March 1, 2012
By Jill W. Tallman
Hobart Caleb “Hobie” Tomlinson of Huntington, Vt., has been named the 2012 National Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year.
Tomlinson is one of four aviation professionals who received top accolades in this year’s National GA Awards. They will receive their awards in July at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis.
Tomlinson, a Master CFI, works for Heritage Aviation at Burlington International Airport and is an independent flight instructor and a designated pilot examiner. In 2010, he received the FAA’s Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award given to pilots with 50 consecutive years of safe flying. He has been a flight instructor since 1965 and has more than 11,000 instructional hours. He specializes in instrument and multiengine training at the CFI and ATP levels, as well as tailwheel aircraft and seaplanes. He has been an FAA designated pilot examiner since 1977.
Jeanné Carole Willerth of Lee’s Summit, Mo., is the 2012 National FAASTeam representative of the year. Willerth is a flight instructor at Air Associates at Johnson County Executive Airport in Olathe, Kan. She teaches primary, instrument, multiengine, and Garmin G1000 transition training, and has more than 2,000 hours. She is a mentor for “late in life” student pilots and specializes in getting dormant pilots back in the air. An advocate for public benefit flying, Willerth volunteers for Angel Flight Central, Pilots N Paws, Challenge Air, and Young Eagles.
Marvin Hornbostel of Junction City, Kan., is the 2012 National AMT of the Year. Hornbostel and his son, Jon, own and operate Raven Aero Service, which specializes in antique and classic aircraft restoration at Freeman Field in Junction City. Hornbostel provides summer jobs for Kansas State University students who are interested in aircraft restoration, and also works with the Junction City High School to provide hands-on training in aviation maintenance.
Eric Christopher “Rick” Ochs of Gahanna, Ohio, is the 2012 National Avionics Technician of the Year. Ochs owns and manages Spirit Avionics Limited at Port Columbus Airport, Columbus, Ohio. He has worked to establish avionics technician national certification and academic accreditation standards to enhance professional development. A private pilot, Ochs regularly flies his company’s Cessna 182.
AOPA Technical Editor Jill W. Tallman is an instrument-rated private pilot who owns a Piper Cherokee 140.
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