resident of Derby appointed master flight instructor | Derby News

Derby resident Joseph Bertapelle has become one of less than 100 active flight instructors to earn the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) Master Flight Instructor (MCFI) designation.

Bertapelle is one of the companies selected, as less than 1,000 pilots have won the prestigious title since its creation in 1998, according to ANFI.

“Earning the title of master instructor is one of my top 10 moments, and it shows. I was smiling non-stop for the rest of the day and told my family and friends about it as soon as I found out, ”he told The Inform. “The bid took several days, but the good news was worth the wait.

Bertapelle owns the Augusta Flight Center, a flight school at Augusta Municipal Airport in Augusta, Kan. He arrived in Wichita in late 2006 as a KC-135 Navigator for the United States Air Force, completing several Temporary Duty Service (TDY) missions and seven deployments. He became a USAF Instructor and Evaluator for the Navigator Schoolhouse, earning several squadron and group level awards.

Bertapelle received an honorary discharge from the Air Force in 2012 as a captain for mission planning software, working on base as an independent contractor for another seven years to support both the KC- 135 and the new KC-46.

Bertapelle is originally from Eless, Texas. He moved to Kansas for the Air Force after his initial training and has lived in Derby since 2017.

He created Joe Bravo Aviation, LLC. diversify its student base and offer flying lessons to the public. Teaching flight instruction at several airports in his spare time, his enhanced reputation has enabled him to teach at Beechcraft’s Cessna Flying Club – a rare exception to his employee-only provision.

In 2019, Bertapelle was asked to teach Flight Safety International in the Caravan G1000 program until he was put on leave in 2020 due to downsizing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to this seemingly unfortunate circumstance, he was able to focus his efforts entirely on Augusta Flight Center, becoming its owner in August 2020.

A lover of theft, Bertapelle said he always wanted to own his own business. Ironically, he said, the pandemic presented a unique opportunity to marry the two.

“It’s a whirlwind so far. In six months, there have been a lot of ups and downs, but that’s how you own a business, ”he said. “Planes break down for maintenance for a variety of issues, students need CFIs, CFIs need advice and guidance, aircraft owners and instructors need to be paid, regulations need to be followed,” training courses need to be run, there are FAA inspections, you name it. It is difficult but extremely rewarding work.

The flight center now has a fleet of 11 aircraft, ranging from the Cessna 172 to the Beech Sierra. He is tested in over 50 different GA aircraft models and travels regularly to meet with students, maintaining a competitive level of expertise, skill and flexibility. It offers courses at all levels in advanced aircraft avionics, aerobatic maneuvers, commercial training, IFR, tail wheel and upheaval training. It has its CFI, CFII, MEII, AGI, Remote Pilot, Aircraft Dispatcher and Gold Seal certificates.

NAFI Master Flight Instructor accreditation is obtained by aviation educators on the basis of a system of advanced professional standards and peer review. The accreditation identifies and publicly recognizes flight educators who demonstrate an ongoing commitment to excellence, professional growth, and service to the aviation community.

The accreditation is for two years and can be used to renew an FAA flight instructor certificate. Candidates must have been CFI for two years and have provided 1000 hours of flight instruction. In addition, applicants must meet and document activity in four categories of NAFI master instructors: instructor, educator, service to the aviation community, and professional activity.

“For me, obtaining the CFI master’s degree means that I have been able to excel as a teacher. People ask me personally to start their training and then come back for classes of all kinds, ”he said. “I had a great time doing what I love for a living. “

About Georgia Duvall

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