NAFI CFI Challege

This entertaining and unique video series, hosted by NAFI Director of Program Development John Niehaus (CFII/ATP), poses the same ten questions to current and retired flight instructors about their flight training experiences. Without question we know that shared learning and wisdom is vital in aviation. That’s what this program intends – to hear about the varying experiences our fellow instructors had in the same situations to learn in ways we otherwise might not.

Questions include:
“How did you come to be a flight instructor?”
“What did you learn as an instructor that benefits your efforts outside of flying?”
“What was it like when you gave your first lesson?”

Viewers can directly compare the unique responses and experiences of these instructors for common threads of success in flight instruction and beyond. The benefits include getting ideas for one’s own instruction practices, get tips on how ways to transition into other areas of aviation such as flight school ownership, airlines, NAFI Master CFIs and more.

If you have an interest in participating or have a friend or colleague you recommend, send us an email to [email protected].


 

6/14/21 NAFI 10 Question Challenge Ep. 15 w/Eric Goodman, CFII/MEI/ATP Captain for Textron ProOwnership Program: With nearly 12,000 hours and 12 type ratings, Eric Goodman has achieved much that the aviation industry has to offer. He is a CFI/I, MEI, ATP, A&P Mechanic, and has over 31 years of instructional experience. Currently working in the ProOwnership Program for Textron, Eric has been a Demonstration Pilot, a Chief Pilot , Flight Safety Program Manager, and Professional Flight Instructor. He has extensive business aircraft experience specializing in international operations.

 

5/21/21 NAFI 10 Question Challenge Ep. 14 w/Mike Jesch, MEI/2xNAFI MCFI/787 Airline CaptainWith 40 years of flying experience, including more than 30 in airline flying, Captain Mike brings a wealth of experience to the table. Mike Jesch has been a ground and flight instructor since 1985, and has flown many thousands of hours “In The System.” his (mostly) day job has been with a major airline since 1987, where he has flown as Captain on the Boeing 737 since 2002. But his “real” flying takes place in an IFR-equipped Cessna 182 based at Fullerton, CA, or whatever his clients show up in to fly that day. He is a two-time Master CFI, and a FAASTeam Lead Representative in the Long Beach (CA) FSDO. As a speaker on the national stage, he has presented on a wide range of subjects across the country for numerous groups, including AOPA, many EAA Chapters, The 99s, and many more.

 

4/20/21 NAFI 10 Question Challenge Ep. 13 w/Warren Smith, CFII/MEI/ATP/Former DPE: Warren has been an aerial application instructor, tailwheel instructor, aerobatic instructor, 141 Chief Flight Instructor, an Air Carrier Check Airman and Chief Pilot, and Aviation Accident Investigator.

Warren has also spent time as a corporate pilot, charter pilot, flight school owner and airline pilot. He served thirteen years as a Designated Pilot Examiner, and holds type ratings in Saberliner, Falcon 10, Falcon 20, Falcon 900, and CRJ. He has served as the chairperson of the National Aviation Trades Association (NATA) Flight Training Committee alongside Rudy Frasca of Frasca International, Hal Shevers of Sporty’s, Irv Gleim, author Greg Brown, and many others. Warren has also been a forum speaker at the FAA Safety Center at Oshkosh during AirVenture.

Warren spent many years flying domestically and internationally as a corporate pilot for Jimmy John’s Subs and the current owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Shahid Kahn. He currently serves as the FAASTeam Program Manager for the FAA at the Springfield, IL, Flight Standards District Office promoting Aviation Safety.

 

3/17/21 NAFI 10 Question Challenge Ep. 12 w/Jim Pitman, CFII/MEI/ATP/DPE: Jim Pitman started flying in 1992. He has been a flight instructor since 1997, an airline pilot since 2016, and an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) since May of 2019. Jim loves flying and teaching. Benefits of training with Jim include his experience, customized training, and flexibility. To learn more about Jim, access his online resources, or to inquire about a checkride visit: www.FlywithJim.com


2/15/21
NAFI 10 Question Challenge Ep. 11 w/Christine Mortine, CFII/MEI/DPE, AOPA Air Safety Institute:
In addition to a career in classical music spanning over twenty-five years, Christine Mortine turned from conducting and playing instruments to flying them. She is an active flight instructor, having obtaining her CFI, CFII, MEI, Cirrus Training Center Instructor, as well as SIC in the Citation 500. Christine is a FAA appointed Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) and has joined the AOPA Air Safety Institute as an Instructor for the Flight Instructor Refresher Course (FIRC). To learn more about Christine, or to inquire about a checkride visit: www.christinemortine.com


1/18/21
NAFI 10 Question Challenge Ep. 10 w/Kirby Ortega, 2x NAFI MCFI, 2002 National CFI of the Year, 2014 Flight Instructor Hall of Fame Inductee:
Kirby Ortega is currently the Chief Pilot for Yingling Aviation’s Aircraft Management Program in Wichita, flying Citations, Conquests, and Caravans. He also mentors pilots in their own airplanes.

Kirby started flying as a teenager in Kansas, then worked as a pilot for Cessna Aircraft for 29 years. He flew hundreds of customer and press demo flights, in everything from the Skycatcher to the Citation X. During his time at Cessna, he conducted Caravan operations in 90 different countries. He assisted in writing the single engine operations manual used by Cessna today, and has also written articles for Flying, AOPA, and Cessna Owner’s magazines.

He’s an FAA Gold Seal Flight Instructor, a two-term NAFI Master Flight Instructor, and an FAA FAAST Team member. He was the FAA National Flight Instructor of the Year in 2002, and was inducted into the NAFI National Hall of Fame in 2014. He has more than 24,000 accident/incident-free flight hours logged, and he’s given more than 15,000 hours of dual instruction.

Learn more about Kirby or to inquire about training with Ortega Aviation Services www.ortegaaviation.com

 

Ep. 9 w/Gary Reeves Founder of PilotSafety.org, ATP, NAFI Master CFI, 2019 National CFI of The Year:  Gary, has over 7,800 hours in over 50 different aircraft including turbo-prop, and turbo-fan most of which is instruction given.  He provides private 3 Day Avidyne or Garmin Mastering Single-Pilot IFR programs to airplane owners all over the world from Alaska to Australia! He is a well known and popular national speaker on aviation safety and you see him live at all of the biggest shows, including Airventure-Oshkosh, AOPA Fly-Ins,  NW Aviation Expo, SunNFun and more.

Learn more about Gary or to inquire about training visit https://pilotsafety.org/

 

Ep. 8 w/Catherine Cavagnaro, Owner/Chief Instructor of Ace Aerobatics Flight School, 2020 National CFI of The Year:  Catherine Cavagnaro of Sewanee, Tennessee has been named the 2020 National Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year. Dr. Cavagnaro is a mathematician by training, earning her B.S. in mathematics at Santa Clara University in 1987, and her Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Illinois in 1995. She serves as Professor of Mathematics and formerly as Chair of the Mathematics Department at Sewanee:  The University of the South. In that capacity, she has developed and implemented courses in such areas as aerodynamics, differential equations and mathematical modeling. Aviation provides a treasure trove of real-world examples for her mathematics courses.

Catherine owns and operates the Ace Aerobatic School in Sewanee, Tennessee, where she has become widely known as an expert on spin recovery and avoidance as well as recoveries from unusual attitudes. She films her own videos that help pilots understand the complex aerodynamics of spins and unusual attitudes and her presentations have drawn rave reviews.  Catherine has filmed a 60-turn spin in her Cessna Aerobat to show that the recovery is the same after three turns. During 2004-2008, Professor Cavagnaro served as a test pilot, spin demonstration pilot, researcher, and visiting professor of aviation systems at the University of Tennessee Space Institute. While there, she served on the icing team that modeled the longitudinal stability characteristics of NASA’s Twin Otter in various icing configurations, and configured the variable-stability Navion to duplicate these characteristics.  In 2018, Catherine was inducted into the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame.

She is an Airline Transport Pilot (ASEL), a Commercial Pilot (ASES, AMEL, glider) and a Flight Instructor (ASE, AME, instrument). She serves as a lead representative for the FAA Safety Team with the Nashville FSDO, and was honored as 2018 FAASTeam Representative of the Year. She also serves the Nashville FSDO as a Designated Pilot Examiner.

Catherine is a monthly contributor to AOPA Pilot Magazine for which she writes on safety, proficiency and technical aspects of aviation.  She is a highly sought speaker and has a knack for making complex aviation concepts accessible and entertaining to non-technical audiences. One attendee at Catherine’s presentation at the 2017 AOPA Regional Fly-In in Groton, Connecticut, told AOPA that “Catherine Cavagnaro’s seminar was the best one I’ve ever seen on any topic.”

When she isn’t teaching aviation or mathematics, Catherine loves exploring our country with her sons, Jack and Pete, in their acrobatic Beechcraft Bonanza. [email protected]

Learn more about Ace Aerobatics School: http://www.aceaerobaticschool.com/

 

Ep. 7 w/Nick Frisch, 4xMaster Instructor, Former Executive Director of Fit Aviation and Former FlightSafety International Program Manager: Nick Frisch, is a former Executive Director of F.I.T. Aviation, brings to his post more than 20 years of experience in aviation management and education.

Prior to joining the Florida Tech team, Frisch was Director of Aviation Education for Galvin Flying Services, where he managed two flight schools in Seattle and Honolulu. From 1999 to 2007 he was flight school manager and chief flight instructor for that company.

He has also been a program manager and an instructional technologist for FlightSafety International, where he created and implemented classroom and simulator training programs for the FSI/Beech/Raytheon Learning Center. In the early years of his career he was an instructor at the Beech Aircraft factory and for FlightSafety International as well as a government contract analyst at Beech.

He has been designated four times as a Master Instructor by the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI). Frisch earned a Bachelor’s degree in Aviation Management from Wichita State University in Kansas in 1984 and commercial pilot certification in 1982.

 

Ep. 6 w/Sarah Rovner 2xNAFI MCFI, Airline Pilot, Author, Business Owner: Sarah is a 2 Time NAFI MCFI and holds an ATP certificate with B-767, B-757, B-737 and CL-65 type ratings and is currently an FAA Safety Team Lead Representative, Master Instructor, Gold Seal Flight Instructor, and pilot for a U.S. Airline. Since changing careers after years as a senior network engineer for the oil and gas industry, Sarah obtained her ATP, CFI, CFII, MEI and has flown over 6200 hours. As the owner and chief pilot of an international ferry pilot company, FullThrottle Aviation LLC, Sarah has flown over 145 different types of general aviation airplanes in 20 different countries, including oceanic crossings in small aircraft. She continues to stay involved in general aviation through mentoring and education; volunteering at many different events and presenting original seminars on aviation safety and human factors.

For More Information on FullThrottle Aviation LLC visit: www.fullthrottleaviationllc.com

 

Ep. 5 w/John Niehaus, NAFI Program Director: John Niehaus is an aviation flight and management graduate from Western Michigan University. He has been flying for 15 years, and flight instructing both Part 61 and 141 semi-regularly for 11. John is an ATP rated pilot and has earned two type ratings to date while while actively maintaining a CFII certificate. His current passions include being a 135 Captain on Lear Jet 45/75 models and working as Program Director for the National Association of Flight Instructors, of which he is celebrating his 10th year.

 

Ep. 4 w/Guest Greg Brown: Greg Brown CFII/MEI/ATP, Greg Brown’s passion for flying is obvious to anyone who knows his “Flying Carpet” column from AOPA Flight Training magazine, or who has read his books, Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane, The Savvy Flight Instructor, The Turbine Pilot’s Flight Manual (with Mark Holt), Job Hunting for Pilots, and You Can Fly!(with Laurel & Tom Lippert.)

A licensed pilot since 1972 and a CFI since 1979, Greg was 2000 Industry/FAA National Flight Instructor of the Year, winner of the 1999 NATA Excellence in Pilot Training Award and the 2013 AOPA Let’s Go Flying Award, and the first-ever Master Flight Instructor. He has flown professionally in both scheduled and corporate aviation, and holds an ATP pilot certificate with Boeing 737 type rating, and Flight Instructor certificate with all fixed-wing aircraft ratings.

Along with his writing activities, Greg has been an avid photographer from childhood. Since earning his pilot’s license at age 19, he’s been shooting photos from aloft, many of which have illustrated his Flying Carpet column and book. Greg’s most memorable aerial photographs are now available as Fine Art Metal Prints.

Learn more about Greg's projects including his Podcast: https://gregbrownflyingcarpet.com/

 

Ep. 3 w/Guest Tom Turner: Thomas P. Turner is Executive Director of the American Bonanza Society Air Safety Foundation. He was a founding member of EAA’s Type Club Coalition, serving as its chairman for two years, is a Life Member of NAFI and is a past NAFI Board of Directors member. Specializing in Beech instruction for over 30 years, Tom was inducted into the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame. Subscribe to his educational newsletter here: www.mastery-flight-training.com/

 

Ep. 2 w/Guest NAFI Chairman Bob Meder: Robert Meder is a CFI with single- and multi-engine and instrument privileges. He was recently named the St. Louis FSDO 2009 CFI of the year, the Lincoln 2010 FSDO CFI of the year, and the 2010 Central Region CFI of the Year. He has been a check airman for a 141 operation, an active FAASTeam Lead Rep. He is active in volunteer activities at EAA AirVenture each year. Robert serves on the board of the National Association of Flight Instructors and is also an operating department manager with one of the largest railroads in the United States.

 

Ep 1. w/Guest Captain Brian Schiff:  Brian Schiff is a captain for a major US airline and is type-rated on the Airbus A320, Boeing 727, 757, 767, DC-9 (MD-80), CL-65, LR-JET, and G-V. Schiff’s roots are deeply planted in general aviation where he has flown a wide variety of aircraft (95 types). His total flying time is over 20,000 hours. He is a Gold Seal flight instructor and FAA Safety Team Representative and holds several flight instructor ratings. He is recognized for his enthusiasm and ability to teach in way that simplifies complex procedures and concepts. He has been actively instructing since earning his flight and ground instructor certificates in 1985. Schiff also has been an FAA-designated examiner. He attended San Jose State University, and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and his Master of Science Degree in Aviation Safety from the University of Central Missouri. He regularly teaches and conducts seminars about aviation safety and techniques to student and professional pilots alike. Learn more about Brian's Activities: https://www.captainschiff.com/