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:






Ben Atnip NAFi MCFIBenjamin Atnip, MCFI 02/2016-11/2023:

This is Atnip’s third NAFI Master Accreditation. Atnip, Gold Seal, CFI, CFII, MEI, ATP AMEL & ASEL, has been teaching since 2005. He attended Utah Valley University. He worked in the construction industry growing up and started flying when he was 19. Atnip’s first flight job was working in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he taught private through commercial students. He 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 and Part 135 operation now employs 22 pilots and has a fleet of airplanes ranging from a Super Cub to a Citation CJ3. Atnip is the Director of Flight Operations for Choice Aviation and is connected with the collegiate program at Northwest College. He also does Aerial Firefighting, Air Ambulance Operations, On-demand Charter, and turbine transition courses for King Air, Meridian and Kodiak. Atnip also is an FAA Pilot Examiner (DPE) for the Denver FSDO and conducts checkrides for Private - ATP and CFI - MEI.

Atnip has a passion to teach and has acquired around 12,000 hours with over 4,700 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 insurance-approved turbine courses. He is married to Alyssa and they have two daughters ages 5 and 2. In his spare time, he also enjoys skiing, playing the banjo, chess, ping-pong and volleyball.

Click to Download Ben's Press Release!

Sebastian "Vince" Massimini, MCFI 11/2021-11/2023:

Massimini started flying as a military pilot in 1969 and retired in 1990 as a Lieutenant Colonel from the U.S. Marine Corps, where he flew the A4 Skyhawk and other jet aircraft, including a tour as a military flight instructor and several hundred combat missions in Vietnam. He has been a civil airplane and instrument instructor since 2005 and currently instructs at Chesapeake Sport Pilot on the Maryland Eastern Shore.

Since retiring from the Marine Corps, Massimini has worked with the FAA and foreign governments on GPS for civil aviation (including WAAS and Performance Based Navigation), advanced surveillance technologies, parallel instrument approaches, and airport safety.  His latest project was the FAA Alaska Aviation Safety Initiative.

He volunteers as a docent (i.e., tour guide) at the National Air and Space Museum locations in Washington D.C. and near Dulles Airport, Virginia. He lives at Kentmorr Airpark (3W3) in Maryland and flies his Maule and Champ aircraft from the grass runway.

Click to Download Vince's Press Release!

Gabrial Johnson NAFI MCFIGabriel Johnson, MCFI 1/2019-9/2023:

Born in Lagos, Nigeria Johnson says he always dreamt of becoming a professional pilot from a young age. After getting his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer engineering from University of Lagos, Johnson moved to the United States to commence flight training at Phoenix East Aviation, Daytona Beach. This is where he fell in love with the sense of freedom that flying offers.

After earning his CFI, CFII, MEI licenses, he enrolled as a student and part-time flight instructor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona beach. Here he earned his FAA Mechanic licenses (A&P) and post-graduate degree. Gabriel has been an active flight instructor for 8 years and is currently a First Officer at Republic Airways.

Johnson not only has a passion for flight but also aviation safety and mentorship. He strives to contribute to the advancement of aviation safety, and he volunteers to promote aviation to students that dream of becoming pilots someday. When he isn’t flying, you can find him on a golf course or on some hiking trail looking for the best views of sunset.

Click to Download Gabriel's Press Release!

James Martin NAFI MCFIJames Martin, MCFI 9/2021-9/2023:

Martin says he truly believes that flying is his first passion, one that has stuck with him all his life. When he was in elementary school he collected and studied every book on flight and jets he could get his hands on. He even had a vast collection of small metal jets. This led him to become fascinated with the history of aviation, and his very first science fair project was on the science of flight; specifically studying the aerodynamics of paper airplanes.

After graduating cum laude from the University of Florida in computer science, Martin decided to move to Hawaii where he regularly saw helicopters in the sky and the idea of piloting came back to him. Martin decided to try an intro flight at Mauna Loa Helicopters and immediately knew he found the career he was meant for.

After completing training, Martin moved back to Florida to begin his career as a professional pilot, employed as a helicopter flight instructor with Palm Beach Helicopters. He now operates as an Instructor Pilot for Amentum, training pilots for the U.S. Army at Fort Rucker. 

“Flying helicopters is my passion, and is second only to my family with respect to the most important things in my life," Martin says.

Click to Download James's Press Release!


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