This year’s National General Aviation Award winners are Joseph Morales of Lakewood, Colorado, Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) of the Year; Russell Callender of Houlton, Wisconsin, Avionics Technician of the Year; MCFI-Aerobatic Judy Ann Phelps of Santa Paula, California, Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) of the Year; and MCFI Vicki Lynn Sherman of DeLand, Florida, FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year.
In each of the past 48 years, the General Aviation Awards program and the 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 (FSDOs) and then moves on to the eight regional FAA offices. Previous national awards winners from each of those four fields then select national winners from the pool of regional winners.
The FAA administrator will present the national awards in July during a “Theater in the Woods” program at EAA AirVenture 2011 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Included in the prize package for all four national winners is an all expense 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 JoAnn Hill, General Aviation Awards Committee chairperson. “The awards program sponsors and supporters are pleased that these outstanding aviation professionals will receive the recognition they so richly deserve before their peers in Oshkosh.”
2011 NATIONAL AMT OF THE YEAR: Joe Morales of Lakewood, Colorado, has been an airframe and powerplant (A&P) technician for 31 years and has held inspection authorization (IA) for 18 of those years. He works at the US Air Force Academy for Doss Aviation performing contract maintenance on aircraft used in the academy’s soaring and skydiving programs.He is also a CFI and provides flight training at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (BJC) in Broomfield, Colorado, on a part-time basis.
2011 NATIONAL AVIONICS TECHNICIAN OF THE YEAR: Russ Callender has been selected by the General Aviation Awards program as the 2011 National Avionics Technician of the Year. He holds an FAA repairman certificate and is a private pilot with over 32 years of avionics maintenance and repair experience ranging from a light sport aircraft through cabin class business jets.
He is president of RC Avionics with the main facility on Anoka County Airport (ANE) in Blaine, Minnesota. Additional servicing facilities are located at Crystal Airport (MIC) in Minneapolis, Saint Paul Downtown (STP) in Saint Paul, and New Richmond Regional Airport (RNH) in New Richmond, Wisconsin.
2011 NATIONAL CFI OF THE YEAR: Master CFI-Aerobatic Judy Phelps of Santa Paula, California has been named the 2011 National Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) of the Year. She has provided more than 5,000 hours of flight training ranging from primary, instrument, and commercial instruction to tailwheel endorsements, experimental aircraft checkouts, emergency maneuver, spin, and aerobatic training. Judy and her husband Clay, also a CFI, own and operate CP Aviation at Santa Paula Airport (SZP). She runs the flight school side of their business, while he oversees the maintenance side. Their FBO averages approximately 6,000 flight hours per year with pilots coming from around the world to train there.
2011 NATIONAL FAA SAFETY TEAM REPRESENTATIVE OF THE YEAR: Master CFI Vicki Lynn Sherman is a teacher, mentor, and aviation safety advocate. As an Aviation Safety Counselor and FAASTeam Representative, she has been involved in the FAA’s safety program since 1992. She works at the FAASTeam’s National Resource Center in Lakeland, Florida, as a video production crewmember, presentation developer, and presenter for the North Florida FSDO and the FAA Production Studios. She is also the owner and president of Aero Supplies & Express in Daytona Beach, Florida. During the year as a FAASTeam Lead Representative, she conducts monthly safety programs. She arranges for a wide variety of aviation experts to speak to local pilots. She is a member of the Safety Program Speakers Bureau for north Florida. During the week of the annual Sun ‘n Fun International Fly In and Expo in Lakeland, she serves as a crewmember for the FAA Production Studios.
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 Association (PAMA), the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), the Aircraft Maintenance Technology Society (AMT Society), the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Associatin (AOPA), the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), and the Aircraft Electronics Association (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 Rich Stowell Consulting (RichStowell.com).
For more information: GeneralAviationAwards.org