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February 2008 Master Instructors
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 education association.

To help put this achievement in its proper perspective, there are approximately 91,000 CFIs in the United States. Fewer than 600 of them have earned Master accreditation thus far. As a measure of the prestige conferred by this title, the last twelve FAA National Flight Instructors of the Year were Master CFIs.  In addition, the FAA has approved the accreditation as an alternate means for CFIs to renew their flight instructor certificates.  

The Master Instructor designation is the only industry professional accreditation recognized by the FAA.  It is earned by candidates through a rigorous process of continuing professional activity and peer review.  Much like a flight instructor's certificate, it must be renewed biennially.  This process parallels the continuing education regimen 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 have demonstrated 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!  Additional information about the accreditation program is available at: http://www.NAFIMasters.org/  

Aviation educators who earned the "Master" title during February are:


Douglas "Doug" STEWART, Master CFI          
South Egremont  MA
E-mail:   [email protected]

Douglas Stewart recently earned his Master CFI accreditation for the 5th time.  Doug owns DSFI (www.DSFlight.com), a flight school at Columbia County Airport (1B1).  The 2004 Nat'l CFI of the Year, he is also a staff instructor with AOPA's Air Safety Foundation as well as a pilot examiner and FAASTeam rep for the FAA's Windsor Locks FSDO.

William Scott O'BRIEN, Master CFI     
Tallahassee FL
E-mail:   [email protected] / [email protected]

William Scott O'Brian recently renewed his Master CFI accreditation.  Scott is an independent Tallahassee area flight instructor specializing primary and instrument training as well as a staff instructor with FlightLine at Tallahassee Regional Airport (TLH).  He also serves as a FAASTeam representative for the FAA's Tampa FSDO.

Parvez DARA, Master CFI          
Toms River NJ 
E-mail:   [email protected]

Parvez Dara recently renewed his Master CFI accreditation.  Parvez is a Mooney pilot proficiency instructor as well as president of the MAPA Safety Foundation (www.MAPASafety.com).  He is also a senior aviation medical examiner and serves as a FAASTeam representative for the FAA's Philadelphia FSDO.


Bradley Steven "Brad" WOODEN, Master CFI            
Longview TX
E-mail:   [email protected]

Bradley S Wooden recently earned his Master CFI accreditation.  Brad is an assistant chief flight instructor at LeTourneau University's School of Aeronautical Science (www.LETU.edu) .  He also serves a faculty advisor for the university's National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) flight team at Longview's East Texas Regional Airport (GGG).

Ronald Jay "Ron" TIMMERMANS, Master CFI & Master GI         
Bedford TX
E-mail:   [email protected]

Ronald J Timmermans recently earned his Master CFI and Master Ground Instructor accreditations.  Ron is president of the Beechcraft Pilot Proficiency Program (BPPP) as well as an independent flight and ground instructor.  Specializing in Bonanza and Baron instrument and high performance training, he is also a FAASTeam rep for the FAA's Fort Worth FSDO.

John Howard THOMPSON, Master CFI            
Plover WI
E-mail:   [email protected]

John H Thompson recently earned his Master CFI accreditation.  John is a flight and ground instructor specializing in primary and instrument training at Stevens Point Airport (STE).  The co-owner of Am I High Aviation (www.AmIHighAviation.com), he also serves as a FAASTeam representative for the FAA's Milwaukee FSDO.

Michael Louis PHILLIPS, Master CFI            
Carmel CA
E-mail:   [email protected]   

Michael L Phillips recently earned his Master CFI accreditation.  Michael is the vice president of flight operations and general manager of Monterey Bay Aviation (MontereyBayAviation.com), a Cessna Pilot Center at Monterey Peninsula Airport (MRY).  A Marine Corps veteran, he also serves as a FAASTeam rep for the FAA's San Jose FSDO.

Gordon Kenneth PENNER, Master CFI-Aerobatic          
Cincinnati OH
E-mail:   [email protected]

Gordon K Penner recently earned his Master CFI-Aerobatic accreditation.  Gordon is an independent flight instructor specializing in aerobatic, tailwheel, and glider instruction at Stewart Airfield (40I) and Caesar Creek Gliderport (2OH9).  He also serves as president of the International Aerobatic Club's Chapter 34 in Waynesville, Ohio.

Michael Keith LEIGHTON, Master CFI     
Boynton Beach FL
E-mail:   [email protected]

Michael K Leighton recently earned his Master CFI accreditation.  Michael is an independent flight instructor at several Boynton Beach-area airports specializing in tailwheel, instrument, and multiengine training.  The author of numerous aviation articles, he is also the manager of Aviation Partners of Boynton Beach.

Chad Ronald GRONDAHL, Master CFI       
Parker CO & Bismark ND    
E-mail:   [email protected]
Chad R Grondahl recently earned his Master CFI accreditation.  Chad is an independent flight and ground instructor who has taught the past 4 years at Pietsch Aircraft & Restoration in Minot, ND.  An active duty Air Force captain, he specializes in primary and instrument training, and instructs on a volunteer basis with Civil Air Patrol.

William Bernard "Bill" FINAGIN, Master CFI-Aerobatic          
Annapolis MD
E-mail:   [email protected]

William B Finagin recently earned his Master CFI-Aerobatic accreditation.  Bill owns Dent-Air located at Cambridge Airport (CGE) where he specializes in spin, aerobatic, and emergency recovery training.  A retired US Navy officer and dentist, he is also an airshow competency evaluator (ACE) as well as an airshow performer, contestant, and judge.

Brice William DOMMES, Master CFI            
Antioch CA
E-mail:   [email protected]
Brice W Dommes recently earned his Master CFI accreditation.  Brice is an independent rotorcraft flight and ground instructor specializing in primary and advanced training at airports in Oakland (OAK), Hayward (HWD), and Livermore (LVK).  He also serves as a FAASTeam representative for the FAA's Oakland FSDO.