LONGMONT, Colorado (29 February 2012) - In each of the past 49 years, the General Aviation Awards program and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have recognized a small group of aviation professionals in the fields of flight instruction, aviation maintenance, avionics, and safety for their contributions to aviation, education, and flight safety.
This awards program is a cooperative effort between the FAA and more than a dozen industry sponsors ( http://www.GeneralAviationAwards.org ). The selection process begins with local FAA Safety Team managers at Flight Standards District Offices (FSDOs) and then moves on to the eight regional FAA offices. Previous national awards winners from each of those four fields then select national winners from the pool of regional winners.
Recipients of this year's national awards are Marvin Hornbostel of Junction City, Kansas, Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) of the Year; Eric Christopher “Rick” Ochs of Gahanna, Ohio, Avionics Technician of the Year; MCFI Hobart Caleb “Hobie” Tomlinson of Huntington, Vermont, Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) of the Year; and Jeanné Carole Willerth of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year. Previously, this award was the Aviation Safety Counselor (ASC) of the Year.
The FAA administrator will present the national awards in July during a "Theater in the Woods" program at EAA AirVenture 2012 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Included in the prize package for all four national winners is an all expense paid trip to Oshkosh for the recipient and a guest to attend the awards presentation and other GA Awards activities.
"These awards highlight the important role played by these individuals in promoting aviation education and flight safety," said JoAnn Hill, General Aviation Awards chairperson. "The awards program sponsors are pleased that these outstanding aviation professionals will receive the recognition they so richly deserve before their peers in Oshkosh."
2012 NATIONAL AMT OF THE YEAR: Marvin Hornbostel of Junction City, Kansas is a recipient of the FAA’s Charles Taylor Master Mechanic who has been working more than 50 years as an airframe and powerplant (A&P) technician. He has held inspection authorization (IA) for 40 of those years.
His passion for airplanes started early. Growing up during World War II, his dream was to fly B-17s. Of course, the war didn't wait for him but when his dad gave him his first rubber band powered balsa model airplane, his future was decided.
He began his career in aviation with the United States Army at Fort Rucker, Alabama, where he received basic aviation maintenance training followed by two years of service in Germany. After discharge, he worked with a maintenance contractor at Fort Riley, Kansas, performing maintenance on Army aircraft. Thirty-two years later, he retired as the shop supervisor.
During his years at Fort Riley, Marvin spent his spare time working on general aviation aircraft while learning all he could about fabric covering. His first complete restoration in 1968 was a 1941 Taylorcraft. Two of his restored aircraft have been award winners at airshows in Oshkosh and Blakesburg, Iowa.
After retiring in 1990, he continued restoring fabric aircraft at his home in rural Junction City. Within a short time, his ability to work with fabric covering became widely known and turned into a business. Marvin, along with his son Jon, own and operate Raven Aero Service, which was formed in 1992. Raven specializes in antique and classic aircraft restoration. Shortly thereafter, the business outgrew the facility and was relocated to Junction City’s Freeman Field (3JC). Raven currently has four full time employees.
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