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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS Feed 2013 National General Aviation Award Winners Named

March 7, 2013 - The General Aviation Awards program has named its 2013 national award recipients: Bill Fifles of Honolulu, Hawaii, Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year; Bruce Lundquist of Willis, Michigan, Avionics Technician of the Year; Dean Eichholz of Soldotna, Alaska, Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year; and Mark Madden of Anchorage, Alaska, FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) Representative of the Year.

This is the 50th year for the awards that recognize select aviation professionals for their contributions to flight instruction, aviation maintenance, avionics, and safety. They will be honored at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2013.

Bill Fifles
Bill Fifles

Bill Fifles is an A&P/IA, private pilot, and Hawaii DOT airport vehicle safety inspector for ramp vehicles and equipment. Fifles began his career as an aviation mechanic in 1997 with the Genavco Corporation maintaining a DC-3, Super DC-3, and DC-3S. He also worked at Moloka'i Air Shuttle maintaining three Piper Aztecs, two Piper Chieftains, and a Cessna 402 under FAR 135.

After a brief stint with United Airlines in San Francisco, Fifles returned to Hawaii in 2001 to become director of maintenance for Kamaka Air. In 2003 he led the Kamaka maintenance team, numerous volunteers, and students from Honolulu Community College's aviation trade school in restoring the Kamaka DC-3S (N9796N).

Along with providing maintenance and restoration work on diverse aircraft like a DC-8-73, Grumman G-111 Albatross, Boeing 727, and B747-100, in 2009 Fifles was charged with overseeing the reassembly and subsequent maintenance of a restored 1929 Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker.

He has also worked with production companies on TV's Lost and The Amazing Race programs as well as movies Pearl Harbor, Outbreak, Along Came Polly, and The Rundown.

Fifles represents the Honolulu FSDO area as well as the FAA's Western Pacific Region. He is currently rebuilding a 1966 Citabria.

Bruce Lundquist
Bruce Lundquist

Bruce Lundquist has an FAA Repairman Certificate and an FCC General Radiotelephone License. After graduating from high school in 1970, he began working at Ford Motor Company, then enlisted in the Air Force and started technical school in pursuit of aviation electronics. Four years later Lundquist leveraged his military experience to enter to the aviation electronics field.

In 1976, he joined Willow Run Airport in quality controlled electronics, then went to Pentastar Aviation Inc. to work in the accessory shop - keeping all of the electrical test stands and mock-ups in good repair. Lundquist went on to become avionics supervisor, inspector, lead technician, trainer, and avionics systems specialist.

Lundquist represents the East Michigan FSDO area and the FAA's Great Lakes Region.

Dean Eichholz
Dean Eichholz

Dean Eichholz, who represents the Anchorage FSDO area as well as the FAA's Alaska Region, is an independent flight instructor, designated pilot examiner (DPE), and FAA check airman. He trains and does flight checks in various aircraft suited for the diverse Alaskan environment for Transmountain Aviation, Kenai Aviation Inc., and Talon Air Inc. Eichholz also is employed by Falcon Insurance Agency of Alaska as an aviation insurance broker.

Eichholz graduated from Idaho State University with a B.S. in mathematics then joined the U.S. Navy pilot program. He received his Navy Wings of Gold in 1975, and flew the A-6 Intruder at Whidbey Island, Washington. Eichholz instructed in the T-2 Buckeye at NAS Pensacola, Florida.

After his service in the Navy Eichholz opened a Part 141 flight school, Alaska Flying Network, in Soldotna in 1983 and was appointed DPE in 1987. He has more than 10,000 hours of flight instruction logged and more than 18,000 hours' flight time.

In 1999, Eichholz sold the flight school to become an Aviation Insurance Broker and part time independent CFI. He was named flight instructor of the year for the Alaska Region in 1990 and received a "High Flyer Award" from the FAA in 2000.

An FAA safety counselor, Eichholz is now a FAASTeam representative for the Kenai Peninsula. Since 1991, Dean has served on the board of the Alaskan Aviation Safety Foundation and had served as a regional director for the Alaska Airmen's Association from 1998 until 2003. He is a member of AOPA, the Alaskan Aviation Safety Foundation, the Alaska Airmen's Association, and SPA. For the past three years, he has organized the Alaska Seaplane seminar held each April in Anchorage.

Mark Madden
Mark Madden

Mark Madden, representing the Anchorage FSDO area and the FAA's Alaska Region, is a professor of aviation technology at the University of Alaska. He has earned the Master CFI accreditation three times.

Madden joined the FAASTeam Safety Program to make a real difference in improving aviation safety in Alaska. He has been presenting safety seminars as a lead representative for the Anchorage FSDO for several years. He has been the organizer and presenter for all the CFI/DPE workshops (FIRCs) in the Anchorage area for more than four years and has presented CFI-specific seminars since 1999. He participated in the spring 2011 FAASTeam National Safety Stand Down as a speaker, emcee, and organizer.

As a member and officer of the board of directors for the Alaska Aviation Safety Foundation (AASF), he promotes safety in all areas of Alaskan aviation. AASF partners with public television and the National Weather Service to produce a weekly TV show in conjunction with the Alaska Weather program.

In the early 1990s Madden was a CFI at P.C. Flyers in Denver, and as pilot training technical writer for Jeppesen Sanderson in Denver. After moving to Hawaii, he worked as a customer service representative for Mahalo Airlines, charter pilot for Paragon Air, aviation consultant, technical writer, and instructor pilot.

Madden holds airline transport pilot (ATP) certificate with airplane multiengine land, and commercial privileges with airplane single-engine land and sea. His instructor certificates include CFI, CFII, MEI, AGI, and IGI, with tailwheel endorsement. He flies as a formation pilot for air-to-air photography missions and owns a Maule M5-2 10C.

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The GA Awards program is a cooperative effort between the FAA and more than a dozen industry partners. The selection process begins each September at the Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) level before moving up to the Regional FAA Office level. The national award winners are chosen from the pool of winners selected by the regions. Panels of volunteer judges comprised of previous national winners in each of the categories make the final selections.

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta will present plaques to the national winners at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2013. Recipients receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Oshkosh to attend the awards presentation and other special GA Awards activities.

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