16:29 PM

AOPA Honors CAP Pilots As Top Instructors

Civil Air Patrol pilots account for three of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s eight choices of the Best Flight Instructior by region, while five other CAP flyers are recognized as Distinguished Flight Instructors, based on the results of AOPA’s annual Flight Training Experience Survey.

The pilots represent seven wings in six CAP regions. 

The following three members were selected as Best Flight Instructor in their respective AOPA regions –

  • Northeast Region – Capt. Gashaw Mengistu, Montgomery Senior Squadron, Maryland Wing
  • Southwest Region – 2nd Lt. Brian Schultz, London Bridge Composite Squadron 501, Arizona Wing
  • West Region – 1st Lt. Carol Bennett, Saddleback Composite Squadron 68, California Wing

Mengistu is the standardization/evaluation officer for his unit. He joined CAP in November 2003.

Schultz, a CAP member since July 2018, holds the same position in his squadron and is also its recruiting and retention officer.

Bennett, who joined CAP in September 2008, is her squadron’s alerting officer, emergency services officer and emergency services training officer.

Distinguished Flight Instructor honors went to:

  •  Lt. Col. Brian Childs, Sheldon Cadet Squadron, Texas Wing
  •  Maj. Al Alwin, 130th Composite Squadron, Minnesota Wing
  •  Maj. Robert Delvalle, Couer d’Alene Composite Squadron, Idaho Wing
  •  Maj. Paul Van Brunt, 130th Composite Squadron, Minnesota Wing
  • Capt. Greg Patchel, Racine Composite Squadron, Wisconsin Wing