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Kirby V. Ortega Inducted into the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame!

Kirby V. Ortega Inducted Into Flight Instructor Hall of Fame

Lakeland, FL  (April 3, 2014) The National Association of Flight Instructors honored Kirby V. Ortega as the 26th inductee into the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame on Thursday, April 3rd. The induction took place as part of the NAFI annual Member's BBQ Dinner during the week of the Sun 'n Fun Fly-in.


Kirby V. Ortega, who was chief pilot at the Cessna Aircraft Company for more than 30 years before retiring, was named to the NAFI Flight Instructor Hall of Fame at the NAFI members' dinner at Sun 'n Fun Thursday night.

Ortega, affectionately known as "Captain KO," was surprised by the honor at the dinner, attended by NAFI members, sponsors and members of Ortega's family and former colleagues.

Among the former colleagues who joined NAFI Chairman Robert Meder in presenting the award were former Cessna CEO and now EAA President Jack Pelton and his wife Rose.

Pelton said that Ortega taught Rose to fly and that he had "created a world-class flight operation at Cessna" including instructing for Pelton's own Citation-Mustang type rating.

Ortega, 56, said the "honor was a complete surprise." He added that after looking at the list of previous recipients, "this is really something."

(Above photo features left to right 2014 HOF Inductee Kirby Ortega, NAFI Chairman Robert Meder, and EAA President Jack Pelton)

(2014 HOF Inductee Kirby Ortega accepts the Hall of Fame traveling trophy)

About the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame

Established in 1997, the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame has inaugurated 26 individuals over the course of 17 years. Its recipients must have a minimum of 20 years working in aviation education and must be well respected within the industry. The award consists of three pieces, a traveling trophy that is presented to the current inductee(s) for a year, a commemorative plaque for the inductee(s), and a wall display consisting of all the previous recipients that resides within the AirZoo Aviation Museum (www.airzoo.org) in Kalamazoo, Michigan which is also the National Association of Flight Instructor's Headquarters. For more information on how to nominate a canadate for next year's inductions please click here.

About NAFI
Founded in 1967 the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) is an association of nearly 4,000 active flight instructors and is committed to developing excellence in member instructors and member flight training organizations (FTOs). NAFI serves as a voice for flight instruction within the flight training industry and with federal agencies. NAFI members influence active pilots daily; pilots training to advance their skills with new ratings or certificates and students working to become pilots. NAFI members work at FBOs, flight schools, universities, in corporate flight departments, in the military and as independent instructors. NAFI staff works with industry and government on a daily basis and NAFI staff and members help shape direction of flight instruction. For more information visit NAFINet.org or call 866-806-6156.