November, 2003

James M. Leon designated a Master Flight Instructor (MFI) by NAFI

by G Alexander "Sandy" Hill, MCFI, Director of Education, NAFI

(Note added by PCEF: Jim is a member of the PCEF Advisory Board.)

The National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) takes pride in announcing a significant aviation accomplishment on the part of James M Leon, an ultralight flight instructor and a resident of Joliet, IL. Recently, Jim was designated a Master Flight Instructor (MFI) by NAFI, his professional aviation organization.

To help put this achievement in its proper perspective, there are approximately 81,000 flight instructors in the United States. Fewer than three hundred of them have achieved that distinction thus far. The last seven FAA National Flight Instructors of the Year were Masters while Jim is one of only 6 Illinois instructors to have earned this prestigious title.

The Master Instructor designation is a national accreditation that is earned by a candidate through a rigorous process of continuing education. Much like a flight instructor's certificate, it must be renewed biennially. This process parallels the continuing education regimen used by other professionals to enhance their knowledge base while increasing their professionalism. Simply put, the Master Instructor designation is a means by which to identify those outstanding aviation educators, those "Teachers of Flight," who have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to excellence, professional growth, and service to the aviation community.

Through their dedication to excellence, Master Instructors have earned their "black belts" in aviation education. They truly represent the crème de la crème of our industry! To publicly recognize these individuals and their noteworthy accomplishments, NAFI will be hosting its "Meet the Masters" breakfasts, to which Jim will be invited, during EAA's AirVenture in Oshkosh and at Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland. Any support that can be provided will be greatly appreciated.

NAFI was founded in 1967 and is dedicated to raising and maintaining the professional standing of flight instructors throughout the nation, as well as providing a safe and effective learning environment for student pilots. In addition, NAFI initiates education and support programs throughout the aviation industry. The Association affiliated with the EAA in May of 1995.

Please feel free to disseminate this information in newsletters or other media. If there are any questions regarding the Master Instructor program, contact NAFIMasters@aol.com or 303-485-8136 or visit NAFI's website at www.NAFInet.org.