New National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) Board Member, George Charles Allen, is an experienced aviator, consultant, and educator. At age 1 ½, George was strapped into a Cessna 172 alongside his father in what would be an inauguration to a lifetime of defying the earthly bonds of gravity. By age 5, he took his first formal flight lesson.
A short twenty-two years later, after traveling abroad and studying philosophy in one of Scotland’s ancient universities, the philosophical son returned to open a flight academy alongside his father where he would take wing as a second-generation aviation educator.
As an educator, George infuses subtle humor, rugged realism, and pragmatic philosophy—the Socratic method and stoicism—while cultivating his aviators-in-training with genuine stick and rudder flying, seat-of-the-pants energy management, and ‘calmfident’ decision-making.
As a leader, his family-owned AeroVenture has won more than 15 national and regional awards for their dedication and service to the flight training industry and remains the only school twice awarded distinction as National Best Flight School by The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA).
In 2018, George was bestowed the Dr. Wendell G. Mohling Outstanding Aerospace Educator Award for leadership excellence in the field of aerospace education presented by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)—the largest professional science organization in the world.
George is also a recipient of the Civil Air Patrol’s Charles E. ‘Chuck’ Yeager Aerospace Education Award for excellence in educating the general public about the knowledge and skills required for understanding and advancing aerospace activities and the total impact of air and space technology upon society. In addition, he was duly elected Member of the British Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) based in London—the oldest aeronautical society in the world.
He formerly served as a member of the AOPA Flight Training Advisory Board, Vice Chair of the Flight School Association of North America’s (FSANA) Aircraft Manufacturers Committee and has presented at and moderated several national symposia. George also served on the board of various nonprofit arts and cultural organizations.
George holds honors degrees in classics and philosophy from Clark University and The University of Edinburgh, and a master’s in aeronautics and space science—with distinction—from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
When not flying his classroom in the sky, George can be found on the world’s stage as a competitive chess player, keeping up his other instrument rating as a classical pianist, reading voraciously, translating Plato from Ancient Greek, authoring works of literature and philosophy, and seeking nautical adventures along the rocky coasts of New England.
Allen said, “I am incredibly excited and thankful for the opportunity to serve NAFI’s distinguished members. Since my youth NAFI has been a household name as my father — a full-time flight instructor — was a member. Never did I imagine one day I would work alongside such an inspiring and thought-provoking team of industry-leading aviators whose core ethos is to vigorously and conscientiously raise the bar for aviation safety, professionalism, and education. As aviation educators, we are vanguards of transformation at every flight level. Together we can develop strategies to bridge the talent gap and continually aspire to a higher quality of education, training, and prestige in the industry while significantly bolstering the ranks of general aviation and beyond with pilots trained by enthusiastic teachers and ambassadors. We don’t just need more CFIs — we need impassioned CFIs who feel valued and respected for the professionals they are.”
Karen Kalishek, NAFI’s Chair, added “George Allen is an excellent addition to NAFI’s Board of Directors. His business acumen, commitment to excellence in aviation education, organizational development skills, and prior experience have all combined to make George an immediately productive Board member. He has seamlessly joined with NAFI’s hardworking team to provide mentoring, education, and advocacy for the benefit of flight instructors and the safety of all pilots.”