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Mon, Feb 02, 2009

NAFI Meltdown? Professional Standards Committee Resigns

114 NAFI Members Sign Petition Calling For Ouster Of Current BoD

ANN REALTIME UPDATE 02.02.09 1500 EST: One hundred fourteen... and counting. That's the number of people who have signed a petition calling for the immediate resignation of the current Board of Directors for the National Association of Flight Instructors.

TBO-NAFI (Take Back Our NAFI) launched that petition Monday. Without those resignations, the group has asked that the Experimental Aircraft Association terminate its affiliation agreement with NAFI.

"This is the next step in attempting to bring about meaningful change at NAFI," said Doug Stewart, who heads the interim working group for TBO-NAFI, of the petition effort. "We have attempted to work with the existing Board and with EAA to restructure the NAFI governance procedures and by-laws in order to allow direct election of the Directors by the membership. Despite an assurance that all parties involved would collaborate to enact substantial changes, the Board continued to do nothing except expend NAFI’s limited financial resources hiring public relations assistance and legal help. It seems incredible that a Board composed of several lawyers finds it necessary to hire outside counsel."

Among the resignations announced Monday was the nine-member Professional Standards Committee for the organization. The PSC was tasked with helping to administer the Master Instructor program and perform reviews of Master Instructor applications.

NAFI board member Robert Wright also resigned his position, and renounced his membership in the organization.

"I am taking these actions primarily to protest the appalling and completely unjustified removal of Directors Sandy and JoAnn Hill from the NAFI board on January 20, 2009," Wright said. "As a board member from October 2005 to the present, I observed no action or behavior on their part that would warrant such action. On the contrary, the selfless and dedicated service rendered to NAFI and the instructor community by Sandy and JoAnn were the only activities that gave NAFI credibility with the instructor and aviation community and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)."

Wright added he was the FAA's senior executive for general aviation from 2001 to 2005, so "I was in a position to validate" the impact of the Hills' actions. "In fact, it was only the integrity and professionalism of Sandy and JoAnn Hill that allowed me to recognize participation in the Master Instructor program as a method of flight instructor renewal."

Formed in October 2008 and spearheaded by Master CFI Rich Stowell (below), the TBO-NAFI group claims that EAA and others within the aviation industry, NAFI included, apparently remain on a 'self-destructive path.' At issue, TBO-NAFI claims the absence of member participation; a lack of transparency in the NAFI's Board selection process, governance, administration, and financial management; and mismanagement of the flagship Master Instructor program.

TBO-NAFI had agreed to January 31 as a milestone date for NAFI to deliver a specific plan that explained how the organization will move expeditiously to revamp the existing governance. Stewart asserts that wasn't done... but "they had no difficulty firing Sandy and Joanne Hill last week and moving immediately to bring the Master CFI program in-house.

"They somehow found the time to concurrently issue press releases attempting to explain these actions, yet they plead for more time to simply do what they should have done long ago," Stewart added.

FMI: www.tbonafi.info, www.nafinet.org

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