NAFI Welcomes Safety Advocates to Instructor Hall of Fame

28 June 2024

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The National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) has announced the 2024 inductees to the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame. Safety advocates Doug Stewart and Tim Tucker will be honored for their significant contributions to instructor professionalism and improvement of pilot technique to further reduce the accident rate in general aviation.

Stewart and Tucker will be inducted into the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame at the NAFI Member’s Breakfast at EAA AirVenture on 25 July in the NAFI Professional Development Center (Booth 354/355).

A common thread links both honorees this year: the relentless pursuit of developing safer pilots. Both Stewart and Tucker have dedicated their professional lives to giving fellow instructors the tools to pass along to their clients, and they have served as much-needed mentors within the aviation education sphere. The two have also given back to the industry by working in coordination with the FAA, associations, and aerospace companies on various certification and safety committees.

About this year’s Hall of Fame selection, NAFI President Paul Preidecker said, “The combined positive impact these two individuals have had on aviation safety and training is remarkable. Doug and Tim deserve our congratulations and thanks for their many contributions.”

Stewart, the 2004 National Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year, is a dedicated full-time flight instructor specializing in real-world IFR training through multi-day missions. Operating from Columbia County Airport in Hudson, New York, he has over 13,500 hours of flight instruction experience, including 5,700 hours of instrument instruction. A Gold Seal instructor and Master Instructor for 26 years, he has also served as a designated pilot examiner for over 20 years. Stewart was named the Aviation Safety Counselor of the Year by the Windsor Locks FSDO in 2001.

Additionally, as a founding member and Executive Director Emeritus of the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE), Stewart has contributed to various aviation safety and instructional committees, mentored new instructors, and authored columns for EAA’s Vintage Airplane magazine.

Tucker’s 8,800-hour flight instructor career spans FAA instructor roles, military instruction, and work as a designated pilot examiner. He began his instructing career in 1973 in Danbury, Connecticut, and later became an Army Reserve instructor pilot, eventually achieving the rank of Standardization Instructor Pilot.

Tucker was instrumental in the early days of the Robinson Helicopter Company, becoming its first chief instructor and authoring the Robinson Flight Training Guide, which is widely used by instructors globally. He co-developed the Robinson Flight Instructor Safety Course, significantly reducing the R22 instructional accident rate, and has taught safety courses internationally. As a designated pilot examiner since 1994, Tucker conducted nearly 8,800 helicopter practical tests by his retirement in 2024, logging over 7,500 hours as an FAA pilot examiner.


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