March 13, 2014 - The General Aviation Awards program and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced the four recipients of the 2014 National General Aviation Awards on March 12, recognizing top aviation professionals in the nation for their contributions to general aviation.
They are Howard Wolvington, Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year; Max Burnette, Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year; David Kocak, Avionics Technician of the Year; and Richard Stowell, Jr., FAA Safety (FAASTeam) Representative of the Year.
Howard Wolvington, of Issaquah, Washington, works as an independent Gold Seal CFI with Boeing Employees Flying Association (BEFA) and has more than 13,000 hours of flight time. Wolvington, EAA 538222, is a member of multiple aviation organizations and holds undergraduate degrees in mathematics, physics, and is a Master of Science.
With more than 29 years as an A&P mechanic, Max Burnette, of Rockvale, Tennessee, learned aviation maintenance firsthand working on F-86 Sabre jets and other aircraft in the National Guard. After 59 years repairing airplanes, Burnette, EAA 240134, is semi-retired, is an active member of EAA Chapter 1326, and a Young Eagles volunteer.
David Kocak, of Guilford, Connecticut, has more than 20 years of avionics experience and works at V.I.P. Avionics at Hartford-Brainard Airport as avionics service manager, installation manager, and inspector. Kocak trained at Pratt-Sikorsky School of Aviation and Allied Signal Avionics. He holds a repairman's certificate and an FCC general radio telephone operator's license.
Full-time aviation educator and 2006 National CFI of the Year, Richard Stowell Jr., of McCall, Idaho, specializes in spin, emergency maneuver, and aerobatic training. Stowell, EAA 237157, holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, is an eight-time Master CFI, and owns and operates Rich Stowell Consulting.
The General Aviation Awards program is a cooperative effort between the FAA and more than a dozen industry partners to recognize general aviation experts for more than 50 years.