FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year

Richard Lawrence MartindellRichard Lawrence Martindell of San Diego, California has been named the 2016 National FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year. Rich is employed by King Schools as Vice President, Course Content and Experience. In this capacity, he works directly with the King Schools’ Professional Pilot courses, and supervises the work of four CFIs and a graphic artist for all the King Schools aviation courses. Those courses include Sport, Private, Instrument, Commercial and ATP ground school; Sport, Private, Instrument and Commercial practical test preparation; Flight Instructor refresher courses for fixed wing and helicopter; and numerous topical flight training courses. Rich is also the Wings Program coordinator for King Schools, where he validated 1,500 requests for Wings credit in the past 12 months.

Rich formerly served as a USAF fighter pilot and instructor, where he logged 1,000 hours in the F-4 and 1,000 hours in the F-15. He retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, having earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, five Meritorious Service Medals, eleven Air Medals, and three Combat Readiness Medals. He flew 323 combat sorties in the F-4 in Thailand, and has been stationed at George AFB (Calif.), Nellis AFB (Nev.), Luke AFB (Ariz.), McChord AFB (Wash.), as well as posts in Germany and Italy.

As Lead Representative of the FAA Safety Team in San Diego, Rich has worked with and trained most of the other district Lead Reps. He often speaks throughout the region at EAA chapters, flight schools, flying clubs, and airport businesses. His connections with other prominent airmen in the area have created tremendous outreach opportunities. For example, he recently helped set up a 300-seat seminar at the Salk Institute in La Jolla to discuss “The Science behind Why Smart Pilots Do Dumb Things” offering insight into how aviators see and process information (sometimes incorrectly). He was also instrumental arranging for the use of a 150-seat meeting facility at Solar Turbines Inc. at Montgomery Field that has been used for monthly FAASTeam safety meetings for the past five years. Rich excels in teaching leading-edge aviation topics from ADS-B to UAS to the redesign of the Multiplex Airspace System in Southern California. He writes newsletter articles and maintains an online blog titled “Let’s Go Flying.”

Rich is a member of the San Diego Airports Aviation Advisory Committee. He regularly teaches Private Pilot ground school courses for the San Diego Air & Space Museum at the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems campus, where he teaches three classes a year. He is an active pilot and instrument flight instructor. He is also a trained aviation accident investigator, and is frequently called upon as a subject matter expert by local media to comment on aviation mishaps.

Rich holds Airline Transport Pilot, Instrument Flight Instructor, and Advanced Ground School Instructor certificates. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Transportation and Public Utilities from the University of Arizona, and an MBA from Golden Gate University, He has graduated from the Safety Program Management and Aircraft Accident Investigation programs at the University of Southern California. rich.martindell@earthlink.net.

Announcing the 2015 National GA Award Honorees

Every year for more than 50 years, the General Aviation Awards program and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have recognized aviation professionals for their contributions to general aviation in the fields of flight instruction, aviation maintenance, avionics, and safety.

Recipients of the 2015 National General Aviation Awards are:

  • Mary A. Schu of Tualatin, Oregon—Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) of the Year
  • Donald D. Streitenberger Jr. of Cincinnati, Ohio—Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) of the Year
  • Ricky D. Hestilow of Arlington, Texas—Avionics Technician of the Year
  • Christopher J. Hope of Kansas City, Missouri—FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) Representative of the Year

The FAA will present individual plaques to these four National Honorees in July during EAA AirVenture 2015 in Oshkosh,Wisconsin, and their names will be added to the large permanent plaque located in the lobby of the EAA AirVenture Museum. Also included in the prize packages for the four National Honorees are all-expenses-paid trips to Oshkosh to attend the awards presentation and other special GA Awards activities.

“These awards highlight the important role played by these individuals in promoting aviation education and flight safety,” said GA Awards board chairman Arlynn McMahon, “The awards program sponsors are pleased that these outstanding aviation professionals will receive the recognition they so richly deserve before their peers in Oshkosh.”

2015 National Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) of the Year

Mary A. Schu
Mary A. Schu

Mary A. Schu of Tualatin, Oregon has been named the 2015 National Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year. She currently owns and operates Mary A. Schu Aviation, providing Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) services and free-lance flight instruction in the Portland, Oregon area, as well as conducting 4-5 Flight Instructor Refresher Courses (FIRCs) each year.She also operates Mary A. Schu Consulting, providing program support for business, government and educational entities who are developing or adding aviation programs.

Mary has been an active flight instructor since 1977, with more than 20,000 hours of flight time logged, including more than 14,000 hours of instruction given.She holds ATP and CFI certificates for airplane single and multiengine land and instruments, and is type rated in the Cessna Citation 500. She is a DPE for private, commercial, instrument, ATP and flight instructor checkrides in single and multiengine airplanes, and also for sport pilots.

Mary grew up on a wheat farm in eastern Washington, and was driving a tractor at age five. Her dad and three brothers took her to car races, and she secretly dreamed of becoming a race car driver. She earned a BS in Psychology and Child Development at Washington State University, and an MS in Education and Learning Disabilities at Western Oregon University. She holds teaching credentials in Oregon, and taught in the public school system until she found her true passion: teaching aviation.

For 23 years, Mary owned and operated Wings of the Cascades in Redmond, Oregon, a comprehensive aviation school taking pilots from first flight to an aviation career complete with a college degree; Wings closed in 2011. Her previous flight instructing experience included stints at Western Skyways, Kansas State University and the KSU Flying Club, FlightSafety International, Utah Valley State University, and Delta Connection Academy. She also served as a contract pilot for jet, turboprop and piston aircraft for ten different companies.

Mary is FAASTeam Lead Representative for the Portland-Hilsboro FSDO, providing numerous presentation and safety seminars. She is one of 31 industry leaders (and only three DPEs) to serve on the FAA Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) Airman Certification System Working Group assisting the FAA to develop new Airman Certification Standards (ACS) that is expected to replace the current Practical Test Standards (PTS) by the end of 2015. Mary is also an active volunteer flight crew member for the B-25 Mitchell bomber “Killer Bee” based in Titusville, Florida, and has seven hours PIC time logged toward her B-25 type rating (with a goal of becoming a B-25 DPE). maryschuaviation@gmail.com

2015 National Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) of the Year

Donald D. Streitenberger, Jr.
Donald D. Streitenberger, Jr.

Donald D. Streitenberger, Jr. of Cincinnati, Ohio has been named the 2015 National Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year. Don is Chief Inspector for The Kroger Company at Cincinnati Lunken Airport, where he is responsible for directing inspections of Kroger’s fleet of bizjets, establishing methods, techniques and practices used to comply with all applicable FARs and manufacturer recommendations, and approving aircraft for return to service. He started working for Kroger as a line mechanic nearly 30 years ago, and has been Chief Inspector for more than 11 years. He holds FAA certificates as a Repairman and a Mechanic with Airframe and Powerplant ratings and Inspection Authorization (A&P/IA).

Don has served on the board of directors of the Ohio Aircraft Technicians Society (OATS), which is the Cincinnati chapter of the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA). During that time, he has served as President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer of OATS. He as facilitated and taught numerous OATS-sponsored IA renewal seminars at Cincinnati State Technical College, and for years has been deeply involved in helpingto put on the annual Lunken Airport Days Aviation Career Fair. He has also been involved in the local Boy Scout Aviation Merit Badge program, served as Ramp Boss for Lunken’s annual airshow, and been a FAASTeam member..

Don is the recipient of seven FAA Maintenance Technician Award (six silver, one gold), the NBAA 24-Year Maintenance Technician Safety Award, and has received certificates of appreciation for his pro-bono work for the aviation maintenance community from PAMA/OATS/FAA every year since 2007. donald.streitenberger@kroger.com

2015 National Avionics Technician of the Year

Ricky D. Hestilow
Ricky D. Hestilow

Ricky D. Hestilow of Arlington, Texas has been named the 2015 National Avionics Technician of the Year. Rick has had a widely varied 40+ year career in the aviation maintenance field, but for the past decade his primary focus has been on achieving professional recognition and certification of aircraft electronic technicians (AETs). This phase of RIck’s career began when he drafted several grant requests submitted to the National Science Foundation, which resulted in $1.3 million in funding for the National Center for Aerospace & Transportation Technologies (NCATT). Rick serves as NCATT’s Program Director, Director of Standards and Certification, and Director of Accreditation. In these roles, he helped develop industry standards for avionics technicians, developed an education and training curriculum for avionics and aircraft electronics technicians, and created a testing program for certification of AETs. Most recently, he has been working on the development of certification standards for technicians working on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (drones).

Prior to his involvement with NCATT, Rick’s aviation maintenance career included 30+ years as an A&P/IA, a Designated Mechanic Examiner (DME), a Designated Airworthiness Representative (DAR), a Director of Maintenance for multiple Part 145 Repair Stations, owner/operator of three FBOs that provided maintenance services, and an instructor at a Part 147 AMT school. He is also the holder of six Supplementary Type Certificates (STCs). Rick has a long association with Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, Texas, where he has taught numerous courses in aeronautical technology and served as coordinator of special projects. rick@ncatt.org

2015 National FAASTeam Representative of the Year

Christopher J. Hope
Christopher J. Hope

Christopher J. Hope of Kansas City, Missouri has been named the 2015 National FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year. Chris first volunteered as an FAA Aviation Safety Counselor more than 10 years ago. When that program morphed into the FAA Safety Team in 2009, Chris became a FAASTeam representative. According to his FAASTeam Program Manager, Chris has been one of the most active and most self-motivated reps in Kansas City District. During the past 12 months, he has conducted 11 safety seminars. In 2013, he founded the Kansas City IMC Club that meets monthly to discuss real-life issues of instrument flying.

Chris holds ATP, CFI and GI certificates. He is a Gold Seal CFI and Master Instructor. Chris has been a volunteer pilots for the EAA Young Eagles program since 1992, with over 500 youngsters flown. He as served as an Angel Flight mission pilot since 2001, and since 2013 has served as Chairman of the Angel Flight Central Safety Committee.

In 1969, Chris graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with a BS in Civil Engineering. He then went through pilot training at Sheppard AFB and C-141 school at Altus AFB and served as a C-141 pilot for the Military Airlift Command out of McChord AFB for three years. In 1974, he returned to the Air Force Academy as a flight instructor, and concluded that teaching aviation was his true calling. He enrolled in the business school at the University of Northern Colorado, graduating in 1977 with his MBA degree. From 1977 to 2005, he worked as a civil engineer while doing free-lance flight instruction. In 1997, he became involved in the KCN Flying Club, now the Kansas City Flying CLub. He has served as Manager and President of the Club, and currently serves as Chief Flight Instructor.

In 2008, Chris started submitting articles to various flying publications. His articles have been published in EAA Sport Aviation, AOPA Flight Training, NAFI Mentor, and Aviation News. In 2013, he became a regular columnist for Aircraft Owner magazine.

Chris founded the Dictionary Project Kansas City in 2003 with the intent to encourage reading in his community by providing free dictionaries to inner-city third-graders. Over the past 12 years, the program has grown to the point that it now presents more than 25,000 free dictionaries to all third-graders in the eight-country Kansas City metropolitan area, as well as to children throughout Missouri and Kansas..thehopeschris@gmail.com

2014 National GA Award Honorees Named

Every year for the past 50 years, the General Aviation Awards program and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have recognized aviation professionals for their contributions to general aviation in the fields of flight instruction, aviation maintenance, avionics, and safety.

Recipients of the 2014 National General Aviation Awards are:

  • Howard William Wolvington of Issaquah, Washington—Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) of the Year
  • Max Lloyd Burnette of Rockvale, Tennessee—Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) of the Year
  • David Brian Kocak of Guilford, Connecticut—Avionics Technician of the Year
  • Richard Loren Stowell, Jr. of McCall, Idaho—FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) Representative of the Year

The FAA will present individual plaques to these four National Honorees in July during EAA AirVenture 2014 in Oshkosh,Wisconsin, and their names will be added to the large permanent plaque located in the lobby of the EAA AirVenture Museum. Also included in the prize packages for the four National Honorees are all-expenses-paid trips to Oshkosh to attend the awards presentation and other special GA Awards activities.

“These awards highlight the important role played by these individuals in promoting aviation education and flight safety,” said GA Awards board chairman Arlynn McMahon, “The awards program sponsors are pleased that these outstanding aviation professionals will receive the recognition they so richly deserve before their peers in Oshkosh.”

 


2014 National Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) of the Year

Howard William Wolvington

Howard William Wolvington of Issaquah, Washington, has been named the 2014 National Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year. Howard works as an independent CFI with the Boeing Employees Flying Association (BEFA) at the Renton, Washington airport, and with his private clients at airports in the Seattle, Washington area. BEFA is one of the largest flying associations in the U.S. with more than 500 members, 19 airplanes, and 25 CFIs. Howard previously served as the Operations Officer and President of the organization. As the senior CFI at BEFA, his clients range from student pilots taking their first flights to Captains that fly for major airlines. Aircraft have included single and multiengine airplanes, a seaplane and a full motion flight simulator.

Howard holds an ATP certificate and has more than 13,000 hours of flight time. As a Gold Seal CFI with Instrument and Multiengine ratings he has given more than 10,000 hours of flight instruction and 8,000 hours of ground instruction.

Howard completed his undergraduate education at Coe College in 1967 with degrees in Mathematics and Physics. He was awarded a National Education Act fellowship for a PhD in Computer Science at the University of Iowa and after completion of the Master of Science degree in 1969 he accepted a direct commission as a U.S. Army officer. He was assigned to the Department of Defense Computer Institute (DODCI) in Washington, D.C. where his teaching passion was put to use instructing General Officers and civilian executives.

After military service, his first career was in Information technology and he held management positions for the Potomac Electric Power Company in Washington D.C., and then for The Boeing Company. He retired from Boeing in 2000 to commence a second career as a full time CFI.

Howard’s IT background complements his aviation passion, and he instructs extensively and provides Professional Pilot Services in Technically Advanced Aircraft for his clients. He completed the CIRRUS Standardized Instructor Program and is approved by insurance underwriters for initial and recurrent training in Piper Malibu aircraft.

Howard has owned a 1959 Piper Comanche 250 since 1999. Business trips have included multiple cross country trips to the AOPA Expo/Summit, held in locations on both coasts. In 2005, Howard won the AOPA “Longest Cross Country” award for his travel in a General Aviation airplane to Tampa, Florida, a great circle one way distance of 2,193 nm. Reports of many of these trips, demonstrating the value of General Aviation, and serving as teaching points for his instruction with clients, are included on the BEFA web site.

Howard became a charter member of the City of Renton Aircraft Airport Advisory Committee (RAAC) formed in 2001 to deal with the issue of noise and its impact on residents of Renton living close to the airport. Using his background in physics and “fly friendly” information from AOPA, Howard developed and implemented noise abatement procedures for BEFA. These procedures were demonstrated on flights to City Council members, airport management, and RAAC members, and were later adopted by the airport as general procedures for the airport itself.

The FAA issued the first WAAS LPV approach in 2006, and Howard was an early adopter of the technology for his Comanche. As noise on the non-precision approach paths to Renton continued to be an issue for residents of Mercer Island living under the approaches, Howard worked with the FAA to implement a higher 4.2 degree glidepath precision WAAS approach which also improved approach minimums for pilots. Howard also requested from the FAA Standard Instrument Departures for the Renton airport to decrease pilot and controller workload, and these were developed and published with the Renton WAAS LPV approach.

Howard is a FAASTeam Representative and recent presentations have been on topics such as Flying to Canada and iPad for the Pilot.

Howard is a member of Angel Flight West (AFW), the Airplane Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI), the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) and the Malibu Mirage Owners and Pilots Association (MMOPA). Howard is also a professional organist and is a member of the American Guild of Organists (AGO). hwolvington@earthlink.net

 


2014 National Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) of the Year

Max Lloyd Burnette

Max Lloyd Burnette of Rockvale, Tennessee has been named the 2014 National Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year. Max is semi-retired after 59 years in aircraft maintenance and 29 years as an A&P Mechanic.

As a small boy in a share croppers cotton field in North Carolina, Max was fascinated with every airplane that flew overhead. When Max was six years old, a man landed his J-3 in his fresh-cut hay field and wanted to use it to hop passengers that weekend.  Max’s dad gave him the okay provided he would take his son Max up.  Max was hooked for life.

At age 17 in May 1954 while still in high school, Max joined the North Carolina Air National Guard. Two years later, after graduation, he volunteered to go to Amarillo AFB, Texas for 15 weeks of mechanic’s training at what the Air Force then called “A&E school.” He was hired as a full-time technician with the Guard’s fighter squadron at Morris Field in Charlotte, North Carolina (now Charlotte Douglas International Airport) working on F-86 Sabre jets.

In early 1961, Max transferred to the Tennessee Air Guard unit at Knoxville, Tennessee to work on the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter. He remained with that unit for almost 20 years, and worked on the F-104, F-102, T-33, U-3A, KC-97  and KC-135. In addition to performing maintenance, he logged 4,000 hours as Flight Engineer aboard the KC-97. One last transfer in Max’s military career brought him to Nashville, Tennessee to become a crew chief and later a flight line supervisor for a section of C-130 aircraft.

Max began flying as a hobby in late 1956 and remains an active pilot. He soloed in a J-3 Cub and has owned a Cessna 170, a Taylorcraft BC-12D, a Piper PA-18 Super Cub and currently own a PA-22 Tri-Pacer that he completely rebuilt and converted to taildragger configuration.

In 1986, a few years before retiring from the Tennessee Air Guard, Max obtained his civilian A&P certificate, and immediately dove into civil aviation under the watchful eye of his mentor Delmer Chapman, an IA and Desegnated Mechanic Examiner. With his wife Jean, Max started M&J Aero, a repair and inspection service in at Gibson Field in Rockvale, TN, which became their full-time careers in 1992 after Max retired from the military. M&J Aero’s focus was on restorations, repair and inspections of taildraggers. In 2011, M&J reverted once again to a part-time operation when Max became full-time music director of his church.

M&J Aero is now officially closed, but continue to do occasional inspections for long time friends and customers. In their semi-retirement, Max and Jean are currently doing a complete restoration of a 1941 Piper J-5 Cub Cruiser. Max enjoys a great working relationship with the Nashville FSDO, who provided outstanding support to him in getting a retired Fairchild PT-26 Cornell restored and recertified.

Max has been an active member of EAA and AOPA since 1986, and actively participates his local EAA Chapter 1326 (Shelbyville TN) and as a volunteer pilot in the EAA Young Eagles program. He writes for the monthly EAA Chapter newsletter, and has given hands-on demonstrations at maintenance clinics. His goal is to give back to aviation what good friends and old airplanes have given him over the years. TaildraggerDr@att.net.

 


2014 National Avionics Technician of the Year

David Brian Kocak

David Brian Kocak of Guilford, Connecticut has been named National Avionics Technician of the Year. David serves as Avionics Service Manager, Installation Manager and Inspector at V.I.P. Avionics at Hartford-Brainard Airport (KHFD), where has has been employed for the past 16 years. He holds a Repairman’s Certificate with inspection authority and Federal Communications Commission General Radio Telephone Operator license.

David trained at Pratt-Sikorsky School of Aviation and Allied Signal Avionics, and has over 20 years of avionics maintenance and repair experience.David also works closely with VIP’s aircraft maintenance department to offer the company’s customer base one-stop shopping.

David’s daily responsibilities include scheduling avionics service and installation appointments, troubleshooting avionics bench and aircraft repairs; engineering and supervising avionics installs.David is recognized by customers, colleagues, competitors and manufacturers most especially for his troubleshooting skills.Throughout his career he has been able to troubleshoot, analyze and resolve some of the avionics world’s trickiest problems.

He plays an important role in training fellow VIP employees on a variety of technical issues.David has the rare skill of coordinating all aspects of a customer’s needs from bench work repair, avionics installations, instrument sales, and service and aircraft maintenance.

David will tell you there’s no “typical” or “average” day at VIP and that’s what he loves. One day he might be doing an avionics inspection for a medical helicopter, troubleshooting a traffic reporter’s audio panel, and completing paperwork and going on a test flight for a twin-engine major installation. Another day he might be responding to issues from flight school airplanes, and solving a tricky autopilot problem.

David has also been cited for his excellence in customer service. It starts with asking the “right” questions to understand a customer’s issue, it continues as he keeps customers updated throughout the service process and finishes with showing the customer what repairs/service were done and why. Customers appreciate David’s clear and thorough explanations. dkocak@vipavionics.com.

 


2014 National FAASTeam Representative of the Year

Richard Loren Stowell, Jr.

Richard Loren Stowell, Jr. of McCall, Idaho has been named as National FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year. Rich has been a full-time aviation educator specializing in spin, emergency maneuver, and aerobatic training since 1987. Rich was honored in 2006 as National CFI of the Year, and this award makes him one of a tiny handful of two-time National GA Award recipients.

Rich earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is an eight-time Master CFI and a Commercial Pilot with ASEL, ASES and Instrument ratings.

Rich owns and operates Rich Stowell Consulting, and is an independent flight instructor, author, and speaker. Rich specializes in spin, emergency maneuver, aerobatic, and tailwheel transition training. He is a recognized subject matter expert in loss of control. Rich has given more than 8,700 hours of flight instruction and performed more than 33,400 spins in 215 spins-approved aircraft. He has conducted training clinics and seminars in 27 States and four foreign countries. After twenty-five years at Santa Paula Airport (KSZP) in Santa Paula, California, Rich’s home base is now Cascade Airport (U70) in Cascade, Idaho.

An average day for Rich might involve performing 30 spins with natural resource pilots, followed by giving an evening safety seminar, completing an aviation article, producing an educational YouTube video, or creating a PowerPoint presentation.

Rich has been a FAASTeam Representative (formerly, Aviation Safety Counselor) for 23 years and a Certificated Flight Instructor for 26 years. He has conducted more than 300 safety seminars and webinars, averaging one a month every month for the past 26 years.

Rich has been a member of AOPA, EAA, and the International Aerobatic Club (IAC) for 30 years, and is a Charter Member of the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE). He has served as President of IAC Chapter 49 and Secretary of the IAC. He is one of only 165 pilots to earn the IAC “All Five” Aerobatic Achievement Award.

He has served as a guest judge for The Ninety-Nines Awards Program and judge for the National CFI of the Year award. Rich currently serves on the Board of Review for the Master Instructor Continuing Education Program.

Rich has had more than 80 articles appear in numerous aviation publications. He served as lead scriptwriter for three FAA “Safer Skies” videos, co-scripted the 2012 FAA Safety Standdown on loss of control, and scripted and hosted four educational programs of his own. He has also authored three aviation textbooks. rich@richstowell.com.

 


How You Can Support Excellence In Aviation

Please consider sponsoring or donating gifts to the General Aviation Awards program. Sponsorship funds pay for the out-of-pocket expenses of the program (e.g., award honorees’ travel and lodging, catering, etc). Gifts in the form of merchandise or checks are given to the individual national award recipients at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh. To become a sponsor or gift donor, please click on one of the following links:

Nominations and applications for 2015 General Aviation Awards will be accepted starting July 1, 2014. If you are acquainted with a CFI, AMT, Avionics Tech or FAASTeam Rep whom you think might be deserving of an award at the local, regional or national level, we encourage you to nominate him or her. If you are an aviation professional with a distinguished career in one of these four categories, we encourage you to apply.

For More Information

Go to http://www.GeneralAviationAwards.org

or contact Mike Busch, Communications Director at communications@generalaviationawards.org

2014 Regional Award Honorees Named

The GA Awards Program takes great pride in announcing this year’s regional General Aviation Awards honorees, These award recipients represent the eight regions of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and were selected in a competition from candidates submitted by more than 80 FAA districts throughout the United States. These regional recipients are all finalists for the national awards.

The General Aviation Awards program is a cooperative effort between the FAA and more than three dozen general aviation industry sponsors. The mission of the program is to recognize individual aviation professionals on the local, regional, and national levels for their contributions to aviation, education, and flight safety. The national judging is now underway and national award recipients will be announced no later than March 1st.

Nominations for 2015 awards will be accepted beginning in August. “Everyone knows a worthy aviation professional. I encourage you to submit a nomination for your favorite flight instructor, maintenance technician or FAASTeam representative,” urged Arlynn McMahon, GA Awards program team leader. “These awards highlight the important role played by these individuals in promoting aviation education and flight safety. The awards program sponsors and supporters are pleased that these outstanding aviation professionals are receiving the recognition they so richly deserve.”

Here are this year’s regional honorees:

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you trim the information about these honorees for copyfitting purposes, please retain the lead sentences identifying the FSDO and FAA Region that each recipient represents, and also the recipients’ email addresses so your readers may congratulate them. Thank you!


2014 Regional Certificated Flight Instructors (CFIs) of the Year

Allen Banen of Fountain Hills, Arizona represents the Scottsdale FSDO and the Western-Pacific Region. Al has been a pilot for 60 years, a CFI, CFII and advanced ground instructor for nearly 50 years, and has more than 25,000 hours logged. He holds Gold Seal Flight Instructor and Master Instructor designations, and was honored with the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award for 50 years of safe flying. Al is a full-time flight instructor who has instructed in a wide variety of single- and multiengine airplanes. For the past 25 years he has specialized in pilot training in the Beechcraft Bonanza, Baron and Duke airplanes. Al is an active FAASTeam Representative, and a volunteer pilot for Flights For Life delivering blood throughout Arizona, baroninstructor@aol.com.

Robert James McCabe of Cherry Hill, New Jersey represents the Philadelphia FSDO and the Eastern Region. Bob is a dedicated member of the Civil Air Patrol, having served as Instructor Pilot, Mission Pilot, New Jersey Wing Commander, Evaluator and Check Pilot, and flown innumerable CAP missions for search and rescue, disaster relief, and homeland security. He holds the rank of Colonel in CAP, and presently serves as New Jersey Wing Government Relations Advisor. Bob is also a flight and ground instructor for Freeflight Aviation at Flying W Airport in Medford, New Jersey. As an active FAASTeam Representative, Bob has conducted many safety presentations on a wide variety of topics, with emphasis on technically advanced aircraft and the Garmin G1000 system. bobmccabe2@gmail.com.

Howard William Wolvington of Issaquah, Washington represents the Seattle FSDO and the Northwest Mountain Region. Howard is a full-time Gold Seal Flight Instructor and ATP-rated pilot with more than 10,000 hours of flight instruction and 8,000 hours of ground instruction logged. He has trained and endorsed more than 100 private, instrument, commercial, CFI and CFII candidates who have successfully passed their practical tests. He is a Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot (CSIP), a Check CFI for the Boeing Employees Flying Association, an active FAASTeam Representative, and a Command Pilot and Mission Orientation for Angel Flight West who has flown more than 40 public benefit missions. Howard owns a Piper Comanche 250. hwolvington@earhlink.net.

Christopher Michael Carmody of Overland Park, Kansas represents the Kansas City FSDO and the Central Region. Christopher is owner and flight instructor at Aircraft Initial and Recurrent Flight Training, LLC where he specializes in providing training for the Piper PA-46 Matrix, Malibu, Mirage and Meridian airplanes. Prior to founding AIR, Christopher worked at Hangar 10 Flight Services, Kansas City Aviation Center, Skydive Kansas, Southwest Airlines, and Anheuser-Busch Flight Operations. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautics from Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology at St. Louis University. He is actively involved with the Malibu Mirage Owners & Pilots Association (MMOPA), and is also qualified in the Pilatus PC-12 and Socata TBM-850. ccarmody@airflighttraining.com.

Mary Margaret Latimer of Vernon, Texas represents the Lubbock FSDO and the Southwest Region. Mary is an ATP pilot with more than 20,000 hours logged, a CFI for airplanes, instruments and multiengine, an advanced and instrument ground instructor, a Designated Pilot Examiner, an A&P Mechanic with Inspection Authorization, and a former Control Tower Operator. She is a FAASTeam Representative, an AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer, and a Captain in the Civil Air Patrol serving as check airman, flight instructor and operations officer. Mary founded the Girls In Flight Training (GIFT) Academy, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the participation of women in aviation. mary@latimerservices.com.

Stephen John Thibault of Plymouth, Minnesota represents the Minneapolis FSDO and the Great Lakes Region. Steve is a full-time flight instructor with more than 14,000 hours of flight instruction given. He is the owner of FlightProficiency and operates Sim Flight Minnesota at Anoka County Airport. Steve has flown more than 100 different kinds of aircraft and now specializes in training for pressurized twin Cessnas and Piper PA-46 aircraft, and Garmin G1000 avionics, He is an active FAASTeam Representative and frequent presenter at FAA Safety Seminars. fltproficiency@cs.com.

Edward Joseph Comisky of Winter Springs, Florida represents the Orlando FSDO and the Central Region. Ed is co-owner and Chief Flight Instructor at Flight Training Professionals LLC at Orlando Executive Airport, and previously worked at AeronautX USA Corp. (West Palm Beach FL), Comair Aviation Academy (Sanford FL), Sporty’s Academy and University of Cincinnati (Batavia OH), Specialized Pilot Training (Cincinnati OH), and Frasca Air Services (Urbana IL), He is a CFI airplanes, instruments and multiengine, with more than 6,200 hours of flight instruction, 3,000 hours of ground instruction, and 500 hours of flight training device instruction given. ed@ftpros.com.


2014 Regional Aviation Maintenance Technicians (AMTs) of the Year

David Wayne Delcourt of Fairbanks, Alaska represents the Fairbanks FSDO and the Alaksa Region. David is the owner of Delcourt Aviation at Fairbanks International Airport, and maintains a wide range of aircraft from Taylorcrafts and Super Cubs to Cessna Caravans and Quest Kodiaks. Before starting his own maintenance business, David previously worked with Northland Aviation, Wright Air Service, and Arctic Circle Air, all in Fairbanks. He earned his A&P Mechanic certificate in 2003, received his Inspection Authorization in 2006, and became a Designated Mechanic Examiner in 2012. David@DelcourtAviation.com.

Daniel Brian Torrey of Ojai, California represents the Van Nuys FSDO and the Western-Pacific Region. Dan is the owner of Mobile Aircraft Repair Service (MARS) at the Santa Paula airport. Dan specializes in the maintenance of vintage aircraft, wood and fabric repairs, restoration and refurbishing. He is a legend in the Bellanca community and has been a keynote speaker for the Bellanca-Champion West Coast Safety Seminar for the past 12 years. Before starting MARS, he previously worked at Screaming Eagle Aviation, Santa Paula Sky Service, and Air Repair, all at Santa Paula airport. Dan is an A&P Mechanic with Inspection Authorization, a private pilot and Bellanca owner with more than 2,000 hours logged, and a board member of the Santa Paula Airport Association. marsszp@yahoo.com.

Charles Oscar Thibault of South Burlington, Vermont represents the Portland, Maine FSDO and the New England Region.Charlie is the longtime Chief Inspector at Heritage Aviation at the Burlington International Airport, and oversees the quality assurance and quality control at this large Part 145 Certified Repair Station. Charlie is involved with inspections and maintenance of a wide range of aircraft from Cirrus SR20s to Bell Jet Rangers to Bombardier Challengers. He earned his A&P Mechanic certificate in 1995, and his Inspection Authorization in 2010. CharlieT@flyheritage.com.

Max Loyd Burnette of Rockvale, Tennessee represents the Nashville FSDO and the Central Region. Max is semi-retired after 59 years in aircraft maintenance and 29 years as an A&P Mechanic. Max started out as a military aircraft mechanic in 1954, and held positions in the North Carolina and Tennessee Air National Guard as flight engineer, maintenance shop chief, crew chief and flight chief, working on a wide variety of military aircraft including F-86, F-104, T-33, KC-97, KC-135 and C-130. He earned his civilian A&P Mechanic certificate in 1986 and founded M&J Aero, maintaining and restoring aircraft from Piper Cubs to Ag-Cats to light twins. Max is a private pilot and an active participant in EAA’s Young Eagles program and his local EAA Chapter. TaildraggerDr@att.net.

Jason O’Neil Shackelford of Pea Ridge, Arkansas represents the Little Rock FSDO and the Southwest Region. Jason has been employed by Wal-Mart Aviation for the past 15 years, holding positions as maintenance technician, avionics technician, repairman, aircraft maintenance inspector and repair station chief inspector. Before joining Wal-Mart Aviation, he worked at Air Midwest and the Raytheon Service Center in Wichita. Jason holds an A&P Mechanic certificate with Inspection Authorization, and is also an accomplished avionics technician and a Level II non-destructive testing technician. These days, his primary focus is as an inspector for Wal-Mart’s corporate fleet. joshack@Wal-Mart.com.

James Robert Michalka of Portage, Michigan represents the Grand Rapids FSDO and the Great Lakes Region. Jim is the owner, operator and Director of Maintenance of Kalamazoo Aircraft, Inc. at the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport, specializing in inspection and repair of piston GA aircraft. Prior to founding Kalamazoo Aircraft, Jim worked at Kal-Aero, Inc. (now Duncan Aviation) maintaining both piston and turbine aircraft at their Kalamazoo and Battle Creek locations. He is active in the Beechcraft community and has hosted the American Bonanza Society service clinic for several years running. Jim@KalamazooAircraft.com.


2014 Regional Avionics Technicians of the Year

Christopher Allen Plumb of Prescott, Arizona represents the Scottsdale FSDO and the Western-Pacific Region. Chris has worked for Embry Riddle Aeronautical University at Prescott, Arizona for the past 21 years as an avionics technician, A&P mechanic, inspector and supervisor. He established ERAU Prescott’s in-house avionics shop, and is presently runs the avionics department of its Part 145 Certified Repair Station that maintains a fleet of 24 single- and multiengine aircraft. Chris previous worked at Prescott Radio and Air Services International (Scottsdale). He is an expert on the Garmin G1000 system and on the Diamond DA42NG engine control unit (ECU). plumbc@erau.edu.

David Brian Kocak of Guilford, Connecticut represents the Windsor Locks FSDO and the New England Region. Dave is the avionics service and installation manager for V.I.P. Avionics at Brainard Airport in Hartford CT. Previously he served as avionics manager for 3 Wing Aviation and Reliant Avionics in Stratford CT. Over the course of Dave’s 20-year career as an avionics technician, his colleagues and customers have repeatedly cited Dave’s exceptional diagnostic and troubleshooting skills as setting him apart from his peers. dkocak@vipavionics.com.
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Richard Scott Duyser of Caledonia, Michigan represents the Grand Rapids FSDO and the Great Lakes Region. Dick has worked for L-3 Communications Avionics Systems in Grand Rapids for 40 years, and for the past 20 years has held the positions of Senior Quality Manager and Repair Station Accountable Manager. In this capacity, he is responsible and accountable for all regulatory activities of a large FAA/EASA Certified Repair Station, including compliance, audits, documentation, training and warranty decisions. Dick is an expert on FAA and EASA regulations and ISO 9001, AS9100 and AS9110 standards. He serves as an original member of GAMA’s Airworthiness and Maintenance Policy Committee. dick.duyser@L-3com.com.


2014 Regional FAASTeam Representatives of the Year

William Henry Schroeder of Carson City, Nevada represents the Reno FSDO and the Western-Pacific Region. Bill is an ATP-rated professional pilot and CFI with more than 6,600 hours logged, and has been flying for nearly 50 years, He was Nevada’s first Master CFI and maintained Master CFI status for 16 consecutive years. He is active in the Nevada Wing of the Civil Air Patrol, serving as Instructor, Check Pilot and Mission Search Pilot. In his role as FAASTeam Representative, Bill is Lead Representative for the Reno FSDO, Representative to Northern California TRACON, and a frequent speaker at FAA Safety Seminars, well known for his presentations on mountain and high density altitude flying. He is a charger member of the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE) and active in the EAA Young Eagles program. checkpilot@thegrid.net.

Michael Anthony Lessard of Sullivan, Maine represents the Portland FSDO and the New England Region. Mike has pioneered the use of the Internet to enhance general aviation safety. He co-founded WINGsReality LLC, an innovative free online aviation reality show that challenges four pilots to plan and fly four simulated VFR flights, with their decision making evaluated by a panel of professional judges. He also founded WINGsReality EDU, providing an online flight review ground school course that meets the 1-hour ground school requirement for the Part 65 Flight Review. In his role as a FAASTeam Representative, Mike is Lead Representative for the Portland FSDO and is a regular speaker at FAA Safety Seminars throughout New England. He is particularly well-known for his seminars on spatial disorientation involving a “vertigo chair” that Mike built with the help of a grant from the Wolf Aviation Fund. He is an active flight and ground instructor and an AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer. flyer007@roadrunner.com.

Richard Loren Stowell, Jr. of McCall, Idaho represents the Boise FSDO and the Northwest Mountain Region. Rich is known nationally and internationally for his flight and ground training in loss of control, stall avoidance, spin and upset recovery, and emergency maneuver training. He has logged nearly 10,000 hours, including 8,700 hours of flight instruction given, has qualified as a Master CFI for 16 consecutive years, is a charter member of the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE), was honored at National CFI of the Year in 2006, and might just be the only pilot to have performed more than 33,000 spins in GA aircraft. In his role as a FAASTeam Representative, Rich is Lead Representative for the Boise FSDO and has presented 65 FAA Safety Seminars and Webinars during the past five years alone. rich@richstowell.com.

Fred Everett Hetrick of Berryton, Kansas represents the Wichita FSDO and the Central Region. Fred has served the aviation community as a pilot, mechanic, aviation business owner and aviation safety advocate for more than 50 years, and is the recipient of both the Wright Brothers Master Pilot and Charles Taylor Master Mechanic awards. He was an Army National Guard mechanic on airplanes and helicopters, is an A&P Mechanic with Inspection Authorization, and a Commercial Pilot for airplanes and rotorcraft. Fred first became an FAA Accident Prevention Counselor in 1969 when that program was initiated, and became FAASTeam Lead Representative for the Wichita FSDO. He mentors young aviators through the Boy Scouts Air Explorer Squadron #8, and fosters interest in aviation through active participation in the EAA Young Eagles program. Fred’s wife Doris (also a pilot) participates with him in putting on FAA Safety Program events, and his two sons Keith and Lloyd operate aviation businesses at the airports in Topeka and Lawrence, Kansas. dmhetrick@gmail.com.

Sally Sue Sims of Sugar Land, Texas represents the Houston FSDO and the Southwest Region. Sally has been flying for 30 years, and is an ATP-rated pilot and CFI with nearly 5,000 hours logged, most of it in her Cessna 421 and more recently in her Cirrus SR22. She became an FAA Safety Counselor in 1992 and is now a FAASTeam Lead Representative for the Houston FSDO. For more than 20 years, Sally has been instrumental in organizing monthly FAA Safety Seminars at the Sugar Land Regional Airport, as well as the Pilot and Aircraft Courtesy Evaluation (PACE) and Tower Tours programs at KSGR. Sally serves on the KSGR Aviation Policy Advisory Board, and in 2004, she served as volunteer coordinator for over 60 volunteers supporting services at KSGR during Super Bowl XXXVIII. sssims@mac.com.

Byron Louis Heidorn of Plainfield, Illinois represents the DuPage FSDO and the Great Lakes Region. Byron has been an aviation maintenance professional for nearly 40 years. He presently serves as Vice President of Maintenance Operations for Executive Flight Management and Trans American Charter Ltd. at the Aurora and Bloomington airports. He previously served as Director of Maintenance at J.A. Air Center (Aurora), Platinum Jet Center (Bloomington), Rynes Aviation (O’Hare), and Elliott Aviation (Moline). Byron is an A&P Mechanic with Inspection Authorization, a Designated Mechanic Examiner, and a Private Pilot. He publishes “At The Airport,” a free bimonthly aviation news Ezine. Byron has been a FAASTeam Representative since 2005 for the Springfield and DuPage FSDOs, and is a frequent speaker at FAA Safety Meetings and counselor to individual airmen. byronheidorn@yahoo.com.


How You Can Support Excellence In Aviation

Please consider sponsoring or donating gifts to the General Aviation Awards program. Sponsorship funds pay for the out-of-pocket expenses of the program (e.g., award honorees’ travel and lodging, catering, etc). Gifts in the form of merchandise or checks are given to the individual national award recipients at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh. To become a sponsor or gift donor, please click on one of the following links:

THE GA AWARDS PROGRAM NEEDS YOU !

Dear friends and alumni of the General Aviation Awards Program:

As most of you know, after 15 years of involvement in the GA Awards Program, it’s time for Sandy and me to retire from the Program’s administrative duties effective at the end of September 2013. We leave the Program in very capable hands: National Awards winners John Teipen, Jim McDonald, and Paul New, along with Paul Burger (Paul also serves as the GAAwds Program Ambassador-at-Large), GAMA’s Kate Fraser, and the FAA’s Kevin Clover voluntarily serve on the Board of Directors. These individuals are dedicated to the continued success of the GA Awards Program.

The Program, however, needs the ongoing support and assistance of others.  I urge all of the friends and alumni to come together as a group to assist the Board throughout the year and during AirVenture to spread the workload while also growing the Program.

For example, the Board currently seeks passionate and dedicated volunteers to fill three positions: Team Leader, Events Coordinator, and PR / Communications Director.  A list of the various program job descriptions and task time lines is included below.  Please consider lending your considerable talents to give back to the Program.  Like Sandy and me, we know you want the GA Awards Program to grow and flourish as well.

As friends and alumni, you know firsthand the value and importance of this Program not only to our community of aviation professionals, but also to the health and safety of general aviation as a whole.  The Program needs you; please help the Board to keep it alive and well.  Spread the word to potential sponsors, offer assistance during AirVenture, form an active alumni association, and volunteer to help the Board today!

In closing, Sandy and I wish each and every one of you success and happiness.  It has been an honor and a privilege to get to know you, work with you, and serve you these many years.

Sincerely,

Sincerely,

JoAnn Hill

Director Emeritus
General Aviation Awards Program
Ph: 303-485-8136  /  C: 303-709-6862
GenAviationAwds@aol.com
http://www.GeneralAviationAwards.org/

“GA Awards: Industry & FAA Recognizing Excellence”

Continue reading THE GA AWARDS PROGRAM NEEDS YOU !

GA Awards AirVenture 2013 After-Action Report

GAAwds Master of Ceremonies Greg Feith with John Allen in the background

After several challenges, the 2013 General Aviation Awards Program improvised, adapted, and overcame to complete a very successful awards presentation and luncheon at this year’s AirVenture.

All four national award winners and their guests had arrived by Tuesday, July 30th.  Three stayed at the Comfort Inn in Fond du Lac and by a stroke of luck because of a last-minute cancellation, one stayed in Oshkosh at La Quinta.  Thanks to EAA, each winner received two weeklong wristbands, a “B” Lot parking pass, an AirVenture program, and tickets for helicopter and Tri-motor flights.  EAA also provided the Nature Center venue for the luncheon.  AirVenture Today newspaper ran a short article on Wednesday to announce the presentations on Thursday.  That was followed by a full-length feature article about the winners on Thursday.

The 2013 awards were presented on August 1st in the FAA Safety Center by John M Allen, the FAA’s Director of Flight Standards (AFS-1) and Master of Ceremonies Greg Faith, a former NTSB investigator and now an aviation safety consultant.

John Allen presented the FAA plaques to Bill Fifles (AMT), Bruce Lundquist (AvTec), Dean Eichholz (CFI), and Mark Madden (FAASTeam Rep) before an audience of approximately 120.

Left to right: FAASTeam Rep MCFI Mark Madden, Avionics Tech Bruce Lundquist, GAAwds Committee chair JoAnn Hill, GAAwds Communications Director Sandy Hill, CFI Dean Eichholz, and AMT Bill Fifles

John also presented an outstanding service award to JoAnn and Sandy Hill for their years of work with the GA Awards program.  The Hills were then named GA Awards Program Directors Emeriti.  Platinum level sponsor Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation videotaped the entire awards presentation.  The FAA Safety Center venue and a daytime presentation may well be the way of the future.

Left to right: GAAwds Communications Director Sandy Hill, Director of Flight Standards John Allen, and GAAwds Committee chair JoAnn Hill

The link below will take you to all five of this year’s 3 to 4 minute GA Awards YouTube videos:

http://www.YouTube.com/user/GeneralAviationAward

Once again, the GA Awards Luncheon was held in EAA’s Nature Center Tent #2.  Approximately 65 attendees enjoyed a buffet lunch of burgers, brats, chicken, potato salad, and baked beans.  Sikorsky, the GAAwds Luncheon sponsor, was recognized.  A printed program with color photos and short bios of the four winners plus listings of the sponsor, donors and contributors was provided to all attendees (PDF copy attached).  The always-popular taxiway lamps were presented to each winner from the GAAwds LLC committee.  AFS-1 John Allen, AFS-800 Jim Viola, and FAASTeam managers Carol Callin and Gary Knaggs represented the FAA at lunch.  Sponsor / donor representatives included Sikorsky, Snap-On Tools, AMT Society, SAFE, NASF, WAI, 99’s and ASA.

GAAwds LLC committee members helped during the events and numerous past national and regional winners (the GAAwds “Alumni Association”) participated in the events.

2013 GAAwds SPONSORS
Diamond level:  Sikorsky
Platinum level:  EAA, GAMA, NBAA, Universal Avionics & NATA
Gold level:  AEA, AOPA, ARSA, AMT Society & SAFE
Silver level:   FSANA & AFASF
General level:  99s International & Anonymous

2013 GAAwds GIFT DONORS
Snap-On Tools, AOPA, NATA,  ASA, GAAwds LLC committee, Bose, Cessna, Duncan Aviation, Gulfstream, Rod Machado, SAFE, WAI, Brightline Bags, Jeppesen, Gleim Publications, AMT Society & King Schools.

A special thanks goes to the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) for annually hosting the GA Awards Program and other GA Awards events during AirVenture.  Additional program support is being provided by Advocates for Aviation Safety Foundation (AASF), FAASTeam Associates LLC, Glenna Blackwell Photography, Master Instructors LLC (MI LLC), Rich Stowell Consulting, and Virtual Accounting Services.

Don’t forget that now is the time to nominate someone you know for a General Aviation Award.  Nominations for next year’s 2014 General Aviation Awards are due to your local FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) by September 30th, 2013.  The following link provides awards program information as well as the application package:   http://GeneralAviationAwards.org/