Tribute to Frederick Maia W5YI
August 28, 1935 - March 28, 2012
KA5YSY, KB5ACA, W5YI
Dayton Hamvention 2001
SB SPCL @ ARL $ARLX002
ARLX002 Fred Maia, W5YI, (SK)
QST de W1AW
Special Bulletin 2 ARLX002
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT March 30, 2012
To all radio amateurs
SB SPCL ARL ARLX002
ARLX002 Fred Maia, W5YI, (SK)
The holder of one of the best-known US Amateur Radio call signs,
Frederick (Fred) Maia, W5YI, died of cancer Wednesday, March 28, 2012. He
was 76 and was a resident of Arlington, Texas.
Fred was a leading Amateur Radio journalist for nearly 35 years and
a pioneer of the volunteer examining program adopted by the FCC in
Maia published "The W5YI Report," dubbed "America's Oldest Ham Radio
Newsletter," from 1978 to 2003, and has been a CQ contributing
editor since 1985. His regulatory affairs column, first titled
"Ticket Talk," then "Washington Readout," offered news and
perspective on FCC Regulations and ITU actions. His final column
will appear in the May 2012 issue of CQ.
After the FCC adopted volunteer examining for all levels of Amateur
Radio licensing in 1984, Fred became the first Volunteer Examiner
Coordinator (VEC) appointed by the FCC. Fred subsequently founded
The W5YI Group in 1986 to develop, publish and sell amateur and
commercial radio license study materials. In the realm of FCC
commercial radio licensing, Fred formed National Radio Examiners to
provide examination services.
Maia served as President of the W5YI-VEC until his retirement in
October of 2000 when he sold The W5YI Group study material products
to Master Publishing, Inc. The retail operations were purchased by
General Manager Larry Pollock, NB5X, newly appointed President of
the W5YI-VEC and National Radio Examiners organizations. Maia
continued writing "The W5YI Report" newsletter until July 2003.
A graduate of the US Air Force Radio Operators School, Fred was an
avid CW operator. He was first licensed as a teenager as W1NTK in
Brockton, Massachusetts, where he grew up. Maia was later licensed
as W5UTT, and held DXCC CW awards and EU-PX-A CW. He was a member of
QCWA and Life Member of the ARRL.
For several decades, Maia also served on the National Conference of
Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) as a member of the Question
Pool Committee that oversees the development and maintenance of the
Amateur Radio license examination question pools.
ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, commented: "Amateur
Radio is healthier today because of the tireless efforts of Fred
Maia. While Fred did not always see things quite the same way as the
ARRL, in my experience he always had the best interests of Amateur
Radio at heart. He was a major figure who will be sorely missed."
He is survived by his wife, Doris, and two daughters. A memorial
service will be held at 3 PM, Saturday, March 31, at Moore Funeral
Home, 1219 North Davis Dr, Arlington, TX 76012.
From the CQ Newsroom...
CQ Columnist Fred Maia, W5YI, Silent Key
Amateur Radio Examiner, Educator, Author was 76
CQ columnist Fred Maia, W5YI, a leading amateur radio journalist,
educator and pioneer of volunteer examining, passed away on March 28
after a battle with cancer.
Maia, 76, published "The W5YI Report," dubbed "America's Oldest Ham
Radio Newsletter," from 1978 to 2003, and has been a CQ contributing
editor since 1985. His regulatory affairs column, first titled "Ticket
Talk," then "Washington Readout," offered news and perspective on FCC
and ITU (International Telecommunication Union) actions, and helped
untold numbers of hams wend their way through often-confusing mazes
of the volunteer examining and vanity call sign systems.
"Fred was one of those unusual people who was more focused on doing
the job than he was on getting credit for doing it," noted CQ Publisher
Dick Ross, K2MGA. "His 'job' was to help this hobby grow, and he succeeded
Maia was also a driving force in amateur and commercial radio licensing
and education materials since late 1970. He was the first Volunteer
Examiner Coordinator appointed by the Federal Communications Commission
in 1984, and his W5YI-VEC group grew into the nation's second-largest VEC
after the ARRL. Fred served as President of the W5YI-VEC until his retire-
ment in October of 2000. In 1986, he founded The W5YI Group to develop,
publish and sell amateur and commercial radio license study materials.
Fred also formed National Radio Examiners to provide examination services
as a Commercial Operator License Examination Manager (COLEM), and co-wrote
a commercial radio licensing study manual with Gordon West, WB6NOA.
As a longtime member of the National Conference of Volunteer Examiner
Coordinators (NCVEC) and its Question Pool Committee (QPC), which develops
and maintains the question pools for amateur radio license exams, Fred was
deeply involved in many of the changes in amateur radio licensing over the
past quarter century. This includes the phased elimination of Morse code
requirements for amateur licenses and the current system of three license
classes, Technician, General and Amateur Extra.
A resident of Arlington, Texas, Fred was a graduate of the U.S. Air
Force Radio Operators School, and was first licensed as an amateur radio
operator as a teenager in Rhode Island, where he grew up. He is survived
by his wife, Doris, and two daughters. A memorial service will be held,
3:00pm, Saturday March 31, 2012 at Moore Funeral Home, 1219 North Davis
Dr., Arlington, TX 76012.
Photo taken by K8CX
ARRL Bulletin used with permission from Maty Weinberg, KB1EIB ARRL Production Coordinator
CQ Newsroom bulletin used with permission from Richard Moseson, W2VU, and CQ Magazine
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