In each of the past 45 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 year’s winners were announced on March 12.
The awards program is a cooperative effort between the FAA and more than a dozen industry sponsors, said JoAnn Hill, General Aviation Awards Committee chairman. The selection process begins with local FAA Safety Team managers at Flight Standards District Offices (FSDO), then moves on to the eight regional FAA offices, she explained. 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 Alfred Joseph “Lucky” Louque of Chatfield, Texas, Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) of the Year; Arlynn Marine McMahon of Versailles, Kentucky, Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) of the Year; Paul Jerome “Jerry” Stooksbury of Fort Collins, Colorado, Avionics Technician of the Year; and Kent Blair Lewis of Keller, Texas, FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year. In previous years, the latter award was called 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 2009 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Hill said. Included in the prize package for all four national winners is an all expenses paid trip to Oshkosh for 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 Hill. “The awards program sponsors are pleased that these outstanding aviation professionals will receive the recognition they so richly deserve before their peers in Oshkosh.”
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 National Ass’n of Flight Instructors (NAFI), the Helicopter Ass’n International (HAI), 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).
Information about the General Aviation Awards Program as well as applications for next year’s awards can be found on the websites of the sponsoring organizations or e-mail GenAviationAwds@aol.com