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February 2006 Master Instructors
February 28, 2006 - 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 accredited as Master Instructors by NAFI, their professional aviation organization.

To help put this achievement in its proper perspective, there are approximately 87,000 CFIs in the United States. Fewer than 500 of them have earned the Master designation thus far. As a measure of the prestige conferred by this title, the last eleven FAA National Flight Instructors of the Year were Master CFIs.  In addition, the FAA has 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:


Douglas STEWART, Master CFI
North Egremont MA
[email protected]
Doug Stewart recently renewed his Master CFI accreditation.  The 2004 National CFI of the Year, Doug owns DSFI (www.DSFlight.com), a flight school at New York's Columbia County Airport (1B1).  He also is also a staff instructor with AOPA's Air Safety Foundation as well as a pilot examiner and safety counselor for the Windsor Locks FSDO.

Sean Eric ELLIOTT, Master CFI 
Oshkosh WI
[email protected]
Sean Elliott recently renewed his Master CFI accreditation.  Sean is the director of aircraft operations for the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) as well as an independent Oshkosh-area flight instructor.  He also serves on NAFI's Board of Directors and is an Aviation Safety Counselor for the FAA's Milwaukee FSDO. 


William Scott O'BRIEN, Master CFI 
Tallahassee FL
[email protected]
Scott O'Brien recently earned his Master CFI accreditation.  Scott is an independent Tallahassee area flight instructor as well as a staff instructor with Flightline, a full service FDO at Tallahassee Regional Airport (TLH).  He also serves as an Aviation Safety Counselor for the FAA's Tampa FSDO.

David Carl ISON, Master GI 
Billings MT
[email protected]
David Ison Kelly recently earned his Master Ground Instructor accreditation.  David is an assistant professor of aviation at Rocky Mountain College (www.Rocky.edu) in Billings (BIL) where he specializes in new technologies instruction.  He also serves as a coach of the college's NIFA flight team and writes for numerous aviation publications.  

James Arnold "Jim" COVINGTON, Master CFI 
Huntsville AL
[email protected]
James Covington recently earned his Master CFI accreditation.  Jim is an independent flight instructor teaching primarily at Madison County Executive Airport (MDQ) and Redstone Army Airfield (HUA).  He specializes in primary, instrument and high performance training and volunteers as a WINGS instructor for the Birmingham FSDO.