General Aviation Awards

Thu, Jul 25, 2019 - Thu, Jul 25, 2019
8:30 AM - 9:45 AM

Location: FAA Aviation Safety Center

For over 50 years, the General Aviation Awards Program has recognized a small group of aviation professionals in the fields of flight instruction, aviation maintenance, and flight safety for their important contributions to the aviation community. This program is a partnership and a cooperative effort between the FAA and more than a dozen sponsoring organizations from the aviation industry. The awards highlight the important roles these individuals play in promoting aviation safety, education, and professionalism. Winners are recognized locally, regionally and nationally. National winners are recognized each July during EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

2019 National Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year
Gary Dale Reeves. Gary is an ATP, Master CFI, CFII, MEI with over 7,500 hours in over 50 aircraft types. He is Chief Safety Officer and Founder of, an organization focused on reducing general aviation accidents by offering free/low-cost training programs. He is also Chief Flight Instructor and owner of Master Flight Training providing three-day Mastering Single-Pilot IFR programs for pilots who fly with Avidyne or Garmin glass cockpits. He is a Lead FAASTeam Representative with the Long Beach (CA) and North Texas FSDOs and has taught more than 130 free FAA WINGS Safety Seminars. Gary is the official National Training Provider for both Avidyne Avionics and Genesys Aerosystems (S-TEC). In 2015, the Long Beach (CA) FSDO named him both CFI of the Year and FAASTeam Representative of the Year and in 2016, the FAA Western-Pacific Region named him CFI of the Year. Gary’s driving goal is to reduce general aviation accidents through free FAA Safety Classes, video training, and articles. To learn more about Gary visit

2019 National Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year
Jon David Monti. Dave has an aircraft and powerplant mechanic certificate, an inspection authorization, commercial pilot certificate and instrument rating. He founded Rebuilt Aircraft, Inc. to provide maintenance and repair services for Beech Bonanzas, Barons, and Travelairs. He is an FAA Designated Airworthiness Representative and holds an STC to upgrade early 185/225 hp Bonanzas and Debonairs to the 260 hp Continental IO-470-N engine. Dave has been an integral part of the instructional staff for the Beechcraft Pilot Proficiency Program since 1988. Appointed as Aviation Safety Counselor in 1999, he has served tirelessly as the program evolved into today’s FAA Safety Team. During his 32 years as a Life Member in the American Bonanza Society, Dave has presented maintenance training topics at national conventions, and written numerous articles, training syllabi, and technical products to support maintenance activities. He co-authored “Flight Controls, Flap and Trim System Inspection, Repair, and Rigging,” a Mechanics Guide published by ABS. 

2019 National FAASTeam Representative of the Year
Karen Ann Kalishek. Karen is FAASTeam Lead Representative for the Milwaukee FSDO, Master CFI, and FAA Gold Seal Instructor who holds ATP, CFI, CFII, CFIME, CFI-Glider, AGI, and IGI certificates. She recruits new FAASTeam Reps, mentors them, and organizes dozens of WINGS Safety Seminars a year. She serves as WINGSPro, responsible for promoting WINGS involvement and activities throughout Wisconsin. Karen is an independent flight instructor for private through flight instructor powered and glider candidates, in a range of aircraft including J-3 Cubs and Cirrus. She is a Captain in the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), serving as a volunteer flight instructor, G1000 instructor, check pilot, safety officer, aerospace education officer, public affairs officer, special flight release officer, mission pilot and cadet orientation pilot. She serves on the board of directors of the National Association of Flight Instructors, is a member of the WINGS Industry Advisory Committee, COPA and is active in several other aviation organizations.

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