Flight Instructors Hall of Fame Names 2022 Inductees

Catherine Cavagnaro and Ron Timmermans will be honored during EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh.

The National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) will honor Catherine Cavagnaro from Tennessee and Ron Timmermans from Florida as its 2022 inductees into the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame. 

Every year, NAFI selects instructors who have demonstrated dedication, skill, and willingness to give back to the community for the betterment of general aviation and recognizes them for their contributions to the aviation community.

The official induction ceremony will take place at the 14th annual membership dinner of the American Bonanza Society during this month’s EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Catherine Cavagnaro was inducted into the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame in 2018. [Courtesy: NAFI]

Cavagnaro is recognized by the aviation community as an expert on spins and aerobatics. She teaches at Ace Aerobatic School in Sewanee, Tennessee. She holds airline transport pilot and both CFI and CFII certificates, and serves as a designated pilot examiner and FAA lead safety representative for the Nashville Flight Standards District Office.

In 2018, Cavagnaro was inducted into the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame, and recognized by  the General Aviation Awards Committee as the FAA Safety Representative of the Year. In 2020 she was recognized as Flight Instructor of the Year.

Cavagnaro travels around the country speaking for the FAA, AOPA, American Bonanza Society, National Association of Flight Instructors, and other pilot organizations. She is often a guest on Max Trescott’s Aviation News Talk as well as an expert for Pilot Workshops’ “IFR Scenarios” and “VFR Scenarios.”

She also contributes to the aviation community on a broader scale by writing the “Flying Smart” column for AOPA Pilot Magazine addressing topics of safety, efficiency, proficiency, and the science of flight.

Ron Timmermans is a founding director of the WINGS Industry Network. [Courtesy: NAFI]

An Architect and CFI 

Flight instructor Ron Timmermans enjoyed a 40-year career as a professional architect and project manager before making aviation his full-time focus. Timmermans became an independent CFI in 1998 and is known in the Beech community for his involvement in the Beechcraft Pilot Proficiency Program (BPPP) and Bonanza/Baron Pilot Training (BPT) program.

In 2021 he was named the National Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year.

He has served as a FAASTeam Lead Representative for both the Orlando and the North Texas FSDOs and presented at more than 30 WINGS safety seminars and is a frequent presenter for the AOPA Rusty Pilots program, safety seminars, and flight instructor refresher courses (FIRCs).

Timmermans is a founding director of the WINGS Industry Network and has volunteered on the FAA’s WINGS Usability Working Group. His outreach activities include hosting NAFI MentorLIVE broadcasts for flight instructors and hosting broadcasts for Florida Aviation Network live-streaming events to international audiences. He is a member of AOPA, EAA, NAFI, SAFE, ABS, BPT, BPPP, and the Quiet Birdmen.

About the Hall of Fame

NAFI Flight Instructor Hall of Fame inductees are individuals who have made significant contributions to aviation education and flight instruction while reflecting credit upon themselves and their profession. The honor highlights the important role flight instructors play as a foundation for the safety of the entire national air transportation system.

Flight Instructor Hall of Fame judges include:

  • Greg Brown, a retired U.S. Marine Corps aviator and current director of education and training services at the Helicopter Association International
  • Col. Julie Tizard, a retired U.S. Air Force instructor and former Part 121 instructor pilot 
  • Tom Turner, executive director of the American Bonanza Society Air Safety Foundation and former NAFI Hall of Fame inductee
  • Brittney Tough, a board member of Women in Aviation, flight instructor, former Part 121 instructor pilot, and
  • Barry Schiff, a former NAFI Hall of Fame inductee, world speed record holder, and a journalist and celebrated AOPA author.


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