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NAFI/IAC Designate the Country’s First CFI-Aerobatic

Editorial Note: Clarke McNeace is now a multi-time Master CFI.
Clarke "Otter" McNeaceSANTA PAULA, CA: The National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) and the International Aerobatic Club (IAC) announce a significant accomplishment on the part of J. Clarke McNeace, a former FA-18 Strike Fighter Pilot and Weapons Tactics Instructor with the U.S. Navy and currently an aerobatic instructor with APS Emergency Maneuver Training in Mesa, AZ (

McNeace recently earned his aerobatic instructor accreditation under an expanded program developed jointly by NAFI and IAC. In addition to the Master CFI-Aerobatic designation available since 2001, two new designations have recently been added: Flight Instructor-Aerobatic and Certificated Flight Instructor-Aerobatic. While nine instructors currently hold the MCFI-A designation, McNeace is the country’s first aerobatic instructor to earn the CFI-A designation under this new program.

Candidates earn one of the three NAFI/IAC Aerobatic Instructor designations through a voluntary-yet-rigorous process of continuing professional activity and peer review. The program parallels the continuing education regimen used by professionals in other fields to enhance their knowledge base. The Aerobatic Instructor designation identifies those aviation educators who have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to excellence, professional growth, and service to the aviation community. This is also the only standardized program in the U.S. to officially recognize aerobatic instructors. An offshoot of the successful NAFI Master Instructor program, aerobatic designations must be renewed biennially.

NAFI and IAC–an affiliate and a division, respectively, of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA)–are dedicated to providing support and recognition for America’s professional aerobatic instructors, while simultaneously encouraging all such instructors to aspire to and maintain a high level of professionalism. These organizations are committed to providing a safe and effective learning environment for those seeking spin, emergency maneuver/upset, and traditional aerobatic training services as well.

For more information on the NAFI/IAC Aerobatic Instructor program, e-mail the Board of Review at

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