FAA’s 50 plus year tradition recognizes aviation professionals for their contributions to general aviation
Every year for more than 50 years, the General Aviation Awards program and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have recognized aviation professionals for their contributions to general aviation in the fields of flight instruction, aviation maintenance/avionics, and safety.
The FAA will recognize Rich’s accomplishment in July during EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh, Wisconsin. His name will be added to the large perpetual plaque located in the lobby of the EAA AirVenture Museum. “These awards highlight the important role played by these individuals in promoting aviation education and flight safety,” said GA Awards board chairman Arlynn McMahon, “The awards program sponsors are pleased that these outstanding aviation professionals will receive the recognition they so richly deserve before their peers in Oshkosh.”
In his capacity as VP of Course Content and Experience, Rich works with his team to create and maintain over 90 courses from Sport Pilot to Airline Transport Pilot including ground school, practical test preparation, Flight Instructor refresher courses, professional pilot courses and numerous topical flight training courses. Rich formerly served as a USAF fighter pilot and instructor in both the F-4 and F-15. He retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, having earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, five Meritorious Service Medals, eleven Air Medals, and three Combat Readiness Medals. He flew 323 combat sorties in the F-4 in Thailand, and has been stationed at bases around the world.
As Lead Representative of the FAA Safety Team in San Diego, Rich works with and trains many other representatives. He often speaks throughout the region at EAA chapters, flight schools, flying clubs, and airport businesses. Rich excels in teaching leading-edge aviation topics from ADS-B to Unmanned Aerial Systems to the redesign of the Multiplex Airspace System in Southern California. He writes newsletter articles and maintains an online blog titled “Let’s Go Flying“.
Rich is member of the San Diego Airports Aviation Advisory Committee that advises the mayor and city council on airport issues. He regularly teaches Private Pilot ground school courses for the San Diego Air & Space Museum at the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems campus. He is an active pilot and instrument flight instructor, and a trained aviation accident investigator frequently called upon by local media to comment on aviation mishaps. Rich also teaches formation flying in war birds to pilots interested in learning this challenging skill.
Rich holds Airline Transport Pilot, Instrument Flight Instructor, and Advanced Instrument Ground School Instructor certificates. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Transportation and Public Utilities from the University of Arizona, and an MBA from Golden Gate University, He graduated from the Safety Program Management and Aircraft Accident Investigation programs at the University of Southern California.