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2004 Nat’l CFI of the Year named

Master CFI Stewart Douglas "Doug" Stewart of North Egremont, Massachusetts has been named the 2004 National Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) of the Year. 

Stewart ([email protected]) has been a CFI since 1991 and owns Doug Stewart Flight Instruction (DSFI), a flight school located at Kline Kill Airport (NY1) in Ghent, New York.  DSFI (www.DSFlight.com) specializes in confidence-building instrument training programs and tailwheel transitions.  The school is also Cirrus certified and is approved by several large aviation insurers to offer Malibu/Mirage recurrent training.

Stewart's considerable contributions to the FAA's safety program make him well known throughout the New England area.  "Flying the Hudson River VFR Corridor" is a comprehensive, multimedia presentation Stewart developed that has received wide acclaim from the region's pilots.  Additionally, he frequently goes on the road with three other innovative safety seminars: "True Confessions," "Gee, My Instructor Never Told Me That," and "Hazardous Attitudes: Could You Recover√®"

For enjoyment, he flies a 1947 Piper Super Cruiser (PA-12).  His extensive experience in that aircraft landed him a monthly column in Vintage Airplane, a publication of the Vintage Aircraft Association.  The column is entitled "The Vintage Instructor" and is devoted to training and safety issues.  He also serves as an FAA designated pilot examiner for the Albany Flight Standards District Office (FSDO).

For the last several years, Stewart has served as Chief Flight Specialist in AirVenture's Flight Instructor Headquarters operated by the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI).  In recognition of his exceptional efforts on behalf of NAFI and aviation education, he was named the 2003 Flight Specialist of the Year. In addition, he is one of approximately 400 aviation educators worldwide who holds a Master Instructor designation.  This professional accreditation is granted by NAFI to outstanding aviation educators who are demonstrating an ongoing commitment to excellence, professional growth, and service to the aviation community.

Stewart represented the Windsor Locks FSDO as well as the FAA's New England Region.

The General Aviation Awards Program is a cooperative effort between the Federal Aviation Administration and numerous industry sponsors.  Candidates for the national award begin the selection process with their local FSDO.  The FSDO level winners are then forwarded to the nine regional FAA offices.  A panel of professional aviation educators then selects the national winner.

This year's other regional CFI winners include Joseph Blasenstein of Cinnaminson, New Jersey (FAA Eastern Region); James Drew of Fairbanks, Alaska (FAA Alaska Region); James Dukeman of Apex, North Carolina (FAA Southern Region); Master CFI John Lane of Lebanon, Ohio (FAA Great Lakes Region); Master CFI Harry Leicher of Whittier, California (FAA Western Pacific Region); and Master CFI Gregory Pavlish of Wichita, Kansas (FAA Central Region).

Other aviation professionals receiving national recognition include the Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year, the Aviation Safety Counselor of the Year and the Avionics Technician of the Year.  FAA Administrator Marion Blakey will present this year's national awards during a "Theater in the Woods" program at EAA AirVenture 2004 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

"The GA Awards program highlights the important role played by these individuals in promoting aviation safety and education," said JoAnn Hill, General Aviation Awards Committee Chairman.  "The program's sponsors are pleased that these outstanding aviation professionals will receive the recognition they so richly deserve before their peers in Oshkosh."

Organizations providing support and sponsorship for the awards program include the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) along with the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA), the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Helicopter Association International (HAI), the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI), the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA) and Women in Aviation International (WAI).

Information about the General Aviation Awards Program as well as applications for next year's general aviation awards are available on the websites of all sponsoring organizations.