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March Master Instructors(Mar 2004)

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 March are:


Steven George "Steve" TURNER, Master CFI 
Kechi KS
E-mail:    [email protected]

Steven Turner recently renewed his Master Instructor designation.  Steve works with the Cessna Aircraft Company as a pilot and flight test engineer.  He is also an independent flight instructor at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport (ICT) where he specializes in tailwheel and multiengine training.

Allan Jerome "Al" SKRAMSTAD, Master CFI 
West Fargo ND
E-mail:    [email protected]

Allan Skramstad recently earned his Master CFI designation for the 4th time.  Al is an aviation department professor at the University of North Dakota (UND).  He also serves as a committee chair with the University Aviation Association (UAA) and is a safety counselor with the Fargo FSDO.

James Michael "Jim" LEON, Master Flight Instructor 
Peotone IL
E-mail:   [email protected]

James Leon recently renewed his Master Flight Instructor (MFI) designation.  Jim is an ultralight pilot examiner (UFIE) and manages ultralight operations at New Lenox-Howell Airport (1C2).  He serves as an EAA technical counselor / flight advisor and is a safety counselor for the DuPage FSDO.

Robert Edward "Bob" JEX, Master CFI 
Vero Beach FL
E-mail:    [email protected]

Robert Jex recently renewed his Master Instructor designation.  Bob is a senior flight instructor and safety officer with Pan Am International Flight Academy at St Lucie County International Airport (FPR) in Fort Pierce, FL.  He also serves as an Aviation Safety Counselor for the Orlando FSDO.

David Hall FAILE, Master CFI 
Fairfield CT
E-mail:    [email protected]

David Faile recently renewed his Master Instructor designation.  David was the 1999 National CFI of the Year and instructs at Bridgeport's Sikorsky Airport (BDR).  He also serves with AOPA's Airport Support Network, is an EAA Flight Advisor/Tech Counselor and an Aviation Safety Counselor.

John Kent EARLYWINE, Master CFI 
Fort Wayne IN
E-mail:   [email protected]

John Earlywine recently renewed his Master Instructor designation.  John is a flight and ground instructor in airplanes and gliders for Kendallville Flying Service at the Kendallville Airport (C62).  He also serves as an SSA instructor in the Soaring Society's A, B, C & Bronze Badge programs.

William Roger "Bill" DONBERG, Master CFI 
Kewadin MI
E-mail:    [email protected]

William Donberg recently renewed his Master Instructor designation.  Bill is the assistant chief flight instructor and a ground instructor at Northwestern Michigan College's aviation division.  He specializes in training CFI candidates at Cherry Capital Airport (TVC) in Traverse City.

Douglas John "Doug" CONCIATU, Master CFI 
Sterling Heights MI
E-mail:    [email protected]

Douglas Conciatu recently renewed his Master Instructor designation.  Doug is an independent flight instructor specializing in primary and tailwheel training at Ray Community Airport (57D). He also serves as a safety counselor for the Detroit FSDO and is an active Young Eagles pilot.

Paul Oehler BENSON, Master CFI 
South Orange NJ
E-mail:    [email protected]

Paul Benson recently renewed his Master Instructor designation.  Paul is a primary flight instructor and assistant chief pilot with Aero Safety Training, a Cessna Pilot Center at Lincoln Park Airport (N07).  He also serves as an Aviation Safety Counselor for the Teterboro FSDO.


Jason Alan RANDAL, Master CFI 
Mariposa CA
E-mail:    [email protected]

Jason Randal recently earned his Master Instructor designation.  Jason (www.JasonRandal.com) is an independent airplane and helicopter instructor at Mariposa-Yosemite Airport (O68) and Madera Municipal Airport (MAE).  He also serves as an Aviation Safety Counselor for the Fresno FSDO. 

Helen Ruth CRANZ, Master CFI  & Master GI 
Midway City CA 
E-mail:   [email protected]

Helen Cranz recently earned both Master CFI and Master Ground Instructor designations.  Helen retired from the US Navy and is the chief CFI for the Long Beach Flying Club, a Part 141 school at Long Beach Airport (LGB).  She also works as a ground instructor with Hank Smith Insights.