Andrew Dow of Quincy is one of just 14 aviation educators in the world earning accreditation this year as a master aviation educator.
Dow’s achievement was announced recently by Master Instructors LLC, an international accrediting authority.
Dow, 34, an assistant professor of aviation at Quincy University, is chief flight instructor and chief charter pilot for Great River Aviation in Quincy.
He previously has been accredited as a master flight instructor and master ground instructor through the National Association of Flight Instructors, and this marks the first time he has been honored with the MAE designation.
MAE accreditation recognizes individuals who work as professional aviation teachers but don’t necessarily hold Federal Aviation Administration instructor certification. Candidates demonstrate an ongoing commitment to excellence, professional growth and service to the aviation community. They also must pass a rigorous evaluation by a peer review board.
“Designees are recognized as outstanding aviation educators for not only their excellence in teaching but for their engagement in the continuous process of learning,” the agency said in a news release.
Dow said he was honored to receive the accreditation.
“Not a lot of people have done it,” Dow said in an interview. “It takes a lot of hard work and a lot of commitment. It shows that I go above and beyond what other flight instructors in the nation are doing. I consider it a real accomplishment.”
Dow is the aviation program coordinator for QU’s aviation degree program, which started in 2002. The native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he came to Quincy in 2003 after earning an associate’s degree in aviation from Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge. He started working that year at Great River Aviation as an instructor, and he later became an adjunct faculty member at QU in 2005 and an assistant professor in 2009.
Dow teaches 27 QU students seeking degrees in aviation or aviation management. He also provides private flying lessons at Great River Aviation and pilots charter planes to airports not served by airlines.
Dow said he flies between 400 and 500 hours a year, either in an instructional capacity or as a charter pilot.
“I just fell in love with flight instructing and teaching people how to fly,” he said. “There’s something calming about being in the air that creates a sensation of freedom, and I enjoy sharing my passion for flying with the younger generation — my students.”
Dow had his first airplane ride at age 8 after his family moved from Cedar Rapids to West Burlington, Iowa. He took his first flight lesson at age 14 at Burlington Regional Airport while a member of Boy Scouts Aviation Explorer Post.
Dow is now an aviation merit badge counselor for Boy Scouts of America.
In 2014, Dow won coach of the year honors from the National Intercollegiate Flying Association for Region 8 after being nominated by his aviation students.