National Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year



 Since 1962, the General Aviation Awards Program has recognized a small group of aviation professionals in the fields of flight instruction, aviation maintenance, avionics, and flight safety for their important contributions to the aviation community.

This awards program is a partnership and a cooperative effort between more than a dozen sponsoring organizations from the aviation industry and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The selection process begins with local offices. Panels of aviation professionals from within those four fields then select national winners from the pool of regional winners.

The FAA administrator annually has presented the national awards in July during a “Theater in the Woods” program at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Included in the prize packages for each national winner is an all-expense paid trip to Oshkosh for the recipient and a guest to attend the awards presentation and other GA Awards activities. Generous contributions from industry sponsors pay for the winners’ expenses, while the FAA provides the support and structure for nominations to proceed from local to national levels. Hard working volunteers within the industry provide the various administrative tasks.

The General Aviation Awards Program is a cooperative effort between the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and aviation industry sponsors to recognize annually outstanding individuals in the fields of Avionics, Flight Instruction, and Maintenance. In addition, the program recognizes outstanding individuals serving the FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) as representatives.

The awards highlight the important roles these individuals play in promoting aviation safety, education, and professionalism. Winners will be recognized locally, regionally and nationally. National winners will be recognized during AirVenture-Oshkosh each July. There, they will also receive gifts and merchandise provided by sponsors and contributors. 

For More information about GA Awards, please visit their webpage

2022 National CFI of the Year

amy hooverDr. Amy Hoover (NAFI#16135) of Ellensburg, Washington has been named the 2022 National Certified Flight Instructor of the Year. Amy graduated from Texas Christian University in 1983 with a B.S. in Geology, completed her Masters in Geology at Oregon State University in 1987, and her Ph.D. in Education in 2005 from Oregon State University. Amy has dedicated over three decades of her life to advancing aviation education with 3,000+ hours of instruction time given in aircraft and an astounding 15,000+ hours of ground instruction given. She specializes in tailwheel and mountain flying instruction. In the summers when not teaching at the University Amy goes home to central Idaho where she has been teaching backcountry flying for 30 years.

In 2019, Amy was the primary author of the ASA book “Mountain, Canyon, and Backcountry Flying” which has sold over 5,000 copies to date. Rod Machado, who wrote the book’s foreword put it simply “All pilots should own a copy of this wonderful book.”

Amy has served in many professional capacities in her career. She is a Full Professor in the Aviation Department at Central Washington University, where she serves as a flight check instructor and assistant chief ground instructor. Amy has mentored new pilots through the International 99s, Women in Aviation, ALPA ACE, Alpha Eta Rho, and the FAA’s ACE Academy. Students of Amy’s have commented she makes many complex courses and subjects fun, interesting, and easy to understand.

In conjunction with her experience as an instructor, author, and educator, Amy has also served on several national and international panels in the last 5 years including, but not limited to, Aerospace Education Live – International Civil Air Patrol, Human Factors and Safe Practices for Backcountry Flying, FAA Wings Seminar: Weather or Not – Where do I go? Backcountry Adventure and Skills (AOPA), as well as numerous FAA Wings Seminars, both live and online. Amy often drives, or flies, at her own expense to provide these key education seminars and panels.

Amy’s experience reaches far beyond the flight deck. During the last 5 years, she has given over 400 hours of instrument instruction in simulators, has developed and taught over a dozen different aviation subjects at the collegiate level, and has conducted more than 40 presentations on a variety of aviation subjects.

Amy’s dedication, steadfastness, and passion for aviation exceed that of many in our industry. Today, Amy is a member and avid contributor of various aviation organizations including, but not limited to, AOPA, EAA, Idaho Aviation Association, International 99’s, NAFI, and many more. It should be noted that Amy received several letters of recommendation from professionals across the industry. Each recommendation mentioned Amy’s dedication to her craft, her passion for aviation and her students, as well as her desire to advance aviation education into the modern era. Congratulations and questions for Amy can be sent to [email protected].


Past National CFI of the Year Recipients:

2021 Ronald “Ron” Timmermans (NAFI#23313)  
2020 Catherine Cavagnaro (NAFI#219522) 1993 Kenneth W Medley
2019 Gary Reeves (NAFI#219477) 1992 William K Kershner
2018 Daniel P. Christman (NAFI#16593) 1991  Lloyd J Probst
2017 Charles O. Gensler (NAFI# 18957) 1990 Sandra Provenzano
2016 Robert J. Hepp (NAFI# 216994) 1989 John U. Rockcastle (NAFI#8012)
2015 Mary A. Schu (NAFI# 215075) 1988 Jeffrey Hanson
2014 Howard W. Wolvington (NAFI# 16507) 1987 June B. Bonesteel (NAFI#7685)
2013 Dean W. Eichholz (NAFI# 8691) 1986 Genie Ray O’Kelley
2012 Hobart C. Tomlinson (NAFI#19656) 1985 Harold W Spencer
2011 Judy A. Phelps 1984 James G Byrnes
2010 Jeffery R. Moss (NAFI#215505) 1983 Mary J. Reindl
2009 Arlynn McMahon (NAFI#20271) 1982 Gladys M. Morrison
2008 Max Trescott (NAFI#18649) 1981 Fred H. Atkinson
2007 Michael G. Gaffney 1980 Lee G. Barnes
2006 Richard L. Stowell, Jr 1979 Evelyn B. Johnson
2005 John A. Teipen (NAFI#13290) 1978 Obie Sigrest Young (NAFI#2947)
2004 Douglas Stewart 1977 Edward Alan Englehardt
2003 William J. Edwards (NAFI#12331) 1976 Gregory G. Gorak (NAFI#1245)
2001 Phillip J. Poynor (NAFI#9685) 1975 Unknown
2002 Kirby V. Ortega (NAFI#14010) 1974 Unknown
2000 Gregory N. Brown (NAFI#13972) 1973 Willard C. Marvin
1999 David H. Faile 1972 Thomas M. Smith
1998 John C. “JC” Boylls (NAFI#4659) 1971 Unknown
1997 James E. Trusty 1970 Unknown
1996 Ludwig J. “Lou” Wipotnik 1969 Unknown
1995 Lyn Carlson 1968 Unknown
1994 William E Huber 1967 Henry “Hank” S. Hubbell