Meet Our NAFI Master Instructors

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 Most recent MCFI's featured here, for comprehensive list, see alphabetical links below sorted by Last Name:

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Jorge Sierra Rodriguez MCFIJorge Sierra Rodriguez, MGI 5/2022-5/2024:

Sierra's dream of flying began at a very young age. He had a mentor who instilled a taste for aviation as a job and lifestyle. At 18, he started his career as a student pilot in Colombia. In 2011, he won a scholarship to an aviation school in Kissimmee, Florida. He completed his FAA Commercial Pilot multi-engine license and returned to Colombia, where he was hired at 21 years old as a First Officer for Avianca Airlines. He flew the Airbus 320 and 330 and started flying the Boeing 787 in early 2015. By 2018, he was chosen as a B-787 Instructor for Flight Training Device and Ground School. Working closely with flight standards and training, Sierra has been participating in developing recurrent training programs, evaluations, and courses designed for B-787 pilots. He is currently a Subject Matter Expert in aircraft and special operations for the airline. During the Covid-19 crisis, Sierra led the training and instruction of the flight crew members selected to do the first flight in the airline's history from Colombia to China to transport medical supplies. He was also one of the members of the flight crew.

Sierra holds an FAA ATP license with an A-320 type rating, FAA Advanced and Instrument ground instructor, and remote pilot certificate. Additionally, he has an ICAO ATP License and ICAO Instructor License for Full Flight Simulator, Aircraft Systems and Operations, Aerodynamics, Aviation Weather, Navigation, and Human Factors.

He continued his academic education while working as a pilot instructor. In 2020, he obtained a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and was admitted to the Master of Business Administration in Aviation program at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University; he expects to graduate by October 2022. Sierra also graduated from U.S. DOT as an Advanced Safety Officer and Advanced Air Accident Investigator.

In 2022, the Colombian Association of Civil Aviators chose him to represent over 700 pilots of Colombia as Delegated Pilot Instructor at the U.S. World Aviation Training Summit. He was also hired by the worldwide provider of simulation-based training, CAE, as a B-787 Full Flight Simulator Instructor.

He said he is proud to have joined the FAA Safety Team, Latino Pilot Association, Professional Pilots of Tomorrow, MRAeS of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and a new member of the National Association of Flight Instructors.

Sierra is passionate about flight training, education, training systems design, aviation curriculum development, learning management systems, and adult learning. He sees himself in the future as a pilot and instructor for a U.S. Legacy carrier, and actively participating in the industry as a CBTA/EBT expert.

Click to Download Jorge's Press Release!

Tom Rogers NAFI MCFITom Rogers, MCFI 4/2022-4/2024:

Rogers began flying at age 16 at the now closed Ramapo airport in New York. His family moved to California where he finished his Private Pilot at age 17 at the El Monte airport. Rogers attended Arizona State University, majoring in Aeronautical Technology. As part of the curriculum he completed his Commercial, Instrument, CFI, CFII, and all levels of ground instructor certificates at the Phoenix Airport and Falcon Field in Mesa, Arizona. His first instructor job was in the Phoenix area in 1976 and he has held his CFI ever since, accumulating thousands of hours teaching.

After completing his Bachelor of Science in 1978, he was commissioned in  the U.S. Air Force, where he completed pilot training in 1980. After initial qualifications he became an instructor at Williams AFB, now Williams Gateway airport in Arizona. There he accumulated 1,300 hours instructing in the T-37B primary jet trainer. His next assignment was in the F-15 and he eventually became a four -hip flight lead and instructor. After 10 years on active duty, traveling four continents, he was hired by Alaska Airlines. Rogers continued serving in the Air National Guard and has completed 25 years of service, retiring as a Lt Colonel.

Rogers spent 31 years at Alaska Airlines, over 24 as a senior captain, retiring in 2020. Initially he flew the Boeing 727 as both an engineer and first officer. Rogers upgraded to captain on the 737-200 based in Anchorage.  Finally completing his career on all variants of the B-737 NG Series based in Seattle. One of his accomplishments at Alaska Airlines was establishing Aviation Day where the airline opened its hangar and flight operations buildings to over 1,000 youth for an in-depth view of aviation careers. He managed the program for 10 years before his retirement, working with over 350 volunteers and the youth each year. In 2012 he was selected as an Alaska Airlines legend, an award given to less than 2 percent  the airline’s employees for exceptional service to the airline and community.

Throughout his flying career he continued to stay active in general aviation. While in Arizona he instructed aerobatics at Chandler Air Service in a Great Lakes;  in the Seattle area it was the Boeing Employees Flying Association.  Rogers earned his Single-Engine Sea rating, and after attaining over 100 hours flying all over the Pacific northwest and British Columbia went on to instruct at the Renton Airport in seaplanes. He instructed in the DHC2 Beaver, Cessna 180 and 172XP on floats. Since his retirement from Alaska he has concentrated his flight instruction on tailwheel operations, upset prevention and recovery, CFI candidate spin training and mountain flying courses. His tailwheel instruction is in the Citabria and Super Decathlon. He has built a significant amount of time in the PT17 Stearman and T6 as well as YKS7 Cabin Waco aircraft.

Rogers is a FAASTeam representative and gives presentations around the Pacific northwest on non-towered airport operations, loss of control and spin training. He has accumulated over 24,000 hours in over 50 years of flying.

Click to Download Tom's Press Release!

Alexander CrosettLex Crossett NAFI MCFI, MCFI 4/2022-4/2024:

Crosett has been flight instructing since the age of 18 and enjoys working with pilots at every learning stage.  He’s currently teaching in Cirrus aircraft as a Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot (CSIP) at Mike Goulian Aviation, a Platinum Cirrus Training Center in the Boston area. He says working for Mike Goulian and with his team has been the highlight of his flight instruction career.

With more than 4,300 hours of flight time and over 1,300 hours of instruction, Crosett is rated as a FAA Gold Seal Flight Instructor. He holds Airline Transport Pilot and Flight Instructor certificates in both airplanes and helicopters and is an Advanced and Instrument Ground Instructor.

In addition to flight instructing to pay for his college education, Crosett flew for air ambulance, freight, and charter organizations, and for a Part 121 commuter airline in New England.  Lex is also a Cirrus SR22 owner and active Angel Flight command pilot.

Click to Download Lex's Press Release!

Gordon Landale NAFI Master Flight InstructorGordon Landale, MCFI 4/2022-4/2024:

Landale was first introduced to flying by his dad in the early 1980s. He said his father’s passion for history and airplanes stuck with him, but it wasn’t until 2013 when he finally had the time and money to learn to fly. As an active-duty soldier, Landale traveled around quite a bit, earning his PPL in North Carolina, Instrument and Commercial in California, CFI in Texas and CFII in Virginia.
Initially, he had no plan to move past his private pilot to simply enjoy the art of flying. With the encouragement from other pilots, Landale soon began to pursue additional. When he retired from the Army in 2017, Landale started to think of making aviation his second career with the initial goal of getting all instructor ratings, then building the time required to move to the airlines. Once he began working as an instructor, he soon realized how much he enjoyed flight instructing and working through the tough times with students while helping them pursue their dreams.

Landale credits a few people who helped him along the way: To his students, “I learned just as much from you”; To his dad, “thanks for giving me the bug”; To some great mentors, Yusuke Kusajima, Dave Gildart, Jen Watson, Anton Salemeh, Erik Box, Doug Yurovich and Bob Hepp; and to the great friends, colleagues and fellow instructors, “thanks for always pushing me to be better!” Lastly to his wife and kids, “thank you for putting up with me always looking up!”

Click to Download Gordon's Press Release!

Mark Cook NAFI Master Flight InstructorMark Cook, MCFI 11/2019-2/2024:

This is Cook’s second NAFI Master Instructor accreditation. Cook says he knew he wanted to be a pilot since junior high.  He started his professional pilot career as “freight dog” flying for a regional shipping company. Cook is currently working as contract pilot for three construction companies. He specializes in single-engine turbines, including Pilatus PC12s and Socata TBM aircraft. He has flown over 9,400 hours with 2,600 hours of dual instruction given, and piloted 64 different types of airplanes.

Working as an independent flight instructor, he is an active CFI who has a special fondness for tail wheel, ski and float plane instruction.  As a Minneapolis FSDO, FAA Safety Team Representative and NAFI Master Flight Instructor, Cook has hosted and presented aviation safety seminars throughout northern Minnesota, on topics ranging from winter operations to airplane performance.  He enjoys flying in his Champion 7GCB float-plane on his free days.

Click to Download Mark's Press Release!

Killian Ribeiro NAFI MCFIKillian Ribeiro 03/2022-03/2024:

It all began on Ribeiro’s roundtrip commercial flight in 2006 from his hometown Paris, France to Lisbon, Portugal when he was fortunate to be invited to visit the flight deck both directions. Since that day Ribeiro’s passion for aviation had continued to grow. He says that as a child, he used to fall asleep counting the airplanes passing in front of his window in the direction of Charles de Gaulle Airport on the outskirts of Paris. His dream of becoming a pilot materialized when he was accepted into Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida. Ribeiro’s passion for both the United States and aviation made Embry-Riddle an ideal choice. From Paris to Daytona Beach was the first step of a long journey.

Ribeiro had his first training flight on April 11th, 2017, his first solo on June 5th, 2017, and completed his private pilot certificate on July 11th, 2017. He then obtained his instrument rating on October 26th, 2017 and his commercial certificate on May 9th, 2018. Ribeiro was then fortunate to join the Embry-Riddle Fast Track summer program, where he completed both his CFI and CFII instructor certifications and in August 2018 became an ERAU flight instructor. Beginning part-time, Ribeiro transitioned to a full-time instructor position in May 2019. He then obtained his AGI in November 2020 and became an FAA Gold Seal flight instructor. Ribeiro became a flight standards check pilot at Embry-Riddle in February 2020, completed his MEI at Spruce Creek on June 11th, 2020, and transitioned to a full-time check pilot status in June 2021. Ribeiro was granted the position of Assistant Chief Flight Instructor at Embry-Riddle in November 2021.

Ribeiro obtained his Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Science in two years and one semester as a Summa Cum Laude graduate from ERAU Daytona in May 2019, and received a Master of Business Administration in Aviation with an International Business specialization with Distinction at ERAU Worldwide in March 2021.  

Click to Download Killian's Press Release!

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