The National General Aviation Awards Committee takes great pride in announcing this year’s regional General Aviation Awards winners.  They are all finalists for the national awards.  The mission of the General Aviation Awards 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 currently underway and national winners will be announced not later than March 1st.

The GA Awards program is a cooperative effort between more than 17 general aviation industry sponsors and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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

This year’s regional winners are:

2012 Regional Aviation Maintenance Technicians (AMTs) of the Year

Patrick Michael “Pat” Carey of Redondo Beach, California represents the Los Angeles FSDO and the Western Pacific Region.  He works for Security Aviation in Hawthorne, California  (

Jack Lynn Haun of Port Orange, Florida
 was recognized by the Orlando FSDO and the Southern Region.  Jack is employed by Embry Riddle Aeronautical University’s maintenance center in Daytona Beach (

Robert Lee Hensley lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
 and represents the Oklahoma City FSDO as well as the Southwest Region.  Robert works at Metro Technology Aviation Career Center and owns H & H Aircraft Maintenance (

Marvin Hornbostel lives and works in Junction City, Kansas
.  Marvin represents the Wichita FSDO and the Central Region.  He owns Raven Aero Services   (

Jacob Rama “Jake” Milstein from Boulder, Colorado
 represents the Denver FSDO and Northwest Mountain Region.  Jake is employed by Redstone College in Broomfield and owns Lila Aviation is Boulder. (

Steven Nelson “Steve” Skinner from Northfield, Vermont
 represents the Portland, Maine FSDO and the Eastern Region.  Steve works for Vermont Flying Services in Barre, Vermont (

Janese Valerie Thatcher-Buzzell lives in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota
.  She represents the Minneapolis FSDO and the Great Lakes Region.  Janese is employed by the Minnesota Department of Transportation in Saint Paul  (

2012 Regional Avionics Technicians of the Year

John Tildon Austin Jr of Honolulu, Hawaii represents the Honolulu FSDO and the Western Pacific Region.  John is an avionics technician and repairman for Honolulu’s Island Air  (

William David “Bill” Betts is from Smithfield, North Carolina
 and represented the Greensboro FSDO as well as the Eastern Region.  Bill is president and co-owner of Sparkchasers Aircraft Services (

James Andrew “Jim” Lightfoot, Sr is from Milliken, Colorado
.  Jim represents the Denver FSDO and the Northwest Mountain Region.  He works as an avionics / maintenance technician, designated maintenance examiner, and master instructor at Redstone College in Broomfield  (

Eric Christopher “Rick” Ochs of Gahanna, Ohio represents the Columbus FSDO and the Great Lakes Region.  Chris is president and chief inspector for Spirit Avionics in Columbus (

2012 Regional Certificated Flight Instructors (CFIs) of the Year

Lambert Charles “Bert” Mackentepe of Cullman, Alabama represents the Birmingham FSDO and the Southern Region.  Bert is the Aviation Department Chair at Wallace State Community College Flight School (

MCFI Lynnwood Karl “Woody” Minar of Dresser, Wisconsin represents the Minneapolis FSDO and the Great Lakes Region.  A 3-time Master, Woody is an independent contractor at Osceola Aerosport (

Dave William Pressy of Saint Louis, Missouri represents the Saint Louis FSDO and the Central Region.  Dave is chief flight instructor at the Saint Charles Flying Service in Portage Des Sioux (

Robert Lindsay “Bob” Stedman of Parker, Colorado represents the Denver FSDO and the Northwest Mountain Region.  Bob is the owner of Independence Aviation at Centennial Airport (

MCFI Hobart Caleb “Hobie” Tomlinson of Huntington, Vermont represents the Portland, Maine FSDO and the Eastern Region.  Hobie, a 5-time Master CFI, is a flight instructor and designated pilot examiner (DPE) at Heritage Aviation in South Burlington (

Christopher Charles ‘Chris” Webb from Garland, Texas represents the Dallas FSDO and the Southwest Region.  Chris is chief flight instructor at American Flyers in Addison  (

Donna Marie Webster of Bakersfield, California represents the Fresno FSDO and the Western Pacific Region.  Donna is a DPE and instructs for Lloyd’s Aviation in Bakersfield (

2012 Regional FAASTeam Representatives of the Year

Mark Alan “Mordechai” Levin of Richmond, Illinois is the DuPage FSDO and Great Lakes Region Representative of the Year.  A former 2-time Master CFI, Mordechai is employed by the Masterflight Foundation (

Richard Lawrence “Rich” Martindell of San Diego, California represents the San Diego FSDO and the Western Pacific Region.  Rich works with King Schools (

Betty Grace Meyer of Clanton, Alabama represents the Birmingham FSDO and the Southern Region.  Betty owns and operates the Alabama Aviator, an aviation news source for Alabama’s aviation industry, and volunteers at the FAA Production Studios in Lakeland (

MCFI Megan Roberta Sayre of Bennett, Colorado was selected by the Denver FSDO and the Northwest Mountain Region.  Megan is a 2-time Master and an adjunct instructor at Denver’s Metropolitan State College as well as a flight and ground instructor at Alliance Flight Training in Watkins.  (

Arthur Robert “Art” Tarola of Kutztown, Pennsylvania is the Allentown FSDO and the Eastern Region winner.  Art operates AB Flight LLC providing flight instruction, DPE services, and aircraft sales in support of the experimental amateur built and light sport communities (
Harry Lee Weatherford of Mustang, Oklahoma was selected by the Oklahoma City FSDO and the Southwest Region.  Harry is a flight, ground, and simulator instructor who owns Precision Flight LLC (

Jeanne Carole Willerth from Lee’s Summit, Missouri is the Kansas City FSDO and Central Region winner.  Jeanne is a flight and ground instructor at Air Associates of Kansas, a Cessna Pilot Center in Olathe, Kansas  (

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 Ninety-Nines International (The 99s), 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), and the Aeronautical Repair Station Ass’n (ARSA).

Additional support is being provided by Advocates for Aviation Safety Foundation (AFASF), Aeronautical Proficiency Training LLC (AVTrain), Master Instructors LLC (MI LLC), National Aviation Safety Foundation (NASF), Rich Stowell Consulting (, Flight School Association of North America (FSANA), Aviation Training Consultants (ATC), and Glenna Blackwell’s photography.

Industry donors include Garmin, Jeppesen, King Schools, Rod Machado, Belvoir Media Group, Bose, ASA, Duncan Aviation, Gleim Publications, Gulfstream Aerospace, Cessna, and Universal Avionics.


Alexander “Sandy” Hill, Communications Director
GA Awards Program
Office: 303-485-8136  /  C: 303-475-6008

“GA Awards:  FAA & Industry Recognizing Excellence”

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