2013 National General Aviation Award Winners Named

Annually for 50 years now, 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.

The GA Awards program is a cooperative effort between the FAA and more than a dozen industry partners. The selection process begins each September at the Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) level before moving up to the Regional FAA Office level. From the pool of winners selected by the Regions, the National awards winners are chosen by panels of volunteer judges comprised of previous national winners in each of the categories.

Recipients of the 2013 National General Aviation Awards are:

  • William T. “Bill” Fifles of Honolulu, Hawaii – Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) of the Year
  • Bruce Allan Lundquist of Willis, Michigan– Avionics Technician (AVN Tech) of the Year
  • Dean Wesley Eichholz of Soldotna, Alaska– Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) of the Year
  • Mark Edward Madden of Anchorage, Alaska– FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) Representative of the Year

FAA Administrator Huerta will present plaques to these deserving National winners in July during EAA AirVenture 2013 inOshkosh,Wisconsin. Included in the prize packages for the four National winners is an all-expenses-paid trip toOshkoshto attend the awards presentation and other special GA Awards activities.

According to GA Awards committee co-chair JoAnn Hill, “These awards highlight the important role played by these individuals in promoting aviation education and flight safety.”  Co-chair and previous National award recipient John Teipen added, “The awards program sponsors are pleased that these outstanding aviation professionals will receive the recognition they so richly deserve before their peers inOshkosh.”



GAAwds 2013 AMT William Fifles
GAAwds 2013 AMT William Fifles

William “Bill” Fifles has been named the 2013 National Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year.  Bill holds FAA Certifications in Airframe and Powerplant with Inspection Authorization (A&P / IA), and is a Private Pilot.  He is also a State of Hawaii DOT Airport Vehicle Safety Inspector for ramp vehicles & equipment.

As a kid, Bill remembers losing track of whatever games he and his friends were playing whenever planes flew overhead.  His interest in aviation was piqued in 1981 when he did his first skydive.  His first flight experience would come at the controls of the venerable Beech 18 jump plane at JumpHawaii.  Bill eventually outgrew skydiving in favor of piloting airplanes instead.

Long after high school, and even though his passion for aviation still remained strong, Bill opened a janitorial business onKauai.  Serendipitously, the business evolved into a tour helicopter cleaning and detail company. He also operated the fuel farm for helicopters atLihueAirport.  After Hurricane Iniki devastated businesses on Kauai in 1992, Bill purchased a Piper Cherokee 140 and openedLihueAviationCenter.

In order to be able to fly, Bill learned to turn wrenches “on the job.” His true career as an aviation mechanic, however, began in January 1997 with the Genavco Corporation. There, he helped maintain a DC-3 as well as a “Super DC-3,” the DC-3S.  He also worked at Moloka‘i Air Shuttle maintaining three Piper Aztecs, two Piper Chieftains, and a Cessna 402 under FAR 135.

Bill eventually moved toSan Franciscoto work for United Airlines on their Scheduled Special Routing team troubleshooting maintenance issues.  Returning toHawaiiin 2001, he was hired by Kamaka Air to fill the shoes of his late friend and mentor as the new Director of Maintenance, the position he currently holds.  In 2003, Bill led the Kamaka maintenance team, numerous volunteers, and all the students from nearbyHonoluluCommunityCollegeAviationTrade School, in the restoration and overhaul of N9796N, the Kamaka DC-3S.  The project attracted aviation enthusiasts and journalists from around the world and provided the students with practical, hands-on airframe and powerplant training.  N9796N took the air in July 2004, and has been flying inter-island cargo runs ever since.

Bill has assisted with maintenance and repairs on a number of interesting aircraft including a Murray Air DC-8-73, Billabong Grumman G-111 Albatross, Seven-Q-Seven Omega’s Boeing 727, and the General Electric B747-100 engine testbed aircraft.  In 2009, he was asked by Hawaiian Airlines to oversee the re-assembly and subsequent maintenance of their fully restored 1929 Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker (NC-251, Serial No.154) as it returned to provide promotional and employee incentive flights overOahu.

He has assisted with Hollywood productions for TV work on “Lost” and “The Amazing Race,” as well as major motion pictures including “Pearl Harbor,” “Outbreak,” “Along Came Polly,” and “The Rundown.”  He has also been involved in many other production and photo shoots.

Bill is currently rebuilding a 1966 Citabria.  Outside of aviation, he was Hawaii’s first single male Foster Parent, and had five teenage foster sons from 1991 thru 1996.  Bill Fifles (WFifles@aol.com) represents the Honolulu FSDO area as well as the FAA’s Western Pacific Region.  Other regional AMT winners include Scott Eric Austin of Lawrence, MI representing the Great Lakes Region; Bruce Albert Berry of Blytheville, AR representing the Southwestern Region; Kenneth Lee “Ken” Gilliland of Clanton, AL representing the Southern Region; Leroy Alan Muise of Trenton, ME representing the Eastern Region; and Bret Samuel Proud of Englewood, CO representing the Northwest Mountain Region.


GAAwds 2013 Avionics Tech Bruce Lundquist
GAAwds 2013 Avionics Tech Bruce Lundquist

Bruce Allan Lundquist of Willis,Michigan has been named the 2013 National Avionics Technician of the Year.  He holds an FAA Repairman Certificate and an FCC General Radiotelephone License.

Born inYoungstownOhio, Bruce’s interest in radio and electronics began at a young age as he listened to his grandparents’ AM/shortwave radio.  He soon began building crystal radios and stringing up antenna wires all over the backyard, much to the chagrin of his mother.  After his family moved toMichigan, Bruce received a pair of walkie-talkies for Christmas, and later bought his own CB radio station and TV with earnings from a paper route.  He read everything he could get his hands on about electronics before being old enough to take high school classes in electronics.

Upon graduating from high school in 1970, he began working at Ford Motor Company.  Rather than waiting to be drafted into the Army, he joined the US Air Force and started technical school in pursuit of aviation electronics.  He returned to the Ford Motor Company four years later, but after a few months, decided that factory life was not for him.  He used his military training to return to the aviation electronics field.

After a short stint at Northern Air Service at Coleman A. Young Municipal Airport inDetroit, Bruce obtained his FCC second-class radio telephone operator license and worked at a stereo repair shop.  In 1976, he landed a job at Quality Controlled Electronics atWillowRunAirportoutside ofDetroit.  According to Bruce, “This was a real avionics shop.  I learned a ton and completely enjoyed working there.”

Bruce then took a job at Pentastar Aviation, Inc. in 1982.  It was during this time that he would meet his future wife, Maggie.  Also located atWillowRunAirport, Pentastar was a wholly owned subsidiary of Chrysler Corporation.  Through all of the economic difficulties that ensued at Chrysler, Bruce worked in the Pentastar accessory shop keeping all of the electrical test stands and mock-ups in good repair.  He would eventually work as avionics supervisor, inspector, lead technician, and trainer.  Once things settled down at Chrysler, the company once again purchased a few aircraft.  It was time to set up a full service, radio class I, II, and III avionics shop, as well as a full service maintenance shop, and Bruce moved into the role of Avionics Systems Specialist.

During the three decades Bruce has been there, Pentastar and Chrysler have been through many changes.  The aviation department has undergone several moves and name and ownership changes.  Pentastar Aviation LLC is now owned by Edsel Ford II and located atOaklandCountyInternationalAirportinPontiac,Michigan.  Through it all, Bruce is confident that he will retire out of this place.

Competing with avionics, boating has been Bruce’s other long-time passion.  He has been married for 26 years and has a daughter.  Bruce Lundquist (BLundquist@PentastarAviation.com) represents the East Michigan FSDO area and the FAA’s Great Lakes Region.


GAAwds 2013 CFI Dean Eichholz
GAAwds 2013 CFI Dean Eichholz

Dean W. Eichholz of Soldotna, Alaska, has been named the 2013 National Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year.  Dean is an independent flight instructor as well as a designated pilot examiner (DPE) and FAA check airman.  He trains and does flight checks in various aircraft suited for the diverse Alaskan environment for Transmountain Aviation, Kenai Aviation Inc. and Talon Air, Inc.  He also is employed by Falcon Insurance Agency of Alaska in Soldotna, Alaska and works with his wife as an aviation insurance broker.

Dean uses his previous experience as an aviation business owner who purchased aircraft insurance to advise pilots of all levels.  He is a vast storehouse of information on various types of aircraft, carriage of external loads, training requirements, and regulations.

Dean fell in love with flying while watching the Blue Angels perform when he was in grade school.  In college, he took out a loan to earn his private pilot certificate.  After graduation fromIdahoStateUniversitywith a bachelor of science degree in mathematics, Dean joined the US Navy pilot program.  He received his Navy Wings of Gold in 1975 and was selected to fly the A-6 Intruder inWhidbey Island,Washington.  He spent his final two years in Pensacola, Florida as an instructor pilot in the T-2 Buckeye and has maintained his passion for flight instruction ever since.

In 1980, after leaving the Navy he obtained his civilian commercial, instrument, multiengine and flight instructor certificates and ratings.  In 1983, Dean moved to Soldotna, Alaska and opened Alaska Flying Network, an FAA Part 141 flight school.  The school offered private, commercial, instrument, multiengine and seaplane training.  Dean was appointed an FAA Designated pilot examiner in 1987.  Pilots in all areas of Alaskan aviation have either been instructed or tested by Dean.  He has over 10,000 hours of flight instruction logged and over 18,000 hours flight time.  In 1999, Tom Wardleigh and Dean had the honor of instructing the late Alaska Senator Ted Stevens and three of his close friends for seaplane ratings.  Dean’s greatest and most rewarding training challenge was instructing a deaf pilot for a seaplane rating in the PA-12.

In 1999, Dean sold the flight school to become an Aviation Insurance Broker and part time independent CFI.  Dean was selected Flight instructor of the Year for the Alaska Region in 1990 and received a “High Flyer Award” from the FAA in 2000.

Air safety is another passion for Dean.  He was an FAA Safety counselor and is now a FAASTeam representative for theKenai Peninsula.  Since 1991, Dean has served on the board of the Alaskan Aviation Safety Foundation and had served as a Regional Director for the Alaska Airmen’s Association from 1998 until 2003.  He is a member of AOPA, The Alaskan Aviation Safety Foundation, The Alaska Airmen’s Association, and SPA and is the AOPA Airport Support Representative for the Soldotna Municipal Airport.  For the past three years, he has organized the Alaska Seaplane seminar held each April in Anchorage.

Eichholz (AKFly@Alaska.net) represented the Anchorage FSDO area as well as the FAA’s Alaska Region.  Other regional CFI winners include MCFI-A Timothy John “Tim” Brill of Reno, NV representing the Western Pacific Region; George Patrick “Pat” Brown III of Houston, TX representing the Southwestern Region; Luke Andrew Collison of Arvada, CO representing the Northwest Mountain Region; Peter Gerard “Pete” Demers of Jupiter, FL representing the Southern Region;  Lee Stanley Jones of Kearneysville, WV representing the Eastern Region; and MCFI (2003-2007) Linda Hert Langrill of Midland, MI represents the Great Lakes Region.


GAAwds 2013 FAASTeam MCFI Mark Madden
GAAwds 2013 FAASTeam MCFI Mark Madden

Mark Madden of Anchorage, AK, is the 2013 National FAASTeam Representative of the Year.  Mark is currently a Professor of Aviation Technology in the Aviation Technology Division at the University of Alaska.  His responsibilities include classroom and individual teaching, student academic and career advising, curricula development and community service.  He has earned the Master CFI accreditation three times while maintaining these high professional standards for more than 6 years.

Mark applied for and joined the FAASTeam Safety Program because he “wanted to make a real difference in improving aviation safety in Alaska.”  He encourages all aviators to participate in the FAASTeam and WINGS Pilot Proficiency Programs.  Mark has been presenting safety seminars as a Lead Representative for the Anchorage FSDO for several years.  He has been the organizer and presenter for all the CFI/DPE workshops (FIRCs) in the Anchorage area for more than 4 years and has presented CFI specific seminars since 1999.  He participated in the spring 2011 FAASTeam National Safety Stand Down as a speaker, emcee, and organizer.

As a member and officer of the board of directors for the Alaska Aviation Safety Foundation (AASF), he promotes safety in all areas of Alaskan aviation.  AASF partners with Public Television and the National Weather Service to produce a weekly TV show in conjunction with the Alaska Weather program.  You will always find him in attendance at the Great Alaska Aviation Gathering (formerly The Alaska Trade Show) or the Alaska Aviation Safety Summit sponsored by the Medallion Foundation and Northern Air Cargo.

After earning a BS degree in education in 1973 and an MA degree in Management and Computer Data Management in 1984, Mark began his aviation education journey.  He completed an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Aviation Technology in the Pilot Entry Ab Initio Airline First Officer Program at Aims Community College in Greeley Colorado.  He is a veteran of the US Air Force and used the GI Bill and scholarships to help fund his education.

In the early 1990s Mark worked as a certificated flight instructor at P. C. Flyers inDenver,COand as Pilot Training Technical Writer for Jeppesen Sanderson inDenver.  After moving toHawaii, he worked as a customer service representative for Mahalo airlines, a charter pilot for Paragon Air and as a self-employed aviation consultant, technical writer, and instructor pilot.

In 1998, Mark began his long tenure with theUniversityofAlaskainAnchorageas a professor of Aviation Technology.  He has also been a part time pilot, instructor, and program developer for Empire Airlines, a FedEx Feeder.  Mark’s certificates and ratings include airline transport pilot (ATP) certificate with airplane multi-engine land, commercial privileges with airplane single-engine land and sea, and Instructor certificates for CFI, CFII, MEI, AGI, IGI, with tailwheel endorsement.

He continues as a freelance aviation technical writer specializing in pilot training publications, video scripts, and production.  He flies as a formation pilot for air-to-air photography missions.  The owner of a Maule M5-2 10C, Mark has a clean FAA record of no accidents and no enforcements.

Mark serves on the board of directors for the Lake Hood Pilots’ Association since 2012.  He is a member of Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE), University Aviation Association (UAA), Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), and Seaplanes Pilots Association (SPA).

Mark (MEMadden@UAA.Alaska.edu) represented the Anchorage FSDO area and the FAA’s Alaska Region.   Other regional FAASTeam Rep winners include MAE Gary Michael Brossett of Midland, GA representing the Southern Region; Walter Penn Hunnicutt of Bella Vista, AR representing the Southwestern Region;  Dean Christopher Marshall of East Setauket, NY representing the Eastern Region; MCFI Lynwood Karl “Woody” Minar of Dresser, WI representing the Great Lakes Region; William Edwin “Bill” Standefer of Fort Collins, CO representing the Northwest Mountain Region; and Arlene Virginia Steier of Omaha, NE representing the Central Region.


Generous financial sponsorship, gift donations, and support for the General Aviation Awards program is provided by the following:

Women in Aviation International (WAI), Snap-On Tools (Snap-On), Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation (Sikorsky), The Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE), The Ninety-Nines International (The 99s), the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), National Aviation Safety Foundation (NASF), the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), Rod Machado, King Schools (King), Jeppesen – A Boeing Company (Jeppesen), Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation (Gulfstream), Gleim Publications (Gleim), the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), Garmin International (Garmin), FAASTeam Associates LLC (FAASTeam), the Flight School Association of North America (FSANA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Duncan Aviation, David Clark Company, Cessna Aircraft Corporation (Cessna), Bose Corporation (Bose), the Aircraft Maintenance Technology Society (AMTSociety), the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), Aviation Supplies & Academics (ASA), and Anonymous donors.

Special thanks to the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) for hosting the GA Awards program and other special GA Awards events during AirVenture.

Additional 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.


John Teipen, GAAwds Co-chairman, Saint Louis  MO  John@Teipen.com  314-409-2267  John is a CFI, DPE, FAASTeam Lead Rep, and works with the Saint Louis Flight Instructors’ Assoc.  He was the 2005 Nat’l CFI of the Year and the 2008 Nat’l FAASTeam Rep of the Year.

JoAnn Hill, GAAwds Co-chairman, Longmont  CO  GenAviationAwds@aol.com  303-485-8136  JoAnn has been a judge for the national CFI of the Year and for the past ten years has been the national chairman of the General Aviation Awards Program.  She also administers the Master Instructor Program for Master Instructors LLC and is a Master CFI-Emerits.

Paul New, GAAwds Treasurer, Jackson  TN  TASNew@gmail.com  731-424-7227 & 731-225-8615  Paul is the owner / operator of Tennessee Aircraft and was the 2007 Nat’l AMT of the Year.

Jim McDonald, GAAwds Secretary, Little Rock  AR  Dorward@hotmail.com 501-983-4112  Jim is a retired USAF instructor pilot and flight safety officer.  He was the 2003 Nat’l Aviation Safety Counselor of the Year.

Cheryl (DeFilippo) Hardy,  GAAwds Communications Co-Director, Deltona  FL Cheryl@iag.net 407- 496-4307  Cheryl is the owner of Cheryl Hardy, LLC a management company serving aviation and professional industry organizations.  She works with the Orlando FSDO FAASTeam and was the 2007 Nat’l FAASTeam Rep of the Year.

Sandy Hill, GAAwds Communications Co-Director, Longmont  CO  GenAviationAwds@aol.com  303-485-8136  Sandy has been a judge for the national CFI of the Year and for the past ten years has been the national communications director for the General Aviation Awards Program.  He also administers the Master Instructor Program for Master Instructors LLC and is a Master CFI-Emerits.

Kate Fraser, GAAwds Fund Raising Chairman, Washington DC  KFraser@GAMA.aero    202-637-1374  Kate is Operations Manager with GAMA (General Aviation Manufacturers Assoc) and served as co-chairman of fund raising in 2012.

Paul Burger, GAAwds supporting member,  Wilton  CT  FranPaul@optonline.net  203-856-1233  Paul is the executive director for the AFASF (Advocates for Aviation Safety Foundation) and has served as past treasurer and fund raising chair for the General Aviation Awards committee.

Kevin Clover, FAA Liaison for GAAwds, Long Beach  CA   KevinClover@FAASafety.gov  949-521-4938  Kevin has been the National FAASTeam Manager and active / involved with the GA Awards program for more than 10 years.  (FAA-AFS 850)