Meet the NAFI Board of Directors


Robert Meder Chairman headshot

Robert Meder, Chairman - Email: [email protected]

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.


Brian Schafer - Email: [email protected]

Brian Schafer has been an instructor pilot since he was a 20-year-old at the United States Air Force Academy teaching other cadets how to fly gliders. He currently holds an ATP certificate and a CFI rating with single- and multi-engine and instrument privileges, as well as the remote pilot designation. He has dedicated his adult life to the advancement of aviation through a 24-year Air Force career instructing both young and “seasoned” military pilots.

Schafer has had the privilege of leading multiple flying organizations, flying a wide variety of military aircraft including the F-15A/B/C/D/E, F-16, B-1, B-2, B-52, as well as the T-37, T-38, T-6 and MC-12. He also shares his passion for flying as an independent flight instructor in various Beechcraft, Cessna, Diamond and Piper aircraft.

He says he enjoys passing on his knowledge and a disciplined approach to aviation to those willing to accept the responsibility of flying.

Schafer serves on the USAFA Rugby Affinity Board and, in addition to flying, says his hobbies include rugby, traveling and being a collegiate sports fan. He is married with two sons and shares time between homes in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Hampton, Virginia.

Brian Schiff - Email: [email protected]

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.
Carl Fry NAFI Board Secretary

Carl Fry - Email: [email protected] 

Carl B. Fry is from Columbus, Ohio. He was admitted to the Bar in 1974 to practice before the United States Supreme Court; United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit; United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; and the United States District Court, Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio. Mr. Fry represents clients in both state and federal courts in Ohio and other states. 

Gregory Feith Email: [email protected]

Gregory Feith is a former Senior Air Safety Investigator and “Go-Team” captain with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and has investigated well over 2500 general aviation, business/corporate and air transport (commercial air carrier) aircraft incidents and accidents worldwide during his 40 years as an aircraft accident investigator and aviation safety expert. Greg spent more than 21 years with the NTSB, serving as the Investigator-In-Charge or U.S. Accredited Representative for the investigation of numerous high profile aircraft accidents which included the Valujet DC-9 in-flight fire in the Florida Everglades;

the American Eagle ATR 72 in- flight icing crash at Roselawn, Indiana, the Korean Air Boeing 747-300 CFIT crash at Guam, the American Airlines MD-83 runway overrun at Little Rock, and numerous other notable accidents world-wide. He led a team of mountain climbers and Sherpas to 21,000 feet on Mt. Illimani in Bolivia to investigate Eastern Airlines Flight 980, the highest aviation controlled-flight into terrain (CFIT) accident in history.

Greg received a BS degree in Aeronautical Studies from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and holds Airline Transport Pilot (ATP), Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) and Instrument Instructor (CFII) certificates as well as Advanced and Instrument Ground Instructor, and Small Unmanned Vehicles certificates. He has won numerous NTSB and aviation industry awards including the Aviation Week and Space Technology Laurel Award in 1996 for his leadership in the investigation of the ValuJet DC-9 crash, the 2001 ERAU Distinguished Alumni Award for "extraordinary distinction and success in the field of aviation and achievements;" and the SAFE Association, Michael R. Grost Award for “outstanding contribution in the field of accident investigation.”

Greg is the Co-Inventor of the LapKidz (LapKidz.com), an aviation child safety restraint (ACSD) device for infant/toddlers under the age of 24 months that are carried as lap children on general aviation and commercial aircraft. In addition, he is also an advisor at In-Flight Labs (inflightlabs.com) where he contributes to the development and marketing of aviation-related safety devices which currently include SMART ELT, a continuous aircraft tracking system, as well as other safety related systems such as SMART FDR, SMART CVR, and SMART ADS-B.

Greg conducts safety lectures world-wide and is a guest instructor in various aviation venues including his alma mater ERAU. He regularly appears in a variety of aviation safety-related television programs such as MAYDAY, Seconds to Disaster, and Why Airplanes Crash that air on the Discovery channel, TLC, the History Channel, National Geographic, and MSNBC. In addition, he is the Aviation Safety Analyst for NBC News and he recently won a National Emmy Award for his expertise as part of the NBC News team coverage of the Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 Shootdown. In addition to Greg’s recognition as an expert in the field of Aviation and Aerospace  Safety, he was inducted into the Living Legends of Aviation in January 2016, an elite group of professionals who have made significant contributions in aviation and aerospace. Finally, Greg is the Co-Host of Flight Safety Detectives internet podcast (flightsafetydetectives.com).

Although Greg calls Golden, Colorado home, he spends a good majority of his time navigating through airports and traveling on the world’s safest mode of transportation.

H.G. "Gus" Putsche Email: [email protected]

H.G. “Gus” Putsche started flying in 1971, became a private pilot in 1975 and became a CFI in 1979. He currently holds a commercial certificate and is instrument rated in single and multi-engine aircraft. His flight instructor ratings include CFII single and multi-engine aircraft, AGI and IGI. Gus holds a bachelor’s degree in aviation.

He retired as the Director of Train Management from the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) in 2014 after a railroad career that began in 1971 with the Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railway, which was absorbed by UPRR.

Putsche is an avid trombonist and has played for various symphonies and jazz ensembles.

This year will mark Gus's fourth year managing scheduling and lodging for 90 volunteer flight instructors for the EAA Pilot Proficiency Center and the NAFI Professional Development Center at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.

He said he is “looking forward to helping NAFI continue to grow and improve the information available to help CFIs be better at our craft.”

J.D. DeBoskey Email: [email protected]

J.D. was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio and attended college at Kent State University (KSU). While at Kent, he earned his FAA Certified Flight Instructor (CFIA) certificate.  He taught as part of the KSU flight instructor staff as part his degree.  In August 1988, J.D. earned a BS (cum laude) in Aerospace Flight Technology from KSU and was commissioned as an AFROTC Distinguished Graduate into the United States Air Force (USAF).

J.D. attended USAF Undergraduate Pilot Training in Del Rio, Texas where he flew the T37 and T38 aircraft and transitioned into the C-130 Hercules with over 20 years of distinguished flying.  He was part of the initial cadre that brought Night Vision goggles to the C130 operational environment and flew over 600 combat hours in Desert Storm, Bosnia, Haiti and Iraq.  His accomplishments also include 15 years as a military instructor.  His service earned him USAF Air Medals, Air Commendation Medals, USAF Safety Awards, and the USAF “Well Done Award.”

J.D. was hired by American Airlines (AAL) in 1999 and he is based out of Miami, FL.   He has flown the B727, B737, B757/767, B777 and is currently a Captain on the A320.  In 2008, he and his crew were awarded The Order of Daedalions / Airline Award for heroic actions that took place at night 500+ miles off the coast of Florida.  In 2010, he and his crew were awarded the AAL Chief Pilots Award and were credited with saving a B767 with multiple emergencies off the coast of the Dominican Republic.  He served for three years the Allied Pilots Association (AAL union) Safety Chairman in Miami and has worked with union and management to find many commonsense solutions to chronic safety problems in that plagued the AAL MIA flight operation.

J.D. has been an active FAA CFIA, CFII and MEI since 1988 and has provided over 5000 hours of safe and accident free “dual given” to students from every walk of life, in a wide range of aircraft.

In addition, he is the lead instructor for Aviator College in the CRJ. Also, he is currently an instructor pilot for Boeing on the B777 and the B737Max at the worldwide training campus in Miami.  He volunteers for the Miami FAA FSDO and the Lead Rep for FAAST team at the North County Airport (F45) in Palm Beach County, FL. He is currently collaborating with Gleim publications, helping to create a fun, comprehensive and broad reaching STEM program for future Pilots, AMTs, Air Traffic Controllers, Aerospace Engineers and Dispatchers and serves on the Board Of Directors to the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI).

J.D. is the founder of the Future Flyers Foundation of Florida (F4) www.f4flyers.org and this year there are 16 high school students enrolled in the F4 FAA Private Pilot Ground School, who will take their FAA written exams next Spring! 

J.D.’s biggest hope to is create a path for our next gen of aviators. “F4…we grow pilots”.  

Karen Kalishek - Email: [email protected]

Karen Kalishek is a CFI, CFII, MEI, CFI-G, AGI, IGI, NAFI Master Instructor, FAA Gold Seal Instructor, DPE and FAASTeam Lead Representative. She holds an ATP certificate and has ASES and Glider Commercial privileges. In 2019, Karen was honored to received the National FAASTeam Representative of the Year award. She has held officer positions in and is actively involved with several aviation organizations. She is also a major in the Civil Air Patrol, serving as a CAP volunteer flight instructor, check pilot,
mission pilot and cadet orientation pilot. She is an independent flight instructor, has a particular fondness for antique aircraft and enjoys spending quality time with her RV-6. Before becoming a full-time flight instructor, she was an executive in the banking industry, taught graduate school, and as president of her own corporation, spent over 20 years providing international consulting services in 37 countries.

Paul Preidecker - Email: [email protected]

Paul J. Preidecker has been a flight instructor for almost 30 years. He recently retired from Air Wisconsin Airlines, where he held the positions of Chief Flight Instructor and captain. In those roles, he served as an Aircrew Program Designee, Line Check Airman, and was qualified as a simulator and ground school instructor.

Paul has served as a member of an FAA Aviation Rulemaking Committee, was an invited speaker at the NTSB Symposium on Professionalism and moderated the regional airline program at the World Aviation Training Summit for several years. He is a co-host of FAA Safety Briefing Live and

has made several presentations for NAFI MentorLive. In addition to serving on the NAFI Board, Paul is a member of NAFI’s Professional Development Committee.

Paul is president of his own company, FlightDeck Insights, where he develops and promotes best practices and SOPs for the general aviation pilot.

Robert Bash - Email: [email protected]

Robert R. Bash holds a master’s in healthcare administration from Duke University and a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering from Ohio State University. He has worked as a CEO and administrator in the healthcare industry including stints at hospitals and medical centers in Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee and Alabama.

He has served on various volunteer boards, including the Arkansas Hospital Association for 10 years, with two years as chairman; the Arkansas River Valley Rural Health Co-op as chairman; and the Louisiana Hospital Association. He also served 25 years in Rotary, in five clubs — twice as president.

Bash served as pilot/captain in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps after 

graduating from the U.S. Army Flight School with a rotary wing-commercial certificate in 1969.

He attended the Army instrument course at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and added a rotary wing-instrument certificate in 1971, earned his commercial fixed-wing certificate and instrument rating in 1972, and earned his certificated flight instructor and instrument instructor certificates in 1974. He has more than 6,000 total hours in fixed-wings and helicopters, including 800 hours of combat flying.

Reb Sam Graves NAFI Director

Congressman Sam Graves

Congressman Sam Graves is a life long resident of Missouri's Sixth Congressional District. As a small businessman and a sixth-generation, full-time family farmer, Sam spent his life working to make Missouri a better place to live, work, and raise a family.

In Congress, Sam serves as the Chairman of the Small Business Committee. Sam also serves on the Transportation Committee where he continues to fight for Missouri roads, bridges, rail lines and airports.

 Congressman Graves was born in Tarkio, Missouri on November 7, 1963.
He graduated from Tarkio High School in 1982 and attended college at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he received his degree in Agronomy from the School of Agriculture. In 1992, Sam won his first race for State Representative. In 1994, Sam was elected as State Senator for the 12th Senatorial District and was subsequently re-elected in 1998. Sam's leadership has not only been recognized by his constituents, but from organizations like the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Development Corporation, and the Missouri State Medical Association.

As a father, farmer, businessman, and former State legislator, Sam knows first hand the values, hopes, and beliefs of the hard-working families of the Sixth District, and will continue to work tirelessly for them in the United States House of Representatives.
Ted Sanders Director Ted Sanders - Email: [email protected]

Sanders’ friends say he wanted to fly before he was born. In first grade Sanders started building and flying U-Line controlled gas powered model airplanes. He was competing in combat and rat race competitions through 4th grade. Sanders joined the United States Marine Corps in 1969 and became a CH-53D Crew Chief flying in excess of 1200 hrs. Upon return to the states in 1972 Sanders took flying lessons at the base flying club earning his Private License on July 4, 1973. He returned home and used his GI benefits to earn his Instrument Rating and Commercial License. 
In January 2002, Sanders returned to flying and since then he has gone
from an  800hr. pilot with those ratings to a Commercial Pilot with ASEL, ASES, AMEL and, Glider. He also is a CFI, CFII, MEI, CFI-G, Gold Seal Instructor, NAFI Master Instructor and FAAST team Representative. For three years Sanders flew freight for Northeast Aviation as a Captain and Training Airman. Sanders has logged in excess of 6000+ hrs.

In addition to joining the NAFI Board, Sanders chairs/participates on several NAFI Committees. Sanders enjoys his obligations as a member of the NAFI Board of Directors.
Tom Dorl - Email: [email protected]

Tom Dorl has been flying since he was 16 years old and learned to fly at an Air Force base in New Jersey.  It was at this aero club, flying C-152s, that Tom cemented his love for flying.  He attend an aviation university in Ohio and secured a commission in the USAF along with a degree in Aerospace Technology.  Tom completed fixed wing and rotary wing pilot training flying the T-37, T-38, UH-1 and HH-60G and was one of the first operational USAF pilots to fly the HH-60G PaveHawk.  Tom served over 25 years in the USAF flying mainly combat search and rescue missions in many overseas
locations saving the lives of others; additionally he taught powered flight to USAF Academy Cadets in the Cirrus 20 (T-53).  He has been an active and dual rated flight instructor for over 22 years, is an active FAASTeam Representative and presenter, CAP member and published author.  He holds a CMEL, CFI, CFII in both single engine airplanes and helicopters as well as a Pt 107 UAS Commercial certificate.