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Source: Eric Shappee, 785-826-2630,
News release prepared by: Carole Dawson, 785-826-2642,

Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010


SALINA -- Eric Shappee, associate professor of aviation at Kansas State University at Salina, has renewed his Master Certificated Flight Instructor accreditation for a fifth time.

Shappee, who has held the professional accreditation continuously since 2001, is one of only 19 flight instructors worldwide to earn the credential five times. He also is one of only 21 master certified flight instructors in Kansas.

The national accreditation is recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration. Fewer than 700 of the approximately 93,000 certified flight instructors in the nation have achieved the master distinction. The designation must be renewed biennially and surpasses the FAA's requirements for renewal of the candidate's flight instructor certificate.

K-State at Salina has six faculty members who have earned this top designation. Along with Shappee, they are Kurt Barnhart, professor and head of the department of aviation; William "Bill" Gross, chief pilot and professor of aviation; Bernard King, associate professor of aviation; Troy Brockway, associate professor of aviation; and Andrew Smith, assistant professor of aviation and the aviation maintenance training program lead.

Shappee is a member of the Society of Aviation Flight Educators and specializes in glider tow training and unmanned aerial vehicle systems at K-State Salina's aviation facilities. He also serves in the Civil Air Patrol's Kansas Wing and is a FAA Safety Team representative in its Wichita Flight Standards district office area.