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NAFI Selects New Executive Director

March 3, 2004 - Former military pilot and longtime flight instructor Rusty Sachs has joined the National Association of Flight Instructors as its new Executive Director. Rusty comes to NAFI from Signal Aviation Services, Lebanon, New Hampshire, where he served as Director of Training and Chief Pilot. A certificated flight instructor (CFI) since 1968, and a Master CFI since 1997, Rusty teaches single- and multi-engine, rotorcraft-helicopter, instrument airplane and helicopter. He has more than 3,200 hours of instruction time, and over 6,000 hours of flight time.

He’s also a longtime EAA and NAFI member. “The first time I attended Oshkosh it was in Rockford,” he quipped. “Actually, I’ve been to EAA AirVenture 21 out of the last 22 years and the only year I missed was the year my son refused to reschedule his wedding.”

Rusty continued, “I have always admired NAFI and EAA, and I see this as my last chance to do something special on a national scale in aviation. This position fits in really well with what I believe and what I think general aviation should be. It’s a great opportunity.”

Rusty is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and served as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam in 1966-1967. He logged 725 combat missions and 421 carrier landings and was honorably discharged with the rank of Captain in 1970.

Rusty has been a frequent lecturer at FAA aviation seminars, EAA Chapter meetings, and flight schools throughout the Northeast. For the past five years, he has provided some adjunct instruction in Combat Leadership at various Marine Corps installations, mostly at Quantico, Virginia.

A 1972 graduate of Harvard College, Rusty earned his Juris Doctor in 1978 from Vermont Law School and was a practicing attorney from 1979-2001. He also studied overseas at the Universite de Grenoble, France.

“NAFI is a vital organization; it has a lot of life to it,” Rusty said. “And we’re about to be hit by enormous growth with sport pilot/light-sport aircraft. There will be lots of transitioning ultralight instructors who will need a fraternity of instructors from whom they can draw expertise. We’re working to make NAFI that fraternity.”