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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 February are:


Thomas Joseph "Tom" CONNOLLY, Master CFI  
Port Orange  FL  
E-mail:    [email protected]

Thomas Connolly recently renewed his Master Instructor designation.  Tom is associate dean and presidential chair of aviation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach.  He also serves with the University Aviation Association and is an Aviation Safety Counselor for the Orlando FSDO.

Barry Wayne CROUSE, Master CFI   
Atlanta  GA
E-mail:    [email protected]

Barry Crouse recently renewed his Master Instructor designation.  Barry is the faculty advisor for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Flying Club and instructs at the Fulton County Airport (FTY).  He also serves as an Aviation Safety Counselor for the Atlanta FSDO.

Richard Loren "Rich" STOWELL, Master CFI-Aerobatic 
Ventura  CA
E-mail:    [email protected]

Richard Stowell recently renewed his Master CFI-Aerobatic designation.  Rich is an aviation author and lecturer and works as an independent aerobatic flight instructor.   He has done more than 22,600 spins -- the equivalent of traveling 1,100 vertical miles in a spin.  He also serves as an ASC for the Van Nuys FSDO.


Richard Kurt BARNHART, Master CFI 
Farmersburg  IN
E-mail:    [email protected]

Kurt Barnhart recently earned his Master Instructor designation.  Kurt is an assistant professor of aviation at Indiana State University's Department of Aerospace Technology in Terre Haute.  He also works as a CFI, an A&P and a designated mechanic examiner at Sullivan County Airport (SIV).

Boni Oseisie CALDEIRA, Master CFI 
Columbia  MD 
E-mail:    [email protected]

Boni Caldeira recently earned his Master Instructor designation.  Boni is an independent CFI at Montgomery County Airpark (GAI) in Gaithersburg.  He instructs primarily for the TSS Flying Club and specializes in primary, instrument and GPS training.

Thomas Michael "Mike" GARRISON, Master CFI 
Leawood  KS 
E-mail:    [email protected]

Michael Garrison recently earned his Master Instructor designation.  Mike is an independent flight instructor as well as a professional engineer.  He specializes in instrument and multiengine instruction at Olathe's Johnson County Executive Airport (OJC) and New Century Aircenter (IXD).

Steven William "Steve" TKACHUK, Master CFI 
Battle Creek  MI 
E-mail:    [email protected]

Steven Tkachuk recently earned his Master Instructor designation.  Steve is a Western Michigan University flight instructor at Kellogg Airport (BTL) in Battle Creek.  He also serves as a coach for the University's flight team as well as an Aviation Safety Counselor for the Grand Rapids FSDO.

Charles Barcley "Chip" VERSAW, Master CFI 
Kenai,  Alaska 
E-mail:    [email protected]

Charles Versaw recently earned his Master Instructor designation.  Chip is chief pilot and owner of Alaska Flying Network at Kenai Municipal Airport (PAEN).  He also serves as an Aviation Safety Counselor for the Anchorage FSDO and was named Alaska's 2002 Safety Counselor of the Year.