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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:

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 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 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/

GA Awards Presentation Details Announced

Oshkosh, WI – The General Aviation Awards Program and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently announced that the General Aviation Awards presentations will be held at the AirVenture FAA Safety Center beginning at 11:15 a.m. on Thursday, August 1, 2013.  This is the first time this indoor venue will be used for the presentations.  Officials are excited about the opportunity for aviation enthusiasts to view the proceedings in FAASafety Center’s air-conditioned environment.  Plans are also being made to broadcast the event live on FAASTeamTV.  This joint venture will recognize a group of aviation professionals in the fields of flight instruction, aviation maintenance, avionics and safety for the important role they play in aviation safety and education.

In addition to this new location for the awards presentations, the joint GAAwds/FAA team has also announced that the FAA will be represented by Barry Cooper, the FAA’s Great Lakes Region Administrator.  Representing the General Aviation industry and co-hosting the awards presentation will be Greg Feith, a 20 year veteran of the NTSB.

Cooper became the administrator of the FAA’s Great Lakes Region in 2007.  As Regional Administrator, he serves as the FAA’s primary representative and liaison regarding aviation issues and activities within the 8-state Great Lakes Region.

Feith consults on aviation safety and security matters, instructs for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; contributes articles to Business & Commercial Aviation and appears regularly as an expert on aviation safety and security on NBC and MSNBC.

This awards program is a cooperative effort between the FAA and dozens of industry sponsors.  Recipients of the 2013 National General Aviation Awards who will be recognized 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; and Master CFI Mark Edward Madden of Anchorage, Alaska – FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam Rep) Representative of the Year.  Nominations / applications for the 2014 awards are currently being accepted by FAA Safety Team managers at FSDOs nationwide.

The awards program relies upon the support of donors and sponsors to be successful.  Generous financial sponsorship, gift donations, and support for the General Aviation Awards program is provided by industry organizations, individuals and anonymous donors.  Additional sponsorship and donations are always welcome.  Special thanks go to the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) for hosting the GA Awards program and other special GA Awards events during AirVenture.

To learn more about the General Aviation Awards program, visit its website at:  http://www.GeneralAviationAwards.org/

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

Women in Aviation International (WAI), Universal Avionics Systems Corporation (UASC), Snap-On Tools (Snap-On), Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation (Sikorsky), The Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE), 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), Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA), the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), Aviation Supplies & Academics (ASA), and numerous anonymous individual donors.

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.

General Aviation Awards To Be Presented at AirVenture ’13

Oshkosh, WI – Clear skies, fair winds, the sound of radial engines buzzing in the air, the look of awe on a child’s face as formations of aircraft fill the sky…it’s EAA’s AirVenture 2013, and this is where the winners of this year’s General Aviation Awards Program will be presented their awards.  In each of the past 50 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 the important role they play in aviation safety and education.

This awards program is a cooperative effort between the FAA and dozens industry sponsors.  Recipients of the 2013 National General Aviation Awards who will be recognized 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; and Master CFI Mark Edward Madden of Anchorage, Alaska- FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam Rep) Representative of the Year.  Nominations / applications for the 2014 awards are currently being accepted by FAA Safety Team managers at FSDOs everywhere.

The program relies upon the support of donors and sponsors to be successful. Generous financial sponsorship, gift donations, and support for the General Aviation Awards program is provided by industry organizations and anonymous donors.  Additional sponsorship and donations are always welcome.  Special thanks go to the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) for hosting the GA Awards program and other special GA Awards events during AirVenture.

To learn more about the General Aviation Awards program, visit its website at:

  http://www.GeneralAviationAwards.org/

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

Women in Aviation International (WAI), Universal Avionics Systems Corporation (UASC), Snap-On Tools (Snap-On), Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation (Sikorsky), The Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE), 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), Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA), the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), Aviation Supplies & Academics (ASA), and Anonymous donors.

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.