2009 GA Awards Program Winners

LONGMONT, Colorado (12 March 2009) – In each of the past 46 years, the General Aviation Awards program and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have recognized a small group of aviation professionals in the fields of flight instruction, aviation maintenance, avionics, and safety for their contributions to aviation, education, and flight safety.

This awards program is a cooperative effort between the FAA and more than a dozen industry sponsors. The selection process begins with local FAA Safety Team managers at Flight Standards District Offices (FSDO) and then moves on to the eight regional FAA offices. Panels of aviation professionals from within those four fields then select national winners from the pool of regional winners.

Recipients of this year’s national awards are Alfred Joseph “Lucky” Louque of Chatfield, Texas, Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) of the Year; Arlynn Marine McMahon, Versailles, Kentucky, Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) of the Year; Paul Jerome “Jerry” Stooksbury of Fort Collins, Colorado, Avionics Technician of the Year; and Kent Blair Lewis of Keller, Texas, FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year. Previously, this award was the Aviation Safety Counselor (ASC) of the Year.

The FAA administrator will present the national awards in July during a “Theater in the Woods” program at EAA AirVenture 2009 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Included in the prize package for all four national winners is an all expense paid trip to Oshkosh for the recipient and a guest to attend the awards presentation and other GA Awards activities.

“These awards highlight the important role played by these individuals in promoting aviation education and flight safety,” said JoAnn Hill, General Aviation Awards Committee chairperson. “The awards program sponsors are pleased that these outstanding aviation professionals will receive the recognition they so richly deserve before their peers in Oshkosh.”

2009 FAA SAFETY TEAM REPRESENTATIVE OF THE YEAR: Kent Lewis of Keller, Texas, exemplifies a high standard of professionalism in the field of aviation safety education. He serves as a FAASTeam Lead Representative in the Fort Worth area where he conducts FAA WINGS seminars and maintains safety websites. He has been in love with aviation since 1969 when, at the age of nine, he was a fence line observer of Braniff Airways 747 operations at Love Field, TX. Today he holds an airline transport pilot certificate with an AMEL rating as well as CFI, CFII, MEI, and commercial helicopter.

Kent created the Signal Charlie (http://www.SignalCharlie.net) wikispace, a web based aviation safety information resource developed to promote safety in high reliability and high-risk organizations. Signal Charlie is dedicated to the continuous improvement of aerospace safety. He also is the owner of Fort Worth Aviation Safety Program Google group (http://groups.Google.com/group/ftwasp). The site was developed to teach a continuing improvement process that promotes the reporting of aviation safety issues. He was recruited to be a member of the FAASTeam as a subject matter expert for human factors and safety management systems (SMS) applications for general aviation. He serves as a liaison for helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) issues and facilitates the FAA Southwest Region Runway Safety Summit as well as WINGS seminars. Additionally he has developed aviation heritage initiatives and assists with Young Eagles programs in his local area.

Joining the United States Marine Corps in 1979, Kent worked his way up through the enlisted ranks as an avionics technician with one meritorious promotion after another. Upon being commissioned in 1987, he completed an intense fixed and rotary wing flight training program, and was designated an unrestricted Naval Aviator. After a distinguished 20-year Marine Corps career, he began a second flying career with Delta Airlines.

With Delta, he performs domestic and international operations on B727, B737, MD-88, and B777. He has also been a Bell 206L-3 captain and S-76 SIC with Houston Helicopters. Lewis serves as an Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) Air Safety Representative, is member of the ALPA National Committees on Runway Safety, Human Factors and Safety Management Systems. He is an ALPA representative to the FAA Runway Safety Root Cause Analysis Team, the NTSB, and the NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System program.

Kent is a charter member of the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE), a new national organization for aviation educators, as well as the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI), and NAFI.

Lewis (Lewis.Kent@gmail.com) represented the Fort Worth FSDO area and the FAA’s Southwest Region. This year’s other regional winners include MCFI-E Alan C Davis of Thornton, CO (FAA’s Northwest Mountain Region); Ellen Marie Nobles-Harris of Wilmington, DE (FAA’s Eastern Region); Dennis L Bowdoin of Fowlerville, MI (FAA’s Great Lakes Region); Richard Lawrence Martindell of San Diego, CA (FAA’s Western Pacific Region); Harry Narvaez-Munet of Vega Alta, Puerto Rico (FAA’s Southern Region); and William Alexander Hopper of Manchester, MO (FAA’s Central Region). (Attached photo: 2009 Nat’l FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year Kent Lewis of Keller, TX)

2009 NATIONAL CFI OF THE YEAR: Master CFI Arlynn McMahon, the 2009 National CFI of the Year, grew up at Kentucky’s Lexington-Blue Grass Airport (LEX) where she was the kid in pigtails sweeping hangar floors and washing airplanes. On her 16th birthday, she soloed; on her 17th birthday, she earned her private pilot certificate.

Now, more than three decades later, she is a flight instructor at the very same airport with more than 9000 hours of dual given. She specializes in training CFI candidates. Says McMahon, “Lexington provides a great learning environment because the weather allows for year round flying while the students get to experience several different weather patterns through the seasons.” She also earned a BS degree in Professional Aeronautics from Embry Riddle and an MBA in Strategic Leadership from Amberton University.

A flight instructor at Aero-Tech (www.AeroTech.net), a part 141 / part 61 flight school at LEX, she continually updates her skills after adding a CFII, MEI, AGI and Gold Seal to her original flight instructor certificate by completing transition training in glass cockpits and light sport aircraft. A Cirrus Certified Instructor, a Cessna Factory Authorized FITS Instructor, and an FAA Designated Examiner for Sport Pilots, she now serves as Aero-Tech’s chief flight instructor.

When a new approach to general aviation flight training called FITS and scenario-based training was introduced, Arlynn was eager to jump onboard. Aero-Tech was the first traditional flight school to offer FITS-accepted courses. To date the school has a total of 34 FITS-accepted FAA approved training syllabi. Recently, ASA published her book entitled “Train Like You Fly, a Flight Instructor’s Guide to Scenario Based Training.” She also provided editorial assistance for the newly revised FAA Aviation Instructor’s Handbook.

Several years ago, Arlynn discovered a love of and a talent for writing when she wrote for AOPA’s “Flight School Business.” Since then, she has been published in numerous aviation journals and magazines and writes a monthly column in Aviation for Women.

Since 1984, she has been active in the FAA’s National Safety Program and currently serves as an FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) representative with the Louisville FSDO. The holder of Master Level wings in the FAA’s WINGS Pilot Proficiency Program, she contributes to the quarterly FAASTeam CFI workshops. A current Master CFI, she first earned that national professional accreditation in 2002.

A resident of Versailles, KY, Arlynn is a charter member of the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE), a new organization for aviation educators, and is a candidate for SAFE’s board of directors. She is also a member of AOPA, NAFI, and WAI.

McMahon (Arlynn@AeroTech.net) represented the Louisville FSDO area and the FAA’s Central Region. This year’s other regional CFI of the Year winners include Charles H Ebbecke of Mullica Hill, NJ (FAA’s Eastern Region); Master CFI Charles Ray McGill of San Diego, CA (FAA’s Western Pacific Region); Master CFI Ken Wittekiend of Burnet, TX (FAA’s Southwest Region); Master CFI John Lewis of Houghton, MI (FAA’s Great Lakes Region); and James Lawrence Camden of Centennial, CO (FAA’s Northwest Mountain Region). (Attached photo: 2009 Nat’l Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year MCFI Arlynn McMahon of Versailles, KY)

2009 AVIATION MAINTENANCE TECHNICIAN OF THE YEAR: Alfred J “Lucky” Louque of Chatfield, Texas, is this year’s National Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year. He is the general manager for Air Salvage of Dallas (www.ASOD.com) and works with the FAA, NTSB, and aviation industry on aircraft accident investigations and reconstructions. Spending his days answering technical questions on both the telephone and the Internet, he also performs quality assurance inspections, researches parts, and handles customer sales. Lucky provides assistance with coordinating and scheduling accident investigations as well as aircraft component studies, engine teardowns, and test runs. Air Salvage of Dallas is located at the Lancaster Airport (LNC) in Lancaster, Texas.

Growing up in Louisiana, Lucky loved airplanes since childhood. Whenever he heard an airplane, he stopped whatever he was doing to gaze skyward. His mother always said that she knew she would lose him to airplanes. When still a very young man, he had the opportunity to move to Texas and work for an aunt and uncle at Air Salvage of Dallas. He jumped at the chance and has now been turning wrenches there for almost four decades. He has held a mechanic’s airframe and powerplant (A&P) certificate for 39 years and an inspection authorization (IA) for 35 years. For the past fifteen years, he has served as an FAA Designated Maintenance Examiner (DME) as well as a Designated Airworthiness Representative (DAR). Lucky has been a certificated private certificate for 39 years and holds ASEL and AMEL ratings.

Aircraft accident investigation has been a large part of his work for the past three decades. In that capacity, he teaches formal classes on the art and science of accident investigation. Because aviation safety is extremely important to him, he has done remedial training for the FAA and presented aviation safety seminars for pilots and mechanics for 20 years. He joined the FAA’s national safety program as an Aviation Safety Counselor in 1994 and recently transitioned into the new safety program as a FAASTeam lead representative. He has taught numerous aviation industry courses on “unapproved suspect aircraft parts” and has conducted a popular annual IA renewal seminar in Dallas for the past 14 years. Not only does he enjoy lecturing, but he also authors articles for the FAA newsletter “Nuts & Bolts” as well as local EAA chapter newsletters.

Lucky belongs to Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA) and is an advisor and speaker for the American Bonanza Society (ABS). He participates as a Technical Counselor and conducts educational activities with Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) chapters 168 in Dallas, 59 in Grapevine, 983 in Granbury, and 34 in Dalworth.

Louque (Lucky@ASOD.com) represented the Dallas FSDO area as well as the FAA’s Southwest Region. This year’s other regional AMT winners include Jack Duane Bell of Watkins, CO (FAA’s Northwest Mountain Region); Keith Evan Hetrick of Topeka, KS (FAA’s Central Region); Stephen Stodolski of Colchester, CT (FAA’s Eastern Region); and Michael P Dougherty of Kailua, HI (FAA’s Western Pacific Region). (Attached photo: 2009 Nat’l Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year Lucky Louque of Chatfield, TX)

2009 AVIONICS TECHNICIAN OF THE YEAR: Jerry Stooksbury, the 2009 National Avionics Technician of the Year, resides in Fort Collins, Colorado. A native of Tennessee, he has been involved in aviation since he was a teenager. First soloing in 1978, he has since earned commercial pilot certification along with instrument, ASEL, and AMEL ratings. He has also been an active flight instructor for over 20 years with airplane single engine and instrument airplane ratings. As a cadet in the Tennessee Wing of the Civil Air Patrol, he participated in several encampments as well as other CAP activities. The CAP organization and its people played a key role in shaping the professional development of this teenager.

His interests in electronics started at about the same time as his aviation interests. Jerry obtained a FCC 2nd Class Radiotelephone Operators permit and an Amateur Radio Operators license in the mid 1970s. After graduating with high honors from the University of Tennessee in 1983 with a degree in electrical engineering, he relocated to Colorado to work for Hewlett-Packard (HP) as a systems engineer. This employment opportunity played a key role in his career. The employees of HP and its corporate culture provided a wide range of experience in new technologies, sales, marketing, business management, and customer relations. Jerry spent 3 years in Europe as an HP employee and took advantage of numerous general aviation flights while there.

In the mid 1990s, he left HP to work with Garmin as their technical marketing manager. Then in 2004, he founded Avionics Specialists, LLC (www.AvionicsSpecialists.net) at Colorado’s Fort Collins – Downtown Airport but relocated the business to the Fort Collins-Loveland Airport (FNL) the following year. The avionics industry was a natural fit for this engineer / flight instructor who loves to fly and teach others to fly. He enjoys consulting with pilots to help them determine the right set of products and technologies for their type of flying and their budget.

AvSpec currently employs five people who specialize in avionics upgrades for piston singles and light/medium piston twins. Jerry is also the cofounder of AirportView.net, a web site providing real-time weather camera and AWOS information for airports located in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region (www.AirportView.net). Jerry and his team are working to expand this network and the depth of information it provides to pilots.

A member of AOPA and AOPA’s Airport Support Network, he also is a member of the Colorado Pilots Association (CPA), and the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) where he serves as an AEA / FAA Ambassador for the Denver FSDO. He is also a mission pilot with the Colorado Wing of CAP.

Stooksbury (JStooks@AvSpec.aero) represented the Denver FSDO area and the FAA’s Northwest Mountain Region. This year’s other regional avionics technician winners were Klarann Voegle of Highland, IL (FAA’s Central Region); Ronald Mark Wright of Battle Ground, IN (FAA’s Great Lakes Region); and Michael George Phillips of Glendale, AZ (FAA’s Western Pacific Region). (Attached photo: 2009 Nat’l Avionics Technician of the Year Jerry Stooksbury of Fort Collins, CO)

Support and sponsorship for the General Aviation Awards program is provided by Women in Aviation International (WAI), The Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE), the Professional Aviation Maintenance Ass’n (PAMA), the National Business Aviation Ass’n (NBAA), the National Ass’n of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), the National Air Transportation Ass’n (NATA), the National Ass’n of Flight Instructors (NAFI), the General Aviation Manufacturers Ass’n (GAMA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Experimental Aircraft Ass’n (EAA), the Aircraft Maintenance Technology Society (AMT Society), the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Ass’n (AOPA), the Aeronautical Repair Station Ass’n (ARSA), and Aircraft Electronics Ass’n (AEA).

Information about the General Aviation Awards Program as well as applications for next year’s awards is available on the websites of sponsoring organizations.

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