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:






Wallace Moran NAFI MCFIWallace Moran, MCFI 6/2001-9/2023:

This is Moran’s eleventh consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation. Moran was honored as the 2017 Flight Instructor Hall of Fame Inductee, and as a 2013 recipient of NAFI’s Jack J. Eggspuehler Service Award, among other accolades.

Moran started his aviation career as a General Aviation flight instructor and later worked in the airline industry as a pilot and training instructor. He was an FAA check airman on many airline aircraft, including the Boeing 747, which he flew for 12 years, and the Boeing 767. He also spent many years in airline management as training supervisor, chief pilot and VP of safety and engineering. He has also been active in general aviation as an airplane owner and flight instructor and has given more than 4,000 hours of flight instruction in GA airplanes and gliders.

He is currently working as an FAA designated pilot examiner, independent flight instructor and FAA FAASTeam member. Wallace lives in Summerville, South Carolina.

Click to Download Wallace's Press Release!

Steve Goetz NAFI MCFISteven Goetz, MCFI 8/2011-10/2023:

This is Goetz’s sixth NAFI Master Accreditation. Goetz says he has been interested in flying since he was a kid. In his decade as a CFI, he’s earned an ATP, Remote Pilot – SUAS, gold seal CFI, CFII, MEI, AGI, IGI, and A&P. In 2008, he began flight instructing for Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), where he is currently an Assistant Professor and Assistant Chief Flight Instructor under their Part 141 certificate providing both flight training and student evaluation for the university. In addition to his work for SIUC, Goetz is a FAA Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) as well as a FAA Safety Team Representative. Goetz also serves with the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) as a check pilot, mission pilot, and deputy commander for his local unit.

Click to Download Steve's Press Release!

Gene Peterson NAFI MCFIGene Peterson, MCFI 1/2019-8/2021:

This is Peterson’s second consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation. Peterson became a CFI, CFII and MEI in 1974. In 1977 he went to work for Braniff Airways. He moved to Northwest Airlines in 1982, and went along when it merged with Delta in 2006. All the while he kept on teaching. Some days it would be in a Cessna 172 and the next day checking out a new pilot on the 747. In his 35,000 hours total time, Peterson has flown anything from the Ercoupe to F-16s and 747s. When asked to comment on 45 years of teaching Peterson said, "Each airplane is a little bit different, but the fundamentals of flying never change. It's the fundamentals that will always bring you home safe. Always try and instill that in your students."

Click to Download Gene's Press Release!



Richard Whittemore, MCFI 07/2021-07/2023:

This is Whittemore’s second NAFI Master Instructor accreditation.

Whittemore is from Chattanooga. He says he fell in love with aviation at the age of 14. He worked two jobs in landscaping and as a construction hand in order to pay for flight training as a 16 year old student. At the same time, he also began studying aviation at the local community college. Later that year he soloed and, just a year after beginning flight training, gained his Private Pilot certificate at the age of 17.  Not long after completing it, he attended language school in Argentina. It was there that he studied the Amazon jungle in South America. After becoming fluent in Spanish, Whittemore returned to Chattanooga and completed a degree in aviation management and began managing the small airport/FBO and flight school where he learned to fly. While there, Whittemore completed advanced flight training and began instructing for the school. Shortly thereafter, Richard began flying a Beechcraft Baron corporately.

In 2012, Whittemore earned his helicopter rating and later that year moved his family to Brazil, where his youngest daughter was born. There he flew a float plane on the Amazon River for a short time. After the government shut down the aviation program, Whittemore and his family adopted a young child and also started an orphanage. In search of a way to remain involved in aviation, he moved his family across the border to Colombia. After two years of persistently trying to get an air ambulance established, it became clear that the local political atmosphere would keep that from happening. So, after starting a local, fair labor company in Colombia he moved his family to Laredo, Texas.

There Whittemore started an aviation service company while working for a Part 91 operator. He also co-founded and acted as the chief instructor for the only dual rated flight school on the Texas/Mexico border. While he was acting as chief instructor the school operated with a 100 percent pass rate and safety record. During the beginning of 2020 Whittemore and his family moved back closer to his roots in Birmingham, Alabama where he remains involved with the non-profit organization by serving on the board and managing the various entities his family started in the Amazon. His full-time job is working as an Emergency Medical Helicopter pilot in the Southeast and on his off days he continues to instruct and hold safety seminars. He has completed the DPE training courses and looks forward to one day serving as a DPE.

Whittemore holds an Airline Transport Pilot certificate with Airplane Single and Multi-Engine Land and Rotorcraft-Helicopter as well as Commercial privileges for Airplane Single Engine Sea. He also holds a Gold Seal Flight Instructor Certificate for Airplane Single and Multi-Engine, Rotorcraft-Helicopter and Instrument – Airplane/Helicopter. He is also an Instrument Ground Instructor and Commercial Drone Operator. He currently holds SIC type ratings for the Beechcraft PremierJet and the Cessna Citation XLS+. He is also the current FAA Safety Team (FAAST) Representative with the Birmingham FSDO.

Whittemore‘s goal is to continue his personal aviation education and pass that on to aspiring and current pilots in order to promote a safer environment in the industry.

Click to Download Richard's Press Release! 

Albert Obi NAFI MCFIAlbert Obi, MCFI 07/2021-07/2023:

Obi is a flight standards and check pilot for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He began his flying career with the Nigerian Air Force as a young pilot at 19 where he graduated at the top of his class. He was further trained by the United States Air Force as a fighter pilot before continuing his career as an air force pilot in Nigeria.

While Obi says he loves to fly at heart, he is also well educated in other disciplines. He holds an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering, a post graduate degree in aerospace engineering, and a master’s degree in unmanned autonomous systems engineering. Obi also holds a Master of Business Administration from the American Military University. Additionally, he holds several awards including the FAA Gold Seal, air force gold medal, as well as the top international graduating student in academics from the USAF UPT program in Columbus AFB, MS.

Born and bred in Nigeria, Obi is married to Amaka, and they are blessed with a daughter Alexis. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, traveling and intellectual political discourses. Obi is a contributor to the world vision program and is a command pilot for Angel Flight Southeast.

He said he dedicated his Master CFI designation to his mum - Professor Patricia Obi,  who taught him the value of family, determination and self-reliance.

Click to Download Albert's Press Release!  

Brett Zukowski NAFI MCFIBrett Zukowski, MCFI 07/2021-07/2023:

Zukowski has been fascinated with aviation since childhood and said he started flight training in high school but soon exhausted his financial resources. In his college years he earned the FAA Airframe & Powerplant (A&P) certificate and used aircraft maintenance revenue for further flight training.

By 1989 he had earned his CFI-A, CFI-I, and MEI and then taught at American Flyers of Santa Monica, California and also earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Aviation Administration from California State University, Los Angeles. In the following years Brett earned his Airline Transport Pilot Certificate (ATP-AMEL) and worked for two regional airlines, accumulating over 2500 hours of experience as a regional airline pilot based at Washington Dulles and Chicago’s O’Hare airports flying the ATR-42 and ATR-72, and BAE Jetstream 3200.

Eventually, Zukowski decided to leave the traveling lifestyle of the regional airline environment and took various aircraft maintenance and teaching opportunities as well as completing graduate school with a master’s degree in literature. Realizing that his love of education, teaching, and aviation were a recurring theme in his life, Zukowski accepted a faculty position in the aviation department of Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina, where he taught both aircraft maintenance and flight for a decade. During the summer breaks from university, Zukowski went to Alaska to fly a Piper Chieftain for benevolent missions and led student mission teams to Alaska for benevolent projects.

When the university terminated the aviation program in 2010 Zukowski and a business partner bought its aviation curriculum and started USAeroFlight Pilot School, which now is serving 75 pilot students under Part 61 and Part 141 of the federal regulations. Zukowski currently serves as Co-owner and Chief Instructor of USAeroFlight Pilot School and serves the community as an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE), FAASTeam Representative and WINGSPro advisor. Over the last 40 years Zukowski has accumulated over 6000 hours of flight time, over 3000 hours of dual instruction given, and a decade of aircraft maintenance experience as A&P with Inspection Authorization (IA).

Zukowski holds CFI-AIM and ATP AMEL certifications, and has wide teaching experience including church, high school classes and collegiate aviation courses. Zukowski said “teaching is his best resource for investing in the lives of others and takes joy in helping others develop the requisite skills needed for safe flying whether for career or personal use.” He said he believes that “he who teaches learns the most” and looks forward to continued teaching as CFI, testing as DPE, and continued personal learning and development.  

Click to Download Brett's Press Release!

Naoya ‘Tama’ Tamanaha NAFI MCFINaoya ‘Tama’ Tamanaha , MCFI 07/2021-07/2023:

This is Tamanaha’s second NAFI Master Accreditation.

In 1991, Tama left Japan to become a pilot in the United States. Overwhelmed by the generosity of the U.S. skies and the scale of the aviation communities, he earned his CFI and CFII, and returned to Japan fascinated by American aviation culture. Although he earned his commercial pilot license in Japan, there were no jobs in Japan in that era, but a connection with a flight training center of a U.S. military base in Japan led him to start his pilot career. He says it is no exaggeration to say that he has been supported by the generosity of the United States since returning to Japan. He has trained over 700 pilots as an instructor and has issued over 200 FAA pilot certificates or ratings as a DPE at the U.S. military base in Japan. He added his glider and single engine seaplane ratings in Hawaii.

In 2009, He founded a flight school specializing in flight simulator training to introduce American-style training to the Japanese aviation industry.  He continues to expand the base of his activities to connect Asia and the United States from the perspective of pilot training.

Click to Download Tama's Press Release!


David Yost NAFI MCFIDavid Yost, MCFI 03/2017-07/2023:

This is Yost’s third NAFI Master Accreditation.

From a young age, Yost had a keen interest in airplanes, building many models as a kid 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 also a private pilot, Yost took his first flying lesson at age 47 and never looked back. In the 18 years since then, he has become a CFII and accumulated just over 2800 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 5 students for the Private Pilot certificate and 2 for the Instrument Rating – all successful on the first attempt. There are several more Private, Instrument, and Commercial students currently training with him. Beyond 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. He has also added a glider rating to his Commercial certificate.

Outside of flying, Dave works as a database administrator for a major insurance company. He is married to Shawn, his wife of 41 years. They have two sons, a 7-year- old granddaughter, and a 2-year-old grandson. In his "spare time", Yost enjoys the occasional round of golf. Fortunately, he flies better than he plays golf!

Click to Download David's Press Release!

Matthew McDaniel NAFI Master Flight Instructor MCFIMatthew P.R. McDaniel, MCFI 7/2003-7/2023:

This is McDaniel’s 10th consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation. McDaniel has been an active CFI for almost 30 years and has specialized in Cirrus and other Technically Advanced Aircraft instruction for the past 20 years. In that capacity, he is a Platinum Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot. He also enjoys teaching in antique taildraggers, such as the Globe/Temco Swift, has flown over 100 aircraft types, and holds eight turbine aircraft type ratings. As a freelance aviation author, McDaniel has published well over 100 articles in a dozen or so aviation magazines and online. He currently flies as an Airbus A-320-Series Captain for a major U.S. airline. As the founder and owner of Progressive Aviation Services, LLC, he operates out of his home area of Milwaukee, where he lives with his wife and two children.

Click to Download Matthew's Press Release!

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