Longmont, CO -- Sandy and JoAnn Hill, owners of Master Instructors LLC, recently agreed to dismiss their copyright infringement lawsuit against the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) in exchange for a waiver of fees and costs. The case alleged NAFI’s misappropriation of intellectual property associated with the Hills’ Master Instructor Program(TM). According to Sandy Hill, “We feel completely vindicated by the response of the marketplace to our program. Moreover, events of the last year have simply rendered many of our concerns irrelevant to the continued prosecution of our case.”
Hill continued, “It just no longer made sense for us to expend more time and money on the legal action -- much of which had been donated by hundreds of our wonderful aviation friends and supporters. Although we remain confident that the court would ultimately have found in our favor, it's time for us to move on and focus our energies on the needs of the Master Instructor community as well as strengthening our products, services, and industry relationships.
The Hills’ Master Instructor Program(TM) has been available through their independent company since early 2009. To ensure impartiality in the designation process, participation in the program is open to all qualified aviation educators regardless of their other affiliations. The program lists five full Master designations that are FAA Wings-approved and can be used to renew unexpired flight instructor certificates. Additionally, Master Instructors LLC is the only organization offering an Aerobatic Instructor Designation Program. Working with FAA and others in the industry, Master Instructors LLC is in the process of creating additional Master designations.
The distinguished Board of Review at Master Instructors LLC is comprised of the same nine-member team assembled by the Hills when their program was affiliated with NAFI. This team of reviewers has examined more than 1,440 portfolios over the years, and is now processing applications through Master Instructors LLC at nearly the same rate as they did when their program was affiliated with NAFI prior to 2009.
For more information, see www.MasterInstructors.org.