This year marks the 45th annual presentation of the National General Aviation Awards, high honors recognizing the best in the specialized fields of flight instruction, aviation maintenance, avionics, and safety. They are: Alfred “Lucky” Louque of Chatfield, Texas, Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) of the Year; Arlynn McMahon, EAA 710143, Versailles, Kentucky, Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) of the Year;
Jerry Stooksbury, of Fort Collins, Colorado, EAA 12279, Avionics Technician of the Year; and Kent Lewis, of Keller, Texas, FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year.
Recipients will received their awards from the FAA Administrator at EAA AirVenture 2009 during a special presentation program Theater in the Woods. The winners also receive an all expense paid trip to Oshkosh to attend the awards presentation and other GA Awards activities.
“These awards highlight the important role played by these individuals in promoting aviation education and flight safety,” said JoAnn Hill, General Aviation Awards Committee chairperson. “The awards program sponsors are pleased that these outstanding aviation professionals will receive the recognition they so richly deserve before their peers in Oshkosh.”
Alfred J “Lucky” Louque, Aviation Maintenance Technician Of The Year
Alfred J “Lucky”
Growing up in Louisiana, Alfred J “Lucky” Louque loved airplanes since childhood. Whenever he heard an airplane, he stopped what he was doing to gaze skyward. His mother always said that she knew she would lose him to airplanes.
When still a very young man, he jumped at the chance to move to Texas and work for an aunt and uncle at Air Salvage of Dallas. Now the general manager, Louque has been turning wrenches there for almost four decades. He has an airframe and powerplant (A&P) certificate (39 years) and an inspection authorization (IA) for 35 years. For the past 15 years, he has served as an FAA Designated Maintenance Examiner
(DME) as well as a Designated Airworthiness Representative (DAR). Louque is a 39-year private pilot and holds ASEL and AMEL ratings.
Louque works with the FAA, NTSB, and aviation industry on aircraft accident investigations and reconstructions. He spends days answering technical questions and also performs quality assurance inspections, researches parts, and handles customer sales. Louque provides assistance with coordinating and scheduling accident investigations as well as aircraft component studies, engine teardowns, and test runs. Air Salvage of Dallas is located at the Lancaster Airport
Aircraft accident investigation has been a large part of Louque’s profession for the past three decades. In that capacity, he teaches formal classes on the art and science of accident investigation. The past 20 years Louque has given remedial training to the FAA and presented aviation safety seminars for pilots and mechanics. He became an FAA Aviation Safety Counselor in 1994 and recently transitioned into the new safety program as a FAASTeam lead representative. Louque has taught many courses on “unapproved suspect aircraft parts” and has conducted a popular annual IA renewal seminar in Dallas for the past 14 years. He also authors articles for the FAA newsletter Nuts & Bolts as well as several EAA chapter newsletters.
Louque belongs to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
(AOPA) and is an advisor and speaker for the American Bonanza Society (ABS). He participates as an EAA Technical Counselor and conducts educational activities with chapters 168 (Dallas); 59 (Grapevine); 983 (Granbury); and 34
Louque represented the Dallas FSDO area as well as the FAA’s Southwest Region. This year’s other regional AMT winners include Jack Bell, of Watkins, Colorado (Northwest Mountain Region); Keith
Hetrick, of Topeka, Kansas (Central Region); Stephen Stodolski, of Colchester, Coonecticut (Eastern Region); and Michael Dougherty of Kailua, Hawaii (Western Pacific Region).
Arlynn McMahon, 2009 National CFI of the Year
Master CFI Arlynn McMahon grew up at Kentucky’s Lexington-Blue Grass Airport
(LEX) where she was the kid in pigtails sweeping hangar floors and washing airplanes. On her 16th birthday, she soloed; on her 17th birthday, she earned her private pilot certificate.
Now, more than three decades later, she is a flight instructor at the very same airport with more than 9,000 hours of dual instruction. She specializes in training CFI candidates. “Lexington provides a great learning environment because the weather allows for year-round flying while the students get to experience several different weather patterns through the seasons,” she said. McMahon also earned a BS degree in Professional Aeronautics from Embry Riddle and an MBA in Strategic Leadership from Amberton University.
Chief flight instructor at Aero-Tech, a part 141/part 61 flight school at
LEX, McMahon has a CFII, MEI, AGI and Gold Seal. She has also completed transition training in glass cockpits and light-sport aircraft and is a Cirrus Certified Instructor, a Cessna Factory Authorized FITS Instructor, and an FAA Designated Examiner for Sport Pilots.
Aero-Tech was the first traditional flight school to offer FITS-accepted courses and recently, ASA published her book, Train Like You Fly, a Flight Instructor’s Guide to Scenario Based Training. She also provided editorial assistance for the newly revised FAA Aviation Instructor’s Handbook.
Several years ago, Arlynn discovered a love of and a talent for writing when she wrote for AOPA’s FlightSchool Business. Since then, she has been published in numerous aviation journals and magazines and writes a monthly column in Aviation for Women.
McMahon has been active in the FAA’s National Safety Program since 1984 and currently serves as an FAA Safety Team
(FAASTeam) representative with the Louisville FSDO. She holds the Master Level wings in the FAA’s WINGS Pilot Proficiency Program and contributes to the quarterly FAASTeam CFI workshops. She earned her Master CFI in 2002.
McMahon belongs AOPA, the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI), the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE), and Women in Aviation International
McMahon represented the Louisville FSDO area and the FAA’s Central Region. This year’s other regional CFI of the Year winners include Charles H
Ebbecke, of Mullica Hill, New Jersey (Eastern Region); Master CFI Charles Ray McGill, of San Diego, California (Western Pacific Region); Master CFI Ken Wittekiend of Burnet, Texas (Southwest Region); Master CFI John Lewis of Houghton, Michigan (Great Lakes Region); and James Lawrence Camden of Centennial, Colorado (Northwest Mountain Region).
Jerry Stooksbury, Avionics Technician of the Year
A native of Tennessee, Jerry Stooksbury has been involved in aviation since he was a teenager. First soloing in 1978, he has since earned commercial pilot certification along with instrument,
ASEL, and AMEL ratings. He has also been an active flight instructor for more than 20 years with airplane single-engine and instrument airplane ratings. As a cadet in the Tennessee Wing of the Civil Air Patrol, Stooksbury participated in several encampments as well as other CAP activities. The CAP organization and its people played a key role in shaping his professional development.
Stooksbury’s interests in electronics started at about the same time as his aviation interests. He obtained an FCC 2nd Class Radiotelephone Operators permit and an Amateur Radio Operators license in the mid-1970s. After graduating with high honors from the University of Tennessee in 1983 with a degree in electrical engineering, Stooksbury relocated to Colorado to work for Hewlett-Packard as a systems engineer. HP employees and its corporate culture provided a wide range of experience in new technologies, sales, marketing, business management, and customer relations. Stooksbury spent three years with HP in Europe and took advantage of numerous general aviation flights while there.
In the mid 1990s, he joined Garmin as a technical marketing manager. In 2004, he founded
Avionics Specialists, LLC at Colorado’s Fort Collins - Downtown Airport, relocating the business to the Fort Collins-Loveland Airport the following year. The avionics industry was a natural fit for this engineer/flight instructor who loves to fly and teach others to fly. Stooksbury enjoys consulting with pilots to help them determine the right set of products and technologies for their type of flying and their budget.
AvSpec currently employs five people who specialize in avionics upgrades for piston singles and light/medium piston twins. Stooksbury is also the cofounder of
AirportView.net, a website providing real-time weather camera and AWOS information for airports located in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region. He and his team are working to expand this network and the depth of information it provides for pilots.
A member of AOPA and AOPA’s Airport Support Network, he also is a member of the Colorado Pilots Association (CPA), and the Aircraft Electronics Association
(AEA) where he serves as an AEA/FAA Ambassador for the Denver FSDO. He is also a mission pilot with CAP’s Colorado Wing.
Stooksbury represented the Denver FSDO area and the FAA’s NorthwestMountain Region. This year’s other regional avionics technician winners were Klarann
Voegle, of Highland, Illinois (Central Region); Ronald Wright, of Battle Ground,
Indiana (Great Lakes Region); and Michael Phillips, of Glendale, Arizona (Western Pacific Region).
Kent Lewis - FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year
Kent Lewis exemplifies a high standard of professionalism in the field of aviation safety education. He serves as a FAASTeam Lead Representative in the Fort Worth area where he conducts FAA WINGS seminars and maintains safety websites.
Lewis fell in love with flight by the age of nine, when he was a fence line observer of Braniff Airways 747 operations at Love Field, Texas. Today he holds an airline transport pilot certificate with an AMEL rating as well as CFI,
CFII, MEI, and commercial helicopter.
Lewis created the Signal Charlie (www.SignalCharlie.net) “wikispace,” a web-based aviation safety information resource developed to promote safety in high-reliability and high-risk organizations. Signal Charlie is dedicated to the continuous improvement of aerospace safety. Lewis is also is the owner of
Fort Worth Aviation Safety Program Google group, developed to teach a continuing improvement process that promotes the reporting of aviation safety issues. He was recruited to be a member of the FAASTeam as a subject matter expert for human factors and safety management systems
(SMS) applications for general aviation. Lewis serves as a liaison for helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) issues and facilitates the FAA Southwest Region Runway Safety Summit as well as WINGS seminars. Additionally he has developed aviation heritage initiatives and assists with the EAA Young Eagles programs in his local area.
He joined the United States Marine Corps in 1979, working his way through the enlisted ranks as an avionics technician with many meritorious promotions. Commissioned in 1987, he completed an intense fixed and rotary wing flight training program and was designated an unrestricted Naval Aviator. Following his 20-year stint in the military, Lewis began a second flying career with Delta Airlines.
At Delta, he performs domestic and international operations on B727, B737, MD-88, and B777 aircraft. Lewis has also flown Bell 206L and S-76 SIC helicopters with Houston Helicopters. He is a an Air Line Pilots Association
(ALPA) Air Safety Representative and a member of the ALPA National Committees on Runway Safety, Human Factors and Safety Management Systems. Lewis is an ALPA representative to the FAA Runway Safety Root Cause Analysis Team, the
NTSB, and the NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System program.
Lewis belongs to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA); the Air Line Pilots Association
(ALPA); the International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI); the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) and the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE).
Lewis represented the Fort Worth FSDO area and the FAA’s Southwest Region. This year’s other regional winners include
MCFI-E Alan C Davis, of Thornton, Colorado (Northwest Mountain Region); Ellen Marie Nobles-Harris, of Wilmington, DE (Eastern Region); Dennis L
Bowdoin, of Fowlerville, Michigan (Great Lakes Region); Richard Lawrence
Martindell, of San Diego, California (Western Pacific Region); Harry Narvaez-Munet of Vega Alta, Puerto Rico (Southern Region); and William Alexander Hopper of Manchester, Missouri (Central Region).
The National General Aviation Awards program is a cooperative effort between the FAA and industry sponsors including: Aeronautical Repair Station Association
(ARSA); Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA); Aircraft Maintenance Technology Society (AMT Society); Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
(AOPA); Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA); General Aviation Manufacturers Association
(GAMA); Helicopter Association International (HAI); National Air Transportation Association
(NATA); National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI); National Business Aviation Association
(NBAA); National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO); Professional Aviation Maintenance Association
(PAMA); Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE); and Women in Aviation International
The selection process begins with local FAA Safety Team managers at Flight Standards District Offices
(FSDO) and then moves on to the eight regional FAA offices. Panels of aviation professionals from within those four fields then select national winners from the pool of regional winners.