2010 National GA Awards Winners Named

In each of the past 47 years, the General Aviation Awards program and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have recognized a small group of aviation professionals in the fields of flight instruction, aviation maintenance, avionics, and safety for their contributions to aviation, education, and flight safety.

This awards program is a cooperative effort between the FAA and more than a dozen industry sponsors.  The selection process begins with local FAA Safety Team managers at Flight Standards District Offices (FSDO) and then moves on to the eight regional FAA offices.  Panels of aviation professionals from within those four fields then select national winners from the pool of regional winners.

Recipients of this year’s national awards are Neil John Nederfield of Lafayette, New Jersey, Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) of the Year; Kirk Harold Peterson of Larimore, North Dakota, Avionics Technician of the Year; MCFI Jeffery Robert “Jeff” Moss of Los Angeles, California, Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) of the Year; and MCFI Thomas Paul “Tom” Turner of Rose Hill, Kansas, FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year.  Previously, this award was the Aviation Safety Counselor (ASC) of the Year.

The FAA administrator will present the national awards in July during a “Theater in the Woods” program at EAA AirVenture 2010 inOshkosh,Wisconsin.  Included in the prize package for all four national winners is an all expense paid trip toOshkoshfor the recipient and a guest to attend the awards presentation and other GA Awards activities.

“These awards highlight the important role played by these individuals in promoting aviation education and flight safety,” said JoAnn Hill, General Aviation Awards Committee chairperson.  “The awards program sponsors are pleased that these outstanding aviation professionals will receive the recognition they so richly deserve before their peers inOshkosh.”


2010 NATIONAL AMT OF THE YEAR:  Neil Nederfield ofFairfield,New Jersey, has been an airframe and powerplant (A&P) technician for 45 years and has held inspection authorization (IA) for 15 of those years.  Neil and his son Sean own C & W Aero Services, an FAA Certified Repair

Neil Nederfield

Station, located at Essex County Airport (CDW) inCaldwell,New Jersey.

A four-year tour in the United States Navy launched thisViet Namveteran’s career in aviation maintenance.  Neil attended schools for aviation airframe sheet metal and paint corrosion control and then served with VA72 aboard aircraft carriers from 1965 to 1969 working on Douglas A-4 Skyhawks.  After an honorable discharge as a Petty Officer 2nd Class, he continued to work in aviation maintenance.  Following ten years of employment at C & W Electronics, Neil became the owner and manager of C & W Aero Services atEssexCountyAirportin 1983.

C & W Aero Services ( http://CWAero.com/) is a fixed base operation and FAA Certified Repair Station specializing in aircraft modifications, painting, annual / 100-hour inspections, avionics installations, and heavy sheet metal repairs.  They are also a factory authorized service center for Hawker Beechcraft Corporation, Mooney Airplane Company, and New Piper Aircraft as well as most major avionics manufacturers.  Neil and his son Sean are co-owners of the company while their wives, Gail & Jennifer respectively, share the responsibilities for office management.  C & W Aero employs 11 full time and two part time workers.

An average day for Neil begins at 0500 Eastern Time in an effort to beat the Interstate-80 traffic on his 40-mile commute to the shop.  After breakfast at a local diner, he opens the shop at about 0630.  His staff of seven full time mechanics and one avionics repariman generates a great deal of paperwork in the form of work orders, logbook entries, weight & balance calculations, and Forms 337.  When he’s lucky, the workday ends around 1600.

In the evenings and on weekends, Neil spends time with various volunteer groups or down in his basement with his model trains.  As a lead representative for the FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) in the Teterboro area, he both hosts and presents safety programs for pilots and mechanics.  He has been a member of the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA) since 1989 and has served as director and FAA liason for the PAMA board of directors since 1992.  For the past ten years, he has organized and hosted an annual IA renewal for PAMA.  Neil also serves as an advisory board member for the Teterboro School of Aeronautics.

Nederfield (NNed@CWAero.com) represented the Teterboro FSDO as well as the FAA’s Eastern Region.  This year’s other regional AMT winners include JoAnn ARNOLD of Blytheville, AR (FAA’s Southwest Region); Hatton Nicholas BATSON of Cordova, TN (FAA’s Central Region); Darrell Eugene BOLDUC of Ham Lake, MN (FAA’s Great Lakes Region); Joseph MORALES of Lakewood, CO (FAA’s Northwest Mountain Region); Marlin Jerome PRIEST of Hoover, AL (FAA’s Southern Region); and Gerald Wayne ROSE of Grass Valley, CA (FAA’s Western Pacific Region).


2010 NATIONAL AVIONICS TECHNICIAN OF THE YEAR:  Kirk H Peterson has been selected by the General Aviation Awards program as the 2010 National Avionics Technician of the Year.  He currently holds a Federal Communications Commission license with Radar endorsement, an

Kirk H Peterson

Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) Technician Certificate with inspection authorization (IA), a Repairman Certificate, and has over 25 years of avionics maintenance and repair experience.

For the past 20 years, Kirk has been employed by the University of North Dakota’s John D Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences ( http://www.Aero.UND.edu/).  He is the avionics manager of an FAA Part 145 repair station that maintains over 100 aircraft ranging from Supercubs to turbine helicopters and turbine aircraft that are used by UND’s flight training department.  Kirk is responsible for maintaining UND’s state-of-the-art avionics lab.  The avionics shop has grown from one person in 1990 to its current staff of three full-time avionics technicians and three part-time repairmen.

As a United States Marine in the early 1980s, Kirk began his career as an avionics technician working on A-4 Skyhawks and McDonnell Douglas attack aircraft.  He received training in basic electricity, electronics, aviation electrician course, and instruments.  After an honorable discharge, he attendedAlexandriaTechnicalCollegeinMinnesotawhere he received his FCC license.  Subsequently, he worked for Republic Airlines and Avionics Incorporated.  While working full-time, he attended evening classes at the Minneapolis Technical Institute to where he received training in airframe and powerplant technology.  In 1992, Kirk obtained his A&P certification.

Each semester, students flock to the avionics lab with hundreds of operational and technical questions.  While Kirk is always busy, he is never too busy to take the time to explain operational procedures or equipment operation to students and instructors.

During the past several years, Kirk and his staff have installed over 100 automatic dependent surveillance (ADS-B) systems into UND’s fleet of fixed wing and rotorcraft aircraft, giving UND one of the largest ADS-B equipped fleets in the world.  Most recently, Kirk has spent the better part of 8 months performing 37 major structural and electrical modifications to a Cessna Citation II that will be used for weather research and special mission operations by UND’s Atmospheric Sciences Department.

Kirk mentors UND student interns each semester and assists academic professors with demonstrations of and training in avionics systems.  He works closely with the FAA at the Fargo FSDO and the FAA Aircraft Certification Office inChicagoto gain approval and documentation of installations and modifications to the UND aircraft.

He is a member of the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA) and the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA).  He remains committed to ongoing continual professional training to remain at the top of his field by taking courses from the FAA, his professional organizations and the aviation industry.

Peterson (Peterson@Aero.UND.edu ) represented the Fargo FSDO area and the FAA’s Great Lakes Region.  This year’s other regional avionics technician winners were Clayton Thomas CAESSENS ofPensacola,FL (Southern Region) and Patrick Donald WARE ofApple Valley,CA (Western Pacific Region).


2010 NATIONAL CFI OF THE YEAR:  Master CFI Jeffrey Robert Moss ofLos Angeles,California, is the 2010 National Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year.  Born and raised inMiami,Florida, Jeff’s passion for aviation began at the tender age of seven.  While on a family trip, Jeff

Jeff Moss

remembers looking out the terminal window at a huge PanAm Boeing 747, the aircraft that would take the family fromMiami toLos Angeles.  Once on board, he made his way up the spiral staircase and onto the flight deck.  He sailed past the flight engineer and proclaimed, “Hi Mister Captain, I’m Jeffrey Moss, I’m seven years old and I’m here to learn everything!”  Thus, his love affair with flying began.

As a student atArizonaStateUniversity, aviation reentered his life.  After discovering that his college roommate was a private pilot, the two of them would occasionally venture out toPhoenixSkyharborAirportwith a portable radio in hand to listen to air traffic control while watching aircraft takeoff and land.  At about that same time, a friend read an article about an airline offering a “pilot for a day” program where you could actually fly a full motion 747 flight simulator.  Jeff immediately jumped at what would become a life changing experience.  At the urging of his airline friends he met flying 747 simulators he obtained his flight instructor certificate in 2003.

When Cirrus introduced the first general aviation aircraft to have a full glass Avidyne cockpit, Jeff joined the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) and became an early member of the Cirrus Standardized Instructor Program.  He was also one of the first factory trained instructors on the Lancair Certified Columbia 350/400 (now the Cessna Corvalis) and was a co-creator and chief flight instructor for the Columbia Recurrent Training Program.

Today, Jeff holds five single pilot jet type ratings.  He is an independent instructor and mentor pilot on the Cessna Citation Mustang & CJ series, Eclipse 500, Embraer Phenom 100/300 and Hawker Beechcraft Premier IA.  He specializes in training piston pilots for their initial single pilot jet type rating.  He trains mostly out of Santa Monica (SMO), Van Nuys (VNY) and Burbank (BUR) airports.

A Master Certificated Flight Instructor (MCFI), Jeff is a charter member of the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE) and also serves as a FAAST Team lead representative.  He is an active member of AOPA, COPA, Cessna Advanced Aircraft Club, Citation Jet Pilots, Eclipse 500 Club, and Phenom Pilots/Owners.  He continues to work extensively as an aviation educator and is a sought after aviation speaker.  His company, Flying Like the Pros ( www.FlyingLikeThePros.com ), produces computer-based avionics training programs.

Moss (JRobertMoss@aol.com) represented the Van Nuys FSDO area as well as the FAA’s Western Pacific Region.  This year’s other regional CFI of the Year winners include Michael Gary Oliver GRANT of Viera, FL, (FAA’s Southern Region); Robert Vincent MEDER of Omaha, NE (FAA’s Central Region); MCFI Megan Roberta SAYRE of Bennett,  CO (FAA’s Northwest Mountain Region); Susan Marie THOLEN of Kennebunk, ME (FAA’s Eastern Region); MCFI-MGI Ronald Jay TIMMERMANS OF Bedford  TX (FAA’s Southwest Region); and MCFI Wanda Jean ZUEGE of Custer, WI (FAA’s Great Lakes Region).


2010 NATIONAL FAA SAFETY TEAM REPRESENTATIVE OF THE YEAR:  Master CFI Thomas P Turner exemplifies the highest standard of professionalism in the field of aviation safety and education.

Tom Turner

Tom’s involvement in aviation began while a US Air Force officer by earning his initial pilot certification in 1985 and becoming a certificated flight instructor in 1988.  Today, he holds an airline transport pilot certificate with an AMEL rating as well as CFI, CFI-I, and MEI.

Since 1996, he has been an outspoken aviation safety advocate while also organizing and conducting safety programs for WINGS credit nationwide.  He now serves as a FAASTeam Lead Representative in theWichitaarea where he conducts WINGS seminars, writes prolifically, and maintains aviation safety websites.  He has also earned Basic, Advanced, and Master-level WINGS accreditation through the FAA’s Pilot Proficiency Program.

A dedicated student of aircraft accidents and aviation safety issues, he strives to make general aviation a safer place.  To that end, he spends many evenings writing and researching for several aviation publications including a weekly e-newsletter for his own business, Mastery Flight Training ( http://www.Mastery-Flight-Training.com).  That newsletter entitled “Flying Lessons” is read by thousands.  In addition, he serves on the permanent editorial board of the Aviator’s Model Code of Conduct (AMCC) where he works to encourage professionalism and safety on the part of all pilots and mechanics regardless of certification level.

Currently, Tom is the executive director of the American Bonanza Society ( www.Bonanza.org ) which represents approximately 10,000 Beech aircraft owners, mechanics and enthusiasts around the world.  He is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Society as well as all technical and educational member support functions.  His typical day at the Society’s Wichita office includes reading and writing e-mails, strategic planning, editing and managing the monthly ABS Magazine and website,  working with regulatory agencies and other associations, developing educational and technical support materials, and assisting members with piloting and technical questions

As an independent flight instructor presenting type-specific initial and recurrent training in late-model Beech Bonanzas and Barons, he travels to his clients’ locations to provide checkouts, flight review, and instrument proficiency training.  He also lectures at aviation events and pilot gatherings in theWichitaarea, at AirVenture, and in other locations around the country.

A Master Certificated Flight Instructor (MCFI), Tom is a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the American Bonanza Society (ABS), the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), and is member of both the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE) and NAFI.  In 2008, he was named the FAA’s Central Region CFI of the Year.  Tom and his wife, Peggy, aWichitahigh school teacher, reside in Rose Hill, Kansas.

Turner (Exec@Bonanza.org) represented the Wichita FSDO area and the FAA’s Central Region.  This year’s other regional winners include Javier Angel GUERRA of Lytle, TX (FAA’s Southwestern Region); William Victor HILL of Redding, CA (FAA’s Western Pacific Region); MCFI Mark Edward MADDEN of Anchorage, AK (FAA’s Alaska Region); Jon Naji MALEK of Yonkers, NY (FAA’s Eastern Region); John Edward MITCHELL of Fort Collins, CO (FAA’s Northwest Mountain Region); MCFI John Urban ROCKCASTLE of Oxford, FL (FAA’s Southern Region); and MCFI Wanda Jean ZUEGE of Custer, WI (FAA’s Great Lakes Region).

Support and sponsorship for the General Aviation Awards program is provided by Women in Aviation International (WAI), The Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE), the Professional Aviation Maintenance Ass’n (PAMA), the National Business Aviation Ass’n (NBAA), the National Ass’n of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), the National Air Transportation Ass’n (NATA), the General Aviation Manufacturers Ass’n (GAMA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Experimental Aircraft Ass’n (EAA), the Aircraft Maintenance Technology Society (AMT Society), the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Ass’n (AOPA), the Aeronautical Repair Station Ass’n (ARSA), and Aircraft Electronics Ass’n (AEA).

Additional support is being provided by Advocates for Aviation Safety Foundation (AASF), Aeronautical Proficiency Training LLC (AVTrain), Master Instructors LLC (MI LLC), National Aviation Safety Foundation (NASF), and RichStowell.com.

2010 National Award Winners