WMU News

Aviation instructor awarded 'master' status

March 12, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- Ryan C. Seiler of WMU's College of Aviation has been named a Master Certified Flight Instructor by the National Association of Flight Instructors.

Seiler, a lead flight instructor at the college, is the fifth WMU staff member to earn the coveted designation. Nationally, out of 81,000 certified flight instructors, fewer than 400 have achieved the distinction. Only 17 master-level instructors are living and working in Michigan.

The master instructor designation is a national accreditation that is earned by a candidate through a rigorous process of continuing education. Like a flight instructor's certificate, it must be renewed biennially. Six of the most recent recipients of the Federal Aviation Administration's Flight Instructor of the Year award have come from the ranks of those holding the designation.

Seiler, who earned his bachelor's degree in aviation from WMU in 1996, was a member of the college's renowned Sky Broncos flight team as an undergraduate and served for four years as a team coach after earning his degree. He stepped down as head coach of the team in 2001 and has since served as a competition judge for the National Intercollegiate Flying Association.

Other WMU staff members who have earned the designation include Thomas Grossman, David Schrader, Steve Tkachuk and James Whittles. Grossman is the College of Aviation's chief flight instructor.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 269 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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