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:





To View Previous NAFI Master Instructor Profiles and Press Releases, Click Here!

Orlando VillaverdeOrlando Villaverde, MCFI 4/2018-11/2024:

Villaverde background in a academia includes a Doctoral Degree in Business Administration with a specialization in Finance and International Management from Nova Southeastern University. He also holds Masters degree in Aeronautical Science and Business Administration in Aviation from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. His experience in aviation included working previously as a pilot and a supervisor for the City of Miami Police Department’s Aviation Detail. He possesses FAA dual flight instructor certificates in airplanes and helicopters with thousands of hours of teaching experience.

He has provided initial and advance training to students seeking a Private, Commercial, Instrument and Flight Instructor certificates and ratings. During his tenure with Miami Dade College's School of Aviation, he was nominated as a General Aviation Flight Instructor of the year, Southern Region for 2005 and 2014 by the Federal Aviation Administration and currently serves as a member of the FAASTeam /Aviation Safety Program. Villaverde says he has great faith in education, which is displayed in the classroom with his students who he believes are the greatest asset.

Click to Download Orlando's Press Release!

Tom McChesney NAFI MCFIThomas McChesney, MCFI 11/2022-11/2024:

McChesney is a flight instructor located in Johnson County, KS, in the Kansas City metropolitan area. He has over 3,000 hours in a variety of general aviation aircraft and has amassed nearly 2,100 hours of flight instruction. He earned his private pilot certificate in 2005 and began instructing full time in 2021.

McChesney offers flight instruction of all types, including private, instrument, commercial, instructor, and multiengine. As a Part 61 instructor, he works with FBOs, flying clubs and aircraft owners, primarily at New Century Air Center and Johnson County Executive Airport.

He was not one who dreamed of flying as a child, finding his love for aviation in his 40s.  After years in the business world, he discovered a penchant for instruction.  He has worked with learners from 16 to 88 and enjoys the challenges involved with working with people of different ages, experience levels and aspirations.

McChesney holds Commercial SEL, Commercial MEL, CFI, CFII and MEI certificates.  He plans to add AGI and IGI certificates in the near future.

Click to Download Thomas' Press Release!

Bryan Gutraj NAFI Associate MCFIBryan Gutraj, Associate MCFI 10/2022-10/2024:

Born in Waukegan, Illinois, Gutraj’s passion for aviation began as a child on a commercial cross-country flight on United Airlines to Disneyland. Later, he studied accounting at Eastern Illinois University and began his private pilot training shortly after graduation. While attending law school in Chicago, Gutraj would take the Orange Line “L” to Midway Airport for flight lessons in his “free time” and earned his private pilot certificate in 1998 at Midway. He went on to earn his instrument rating at Stick and Rudder Flying Club in Waukegan. He took a hiatus from aviation for a few years while he built his law and accounting firms in Illinois. 

Although Gutraj did not log many hours over the next decade, he stayed close to aviation by assisting pilots, aircraft owners, mechanics, flight schools, and others with their business, tax, and estate planning matters. Finally, thanks to the persistence of several of those clients, he decided to return to his passion for flying and began working on his commercial pilot certificate in a Cessna 182RG based in Marshfield, Wisconsin. He has since added a multi-engine rating and CFI, CFII, and MEI to his certificates.

Although Gutraj’s pilot and flight instructor training was conducted almost exclusively in old school steam gauge six pack Cessnas, at the urging of one of his clients, he took the Cirrus Aircraft Advanced Transition course in the modern G1000 glass cockpit Cirrus SR22 G6 airplane. Following that certification, Gutraj has amassed nearly 200 hours in various Cirrus aircraft flying missions all around the continental United States.
With his newly-minted flight instructor certificate, and at the outset of the COVID pandemic, Gutraj decided to take a sabbatical from practicing law and accepted a flight instructor position in the University of Dubuque (UD) Part 141 aviation program. At UD, he instructed a broad spectrum of students from student pilots through multi-engine instructor candidates in the University’s G1000 single engine Cessna Skyhawks and multi-engine Piper Seminoles.

Following the results of a nationwide survey of flight students in 2021 conducted by the Aircraft Owner’s and Pilots Association (AOPA), Gutraj was awarded Distinguished Flight Instructor honors from the AOPA for the Central Southwest region. With more than 100,000 flight instructors nationwide, the AOPA bestowed this honor on the top 100. The award recognizes the highest levels of achievement in the flight training community, with the goal of encouraging others to adopt similar characteristics of success.

Later in 2021, the FAA awarded Gutraj its Gold Seal designation, which is issued to flight instructors who have maintained a high level of flight training activity and who meet special criteria with a proven track record of excellent performance. When he is not flight instructing or practicing law in Illinois, he can be found flying around the country with his rescue dog Shelby in a Cessna 210.

Gutraj also serves as an FAA Safety Team representative and is active in EAA Chapter 327 as a member of its scholarship committee and Young Eagles Flight volunteer. Gutraj credits several other CFIs who have supported him in his journey to become a flight instructor. “The legendary Wisconsin DPE Duffy Gaier and CFI Howard Joling were both instrumental in helping me hone my skills as a commercial pilot and flight instructor applicant,” he said. “University of Dubuque’s chief flight instructor Suzanne Peterson took a leap of faith in hiring a very green instructor with only Part 61 experience from outside the university’s program. Mrs. Peterson has also been extremely patient in mentoring me from a new flight instructor into an Associate Master CFI. Finally, a dear friend, pilot and instructor, Charles Kalvoda, has always been there throughout the past decade offering words of encouragement to support my passion for aviation.”

Click to Download Bryan's Press Release!