Blakey Doles Out GA Awards

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It's not often you get a pat on the back from The Boss but four outstanding aviation workers will get that chance at AirVenture 2003. For the first time, the General Aviation Awards Program will gather its four major award recipients together. This awards program is a cooperative effort between the FAA and numerous industry sponsors, including EAA, AOPA, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the National Air Transportation Association, the National Business Aviation Association, the Aircraft Electronics Association, and more. FAA Administrator Marion Blakey will present them. And the winners are ... Jeff Edwards, of Chesterfield, Mo., gets the nod as Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year. He's been a CFI since 1982 and is president of AvSafe, an aviation safety consulting company. Tom Hendershot, of Littleton, Colo., is the Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year. Hendershot has been in the business 47 years and is also a pilot and flight instructor with more than 22,000 hours. Al Ingle, of Tallahassee, Fla., is the Avionics Technician of the Year. Ingle has been fixing, developing and maintaining avionics through his Capital Avionics for 28 years and has written numerous articles on the subject. USAF Maj. Jim McDonald is the National Aviation Safety Counselor of the Year. He's currently a C-130 instructor pilot and chief of wing flight safety with the 314th Airlift Wing and, as Aviation Safety Counselor for the Little Rock FSDO, has conducted 150 safety briefings to 5,000 pilots in the last two years.