GA Awards AirVenture 2013 After-Action Report

GAAwds Master of Ceremonies Greg Feith with John Allen in the background

After several challenges, the 2013 General Aviation Awards Program improvised, adapted, and overcame to complete a very successful awards presentation and luncheon at this year’s AirVenture.

All four national award winners and their guests had arrived by Tuesday, July 30th.  Three stayed at the Comfort Inn in Fond du Lac and by a stroke of luck because of a last-minute cancellation, one stayed in Oshkosh at La Quinta.  Thanks to EAA, each winner received two weeklong wristbands, a “B” Lot parking pass, an AirVenture program, and tickets for helicopter and Tri-motor flights.  EAA also provided the Nature Center venue for the luncheon.  AirVenture Today newspaper ran a short article on Wednesday to announce the presentations on Thursday.  That was followed by a full-length feature article about the winners on Thursday.

The 2013 awards were presented on August 1st in the FAA Safety Center by John M Allen, the FAA’s Director of Flight Standards (AFS-1) and Master of Ceremonies Greg Faith, a former NTSB investigator and now an aviation safety consultant.

John Allen presented the FAA plaques to Bill Fifles (AMT), Bruce Lundquist (AvTec), Dean Eichholz (CFI), and Mark Madden (FAASTeam Rep) before an audience of approximately 120.

Left to right: FAASTeam Rep MCFI Mark Madden, Avionics Tech Bruce Lundquist, GAAwds Committee chair JoAnn Hill, GAAwds Communications Director Sandy Hill, CFI Dean Eichholz, and AMT Bill Fifles

John also presented an outstanding service award to JoAnn and Sandy Hill for their years of work with the GA Awards program.  The Hills were then named GA Awards Program Directors Emeriti.  Platinum level sponsor Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation videotaped the entire awards presentation.  The FAA Safety Center venue and a daytime presentation may well be the way of the future.

Left to right: GAAwds Communications Director Sandy Hill, Director of Flight Standards John Allen, and GAAwds Committee chair JoAnn Hill

The link below will take you to all five of this year’s 3 to 4 minute GA Awards YouTube videos:

Once again, the GA Awards Luncheon was held in EAA’s Nature Center Tent #2.  Approximately 65 attendees enjoyed a buffet lunch of burgers, brats, chicken, potato salad, and baked beans.  Sikorsky, the GAAwds Luncheon sponsor, was recognized.  A printed program with color photos and short bios of the four winners plus listings of the sponsor, donors and contributors was provided to all attendees (PDF copy attached).  The always-popular taxiway lamps were presented to each winner from the GAAwds LLC committee.  AFS-1 John Allen, AFS-800 Jim Viola, and FAASTeam managers Carol Callin and Gary Knaggs represented the FAA at lunch.  Sponsor / donor representatives included Sikorsky, Snap-On Tools, AMT Society, SAFE, NASF, WAI, 99’s and ASA.

GAAwds LLC committee members helped during the events and numerous past national and regional winners (the GAAwds “Alumni Association”) participated in the events.

Diamond level:  Sikorsky
Platinum level:  EAA, GAMA, NBAA, Universal Avionics & NATA
Gold level:  AEA, AOPA, ARSA, AMT Society & SAFE
Silver level:   FSANA & AFASF
General level:  99s International & Anonymous

Snap-On Tools, AOPA, NATA,  ASA, GAAwds LLC committee, Bose, Cessna, Duncan Aviation, Gulfstream, Rod Machado, SAFE, WAI, Brightline Bags, Jeppesen, Gleim Publications, AMT Society & King Schools.

A special thanks goes to the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) for annually hosting the GA Awards Program and other GA Awards events during AirVenture.  Additional program support is being provided by Advocates for Aviation Safety Foundation (AASF), FAASTeam Associates LLC, Glenna Blackwell Photography, Master Instructors LLC (MI LLC), Rich Stowell Consulting, and Virtual Accounting Services.

Don’t forget that now is the time to nominate someone you know for a General Aviation Award.  Nominations for next year’s 2014 General Aviation Awards are due to your local FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) by September 30th, 2013.  The following link provides awards program information as well as the application package: