The National General Aviation Awards will be presented this evening by acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta during a special ceremony at Theater in the Woods.
The 2012 winners include Marvin Hornbostel, of Junction City, Kansas, Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) of the Year; Rick Ochs, of Gahanna, Ohio, Avionics Technician of the Year; MCFI Hobart Tomlinson, of Huntington, Vermont, Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) of the Year; and Jeanne Willerth, of Lee's Summit, Missouri, FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year.
Recipients also received an all-expenses paid trip for two to Oshkosh to receive their awards.
AMT of the Year Marvin Hornbostel, EAA 710533/VAA 721312, has been an A&P for more than a half-century and has been an IA for 40 years. He is also an FAA Charles Taylor Master Mechanic.
After his discharge from the Army, where he received basic aviation maintenance training, he worked with a maintenance contractor at Fort Riley, Kansas, performing maintenance on Army aircraft. Thirty-two years later, he retired as the shop supervisor.
Hornbostel and his son, Jon, own and operate Raven Aero Service on Junction City's Freeman Field (3JC) and specialize in antique and classic aircraft restoration. Hornbostel also serves on the Junction City Airport Aviation Advisory Board and is president of EAA Chapter 1364, "The Wing Nuts." He represented the Wichita FSDO area as well as the FAA's Central Region.
Avionics Technician of the Year Rick Ochs, EAA 782615, owns and manages Spirit Avionics Limited, an FAA-certified Part 145 repair station at Port Columbus Airport (CMH) in Columbus, Ohio. He obtained his formal avionics training in the U.S. Navy and began his career on the flight deck of the carrier USS Forrestal (CV-59) as an avionics troubleshooter. After his discharge, he received additional avionics education in the industry via a succession of positions at large and small companies.
In March 2000, he founded Spirit Avionics, which employs 10 people and services military, federal, corporate, and private aircraft. In addition to serving on the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) board of directors, Ochs is chairman of the AEA's Member Benefits Committee and is the FAA ambassador for the Columbus FSDO. He serves on NBAA's Maintenance Committee and co-chairs the Advanced Training and Education Subcommittee. He also serves on the board for the Youth Aviation Adventure program.
CFI of the Year Hobie Tomlinson, EAA 23705/Warbirds 8184/VAA 1341/IAC 15266, works at Heritage Aviation at Burlington International Airport (BTV), Vermont, and is an independent flight instructor. A five-time Master Instructor, he was presented with the FAA's Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award in 2010. He is also a Cirrus (CSIP) certified instructor, has served as an FAA DPE since 1977, and has more than 11,000 instructional hours.
Tomlinson has commercial, instrument, multiengine, and airline transport pilot certifications as well as flight instructor ratings and several type ratings. He has amassed more than 35,000 total flight hours.
Tomlinson became a CFI in 1965 and has been an active CFI ever since. In 1967, he joined Trans World Airlines and spent 33 years there as a flight engineer, pilot, and simulator instructor. Since 2005, he's been Heritage Aviation's director of safety and a Citation CE560XL check airman. He is responsible for creating and teaching safety management systems curricula to all employees. Tomlinson is also an EAA flight advisor.
FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year Jeanne Willerth, EAA 763382, grew up in Omaha and learned to fly from her mother, who was an instructor and Powder Puff Derby air racer. Twice she brought Jeanne along as copilot in two All Women's International Air Races, and in 1998, Willerth brought her mother and daughter on the 2,400-mile Air Race Classic. Willerth has her instrument, single-, and multiengine commercial ratings, plus CFI, CFII, AGI, IGI, and MEI. She instructs at Air Associates, a Cessna Pilot Center at Johnson County Executive Airport (OJC) in Kansas City, as well as Lee's Summit Airport (LXT), where she chairs the airport board.
Willerth presents aviation safety seminars nationwide, is a volunteer FAA aviation safety counselor, and volunteers with Angel Flight Central, Pilots 'n Paws, Challenge Air, and the EAA Young Eagles program. With more than 2,000 hours instructing, Willerth teaches primary, instrument, multiengine, and Garmin G1000 transition training. She's also a mentor for late-in-life learners, specializing in getting dormant pilots back in the air successfully.
Support and sponsorship for the GA Awards program is provided by Women in Aviation International (WAI), The Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE), the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA), the Ninety-Nines International (The 99s), the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), the Aircraft Maintenance Technology Society (AMT Society), the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), and the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA).
Additional support is being provided by Advocates for Aviation Safety Foundation (AASF), Aeronautical Proficiency Training LLC (AVTrain), Master Instructors LLC (MI LLC), National Aviation Safety Foundation (NASF), and Rich Stowell Consulting.