Committee Aims To Fill In Missing Names, Raise Funds For
For the first time in its 45-year history, the General Aviation
Awards Program has a place to call home -- and a place where the
names of the annual recipients of the national awards can be
publically recognized and honored.
A display honoring the recipients of the national Certificated
Flight Instructor of the Year, the Aviation Maintenance Technician
of the Year, the Avionics Technician of the Year, and the FAA
Safety Team Representative of the Year (previously the Aviation
Safety Counselor of the Year) was mounted in the EAA AirVenture
Museum Hall of Fame during AirVenture Oshkosh 2008.
"Here now is a place where these names will forever be
recorded," said JoAnn Hill, chairperson for the awards program.
"All of these people keep general aviation alive and well and safe;
if we didn't have good people, the industry wouldn't survive."
The display was inspired by 2006 National Certificated Flight
Instructor of the Year Rich Stowell, a Master CFI-Aerobatic. His
intent was to give back to the industry that recognized his
service. JoAnn suggested a good use for his efforts would be to
recognize industry winners in one permanent location. She
approached EAA President Tom Poberezny, who was eager to host the
awards at AirVenture.
Ironically, prior to mounting the display at the Museum, only
Sandy Hill, awards committee's communications director, and Larry
Crehore of White Eagle Laser Engraving in Longmont, CO -- the
company that did the engraving -- were the only two who knew every
award winner's name. "That had to change," Sandy said.
Even so, while the
plaque is on display, there are still several blanks in the
listings of past winners. In spite of extensive research into past
recipients, the awards committee is unable to identify seven past
CFIs of the Year and three past AMTs of the Year. Sandy said he
hopes visitors to the Halls of Fame can help fill in the blanks for
the National CFIs of the Year for 1968-1971 and 1973-1975, as well
as the National AMTs of the Year for 1974 thru 1976.
The General Aviation Awards Program is a
cooperative effort between the FAA and more than a dozen
general-aviation industry sponsors, including the Aircraft Owners
and Pilots Association, the Aeronautical Repair Station
Association, the Aircraft Maintenance Technology Society, the
Experimental Aircraft Association, the General Aviation
Manufacturers Association, the National Air Transportation
Association, the National Association of State Aviation Officials,
the National Business Aviation Association, the Professional
Aviation Maintenance Association, and Women in Aviation
International. The program's executive committee includes the
Aircraft Electronics Association, the Federal Aviation
Administration, and the National Association of Flight
"The program recognizes aviation professionals on the local,
regional, and national levels. These people are under-appreciated
and under-recognized," JoAnn said. "Even if they don't make it to
the national level, they're now being recognized at their local and
regional levels. They're getting a resounding pat on the back, and
they're role models for younger people coming into these
The committee seeks to raise $2,500 to cover the cost of the
display and its upkeep. If you'd like to contribute to the fund,
contact the GA Awards committee treasurer, AEA's Executive Vice
President Debra McFarland at DebbieM@aea.net or