FAA GA Awards Announced

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The FAA has announced its national General Aviation Awards for this year, honoring aviation professionals for their contributions to safety and education. Recognized for this year are John Teipen, of Missouri, CFI of the Year; Michael Church, of California, Aviation Safety Counselor of the Year; Michael Branham, of Arkansas, Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year; and Charles Hanner, of Nebraska, Avionics Technician of the Year. The awards will be presented by FAA Administrator Marion Blakey during EAA AirVenture 2005 in Oshkosh, Wis.

CFI of the Year John Teipen is involved in all levels of aviation education from soaring and seaplanes to academics and CFI refreshers. He teaches at St Louis Community College and works as a CFI specializing in tailwheel and upset/spin training in his 1969 Bellanca 7ECA Citabria. Aviation Safety Counselor of the Year Michael Church is the chief flight instructor and president of Sunrise Aviation, a Part 141 flight school at Santa Ana's John Wayne-Orange County Airport. He regularly makes presentations to the non-flying public about airports, flight training and aerobatic flight. The FAA frequently calls upon him to provide remedial training to pilots as a substitute for certificate enforcement action. He is a contributing editor to both "Private Pilot" and "Pacific Flyer."

Aviation Maintenance Tech of the Year Mike Branham served in the Air Force and the U.S. Coast Guard. Since 1999, he has worked with Wal-Mart Stores' corporate fleet, and now is maintenance manager, helping to maintain more than 20 corporate aircraft including Lear 31s, 35s, 45s, a Global Express and a Challenger. Avionics Tech of the Year Charles Hanner is an avionics line team leader at the headquarters facility of Duncan Aviation at Lincoln Airport in Lincoln, Neb.