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National Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) of the Year
  For nearly 50 years, the General Aviation Awards Program has recognized a small group of aviation professionals in the fields of flight instruction, aviation maintenance, avionics, and flight safety for their important contributions to the aviation community.

This awards program is a partnership and a cooperative effort between more than a dozen sponsoring organizations from the aviation industry and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The selection process begins with local offices. Panels of aviation professionals from within those four fields then select national winners from the pool of regional winners.

The FAA administrator annually has presented the national awards in July during a “Theater in the Woods” program at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Included in the prize packages for each national winner is an all-expense paid trip to Oshkosh for the recipient and a guest to attend
the awards presentation and other GA Awards activities. Generous contributions from industry sponsors pay for the winners’ expenses, while the FAA provides the support and structure for nominations to proceed from local to national levels. Hard working volunteers within the industry provide the various administrative tasks.

The General Aviation Awards Program is a cooperative effort between the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and aviation industry sponsors to recognize annually outstanding individuals in the fields of Avionics, Flight Instruction, and Maintenance. In addition, the program recognizes outstanding individuals serving the FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) as representatives.

The awards highlight the important roles these individuals play in promoting aviation safety, education, and professionalism. Winners will be recognized locally, regionally and nationally. National winners will be recognized during AirVenture-Oshkosh each July. There, they will also receive gifts and merchandise provided by sponsors and contributors.

For More information about GA Awards, please vist their webpage http://www.generalaviationawards.com/

Recipient of the National Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) of the Year 2016:
  Robert 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. [email protected].

Past National CFI of the Year Recipients:

2015 Mary A. Schu (NAFI# 215075)
Howard W. Wolvington (NAFI# 16507)
Dean W. Eichholz (NAFI#
2012 Hobart C. Tomlinson (NAFI#19656)
2011 Judy A. Phelps
2010 Jeffrey R. Moss
2009 Arlynn MC Mahon (NAFI#20271)
2008 Max Trescott
2007 Michael G. Gaffney
2006 Richard L. Stowell, Jr
2005 John A. Teipen (NAFI#13290)
2004 Douglas Stewart
2003 William J. Edwards (NAFI#12331)
2002 Kirby V. Ortega (NAFI#14010)
2001 Phillip J. Poynor
2000 Gregory N. Brown
1999 David H. Faile
1998 John C. “JC” Boylls (NAFI#4659)
1997 James E. Trusty
1996 Ludwig J. “Lou” Wipotnik
1995 Lyn Carlson
1994 William E Huber
1993 Kenneth W Medley
1992 William K Kershner
1991 Lloyd J Probst

1990 Sandra Provenzano
John U. Rockcastle (NAFI#8012)
Jeffrey Hanson
1987 June B. Bonesteel (NAFI#7685)
1986 Genie Ray O’Kelley
1985 Harold W Spencer
1984 James G BYRNES
1983 Mary J. Reindl
1982 Gladys M. Morrison
1981 Fred H. Atkinson
1980 Lee G. Barnes
1979 Evelyn B. Johnson
1978 Obie Sigrest Young (NAFI#2947)
1977 Edward Alan Englehardt
1976 Gregory G. Gorak (NAFI#1245)
1975 Unknown
1974 Unknown
1973 Willard C. Marvin
1972 Thomas M. Smith
1971 Unknown
1970 Unknown
1969 Unknown
1968 Unknown
1967 Henry “Hank” S. Hubbell