Chris Klint KTUU
Two Alaskans Among FAA General Aviation Award Winners
March 12, 2013
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  • By Chris Klint

    The Federal Aviation Administration says Dean Eichholz of Soldotna and Mark Madden of Anchorage are two of its four national General Aviation Award recipients for 2013. Eichholz was named Certified Flight Instructor of the Year, while Madden was named FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year. (Courtesy FAA / March 12, 2013)

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska— Two Alaskans are among the four recipients of national awards this year from the Federal Aviation Administration and industry groups recognizing excellence in general aviation.

    FAA regional spokesperson Allen Kenitzer says Dean Eichholz of Soldotna was named the General Aviation Awards’ Certified Flight Instructor of the Year, while Mark Madden of Anchorage was named FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year.

    “This awards program is a partnership and a cooperative effort between more than a dozen sponsoring organizations from the aviation industry and the Federal Aviation Administration,” officials wrote on the awards’ website. “The selection process begins with local offices. Panels of aviation professionals from within those four fields then select national winners from the pool of regional winners.”

    Eichholz, an independent flight instructor as well as a designated pilot examiner and FAA check airman, has conducted training and flight checks for Transmountain Aviation, Kenai Aviation Inc. and Talon Air, Inc. A Navy veteran, he flew A-6 Intruder jets during the 1970s and currently organizes the annual Alaska Seaplane Seminar in Anchorage.

    Madden is a professor of aviation technology with the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Aviation Technology Division, which recently received a Boeing 727 jet donated by FedEx and landed at Merrill Field. He is an Air Force veteran and has flown for Empire Airlines, staying in the air as a formation pilot for air-to-air photography while working as a freelance aviation technical writer.

    Winners receive airfare for themselves and a guest to attend the July 29 EAA AirVenture air show in Oshkosh, Wis., where the awards will be presented by FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. Private sponsors at the event will give each winner prizes associated with the award.

    Other recipients of national awards include Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year William “Bill” Fifes of Honolulu, Hawaii, as well as Avionics Technician of the Year Bruce Allan Lundquist of Willis, Mich.

    A full list of national and regional award recipients, as well as the awards’ sponsors, can be found on the program’s website.,0,6440986.story