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Meet Our NAFI Master Instructors
David Yost, MCFI 03/2017-03/2019: As a youngster, Yost had a keen interest in airplanes, building many models while growing up, primarily WW II warbirds.  However, this love of airplanes didn't translate into actual flying until later in life.  On the advice of a fellow Boy Scout leader who was a private pilot, he took his first flying lesson at age 47 and never looked back.  In the 14 years since then, Yost has become a CFII and accumulated just over 2200 hours of flight time, all ASEL.

Yost as always been an active volunteer in one organization or another, and shortly after receiving his Private Pilot certificate, he joined the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) in Lake Elmo, Minnesota.  3½ years later he received his initial CFI and became a CAP flight instructor, and later a CAP Check Pilot.  Yost flies almost exclusively through the Civil Air Patrol, and serves as a Mission Pilot, Instructor Pilot, Orientation Pilot, and Check Pilot Examiner.  He has endorsed three students for the Private Pilot certificate and one for the Instrument Rating – all successful on the first attempt.  Several more Private, Instrument, and Commercial students are currently training with him.  In addition to the CAP, Yost serves the Minneapolis FSDO as a FAA Safety Team representative, and has given numerous flight safety briefings and presentations in various venues.  Yost is also looking forward to adding a glider rating to his Commercial certificate this summer.

Outside of flying, he works in the computer IT industry for a major computer manufacturer.  He is married to Shawn, his wife of 37 years.  They have two sons and a three-year-old granddaughter.  In his "spare time," Yost enjoys the occasional round of golf.  Fortunately, he says, he flies better than he plays golf! Click to Download David's Press Release!
Karen A. Kalishek, MCFI 03/2017-03/2019: Kalishek holds ATP, MEI, CFII, IGI, and AGI certificates, along with commercial privileges for single-engine seaplane and glider.  She anticipates earning the CFI-G in 2017 and using it actively for Civil Air Patrol and glider club training.

Kalishek started flying lessons in the 1980s but as sometimes happens, life got in the way. After resuming lessons in 2005 as a "bucket list" item, she said the aviation bug bit hard, with a clench that has grown only stronger over time.  Transitioning to a new career of flight instruction became her goal, she said.  At the time, she was working as an independent consultant and travelling internationally 75 percent of each year. Kalishek began part-time instructing in 2010 and after 20 years of international work, transitioned into full-time independent flight instructing in 2015.

While still a student pilot, Kalishek said she discovered a love of antique aircraft and has been privileged to fly numerous "low and slow" taildraggers. Her personal aircraft is an RV-6. After discovering that two Kalishek sisters were aerobatic pilots and wing0walkers early in the 20th century, she and her sister carried on the flame, wing-walking on the top wing of a Stearman while the pilot performed loops, rolls and Immelmanns.

Kalishek founded an IMC Club in 2014 that continues to grow. She has volunteered in the EAA Pilot Proficiency Center since 2014. Active in the Civil Air Patrol as an instructor and mission pilot, as well as holding other duty assignments, she volunteers more than 300 hours per year for CAP activities, and is a FAASTeam lead representative for the Milwaukee FSDO. Kalishek said she believes that it is a sense of community that keeps many general aviation pilots flying. To support this, she actively organizes fly-ins and aviation educational activities throughout the year.  Kalishek said that flight lessons should end with a smiling student who feels a sense of accomplishment.

Click to Download Karen's Press Release!
  Domenic Lafauci, Associate MCFI 02/2017-02/2019: On his 20th birthday, LaFauci took to the skies for the first time. He was immediately hooked, he said. Shortly thereafter, he drove an over-packed Jeep from Massachusetts to Daytona Beach, Florida, home of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. That's where he earned a commercial ASEL certificate as well as his AGI and IGI ratings.

While at ERAU, LaFauci purchased an unfinished Bede BD-5 from a local EAA chapter. He housed it in his living room, which he says was not easy to explain to his wife. With her help, he somehow succeeded in convincing the school's legal board to take the aircraft on as an educational endeavor for the benefit of students. This project eventually lead him to rub elbows with NASA Astronaut Nicole Stott, as well as some of the top mechanics in the country.

LaFauci developed an affinity for teaching while working in the College of Aviation’s tutor lab at Embry-Riddle. He was also named Training Director and Manager of the college’s radio station. Upon graduation in 2015, Domenic returned to Massachusetts and obtained his CFI certificate.

He is now at Bridgewater State University's 141 Aviation Science Program, where he is employed as a staff member and is awaiting his 141 assistant chief checkride. You may also find him at the East Coast Aero Club (ECAC) where he instructs in vintage tailwheel and high-performance airplanes.

In 2016, LaFauci was nominated as an Outstanding Flight Instructor in the AOPA's 2016 Flight Training Excellence Awards. He is training to instruct primary and sportsman aerobatics in ECAC’s Super Decathlon, under the supervision of local DPE & aerobatics Instructor Marc Nathanson. LaFauci is also a FAASTeam representative and a Gold Seal Flight Instructor.

LaFauci says his goals are to obtain his A&P certificates and instruct in warbirds, as well as move up to the chief instructor position at BSU. He adds that one of his dreams is to be an instructor pilot for the U.S, Air Force-Air National Guard.

Click to Download Domenic's Press Release!
Maureen Garrow, MCFI 02/2017-02/2019: Garrow said she discovered her love of aviation late in life and passion for teaching even later. One day while driving by DWH with the convertible top down a plane passed low overhead on landing surprising her Siberian Husky, which at that moment immediately fell flat and covered its head, she said. After a laugh, Garrow commented to her husband "I have always wanted to fly." Hence, flight lessons were her Christmas gift in 1995.

She earned her private pilot, instrument and commercial ratings with the help of United Flight Systems.

In the late fall of 2013, Garrow started work on her CFII. She was affiliated with a flight school and served as assistant chief until August of 2016. Garrow is now an independent flight instructor and has been a FAASTeam representative since 2014. Her FAA Gold Seal instructor was awarded in July of 2016.

Garrow has said that "all instructors have the same basic skills. The difference is the passion for aviation and desire to help students achieve their goals." With this achievement she would like to give special thanks to Captain David Wright. Click to Download Maureen's Press Release!
Richard "Dick" Rochfort, MCFI 2/2005-2/2019: This is Rochfort’s seventh consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation.

Rochfort is an Airline Transport Pilot and Master Instructor providing training, consulting, aircraft relocation and expert witness services worldwide to owners, pilots and instructors of the Piper PA46 aircraft through his company, RWR Pilot Training and The Professional Association of Pilot Instructors (PAPI) of which he is a founding member.
He holds ATP, Commercial and Gold Seal Flight Instructor Certificates with SEL, SES, MEL, CFII, MEI, and CE-525S ratings.  He has been actively involved in flight training as an instructor since 1992.

Rochfort has researched, authored and published hundreds of articles and demonstration videos specific to the operation of Piper PA46 aircraft. This body of work comprises the PA46 Pilot Reference Library which is the single largest on-line collection of its kind. Additionally, he creates and manages more than 6,500 personal training videos and documents on over 100 private on-line reference libraries each year for his training customers.

Rochfort’s training programs are PA46 type-specific, insurance industry approved, FAA Industry Training Standards (FITS) approved, FAA Wings approved and they are fully insured.
Rochfort is an FAA FAASTeam volunteer for the Baltimore FSDO, a National Industry Member of the FAA Safety Team, a member of the national FAA Wings Industry Advisory Committee, Director Emeritus of the Malibu Mirage Owners and Pilots Association (M/MOPA), and Instructor Emeritus of the M/MOPA Safety and Training Foundation. He is a member of EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) and NBAA (National Business Aircraft Association). He is also the Official Meridian Instructor for Red Bull Air Racer Kirby Chambliss and Team Chambliss.

Rochfort served as a “Green Beret” Staff Sergeant E6 in the US Army Special Forces from 1970 until 1976 as an “A team” radio operator, training indigenous personnel in field radio communications.  He worked from 1976 until 1991 as an industrial engineer training manufacturing personnel for the production of communication and navigation equipment for the US military.

His education includes undergraduate degrees in Clinical Psychology and Engineering, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.  Rochfort lives in Baltimore, Maryland USA with his wife and has two daughters.  He is a PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) certified Open Water Scuba Instructor, a DAN (Divers Alert Network) certified First Aid Instructor and an Eagle Scout.

Click to Download Dick's Press Release!
Christopher Anderson, MCFI  12/2000-12/2018: This is Anderson's ninth consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation.

Anderson began his aviation career in 1983 in Janesville, WI. After flying for a local charter operation, he moved to the Chicago area where he became a corporate pilot for a Fortune 100 company. He returned to Wisconsin in 1999 to work for Midwest Airlines and became a Master CFI and Designated Pilot Examiner with the Milwaukee FSDO. Anderson is now once again working in corporate aviation. Since earning his flight instructor certificate in 1986, Chris has expanded his certificate to include six of the seven ratings, and Autogyro sport instructor.

With over 19,000 hours of flight experience in a wide variety aircraft, he is able to provide training and check rides for multiple certificates and ratings. Based out of the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport in Janesville (KJVL), Anderson is willing to travel to meet his customers' needs. He has written several articles, and has published The Multi Engine Flight Training Guide. Click to Download Chris' Press Release!
Matthew Cummins, MCFI 11/2014-11/2018: This is Cummins' second consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation.

While serving as an emergency room registered nurse and firefighter-paramedic during the summer of 2000, Cummins fulfilled his childhood dreams by earning a pilot’s certificate. He said it forever changed the course of his life.  By the end of the following summer, he was working as a Certified Flight Instructor holding Instrument Instructor (CFII) and Multi-Engine Instructor (MEI) ratings.  After the events of September 11th, Cummins volunteered for military service and began a career as a United States Air Force pilot.

Over the past 15 years, Cummins has flown and instructed in over 50 different aircraft types and holds an Airline Transport Pilot rating and Master’s Degree in Aeronautical Science.  He serves as an evaluator pilot-chief functional check pilot for the United States Air Force Academy and helps coach the intercollegiate Precision Flying Team. 

Although Cummins has had many aviation experiences such as flying supersonic and piloting trans-global flights lasting nearly 24 hours, he says his most memorable times aloft are those spent “low and slow” or on flying adventures with the family.    

Cummins is an enthusiastic mountain flying and tail wheel instructor who’s been the “caretaker” of several unique aircraft, including an L-19 Bird Dog that he and a friend restored to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh award-winning condition.  He continues to spread his passion with the capable help of a lovable J-3 Cub and versatile Cessna Skywagon.  His children have inherited their dad’s infectious love of flight and can often be seen camping with him at Oshkosh or on some beautiful remote mountain airstrip. 
Click to Download Matthew's Press Release!
James "Steve" Rutland, MCFI 9/2000-1/2019:This is Rutland’s ninth consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation.

Rutland is a professional pilot and flight instructor with 43 years of aviation experience beginning in 1973 in Murray, Kentucky. He completed his first FAA flight instructor certificate in 1978 in Honolulu, Hawaii.  He attended U.S. Army flight training in 1975 and is a Master Army Aviator. He is also a U.S. Coast Guard Aviator, having served as a search and rescue pilot for the Guard.  Rutland has 35 years experience as a government civilian flight instructor for the U.S. Army Aviation School of Excellence, Fort Rucker, Alabama.  He holds three Airline Transport Pilot ratings (ASEL, AMEL, Helicopter), five FAA flight instructor ratings (CFI -ASEL, AMEL, Helicopter, CFII - Airplane and Helicopter), two type ratings, and is a graduate of 10 different military instructor pilot courses.  He has flown a wide variety of aircraft with 19, 500 flight hours and 16,000 flight hours of dual instruction given in aircraft, and thousands more hours of dual instruction given in flight simulators. While working part-time with Title 14 CFR 141 and 61 flight schools he has trained airplane single and multiengine land student pilots for the Private, Commercial, Instrument, Airline Transport Pilot, and Flight Instructor certificates.  He is a Gold Seal flight instructor and FAASTeam representative for the Birmingham FSDO.  He was selected for the FAA Flight Instructor of the Year for Alabama and NW Florida in 2001, 2002, and 2014. 
As a civilian flight instructor at Ft Rucker, he has trained military officers from every branch of the U.S. armed forces and every rank from Warrant officer candidate to colonel. At the Army Aviation School he has provided ground and flight training in a broad range of different programs of flight instruction including; primary, instruments, combat skills, aero scout, night vision goggles, advanced aircraft qualification, and the UH60 Instructor Pilot Course.   He has served as an UH60 Standardization Instructor Pilot/Instrument Flight Examiner to provide continuity and mentor newly assigned instructor pilots. He was selected as the Department of the Army Civilian of the Year by the Aviation Center Chapter of the Army Aviation Association of America, and revived the Superior Civilian Service Award from the Department of the Army. 

Rutland has been employed by the Safety Research Corporation of America to edit the FAA Airplane Flying Handbook and has taught as an adjunct instructor for Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.  He completed his master’s degree from Embry Riddle in aeronautical science in 1988.  In 2014 he was selected for the Alumni Achievement Award from Embry Riddle for an individual who has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the aviation and aerospace industry through their personal and professional success.

Click to Download Steve's Press Release!
Francis Goeddeke, MGI 11/2016-11/2018: Goeddeke took his first flying lesson in 1986 and says that one flight changed his life.  When he began flight instructing, he also enrolled in Embry-Riddle’s bachelor’s program in Professional Aeronautics through the independent study program.  From there, he took an educational leave from his day job to attend Embry-Riddle on campus in Daytona Beach to study for his Master of Aeronautical Science degree, specializing in Human Factors.  While studying, he realized there are a lot of great human factors researchers, but the bigger problem is management doesn’t always use them.  From there he went on to study for his MBA and PhD in management.

When he retired from his day job, he joined the Peace Corps where he spent 4-1/2 years in Mongolia.  Upon returning to the United States he was on the beach in Miami, wondering what he was going to do with his life.  Then he saw a DC-3 flying overhead making an approach into Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport.  That gave him his answer.  So he showed up at the airport the next day and started working at Wayman Aviation.
At Wayman, he became Assistant Chief Flight Instructor and teaches many of the professional pilot ground school courses.  In this capacity he has developed his own 32-hour ground school for aspiring flight instructors.  He also teaches online in Embry-Riddle’s Master’s program and with St. Thomas University’s Education Doctorate program.  He is also a FAASTeam representative.

Frank says he would like to thank all the instructors he has flown with, especially Todd Birdsall, Jeff Hall, Mike Zielke, Alex Alvarez, and Alfredo Wayman, for being such great role models.
Click to Download Frank's Press Release!
Jack Morton, MCFI 10/2016-10/2018: Morton has always lived in the Indianapolis area. He says he has always been fascinated with flying but like many, life sort of got in the way. “I realized as I passed into my 40s, it was now or never and walked into the local county airport.”

During instrument training a good friend and local DPE encouraged him to consider teaching, which was intimidating for someone with so little experience. Ten years into instructing and says he’s glad he listened. Since retiring from an information technology career in 2011, he’s been instructing full time and enjoying every day.

In 2002, he was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Indianapolis Airport Authority, which owns and operates Indianapolis International Airport, four reliever airports and the downtown heliport. "Participating in the direction and growth of the Indianapolis aviation environment has been an incredibly rewarding experience," he said.

With several primary students at the same point in their ground training, he began group sessions that have morphed into a monthly ground school for anyone that wants to attend. The group varies from 10 to 20 primary students through commercial pilots who pick the topics they want to cover.

In 2015, he formed the local IMC Club and has a steadily growing group working to polish their instrument skills. He also serves as the flight advisor to EAA Chapter 1121. "The most rewarding and satisfying aspect of instructing is seeing the confidence emerge as students realize they have taken on something significant and can claim what only a small percentage of people have accomplished," he said.
Click to Download Jack's Press Release!
Timothy Timmons, MCFI 10/2016-10/2018, AMCFI 2/2015-2/2017: This is Timmons’ second NAFI Master Accreditation.

Timmons started flying in 2005 and earned his CFI certificate in 2012.  After a 21-year career in the U.S. Army he retired from the military in 2013 and began to pursue his love for aviation and flight instruction full-time. He currently serves as the Assistant Chief Flight Instructor for Cochise College’s Aviation Department (Part 141) in Douglas, Arizona.  In 2015 he received honor roll instructor recognition as part of AOPA’s Flight Training Excellence Awards.

Timmons earned his ATP AMEL earlier this year and also holds commercial privileges for single engine and private privileges for seaplane and glider.  He is an FAA Gold Seal Instructor with CFII, MEI, AGI and IGI certificates.  His education includes a masters degree in Aerospace Operations from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Timmons says he believes strongly in serving his community through aviation.  He serves as AOPA's Airport Support Network representative for Tombstone Airport (P29), in  Arizona and as a volunteer pilot for Flights for Life, LightHawk, and EAA’s Young Eagles program.  He also recently became a FAASTeam representative for the Scottsdale FSDO.  He has accumulated more than 2,300 pilot-in-command hours with over 1,100 hours of dual instruction given. He lives in Anthem, Arizona.
 Click to Download Tim's Press Release!
Donald Kaye, MCFI 9/2002-9/2018: 8 Time MCFI: This is Kaye's Eighth NAFI Master Instructor accreditation.

Born in Canton, Ohio Kaye was interested in aviation from an early age. After getting his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering, he went to work for Kaiser Aerospace and Electronics. Many in his section at work had pilot certificates and in early 1968 he, too, became a private pilot. A year later he got his commercial certificate.

From 1970 until 1992, his time was consumed with the business aspects of life including becoming a real estate broker selling apartment houses, a real estate developer, and a real estate investor. It took an issue of Flying Magazine with a Mooney TLS on the cover to direct his attention fully back to flying. He soon purchased a Mooney TLS. Thereafter, he achieved his instructor and instrument instructor ratings, and started teaching full time, specializing in teaching all models of Mooneys. His ATP certification followed.

For many years he taught both the primary Mooney Pilot Proficiency Course and its corresponding Mountain Flying Course. After a student of his bought a King Air C90, he earned his multiengine and multiengine instructor ratings and began giving multiengine instruction. Shortly thereafter the same student bought a CJ1 and the Citation CE-525S ATP was added to his credentials.

With over 10,500 hours of total GA time, 5,800 hours have been devoted to teaching. He has been willing to travel, to Canada, Australia and even North Dakota in the middle of January to assist those interested in learning the art of flying.

Several years ago he upgraded the panel of his airplane to the latest in aviation technology. With the experience gained in the use of all this new technology, he has been able to quickly guide students on both purchases of such technology and on how best to use it to provide for the safest flight possible.

Click to Download Kaye's Press Release!
David Cecchino, MCFI 10/2016-10/2018: Cecchino grew up in Virginia Beach near the Oceana Naval Air Station.  Hearing the thunderous roar and feeling the sonic booms of the Blue Angels rocket across the sky was intoxicating, he said, and a pivotal event that inspired his motivation to fly.  The bumper sticker “I LOVE JET NOISE” was ubiquitous in his hometown in the 1980s.

Cecchino began flying in 2003 while working as a Systems Engineer and earned  a private certificate at Manassas Regional Airport (KHEF) in 2004. In 2006, he earned his ground instructor certificates and taught private and instrument ground school in Leesburg, Virginia. He received his CFI certificate in 2011, and said he continues to enjoy teaching motivated students and flying multi-engine aircraft.

In 2016, Cecchino earned a Bachelor of Aeronautical Science degree, graduating magna cum laude from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University while he was instructing part time.  For his final capstone course, he wrote a research paper on Human Factors in Cockpit Automation. Cecchino is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree at Embry-Riddle with a specialization in aerospace.

Cecchino is a commercially rated pilot and a Gold Seal CFI/I, MEI, AGI, and IGI.  He has given over 1,000 hours of dual instruction and teaches at Leesburg Executive Airport (KJYO). “I emphasize the highest degree of safety in my flying and inculcate that same level of safety to my flight students,” he said. 

Click to Download David's Press Release!
Lubomir Gueorguiev, MCFI 8/2016-8/2018: Born in Russia, Gueorguiev started flying when he was 16 years old. His passion followed him to the United States in 1991 when he immigrated and began instructing professionally. Educated with a doctoral degree in nuclear physics, he said his passion has always been aviation and flight instruction. With more than 4,300 hours total time, and over 3,500 of them dual given, Gueorguiev said he believes that flight safety starts with education.

Gueorguiev is a member of AOPA, is an EAA Young Eagle pilot, a major in the Civil Air Patrol, a FAAST Team Representative for the Tampa FSDO, and member of the United States Parachute Association. He is an ATP pilot, a Gold Seal CFI, CFII, and MEI.

Click to Download Lubomir's Press Release!
Tim Reeve, MCFI 8/2016-8/2018: Tim Reeve is a full-time helicopter air ambulance pilot and safety representative based in Orlando, Florida. He holds a FAA Rotorcraft Helicopter ATP certificate with CFI, CFII and Advanced Ground Instructor ratings, FAA Airplane Commercial/Instrument certificate and European Commercial Pilot License for Helicopter. Reeve retired after 22 years military service in 2005 from the Royal Air Force, where he served as an aircraft maintenance manager. He first began flying helicopters in England in 2000 and gained pilots licenses in Australia and New Zealand. Reeve came to the United States in 2005 and gained his FAA certifications to begin his teaching career at Air Orlando, a Part 61 and Part 141 flight school. He quickly developed a passion for flight instruction as he gained the teaching experience, which resulted in the Gold Seal CFI award in 2007. He became the Air Orlando's Chief Helicopter Pilot and Assistant Chief for the Part 141 program. Full-time jobs flying news and medevac from 2007-8 allowed Reeve to continue his passion for teaching people to safely fly helicopters. He completed an aerospace science master's program in 2014, majoring in safety and human factors at Embry-Riddle Aeronautics University, achieving a GPA of 4.0. Now as a part time CFI for local flight schools in Orlando and Kissimmee, Reeve is still teaching pilots
and is a source of knowledge and guidance for those schools as they pursue Part 141 accreditation. He has been a CFI for 11 years, has 3400 hours of flight time of which half has been as a CFI in helicopters. He has recommended more than 50 students for check rides, ranging from private through CFI/CFII and has a first time pass rate of 95 percent. He lives in Orlando with his wife and young son. Click to Download Tim's Press Release!
Lynnwood "Woody" Minar, MCFI 9/2006-9/2018: This is Minar's Sixth consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation.

After retiring from the Central Intelligence Agency, Minar took up flying. He received his private pilot certificate in July 2000. Three years later he got his commercial pilot certificate and month later his CFI, with single and multi-engine land and sea, CFII, CFI-G Gold Seal CFI, IGI, AGI.

He is a FAASTeam lead representative and has been a Designated Pilot Examiner for the Minneapolis FSDO for four years.

In 2009, Minar was awarded the Minneapolis FSDO CFI of the Year. In 2012 he was the Minneapolis FSDO and Great Lakes Region CFI of the Year, and in 2013 named the Minneapolis FSDO and Great Lakes Region FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year.

With nearly 8,000 hours, he teaches for Adventure Seaplanes in Lino Lakes, Minnesota and Lake Wales, Florida. He has given safety seminars to more than 7,000 pilots throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Florida, and is a yearly presenter at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh. He has served on the board of
directors and as the chief flight instructor for the Wild River Flying Club and the Red Wing Soaring Association at the Osceola (WI) Municipal Airport.

Woody is also a contributing editor for Midwest Flyer Magazine. Click to Download Woody's Press Release!
Gregory Gorak, MCFI 05/1998-06/2018: This is Gorak’s Tenth consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation.

Greg Gorak is an 8,600 plus hour Airline Transport Pilot as well as a dynamic educator. Gorak started flying in 1962 in a J3 Cub and received his Private Pilot's License in a 7 ECA with long time instructor Al Sabota and examiner Hugo Picco. At the time he was a member of the West Allis flying club which allowed him to get all his ratings starting with his private in 1963, commercial in 1966, and CFI in 1967. Gorak was Chairman of the Career Pilot Program at Gateway Technical Institute for nine years and also taught for the National Association of Flight Instructors in 1976. Gorak then founded Gaits Aviation Seminars, Inc. in 1977 and has been on the Presenter's Circuit for 43 years. Gaits Aviation Seminars has now graduated over 17,676 flight instructors. Gorak flew charter for seven years with Scott Air Charter at Mitchell Field, accumulating thousands of hours in various turboprops including most Beechcraft King Air type aircraft the Beech Baron, Cessna 421, Shrike Commander, and Cessna Citation. During this time Gorak had five children one of which  (Mark) followed him into aviation getting his helicopter rating at Fort Rucker and is now a Colonel serving in the Pentagon.

The Federal Aviation Administration named Gorak the Flight Instructor of the Year for the United States in 1975 and The National Association of Flight Instructors inducted him into the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame in 2013. Gorak has written a number of articles for publications including FAA Aviation News, Midwest Flyer, Professional Pilot, and NAFI Mentor. Click to Download Greg's Press Release!
  Gregory Smith, MCFI 04/2008-05/2018: This is Smith’s Fifth consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation.

Smith began flying 17 years ago while working as a sales executive for the WD-40 company. After earning his CFI certificate in 2002 he began instructing part time. In 2004 he made the career jump to full-time instructor.

He currently flies a G-58 Baron and C441 Conquest II out of Waukegan, IL for Aldridge Electric. He instructs part-time at the Westosha Flying Club in Wilmot, WI where he is also on the Board of Directors and serves as the club treasurer.

He completed his ATP in March of this year, is a FAASTeam representative and a FAA Gold Seal Instructor holding CFII, MEI, and AGI privileges. He has given over 6,000 hours of dual instruction.

Click to Download Greg's Press Release!
John "Jack" Stevens, MCFI 05/2016-05/2018: Stevens is an ATP (airplane) & Commercial (helicopter), CFI-I, MEI, CSIP, FAASafety Representative and Chief Flight Instructor (Part 141 Instrument) with the Moore County Airport Flight Center in Pinehurst, NC (KSOP).

He started flying in 1969 at a small grass strip in Warrington, PA, getting his private pilot certificate in a Piper Colt (PA22-108). He recalls that the approach to the 1300-foot runway was over a barn, uphill then downhill.  The Colt had no flaps and all landings were short-field/soft-field.  Sadly, he says,  Warrington Airport has long since been gobbled up by residential development and a quarry expansion. In 1980 his growing family moved to Flemingsburg, KY where he shared non-aviation professional employment with his wife Ellen. He received his CFI certificate in 1981. Thereafter, as an avocation, he provided flight instruction at the Fleming-Mason Airport (KFGX), was an FAASafety Representative with the Louisville, KY FSDO, and served with the Civil Air Patrol, mentoring other pilots and conducting search and rescue missions in eastern Kentucky.  In 1983 his family moved to Mt. Sterling, KY where he worked with Kentucky Airmotive at the Montgomery County Airport (KIOB), providing all levels of flight instruction, including aerobatic training in his Decathlon (8KCAB). Following a move to Pinehurst, North Carolina in 1992 he provided free-lance flight instruction at the Moore County Airport and upon retiring from his professional job in 2012 he joined the staff at the Moore County Airport Flight Center, and in 2015 assumed the Chief Flight Instructor position for the Part 141 instrument program.  He is a Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot, serves as FAASafety Representative for the Greensboro, NC FSDO and is serving on the advisory committee exploring the possibility of establishing an aviation degree program at Sandhill’s Community College in Southern Pines, NC.

“I’m passionate about mentoring others and keep in close contact with past clients,"
he said "It is so rewarding when I receive a phone call, an email or text from a past student telling me about a new job, qualifying in a new aircraft, obtaining an additional rating or dealing with an untoward situation that they safely handled."

"Collegial interaction with fellow CFIs is also a satisfying perk, even if the salutation is to the grey beard in the group," he, added. "As instructor pilots we know about the published four levels of learning.  Actually, the fifth and highest level of learning is Teaching. ”
Click to Download Jack's Press Release!
Scott McBrayer, MCFI 03/2014-03/2018: This is McBrayer’s second consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation.

An Edmond, Oklahoma native, McBrayer is the first aviator in his family, and began flying in January 2004 while a student at Oklahoma State University.  He said he had always loved flying and dreamed of doing as a child, but never thought that he could actually become a professional pilot.  His first major in college was aerospace engineering, but he switched away from it the first semester when he realized he had a much greater desire to be a pilot.  He said his desire grew to become involved with missionary aviation and he began to realize that flying was something he was made for.  He changed my major to aviation sciences and "the rest is history," he said.  While at OSU, McBrayer was also a member of the Flying Aggies and was a student teacher for the department's cockpit automation course, where students learned systems for the CRJ200 and the Collins 4200 FMS.

After college, McBrayer earned his first CFI job in Oklahoma City for Oklahoma Aviation and became its first Assistant Chief Flight Instructor as he helped the company obtain its Part 141 certificate.  During that time, he gained experience in over 30 different aircraft, from single-engine pistons to multi-engine turbines, and began doing corporate flying in conjunction with his flight school duties.  He also became a Cirrus Standardized Instructor and began to conduct transition training and insurance checkouts for Cirrus owners and pilots in the region.
McBrayer then moved to Waco, Texas to partner with a mission organization and go through its training program.  He met his wife, Jenny, while in the program and decided to stay in Waco longer than originally expected.  He earned a job as a faculty member for the Texas State Technical College Aircraft Pilot Training Department and began teaching collegiate level ground classes.  After his first semester of teaching, he was moved to the Assistant Chief Flight Instructor position and then to the Chief Flight Instructor position eight months later.  Since assuming that role, McBrayer says he has worked hard to ensure that his love of flying gets passed on to those that enroll in the program and that the department graduates the most qualified pilots possible.  When possible, he still takes occasional corporate flying jobs.  He said he feels he has been blessed to be part of seeing some of the highest numbers of flight hours, graduates, and pass rates that the department has ever seen.  He also serve as an advisor on the City of Waco's Aviation Advisory Board, a member of the Waco Aviation Safety Committee, and has been working as a subcontractor with L3 Communications and has been conducting turbine transitions, tailwheel transitions, missions systems training, and type specific training on DOD contracts.

Above all else, he said, he gets to help others discover the path to realizing their dreams fulfilled as professional aviators.

Click to Download Scott's Press Release!
  Joseph Kotowski, MCFI 04/2016-04/2018: Joseph Kotowski’s says his interest in aviation began with his father, who was in the Army Air Corp in World War II, and a family friend who was an aircraft owner that he flew with as a young person. Kotowski then bought a partnership in a C-172 in 1980 and started taking lessons, and later partnered in a C-182 and a T-210.

Kotowski worked in the power industry for 36 years as an engineer. Though he enjoyed his work in the power industry he says he always longed for a career in aviation, and in 2009 he obtained his CFI and worked part-time as an instructor, He retired in 2012 and began a full-time career in aviation. Kotowski currently holds an ATP, MEI, and CFI-I and private glider certificate.

"I am currently Chief Flight Instructor at a local FBO and have found flight instruction rewarding and enjoy the challenge of finding the right approach for instructing people with varied backgrounds and experience," Kotowski said.  "... I believe it is important for all Instructors to help improve our industry’s safety record, promote the interest of young people, and help ensure the future of General Aviation. To that end I
conduct safety seminars, contribute as a FAA Safety Team Representative, and participate in Civil Air Patrol and other aviation organizations. I also fly for our company’s charter operation in a King Air C90 and Citation Bravo. This constant learning and expanding of experience is what drives my passion in aviation, and I have found this is true of most pilots." Click to Download Joseph's Press Release!
David Hensley, MCFI 01/2002-03/2018: This is Hensley’s eighth consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation.

Dave Hensley is a Part 142 Training Center Manager based in Orlando, Florida. He holds the ATP with CFI/CFII and MEI along with the advanced ground instructor designation. Hensley is a retired Air Force Colonel with extensive experience in both high altitude reconnaissance and jet training operations. Hensley first soloed in 1974 while a student at the USAF Academy. His military flying career started with Air Force pilot training and led to lots of instrument time as a WC-130 “Typhoon Chaser” weather reconnaissance pilot.

After several years of hurricane flying, Hensley cross trained into jets as a T-38 “Talon” instructor and check pilot at Reese AFB, Texas. Next, he volunteered for the U-2 program and fell in love with high altitude operations flying as a U-2/TR-1 “Dragon Lady” mission pilot, instructor and evaluator.

After a full military flying career, Hensley retired and continued to fulfill his passion for aviation as a flight instructor. He was a flight academy Part 141 Chief Instructor as well a Part 142 Training Center Evaluator. He is a FAA Gold Seal flight instructor and has held the National Association of Flight Instructor’s Master Flight Instructor designation since 2002.  Hensley has over 10,000 flight hours with over 5000 hours of dual instruction given, and has earned a Master of Education degree in curriculum and instruction from South Dakota State University. Hensley has been a CFI for over 33 years. Click to Download Dave's Press Release!
Nicholas Ahlen, MCFI 03/2016-03/2018: Nick Ahlen, who holds Instructor ratings in multiple categories, started flying in 1998 at the age of 21.  His passion for aviation led him to the U.S. Naval Academy to pursue a degree in aerospace engineering.  Following graduation, Ahlen entered flight training and has been flying for the Navy ever since.

After deployments in the Seahawk helicopter, Ahlen discovered his true passion through flight instruction.  He has instructed thousands of U.S. and international students in both helicopters and fixed wing aircraft for the last 10 years and shows no signs of stopping.  He is currently instructing in the T-6B Texan II in Training Squadron Two.

Ahlen keeps busy with aviation outreach through NAFI, EAA, IAC, CAP, RAF, CAF and Young Eagles as well as participating heavily in the airshow circuit as a static display with various military aircraft.  Ahlen feeds his aviation thirst by adding ratings in differing types as often as possible.
Click to Download Nick's Press Release!
Ben Atnip, MCFI 02/2016-02/2018: Ben Atnip, Gold Seal, CFI, CFII, MEI, ATP AMEL & ASEL, has been a commercial pilot in Wyoming since 2005. He attended Utah Valley University. He worked in the construction industry growing up, and started flying at 19 years old.

Atnip’s first flight job was working in Riverside, Oklahoma where he taught private through commercial students. Atnip then moved back to his hometown Cody Wyoming and started a flight school with a local FBO, Choice Aviation. At first he was the only instructor, with one airplane, but it quickly grew. The flight school now employs 13 pilots and a has fleet of airplanes ranging from a Super Cub to King Airs. Atnip is Chief Flight Instructor and is connected with the collegiate program at Northwest College.. In addition he is Chief Pilot for the company's Part 135 certificate.

Atnip has a passion to teach and has acquired around 8,000 hours with over 3,500 hours of instruction given. He teaches a variety of courses, but specializes in spin training, tailwheel courses, mountain flying,Cirrus CSIP instruction as well as an insurance-approved King Air instruction

Atnip is married to Alyssa and they are expecting their first baby girl in April.

In his spare time, Ben also enjoys skiing, playing the banjo, chess, ping-pong and volleyball.

Click to Download Ben's Press Release!
Alan Frazier, MCFI 10/2009-12/2017: This is Frazier’s fourth consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation.

Frazier began flight training when he was a teenager living in Tennessee. He worked at Stones River Aviation as an aircraft lineman in exchange for flight time. Frazier earned his private pilot certificate at Stones River and went on to graduate from Middle Tennessee State University with a bachelor's degree in aerospace administration. He relocated to California and accepted a position as a police officer with the Glendale Police Department. Seven years of his 28-year career with Glendale PD were spent assigned to the Air Support Unit, where he flew MD-520N helicopters and served as the officer-in-charge. During this time, he also worked at Glendale Community College as the chairman of the Aviation Department. Three summers were spent flying for the National Park Service in Alaska. In 1990, Frazier earned a master's degree in public administration from the University of Southern California. He retired from law enforcement in 2010 and accepted a teaching position at the University of North Dakota., where he serves as an associate professor teaching helicopter flight courses and a public safety aviation course, and has collateral duties as a helicopter stage check pilot. Frazier’s academic research centers on the use of small, unmanned aircraft in law enforcement missions. He has accumulated over 7500 pilot-in-command hours with over 4400 hours of dual instruction given.

He possesses an FAA Airline Transport Pilot Certificate with AMEL and BE-1900 ratings, and an FAA Commercial Certificate with ASEL, ASES, RH, and Glider ratings. Frazier is active in the Civil Air Patrol where he serves as the Standardization and Evaluation Officer for the North Dakota Wing as well as a check pilot and mission check pilot. In his spare time Alan flies a BE-1900 for Alpine Air
. Click to Download Alan's Press Release!
Helen Woods, MCFI 11/2009-11/2017: This is Wood’s fourth consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation.

Helen Woods has been a passionate general aviation pilot since 1998. A biologist by training, she spent several years serving as a search and rescue pilot and managing a search and rescue training program prior to accepting a job as a wildlife survey pilot. She earned recognition from the National Association of Flight Instructors as a Master Flight Instructor from 2009 through 2016 and in 2015 was recognized by the FAA as the Baltimore District and Eastern Region Flight Instructor of the Year.   Today, as a flight instructor, owner, and manager of Chesapeake Sport Pilot, she is dedicated to sharing her love of aviation with others through affordable, quality flight training.

Click to Download Helen's Press Release!
Dale Wilson, MCFI 10/1999-10/2013, MGI 10/2013-12/2017: This is Wilson's second NAFI Master Ground Instructor accreditation; he is a seven-time consecutive NAFI Master Flight Instructor.

Wilson teaches courses in flight crew physiology and psychology, threat and error management, aviation safety management, and aviation weather as a professor in the Aviation Department at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington. For the past nine years he has also taught private pilot ground school in the department’s Part 141 flight training program. A pilot for more than 35 years, he has logged several thousand hours in single- and multi-engine airplanes in the United States and Canada. He holds, or has held, pilot certifications including: ATP, CFI, AGI and IGI from the Federal Aviation Administration and ATPL and Class I Flight Instructor from Transport Canada.

Wilson has devoted his professional life to studying why pilots make the mistakes they do. In his efforts to better understand human performance factors such as perception, attention, memory and decision- making, he completed a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Trinity Western University in British Columbia (1994) and a Master’s degree in Aviation Safety at the University of Central Missouri (1996).
He has written extensively in scholarly journals and professional magazines, including NAFI Mentor on such human factors issues as the visual limitations of detecting other aircraft and flying at night, cognitive biases in pilot decision-making, and VFR flight into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). Managing Risk: Best Practices for Pilots, a recent book co-authored by Wilson and published by Aviation Supplies and Academics, describes many of the significant threats to safe flight operations, offers insights into how and why pilots make errors that exacerbate them, and provides best-practice countermeasures needed to successfully manage them. Click to Download Dale's Press Release!
  Michael Lucas, MCFI 8/2013-12/2017: This is Lucas’ second consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation.

Mike Lucas, CFII, ATP, has been a pilot in Alaska since 1985.  He graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a BA in Music Education, earned an endorsement as an Industrial Arts teacher at Montana State University, and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.  He was a public school teacher in the Kuskokwim delta for 24 years.  Lucas obtained his private pilot’s certificate from Sunbird Aviation at Gallatin Field in Bozeman, Montana, where he subsequently received his instrument rating and commercial certificate. In addition to being a commercial pilot he has an instrument flight instructor certificate and a seaplane CFI certificate.
Lucas is a CFII with the Elmendorf Aero Club, Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska, instructing on wheels and floats.  He is also involved with the Yuut Yaqungviat flight school in Bethel, Alaska, as executive director.  

He is a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, National Association of Flight Instructors, Experimental Aircraft Association, Alaska Airman’s Association, the Alaska Air Safety Foundation, and Seaplane Pilots Association.  He is also a major in the Civil Air Patrol, acting as a check pilot on wheels and floats for the Alaska Wing. In addition to writing articles for NAFI’s Mentor and Alaska Airman’s Association Transponder, he is a member of the Wasilla Airport Advisory Board.
In his spare time Lucas enjoys skiing, ice skating and playing baritone saxophone in Gleo Huyck’s MAT-SU Valley concert band, and the Bill Tull jazz orchestra.

Shane Terpstra, MCFI 10/2015-10/2017: Terpstra started flying in 1992 at the age of 16.  While pursuing a career in information technology, he stayed true to his passion for aviation by continuing to fly or advancing his ratings over the past 20 years.  Terpstra is a passionate aviation enthusiast, FAA FAASTeam Member, safety officer and board member of San Diego's Plus One Flyers, the largest flight club in the United States, as well as owner of a Piper Archer II and a Cirrus SR-22TN. 

Terpstra is an active member of the Civil Air Patrol, and achieved 25 years of involvement last year. Within CAP Shane holds the ratings of incident commander, mission pilot, check pilot, and ground team leader.

Terpstra has helped locate dozens of missing aircraft over the years and uses these experiences to help ensure these incidents don't happen to others.  He currently serves as CAP's California Wing director of emergency services. In his spare time, you'll probably find him in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his wife Sarah.

Click to Download Shane's Press Release!
Steven Goetz, MCFI 8/2011-10/2017: This is Goetz’s third NAFI Master Accreditation.

For as long as he can remember, Goetz has been interested in flying, and in 2004, he got his chance to start. He’s now a gold seal CFI, CFII, MEI, AGI, IGI, and A&P.  In 2008, he began flight instructing for SIU Carbondale, where he is an assistant professor and assistant chief flight instructor under its Part 141 certificate, providing both flight training and student evaluation for the university.

In addition to flight instruction, Goetz works with youth through summer camps, the Civil Air Patrol, and EAA's Young Eagles.  He also works with the FAA Safety Team as a representative.

Click to Download Steve's Press Release!
Jerrold Seckler, MGI 8/2015-8/2017: Jerrold Seckler, an ATP, CFII, AGI, and IGI,  is a retired urologist and AME who learned to fly in the mid 1960s and who has since amassed over 6000 hours in a variety of general aviation aircraft.

Seckler has been active in the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association since its founding in 2001 and actively teaches preflight planning and aviation weather classes at the Cirrus Pilots Proficiency Programs.  He also contributes a bimonthly column on aviation-related medical issues to Cirrus Pilot Magazine.  He is an active Angel Flight pilot who has flown over 70 missions and serves on the Safety Committee of Angel Flight Central.

A longtime resident of the Chicago area, Seckler bases his Cirrus SR22 at the DuPage County Airport (KDPA).

Click To Download Jerrold's Press Release!
Aaron Dabney, MCFI 8/2013-8/2017: This is Dabney’s second NAFI Master Accreditation.

Dabney has been hanging around airports for as long as he can remember. He was raised on hangar flying at Ball Airport, a historic turf strip in Victoria, Texas. His first airplane ride was in the family Piper Cub when he was 3 months old, and he soloed that same Cub at Ball Airport at age 19. After deciding that flying only for recreation wasn't enough in 2009 he co-founded and served as principal instructor for Waco Flight Training in Waco, Texas . 

In 2013, Dabney established his own independent flight school, Master the Tailwheel, where he continues as owner and operator.  He specializes in private, instrument, tailwheel transition training, and Piper Cub transition training. Dabney has also become a factory authorized transition instructor and demonstration pilot for the American Legend Cub line of aircraft. He holds a Master of Science degree in education from Baylor University, and serves as an adjunct professor in the school's Institute for Air Science. In his downtime, Aaron enjoys flying for fun and traveling with Alisa, his wife of 11 years.

Click to Download Aaron's Press Release!
  Reginald "Rusty" Henderson, MCFI 8/2015-8/2017: Rusty Henderson, an ATP, CFI, CFII, MEI, has been instructing since 2009. He was born in western Arkansas and resides there with his wife Cindy and son Chase. He has practiced veterinary medicine in Fort Smith, Arkansas for nearly three decades.

A certified pilot for the last 30 years, Henderson never envisioned being involved in flight instruction..  He was introduced to the joy of general aviation while in his second year of veterinary school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Flying became an integral part of his life from that point. Henderson then developed a passion for sharing the aviation experience ,and with encouragement from a very important mentor, he acquired his flight instruction certification.

Henderson teaches at local air fields. He is also an instructor and check pilot for the Arkansas Wing of the Civil Air Patrol, where he served as wing vice-commander. He is also a FAASTeam Representative and president of The Arkansas Veterinary Medical Association. In February of 2015 he was designated a Pilot Examiner by the FAA’s Little Rock Flight Standards Office.

Click to Download Rusty's Press Release!
Matthew P.R. McDaniel, MCFI 7/2003-8/2017: This is McDaniel’s Seventh consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation.

McDaniel is a Gold Seal Flight Instructor, ATP, CFII, MEI, AGI, & IGI and Platinum CSIP. In 25 years of flying, he has logged over 15,000 hours with over 5,500 hours of instruction given. He owns Progressive Aviation Services, LLC, which has specialized in technically advanced aircraft and glass cockpit instruction since 2001. He writes on a variety of aviation topics and has published in a variety of aviation periodicals.  He also teaches seminars nationwide on advanced IFR and WAAS operations..  He also flies the Airbus A-320 for an international airline, holds six turbine aircraft type ratings, and has flown over 80 aircraft types. He has earned the Master CFI designation for seventh consecutive two-year terms.

Click to Download Matthew's Press Release!
Wallace Moran, MCFI 6/2001-8/2017: This is Moran’s Eighth consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation.

Wallace Moran started his aviation career as a general aviation flight instructor; he later worked in the airline industry as a simulator and aircraft instructor and a FAA check airman on many airline aircraft including the Boeing 747 and 767. He also spent many years in airline management as training supervisor, chief pilot and VP of Safety and Engineering. He has always been active in the general aviation area as an airplane owner and flight instructor and has given over 4000 hours of flight instruction in general aviation airplanes and gliders.

He is currently working as a FAA Designate Pilot Examiner, independent flight instructor and FAA FAST team member. He is a long time member of NAFI and has been a NAFI Master CFI since 2001.

Wallace lives in Summerville SC.

Click to Download Wallace's Press Release!
Douglas Auclair, MCFI 11/2013-06/2017:This is Auclair’s second NAFI Master Accreditation.

Auclair is the founder and president of Air Ventures Flying School at North Central State Airport (KSFZ) in Smithfield, Rhode Island.  Air Ventures operates in the location of the former Skylanes flight school, which was founded by the renowned aerobatic instructor Sabatino “Sabbie” Ludovici.  Auclair renovated the location, and expanded the flight school to include a number of single engine planes and an FAA-certified LaserGrade (now PSI)  testing center.  Under his direction, the Air Ventures' location has again become a popular destination for local pilots and students, and the site of well-attended airport social events including an annual chili cook-off and holiday parties.

Auclair, a long-time Rhode Island resident, began his flight training in 2005 and has been a flight instructor since 2008.  In addition to flight training, he conducts regular ground schools for VFR and IFR pilots and has trained and mentored a number of certified flight instructors who will be joining his team of flight instructors.

Click to Download Doug's Press Release!
  John "Mike" Kehoe, MCFI 6/2015-6/2017: Mike Kehoe is originally from the Chicago area. His first flight was in a DC-3 in 1960, from Chicago’s Midway airport to Carbondale where he attended SIU.

Kehoe is a veteran of the 82nd Airborne where he served tours in Vietnam in 1967-1968 as a platoon leader. His first flight in a GA aircraft was in 1965 out of Corona, CA. in a Piper-sponsored $9.95 “intro flight.” The flight that “hooked” him, however, was another Piper-sponsored $19.95 “intro flight” out of Elgin Airport, Elgin Illinois. in 1975. From that flight forward he continued his training through CFII over a period of 10 years. He instructed out of DPA, SPG, and now at KHND. He has logged over 4,000 hours of flight time and has over 3,000 hours of dual instruction given. While enjoying teaching private, instrument and commercial pilot students, he derives his greatest joy from teaching CFI students. He is currently teaching at Cactus Aviation, at Henderson Airport in the Las Vegas, NV-area. His specialty is CFI and CFII training.

Click to Download Mike's Press Release!
Joseph Perrotta, Associate MCFI 5/2015-5/2017: Joe Perrotta of Peachtree Georgia was bitten by the aviation bug at an early age. Visits to John F. Kennedy International Airport with his father to watch the takeoffs and landings convinced him that he wanted to fly.

Perrotta attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Aeronautical Science and his flight instructor certificate. He then added his CFII and MEI at the university.  After graduation, he returned to Embry-Riddle as an instructor to share his passion with incoming students.  He honed his piloting skills while flying for a Part 121 carrier.  Due to his commitment to safety and “by the book” approach to flying, he was selected to take part in a risk analysis assessment used to identify threats on the flight deck and design procedures to minimize those threats.  He now instructs under Part 61 at his local airport with a good friend he met while flying the line.  This is where you will find him whenever he isn’t caring for his future student, his son.

Perrotta’s commitment to quality teaching motivated him to obtain his Master’s Degree in Physics Education. He is most proud of the aviation club he formed at a local high school to introduce young adults to the many career paths in the aerospace field.  The club has toured corporate flight departments, aviation museums, and approach control facilities.  He also has a love for warbirds, so he has taken the club to see an AT-11, B-17, B-24, P-51, SBD Dauntless, and Corsair.  In addition, he has helped many of the club members earn their private pilot certificates.   He hopes to see the club grow in size, and to be able to continue to mentor young adults towards successful careers in aerospace.

Click to Download Joe's Press Release!
Luke Watters, MCFI 4/2015-4/2017: Born and raised in Whitefish, MT, Watters began flight training at age 12 in the mountains of the Flathead Valley, soloed on his 16th birthday and had his pilot's certificate by 17. The first pages in his logbook include rolls, loops, and hammerheads in a glider as well as backcountry flights in a Cub. From those flights on he was hooked on aerobatics and dirt strips. Watters received his Bachelors in Aeronautical Science at LeTourneau University in Longview, TX, where he also completed his CSEL/CMEL, CFI, CFII, and MEI Certificates. Luke, a Gold Seal flight instructor, has logged 3300 hours of flight time, over 2700 hours of which are dual given. His specialties include aerobatic flight training in an Extra 300, mountain/canyon training, and upset recovery instruction.

Watters is currently the chief flight instructor and a backcountry charter pilot for a small FBO in Utah. He previously worked as a Part 141 assistant chief flight instructor and director of flight operations in Texas, before deploying to Afghanistan on a one-year contract to operate the RQ-7 Shadow 200 UAS in 2011.
   Watters enjoys skiing, riding motorcycles, playing guitar, shooting guns, and spending time with his wife, Sarah Beth. Click to Download Luke's Press Release!
Jason Depew, MCFI 3/2015-3/2017: Depew was the kid who was terrible in Little League because traffic at the airport next to the soccer field constantly distracted him from the game.  He started flying at Colorado Contrails Aviation during high school and moved on to instruct in gliders as a cadet in the USAF Academy’s soaring program.

Since the academy, Depew has accumulated more than 1800 combat hours on deployments to Afghanistan, Djibouti and elsewhere.  He’s served as an Instructor and evaluator pilot and has flown the B-1B, U-28A, T-6A, T-38C, E-11A, TG-4A, and TG-10B/C/D.

Unable to fully satisfy his appetite for flying at work, Depew is also active in general aviation.  He has flown as a mission pilot, instructor and evaluator with the Civil Air Patrol any time his deployment schedule allowed.  He’s given civilian glider instruction as a member of the Black Forest Soaring Society and the Black Hills Soaring Club.  As chief pilot of EAA Chapter 1493, Depew has helped introduce dozens of young people to aviation through the Young Eagles program.   He also gives tailwheel and military-to-GA transition training
in his 1950 C-170A.
Depew’s favorite students so far are his two children who fight over the copilot seat in the family Cessna.  He’s worked with some friends to publish “The Flying Adventures of Panda and Baileron,” a series of eBooks based loosely on his daughter and her dog.  He hopes they’ll inspire kids, especially girls like his daughter, to get excited about aviation. Click to Download Jason's Press Release!
Martin Fass, MCFI 3/2015-3/2017: Fass is an ATP-rated flight instructor in the San Antonio/Austin, Texas area.  Originally from Chevy Chase, Maryland, he traveled a lengthy and unusual path to becoming a CFI. By the time he flew his first solo at Birchwood, Alaska, he already had several thousand hours flying and teaching as a USAF C-130 and T-43 navigator. Ten years after the solo, he found time to earn his instrument rating through Civil Air Patrol in the Washington DC area. His “day job” involved flying as Deputy Mission Commander on international aerial observation flights supporting the Treaty on Open Skies.

While living in the Washington, D.C. area, he participated in NASA’s Synthetic Vision test program, putting his fingerprints on early versions of the systems that are proliferating in GA aircraft. In 2004, Fass earned his commercial ASEL at Wright Flyers in San Antonio , then moved to Northern California, where he earned his civilian CFI and CFI-I ratings and became chief instructor pilot for the RQ-4A Global Hawk.

Fass retired from the Air Force in 2007 and has been instructing in the San Antonio area, alternately freelancing and contracting. He earned his MEI and ATP, served as chief pilot in a Cessna 340, and trained Afghan military pilots and their U.S. instructors in Piper Senecas. He “paid it forward” to Civil Air Patrol by serving as check pilot evaluator and presenting G1000 seminars.

In 2012, Fass was one of the original instructors at Redbird Skyport in San Marcos, Texas, training pilots in Redbird FTDs and G1000 Cessna 172s, and serving as the assistant chief instructor. During his tenure the school won the AOPA President’s Award. In 2014, he developed and taught an accelerated course to help military pilots leaving the service earn their ATP rating.

Fass is now a freelance pilot and instructor in south Texas, training pilots from private through MEI and ATP in numerous aircraft, ranging from the Cessna 310 to the Columbia 400. His updated Cessna 172SP, hangared at Redbird Skyport in San Marcos, is available for both flight training and rental through his company, Black Hound Aviation. Click to Download Martin's Press Release!
Sue Ballew, MCFI 3/2015-3/2017: Ballew earned her private pilot certificate in 1996 and began instructing in 1999.  She received a Citation V Type Rating and then was hired by American Eagle to fly in the Caribbean, Miami, Bahamas, and Cuba.

Since 2007 Ballew has been instructing fulltime as an independent flight instructor and has logged 6,000 hours of dual given, and is seaplane rated.

Ballew is very active in the Ninety-Nines, having won numerous awards within the organization, and was named CFI of the Year for West Valley Flying Club (the largest flying club in the U.S. at the time). She organizes monthly flyouts and is newsletter editor for the club, has flown in several air races, was named to the AOPA Honor Roll twice, and was inducted into the international Forest of Friendship in 2014.

Andrew Dow, MGI 2/2013-2/2017, MCFI 2/2011-2/2017: This is Dow’s third consecutive NAFI Master Instructor Accreditation and second consecutive NAFI Master Ground Instructor Accreditation.

Andrew Dow took his first airplane ride when he was 8 years old and has been hooked ever since. He took his first flight lesson at the Burlington, IA Regional Airport as a member of the local Boy Scouts Aviation Explorer Post.

In 2001 he started flight training at Storms Flying Service, which has a partnership with Iowa Central Community College . He earned his private certificate through CFI at Storms Flying Service in Webster City, IA, where he graduated with Professional Pilot Associate Science degree in 2003.

Dow started his first job in the aviation industry in 2003 working as a flight instructor for Great River Aviation in Quincy, IL. It was at this job that he discovered his true passion for teaching others how to fly. Dow continued as a flight instructor for Great River Aviation, moving up through the ranks of assistant chief flight
instructor of the Part 141 program in 2006, and was promoted chief flight instructor in 2009. At Great River Aviation he also flew as a charter pilot in the Part 135 operations starting in 2004, and became the chief pilot of in 2009.

Great River Aviation has had a partnership with Quincy University’s Aviation Program since 2002. Dow started there as an adjunct faculty member in 2005, teaching basic aviation academic classes as well as ground schools for the various ratings. In 2009 he  became a full-time employee of the university as the aviation program coordinator and was then promoted to assistant professor of aviation.

Dow is a member of AOPA, NAFI, SAFE, IMC Club, CAP, Illinois Pilots Association, Greater St. Louis Flight Instructors Association, and EAA local chapter 488.

He is an AOPA ASN volunteer for the Quincy Regional Airport (KUIN), a FAA FAAST Team Safety Representative, an aviation merit badge counselor for the Boy Scouts of America, and the Chapter Leader of the IMC Club in Quincy, IL.

In 2014, Dow was awarded the Brown Jacket Award at EAA Airventure Oshkosh from the IMC Club.  It was the first time this has been awarded. Also in 2014, Dow’s aviation students nominated him for the 2014 Coach of the Year award from the National Intercollegiate Flying Association for Region 8, and he was awarded the title and trophy.

Click to Download Andrew's MCFI/MGI Press Release!
John Cutcher, MCFI 2/2015-2/2017: Cutcher wanted to be a pilot from early age, crediting his career path to some of his fondest memories as a child while playing in a B-36 bomber.

Cutcher learned to fly at the former Ramey Air Force Base Aero Club in Puerto Rico (the base closed in the 1970s), and earned his private pilot’s certificate in high school. He later worked as a CFI for the Kirtland Air Force Base Aero Club in Albuquerque, while attending University of New Mexico.

Cutcher later completed U.S. Navy flight training and spent a career flying multi-engine aircraft, including instructing in the Beechcraft C-12, Grumman TS-2A and Lockheed P-3 B/C. After retiring from the navy, Cutcher flew for US Airways, based in the Baltimore, until retiring from airline flying and becoming chief pilot for a pharmaceutical company.

Cutcher is a Gold Seal freelance CFI, and was asked by the Baltimore FSDO to serve as DPE and FAASTeam representative.  In his time as a FAASTeam Representative, Cutcher has produced and conducted safety seminars in Maryland, Pennsylvania , Rhode Island and New York. He also recently became the only DPE in the United States to complete the Searey Flight Instructors Association training program in one of the first factory certified Seareys produced. Cutcher has also owned a Cessna 150/150 Texas taildragger for over 20 years. Click to Download John's Press Release!  
Michael Schwahn, MCFI 12/2014-12/2016: Schwahn is a born and raised Montana resident who was first introduced to aviation at the age of 16.  Aviation was always been a part of his life growing up, but the decision to make it into a career didn’t come until September 2006.  While studying mechanical engineering at Montana State University, Schwahn decided to pursue aviation as a full-time major.  His first flight lesson ensued through Summit Aviation and he soloed in October 2006.  He received his Private, Instrument and Commercial ratings at Summit Aviation and added Airplane Single Engine Sea in south Florida.  Schwahn’s drive for knowledge kept pushing him towards CFI, CFI-I and eventually through MEI, at which point he was hired by Summit Aviation in 2010.

With only 300 hours total time, Schwahn began instructing.  From the beginning of his CFI training until today, he has stood out from his peers with his ability to relate to any individual.  This ability to adapt to all learning styles is one of the many reasons he was chosen to be an Assistant Chief Instructor for Summit Aviation.

Schwahn is also a captain for Summit Aviation’s charter service and crews a Phenom 100 jet. His ratings include: ATP Multi-Engine, Commercial Single-Engine Land and Sea, CFI, CFI-I, MEI, EMB-500 type and Instrument Ground Instructor. Schwahn has also been recognized by AOPA two years in a row for the Flight Training Excellence Honor Roll.

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