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NAFI Launches First Set of Challenge Coins to NAFI Masters

KALAMAZOO, MI  August 25, 2014 As an additional commemoration of the achievement of a NAFI Master Instructor certification, NAFI has introduced the first of four challenge coins awarded to the instructors for each renewal over the next eight years. These coins are to document four monumental events over an instructor’s career with a student; this first one being the instructor’s first student solo.

What is a Challenge Coin?

Challenge coins date back to the First World War when U.S. pilots used them to identify themselves as Americans if all other forms of identification failed. During the Korean and Vietnam War eras, the challenge coin was adopted in many forms throughout the military, but most strongly in military aviation. Squadrons would each have their own coins, which were expected to be in the pilot’s possession at all times—this was used as a way of forming personal bonds among pilots and crew.

More recently, the challenge coin has evolved another purpose. It is used by squadron leaders and commanding officers as a way of showing respect and recognizing an individual (civilian or military) for a great achievement, or service to the group. The challenge coin will be awarded, traditionally during a handshake, to an unsuspecting recipient.

What Is the Purpose?

With this coin NAFI is doing two things. We are showing our respect, while helping inspire NAFI Master Instructors to strive to continue their high level of activity and to encourage them to continue as Master Instructors. We are also working to create a new culture within the brand. While the Master Instructor program is about professionalism in the field, we would be remiss if we did not not inject a bit of fun into the equation. We encourage those accredited with the title to use this coin to create their own traditions, and foster greater camaraderie within the instruction community. We hope that this promotes others to want to strive to be a part of the program and provides a platform for current masters to mentor other instructors as role models within the industry.

Click Here to View a 3D Representation of the Coin
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.

About the NAFI Master CFI Program-
The NAFI Master CFI Program is the longest running and most prestigious FAA accredited master flight instructor program in the industry. The NAFI Master Instructor accreditation is earned by aviation educators
based upon a system of advanced professional standards and peer review. The accreditation identifies and publicly recognizes those teachers of flight who demonstrate an ongoing commitment to excellence, professional growth, and service to the aviation community. The NAFI Master Instructor accreditation is for two years and may be used to renew an FAA flight instructor certificate. Applicants must have been a CFI for two years and have given 1,000 hours of flight instruction. In addition candidates must meet and document activity in four NAFI Master Instructor categories (Instructor, Educator, Service to the Aviation Community, and Professional Activity).