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The National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) takes pride in announcing a significant aviation accomplishment on the part of these very special aviation educators.  Recently, they were all designated Master Instructors by NAFI, their professional aviation organization.

To help put this achievement in its proper perspective, there are approximately 81,000 CFIs in the United States. Fewer than four hundred of them have earned the Master designation thus far. As a measure of the prestige conferred by this title, the last eight FAA National Flight Instructors of the Year were Master CFIs.  In addition, the FAA recently approved the designation as an alternate means for CFIs to renew their flight instructor certificates.

The Master Instructor designation is a national accreditation recognized by the FAA that is earned by a candidate through a rigorous process of continuing education and peer review.  Much like a flight instructor's certificate, it must be renewed biennially.  This process parallels continuing education regimens used by other professionals to enhance their knowledge base while increasing their professionalism. Simply put, the Master Instructor designation is a means by which to identify those outstanding aviation educators, those "Teachers of Flight," who are demonstrating an ongoing commitment to excellence, professional growth, and service to the aviation community. 

Through their dedication to excellence, Master Instructors have earned their "black belts" in aviation education. They truly represent the crème de la crème of the aviation industry!

Aviation educators who earned the "Master" title during January are:


Andrew David "Drew" CHITIEA, Master CFI
Aurora, Colorado
E-mail:    [email protected]

Andrew Chitiea recently renewed his Master Instructor designation.  Drew is an Air Force Academy check pilot and the chief pilot for Global Alliance Academy of Flight located at Centennial Airport (APA).  He also serves in the CAP and is a safety counselor as well as a pilot examiner for the Denver FSDO.

George Cameron FINLAY, Master CFI 
South Orange  NJ
E-mail:    [email protected]

George Finlay recently renewed his Master Instructor designation.  George is an independent CFI at Lincoln Park Airport (N07) as well as other northern New Jersey airports.  He also serves on the board of directors of the Morristown (NJ) Aviation Association.

Arthur Herman "Art" HAYSSEN, Master CFI  
Sebastopol  CA   
E-mail:    [email protected]

Arthur Hayssen recently renewed his Master Instructor designation.  Art owns North Coast Air flight school at Sonoma County Airport (STS) and is the aeronautics program coordinator at Santa Rosa Junior College.  He also serves as an Aviation Safety Counselor for the Oakland FSDO.

William Ronald "Bill" MAINORD, Master CFI 
Granbury  TX
E-mail:    [email protected]

William Mainord recently renewed his Master Instructor designation.  Bill is an Angel Flight mission pilot as well as an independent flight instructor at Granbury Municipal Airport (F55).  He also serves as an Aviation Safety Counselor for the Ft Worth FSDO and is retired from the US Air Force.

Michael Jesse "Mike" PAULSON, Master CFI
Fargo  ND
E-mail:    [email protected]

Michael Paulson recently renewed his Master Instructor designation.  Mike is chief flight instructor for Fargo Jet Center at Fargo International Airport (FAR).  He is also an aviation lecturer at North Dakota State University and serves as a pilot examiner and safety counselor for the Fargo FSDO.

Obie Sigrest YOUNG, Master CFI  
Orlando  FL
E-mail:    [email protected]

Obie Young recently renewed his Master Instructor designation.  Obie is an FAA Safety Inspector and Safety Program Manager for the Orlando FSDO.  He also serves as director of the FAA Production Studios in Lakeland, Florida, and was named the 1978 National Flight Instructor of the Year.