AEHOF Leadership

The following individuals are voluntarily serving the Aviation Educator Hall of Fame in key leadership roles:

Board of Directors

  • Jack Pelton, ATP – Jack Pelton has more than three decades of experience in aviation. He currently serves on the boards of the Experimental Aircraft Association and the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, as well as on the FAA Management Advisory Committee. Pelton is the retired chairman, president, and chief executive officer for Cessna Aircraft Company, and served as chairman of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and on the board of the National Business Aviation Association. He holds ATP and Commercial Pilot certificates, and has received the Lindberg, Elrey Jeppesen, and EAA Freedom of Flight Awards.
  • Judy Phelps, MCFI-A, CFII – Judy Phelps is the 2011 National Flight Instructor of the Year and was the first woman to earn the Master Aerobatic Instructor designation. She is co-owner and Vice President of CP Aviation, a Southern California flight school with a fleet of training aircraft that averages 6,000 hours of flying per year. Phelps is active in the Ninety-Nines and received the 2006 Ventura County Ninety-Nines Woman Pilot of the Year and 2008 Southwest Section Professional Woman Pilot of the Year awards.  She has logged 5,700 hours of flight time and is President of the Aviation Museum of Santa Paula.
  • Steve Riethof, MCFI (SAFE Representative) – Steve Riethof retired from the U.S. Air Force as a Lt. Colonel after 29 years of service, and is a retired CEO of a technical corporation. He has worked in various volunteer capacities for the NJ Aviation Hall of Fame for 25 years and currently serves as that Hall’s Vice President. Riethof has served as an AOPA Airport Support Network liaison and a member of both the FITS consulting group at FAA Headquarters and the NJ Aviation Education Council. He is a Master Instructor and has received USAF National Defense Service and Meritorious Service Medals, as well as FAA Eastern Region CFI of the Year and Wright Brothers Master Pilot Awards.

Selection Committee*

  • Dr. Peggy Chabrian, CFI – Peggy Chabrian is President and Founder of Women in Aviation, International. A flight instructor, she is also past president of the University Aviation Association, has received the FAA Administrator’s Award for Excellence in Aviation Education, and has been inducted into the Crown Circle of the National Congress on Aviation and Space Education.
  • Rod Machado, CFI – Rod Machado is a professional speaker and author of numerous aviation articles, books, and audio/visual programs. With more than 8,000 hours logged, Machado has been a flight instructor since 1973, holds all fixed-wing (powered) flight instructor ratings, holds degrees in Aviation Science and Psychology, and serves as AOPA’s National CFI spokesman.
  • Rusty Sachs, JD, DhE, MIE – Rusty Sachs is a retired lawyer and Marine Corps aviator who flew more than 700 combat missions in Vietnam. He served four years as Executive Director of the National Association of Flight Instructors. Sachs has dedicated his life to aviation education and safety and serves on the permanent editorial board for the Aviators Model Code of Conduct.
  • Thomas Turner, ATP, MCFI – Tom Turner holds an MS in Aviation Safety and operates Mastery Flight Training, Inc. He is an aviation author and the 2010 National FAASTeam Representative of the Year. Turner serves as executive director of the American Bonanza Society Air Safety Foundation as well as on the permanent editorial board for the Aviators Model Code of Conduct.

*From time to time and as needed, AEHOF Directors may also serve on the Selection Committee. A minimum of three members of the Selection Committee are assigned to review each nomination.