Are "Master Instructors" Being Forced Out?
A number of sources
tell ANN that there are some serious issues about to come to a head
at the National Association of Flight Instructors. With a board
meeting set for this Friday expected to come to some sort of
"showdown," the CFI community seems pretty antagonized over what
many perceive as an attempt to oust two much-favored members of the
NAFI hierarchy and potentially affect the future of the Master
Flight Instructor program -- which some NAFI Board members
reportedly feel to be "elitist."
The NAFI community is getting vocal about what they perceive to
be a threat to the Master Instructor program and to those who
support it. The NAFI Board is internally appointed and not elected
from the rank and file, so a sense of powerlessness is starting to
infect a number of CFIs who feel that they need to be heard (and
are unlikely to, under the status quo).
As ANN understands the matter, two primary NAFI Board
members who have devoted considerable time and attention to
concepts like the Master Instructor program, may be asked for their
resignation this Friday... or voted out if they do not agree to
step down. An alert email sent to members of the NAFI community
alleges that, "I have been advised that an attempt will be made
during the upcoming NAFI board meeting to remove Sandy & JoAnn
Hill from the Association's board of directors while also taking
the Master Instructor program from them and relocating it in
Oshkosh. In addition, an attempt will be made to remove them from
the administration of the General Aviation Awards program."
The missive also alleges that, "Because of a quirk in NAFI's
by-laws, it appears that four of the 11 board members may be able
to follow through on this threat. We must all consider the serious
implications this could have to the future of the Association as
well as the Master Instructor program and the General Aviation
Awards program. It appears the Hills will be given the option of
resigning prior to the board meeting or being terminated as a
result of 4 to 3 vote."
Many see this as not just an attack on the Hills from members of
the Board that have been "part of the landscape for a long time,"
but as the first step in a series of threats to the Master
Instructor designation earned by a very few, highly accomplished
and respective Flight Instructors who have made the profession as
much a personal calling as a vocation.
So strong is the sentiment about this issue, that a number of
Master Instructors have announced their intent to resign NAFI and
lose their hard-won Master Instructor designation in protest of the
issues at hand.
One well-known Master Instructor (once an FAA Flight Instructor
of the Year) with significant support, has called upon NAFI to do
- The immediate resignation of the entire NAFI Board of
Directors. Replacement Board members will then be duly and fairly
elected by the NAFI membership.
- Immediate changes to the antiquated and secretive NAFI bylaws
that will both open the NAFI Board up--and hold that Board
accountable--to the entire membership.
ANN has emails and calls out to those affected in order to gain
additional insight and understanding into this story...
Founded in 1967, NAFI's boilerplate states it is dedicated
exclusively to "raising and maintaining the professional standing
of the flight instructor in the aviation community."
NAFI documentation also claims that it is the 'only the national
association that serves the full spectrum of the flight instructor
community, but also maintains the finest benefits package available
for everyone from the independent instructor to those teaching at
flight schools. NAFI recognizes that flight instructors are truly
the "teachers of flight" as well as the front line for "quality
control" in our aviation world.'
NAFI is affiliated with the EAA.
More info to come...