The National Association of Flight
Instructors (NAFI) takes pride in announcing a significant aviation
accomplishment on the part of these very special aviation
educators. Recently, they were all designated Master Instructors by
NAFI, their professional aviation organization.
To help put this achievement in its proper perspective,
there are approximately 85,000 CFIs in the United States. Fewer
than 500 of them have earned the Master designation thus far. As a
measure of the prestige conferred by this title, the last nine FAA
National Flight Instructors of the Year were Master CFIs. In
addition, the FAA has approved the designation as an alternate
means for CFIs to renew their flight instructor certificates.
The Master Instructor designation is a national
accreditation recognized by the FAA that is earned by a candidate
through a rigorous process of continuing education and peer review.
Much like a flight instructor's certificate, it must be renewed
biennially. This process parallels continuing education regimens
used by other professionals to enhance their knowledge base while
increasing their professionalism. Simply put, the Master Instructor
designation is a means by which to identify those outstanding
aviation educators, those "Teachers of Flight," who are
demonstrating an ongoing commitment to excellence, professional
growth, and service to the aviation community.
Through their dedication to excellence, Master Instructors
have earned their "black belts" in aviation education. They truly
represent the cr�me de la cr�me of the aviation
Aviation educators who earned the "Master" title during January
Andrew David "Drew" Chieta, Master
Andrew Chitiea recently earned his Master CFI designation for the
4th time. Drew is an independent CFI and pilot examiner at
Centennial Airport (APA) and Front Range Airport (FTG). He also
serves on the National Instructor Safety Council (NISC) and is an
Aviation Safety Counselor with the Denver FSDO.
Daniel Paul "Dan" Mahoney, Master CFI
Key Colony Beach FL
Daniel Mahoney recently renewed his Master Instructor designation.
Dan specializes in training issues relating to senior pilots or
"Gray Eagles," at the Florida Keys Marathon Airport (MTH). He also
serves with AOPA's Airport Support Network and is an Aviation
Safety Counselor for the Miami FSDO.
Anthony Louis "Tony" Palesotti, Master
Anthony Palesotti recently renewed his Master Instructor
designation. Tony is a designated pilot examiner at Searcy
Municipal Airport (SRC). He also serves as an Aviation Safety
Counselor for the Little Rock FSDO and was named Arkansas' 2002 CFI
of the Year.
Michael Jesse "Mike" Paulson, Master CFI
Michael Paulson recently renewed his Master CFI designation. Mike
is the manager and chief flight instructor for Flight Academy of
Fargo, a Cessna Pilot Center located at Fargo's Hector
International Airport (FAR). He also serves as a pilot examiner and
a safety counselor for the Fargo FSDO.
Charles Arthur "Charlie" Skelton, Master
Charles Skelton recently earned his Master CFI designation for the
4th time. Charlie is the chief flight instructor and president of
Yale Aviation, a flying club located at Tweed-New Haven Airport
(HVN). He also serves as a NAFI flight specialist and is an
Aviation Safety Counselor for the Windsor Locks FSDO.
Robert Joseph "Bob" Spera, Master CFI
E-mail: Liberty@mounet.com Robert Spera recently renewed his Master CFI designation.
Bob is the owner of Liberty Flying Service at Lonesome Pine Airport
(LNP) and teaches for Mountain Empire Community College. He also
works with AOPA's Airport Support Network and serves as a safety
counselor for the Charleston FSDO.
Charles Barcley "Chip" Verwaw, Master
Charles Versaw recently renewed his Master Instructor designation.
Chip is chief pilot and owner of Alaska Flying Network at Kenai
Municipal Airport (PAEN). He also serves with AOPA's Airport
Support Network and is an Aviation Safety Counselor for the
Orlando Raimundo Villaverde, Master CFI
Orlando Villaverde recently renewed his Master CFI designation.
Orlando is an adjunct professor of aviation at the Miami Dade
College School of Aviation and instructs at the Kendall-Tamiami
Airport (TMB). He is also an ultralight instructor and serves as an
Aviation Safety Counselor for the Miami FSDO.
Raymond Norbert "Ray" Klaus, Master CFI
Park Ridge IL
Raymond Klaus recently earned his Master CFI designation. Ray is an
independent CFI who specializes in avionics instruction at Waukegan
Regional Airport (UGN). He is also a recipient of the Wright
Brothers Master Pilot award and serves as an Aviation Safety
Counselor for the DuPage FSDO.
Kelly Lynn Ross, Master CFI
Kelly Ross recently earned her Master Instructor designation. Kelly
is the assistant chief flight instructor at Galvin Flying Service,
a Part 141 flight school at Seattle's Boeing Field (BFI). She also
mentors new CFIs, serves as a stage check pilot and represents
Galvin at local high school career fairs.
Lara Ann Zook, Master CFI
Fort Wayne IN
Lara Zook recently earned her Master Instructor designation. Lara
is an independent flight instructor specializing in primary and
advanced training at several Fort Wayne area airports. She also is
credited with creating the "Aviator's Roundtable," an ongoing
aviation safety discussion group.