|By Carmelo Turdo|
|Keith Mueller, GSLFIA President|
|Gregg Maryniak, Emcee|
Keith Mueller, GSLFIA President, opened the awards banquet by welcoming all who were in attendance and introducing the emcee for the evening, Gregg Maryniak. Maryniak is the Co-Chair of Energy and Environmental Systems and Space at Singularity University, Board member and Secretary of the X-Prize Foundation, and internationally recognized expert in energy exploration in space for various NASA programs. He served as Director of the James S. McDonnell Planetarium at the St. Louis Science Center and was instrumental in the establishment and awarding of the 2004 Ansari X-Prize to the SpaceShip One program. Maryniak maintains his St. Louis connection and participates regularly in local programs such as the GSLFIA awards banquet.
Following the dinner and keynote address, GSLFIA President Keith Mueller began the awards ceremony. The first award, New Flight Instructor of the Year (flight instructor for less than 2 years), was given to David Chilenski, Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) at Ideal Aviation at St. Louis Downtown Airport. He received his Private Pilot Certificate in 2009, and earned his commercial and CFI rating in 2015.
In remembrance of CFI Ken Kellogg on his retirement from flying, August 13, 2017
Excerpt from "St. Louis Aviation Community Salutes Retiring Instructor Pilot Ken Kellogg" The Aero Experience, August 15, 2017
Members of the St. Louis area aviation community gathered at St. Louis Downtown Airport on August 13 to salute Ken Kellogg, a favorite CFI and mentor to many aviators over the decades, to commemorate his retirement from active flying. A large number of guests were at Ideal Aviation, where he instructed part-time, as he arrived with his family around 1pm. Those awaiting his arrival included former students, fellow CFIs, experienced pilots and airport staff who have come to know Ken Kellogg and learn a thing or two from his vast experience and common-sense approach to flight instruction. Always prepared, Kellogg gave a show-and-tell presentation featuring some of his early flight gear as he visited with well-wishers crowding the Ideal Aviation lobby.
After some socializing time and refreshments, Craig O'Mara, a CFI at Ideal Aviation and Boeing 747 Captain, announced that he "needed some pointers" in flying the Cessna 172, and that flying some patterns around the airport with CFI Ken Kellogg would get him back on track. Reluctantly going along with the gag, Kellogg accompanied O'Mara to the apron where one of Ideal Aviation's aircraft was awaiting them. Kellogg and O'Mara flew a touch-and-go and then taxied back after the second approach under the spray of a water cannon salute provided by the St. Louis Downtown Airport Fire Department Engine No. 61. Following the flight, Ken Kellogg was met by family and friends congratulating him on a long and meaningful aviation career.
The Aero Experience thanks the Greater St. Louis Flight Instructors Association for their great contributions to Midwest Aviation and for producing this excellent 2017 Annual Awards Banquet. Congratulations to all who received recognition this year!