866-806-6156 (9 am - 5pm ET)
NAFI Member Named 2015 National Flight Instructor of the Year



NAFI Member Mary Schu Named 2015 National CFI of the Year

Kalamazoo, MI. March 10, 2015 -
Mary A. Schu (NAFI #215075) of Tualatin Oregon was named by General Aviation Awards as the 2015 National Certified Flight Instructor of the year. The FAA will present individual plaques to these four National Honorees in July during EAA AirVenture 2015 in Oshkosh,Wisconsin, and their names will be added to the large permanent plaque located in the lobby of the EAA AirVenture Museum. Also included in the prize packages for the four National Honorees are all-expenses-paid trips to Oshkosh to attend the awards presentation and other special GA Awards activities.

“These awards highlight the important role played by these individuals in promoting aviation education and flight safety,” said GA Awards board chairman Arlynn McMahon, “The awards program sponsors are pleased that these outstanding aviation professionals will receive the recognition they so richly deserve before their peers in Oshkosh.”

Schu currently owns and operates Mary A. Schu Aviation, providing Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) services and free-lance flight instruction in the Portland, Oregon area, as well as conducting 4-5 Flight Instructor Refresher Courses (FIRCs) each year. She also operates Mary A. Schu Consulting, providing program support for business, government and educational entities who are developing or adding aviation programs.

Schu has been an active flight instructor since 1977, with more than 20,000 flight time logged, including more than 14,000 hours of instruction given. She holds ATP and CFI certificates for airplane single and multiengine land and instruments, and is type rated in the Cessna Citation 500. She is a DPE for private, commercial, instrument, ATP and flight instructor checkrides in single and multiengine airplanes, and also for sport pilots.

Schu grew up on a wheat farm in eastern Washington, and was driving a tractor at age five. Her dad and three brothers took her to car races, and she secretly dreamed of becoming a race car driver. She earned a BS in Psychology and Child Development at Washington State University, and an MS in Education and Learning Disabilities at Western Oregon University. She holds teaching credentials in Oregon, and taught in the public school system until she found her true passion: teaching aviation.

For 23 years, Schu owned and operated Wings of the Cascades in Redmond, Oregon, a comprehensive aviation school taking pilots from first flight to an aviation career complete with a college degree; Wings closed in 2011. Her previous flight instructing experience included stints at Western Skyways, Kansas State University and the KSU Flying Club, FlightSafety International, Utah Valley State University, and Delta Connection Academy. She also served as a contract pilot for jet, turboprop and piston aircraft for ten different companies.

Schu is FAASTeam Lead Representative for the Portland-Hilsboro FSDO, providing numerous presentation and safety seminars. She is one of 31 industry leaders (and only three DPEs) to serve on the FAA Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) Airman Certification System Working Group assisting the FAA to develop new Airman Certification Standards (ACS) that is expected to replace the current Practical Test Standards (PTS) by the end of 2015. Mary is also an active volunteer flight crew member for the B-25 Mitchell bomber "Killer Bee" based in Titusville, Florida, and has seven hours PIC time logged toward her B-25 type rating (with a goal of becoming a B-25 DPE).

To view original press release from GA Awards, click here

About General Aviation Awards
For nearly 50 years, the General Aviation Awards Program has recognized a small group of aviation professionals in the fields of flight instruction, aviation maintenance, avionics, and flight safety for their important contributions to the aviation community.

This awards program is a partnership and a cooperative effort between more than a dozen sponsoring organizations from the aviation industry and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The selection process begins with local offices. Panels of aviation professionals from within those four fields then select national winners from the pool of regional winners.

The FAA administrator annually has presented the national awards in July during a “Theater in the Woods” program at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Included in the prize packages for each national winner is an all-expense paid trip to Oshkosh for the recipient and a guest to attend the awards presentation and other GA Awards activities. Generous contributions from industry sponsors pay for the winners’ expenses, while the FAA provides the support and structure for nominations to proceed from local to national levels. Hard working volunteers within the industry provide the various administrative tasks.

The General Aviation Awards Program is a cooperative effort between the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and aviation industry sponsors to recognize annually outstanding individuals in the fields of Avionics, Flight Instruction, and Maintenance. In addition, the program recognizes outstanding individuals serving the FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) as representatives.

The awards highlight the important roles these individuals play in promoting aviation safety, education, and professionalism. Winners will be recognized locally, regionally and nationally. National winners will be recognized during AirVenture-Oshkosh each July. There, they will also receive gifts and merchandise provided by sponsors and contributors.

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.