NAFI's Lifetime
Achievement Award

Ken Hoffman Chairman Emeritus2017 Ken Hoffman:

His career in aviation has spanned more than 55 years. Hoffman’s first job as a CFI was in 1962 for Kensair Corporation at Jeffco Airport near Denver. In 1963, he became an instructor and then flight training clinic director for the AOPA and wrote the original AOPA Mountain Flying Course. He was a part of the group that conceived the idea of forming a professional organization representing flight instructors that led to the birth of NAFI.

Hoffman has more 19,000 hours’ flight time, and his ATP shows eight type ratings (Fairchild F-27, Learjet, Gulfstream G-159, Cessna Citation 500, Westwind IA-JET, Hawker HS-125, Gulfstream

G-1159, and Beechcraft 1900). His commercial privileges include ASEL, ASES, rotorcraft-helicopter, L-B34 type rating (Howard Super Ventura) and glider.

As a CFI with more than 6,000 instructions hours given, his certificate shows Gold Seal, ASME, instrument-airplane, rotorcraft-helicopter and glider. Ken served as a designated pilot examiner for more than 25 years, which included approvals for private, commercial, ATP, CFI, ASEL, AMEL (with as many as five LOAs for different models), helicopter and Learjet. He has owned or operated flight schools under FAR Part 61, 141 and 142 and served as an evaluator in the Beechcraft 1900 for the 142 training center he founded.Ken receiving lifetime award

“On behalf of the organization, I’m very proud and pleased that Ken Hoffman has been awarded NAFI’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. Over the many years that Ken has been part of NAFI, he has devoted himself to the members and aviation as a whole, working to improve the professionalism and the art and science of flight instruction. Ken has been a mentor to me and many others,” said NAFI Board Chair Bob Meder. “In the words of (NAFI President) Rick Todd, he is our “papa bear.”

Ken lives in Florida and has said he enjoys sailing: “I find that I now spend almost as much time reading sailing magazines as I do aviation magazines.”

At 2013’s NAFI Member Breakfast Hoffman was awarded the FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award by John M. Allen, FAA director of the Flight Standards Service, and John S. Duncan, FAA deputy director of flight standards policy oversight.

NAFI’s Lifetime Achievement Award, given at the discretion of the board of directors, honors current or former members of NAFI who have exhibited a lifetime of achievement in aviation education at the national level. This is only the second time NAFI has given the award.

Nominees for the NAFI Lifetime Achievement Award must have more than 25 years of distinguished service to aviation education. The award is presented for achievement in leadership, teaching and service.
For more information about the award, or to nominate a candidate, contact a NAFI board member.


2016 Jack J Eggspuehler:

Jack Jay Eggspuehler, pilot, educator, restaurateur and founder of the National Association of Flight Instructors, passed away April 30 with his three sons at his side. He was 86 years old.

He was born on March 12, 1930 in Des Moines, Iowa. He was a member of the Linworth United Methodist Church for 56 years. He graduated from Rock Island High School in 1948. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois in 1954 and continued his education there with a Masters of Education. While in Champaign he met his wife, Joan Margaret Bye.

He began his flying career in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War from 1951-1953, and served a long tenure as a flight instructor and professor of aviation at The Ohio State University before retiring from there in 1980. While at OSU, from 1958-1980, he was the president of The Ohio State University Faculty Club and helped raise $11 million for the University's Endowment Fund. He also founded several iconic restaurants in Ohio, and had a long career in banking. He was a longtime director of Heartland Bank, and was a proud member of the Quiet Birdmen. He also had a home in Cape Coral, Florida.

Eggspuehler was a part of the U.S.-Soviet Pilot Exchange in 1972, 1976 and 1978 leading a group of flight instructors to meet with their counterparts in the early days of Détente.

In 1967, Eggspuehler led a small group of aviation professionals to create the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) with the intent of providing national recognition of the professional flight instructor. He served as the organization's president for 30 years. After his retirement from NAFI's Board of Directors in 2000, Jack was named president emeritus of the organization.

In addition to his long association with NAFI, Eggspuehler served as president of Aerosafe Inc., a consulting firm working with defense attorneys in aviation lawsuits.  Aerosafe, which was founded in partnership with his wife Joan, who predeceased him in 2008, also provided worldwide correspondence courses primarily to help military personnel pass their FAA examinations.

Eggspuehler was the recipient of many awards and honors in his distinguished career. He was a member of the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame. He was the recipient of the Aviation Week & Space Technology Distinguished Service Award, for "distinguished service in achieving safer utilization of aircraft," and was also recipient of the EAA's Chairman's Award.

The National Aeronautic Association selected Eggspuehler in 2000 to receive its prestigious "Elder Statesman of Aviation Award." In announcing that award, NAA said: "Mr. Eggspuehler's name is synonymous with a lifelong pursuit of commercial and general aviation safety through education." Other awards included the Flight Safety Award for Distinguished Service for achievement of safer utilization of aircraft, the University Aviation Association Wheatley Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to aviation education, and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Meritorious Award for outstanding contributions to flight safety.

Eggspuehler was one of the first FAA Designated Pilot Examiners to be granted authority to conduct initial flight instructor practical tests. He was also among the first to be appointed as an FAA Designated Written Test Examiner. He also served as chairman of the national panel to review pilot training and certification on the FAA Designated Pilot Examiner's Committee.

In nominating him to the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame in 2002, Sandy and JoAnn Hill wrote: "He has never received industry recognition for his greatest contribution to aviation -- his mentoring. We have known Jack for 25 years. Throughout those years, he has been a mentor to us and to so many others! His deep commitment to expanding the base of aviation is evidenced by giving so freely of himself to help create opportunities for young people interested in careers in aviation. From him, legions of people ranging from beginning student pilots to aviation professionals with thousands of hours have learned about the world of flight. As a result of their associations with Jack, these people also learned firsthand the value of a sense of humor as well as the qualities it takes to be a truly effective educator."

In 2015, the Board of Directors of the National Association of Flight Instructors honored its founder with its newly created Lifetime Achievement Award. At that time NAFI Board Chair Bob Meder said: "... he has helped raise the professional standards for the flight instructor. Perhaps more important, he has provided a venue that, for nearly 50 years, encourages instructors to educate each other, helping make aviation better for all. This award is merely a small token for the true appreciation we have for Jack's efforts."

NAFI's Jack J. Eggspuehler Service Award, named in his honor, is presented annually to an individual or organization making a significant contribution to flight instructors, flight instruction or aviation education.

He was chairman of the Department of Aviation at The Ohio State University and after retiring was Faculty Emeritus in Aerospace Engineering at the Center for Aviation Studies at The Ohio State University College of Engineering.

Eggspuehler co-authored two books, "Studies of Pilot Performance in the Flight Environment," published by Ohio State University, and "Study to Determine the Flight Profile and Mission of the Certificated Private Pilot," published by the FAA.

An accomplished pilot and teacher, Eggspuehler held the following FAA certificates and ratings: Airline Transport Pilot, Commercial Pilot, Multiengine Land, Single-engine Land and Sea, Rotorcraft-Helicopter and Private Glider, as well as Flight Instructor/Airplane Single and Multiengine and Instrument. He also held a Ground Instructor Certificate with Meteorology and Radio Navigation Certificates.