Meet Our NAFI Master Instructors (H-N by Last Name)

Master Logos


 

John "Mike" Hardin, MCFI 11/2019-12/2023:

This is Hardin’s second consecutive NAFI Master Accreditation. Hardin grew up spending time at Terrell Texas Municipal Airport (KTRL). He says his earliest memory of aviation was flying with his dad at the age of 6. He started flight training at 13 in 1999, and earned his Instrument, Commercial, and CFI in 2008 while working at his family’s FBO, Terrell Aviation. He earned his MEI in 2010, and started his own flight school, Mike’s Flying Service, a year later specializing in accelerated multi-engine training in a Piper Apache. In 2012, Hardin earned his CFII and in 2014 obtained A&P certification with Inspection Authorization, and his Gold Seal CFI.

In 2018, he celebrated hitting 10,000 hours by getting his seaplane ratings in a Piper Super Cruiser and a Grumman Widgeon. With over 11,000 hours and 6,000 dual given, Hardin has flown over 60 types of aircraft, and has served as the Region 11 director of the Ercoupe owners club since 2013. He has ferried planes, flown pipeline aerial patrol in Cessna Cardinals, and flown for local clients, but says most of his time is spent instructing in everything from Ercoupes to King Airs.

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ABIGAIL HARTMAN NAFI Master Flight Instructor MCFIAbigail Hartman, MCFI 5/2021-5/2023

Hartman began her aviation career as a flight attendant for United Airlines in 2016. After over a year of enjoying the airline lifestyle, she quit her job, began flight training, and started working as a certified flight instructor in April 2019.

Specializing in instrument instruction for aircraft owners, Hartman has found a true passion for teaching and creating a safe future generation of pilots. Some of her favorite memories while instructing, outside of student solo and checkride accomplishments, include assisting a student in flying a Cessna 172 from California to Kentucky, mentoring new CFIs at her flight school, and helping grow the female pilot population by bringing students to her local Ninety-Nines’ chapter meetings. Along with instructing for two years, Hartman also earned her ATP and two PIC type ratings - CE-525 and EMB-505 - and says she enjoys bringing what she learns while flying the line to her students.

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Alaba Gabriel Idowu, MCFI 9/2020-9/2022:

Idowu’s dream of becoming a pilot came true in  2004.  He  did  not  know  how  to  achieve  his goal financially, but his passion for the industry inspired him to secure admission into an aviation business school to study travel  agency  management/air  ticketing  and reservation. In 2005 his first step into an aviation  career  officially  began  after  finishing classes at the international school of aviation (ISA) in Lagos, Nigeria.

He  then worked for three travel agencies as a travel agency manager, and while  working as a ticketing officer, Idowu pursued a National Diploma (ND) in computer science at Lagos State Polytechnic.

In 2010, Idowu moved to the  United States to start a piloting career. In 2015  he obtained multi-engine CPL from Delta Qualiflight at Forth-Meacham, Texas and proceeded to enroll in Aviator college in Florida for CFI/CFII/MEI.

Idowu  then  worked  with  Hillsboro  Aero  Academy  in  Hillsboro,  Oregon  as  a  flight  instructor  and  also  a progress  check  instructor.  He  then  also  worked  for  Kansas  State  University  as  an  advanced  flight instructor.

Idowu  currently  holds  a  Bachelor  of  Science  in  Aeronautics  from  Embry-Riddle  Aeronautical  University (ERAU) and is working towards a Master of Science in Aviation Safety from the same university.

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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.

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Michael Johnson NAFI Master Instructor MCFIMichael Johnson, MCFI 10/2020-10/2022:

This is Johnson’s third NAFI Master Instructor accreditation. Johnson has been flying since 1974 and has flown a multitude of airplanes and helicopters. He is a former Chief Pilot and Director of Training for a U.S. airline. He also has years of experience in Part 135 air carrier operations, including fixed and rotor-wing operations. Starting his aviation life competing in aerobatics, Johnson performed at airshows across the southern United States. At a young age, he won the 1979 Texas State Aerobatics competition, which he said in today’s terms equals a national championship in the Unlimited Class. His first airline job was as a line pilot for Texas International Airlines (which became Continental Airlines).

Johnson left aviation to serve more than 11 years on active duty in U.S. Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance, most of which were in the Middle East. He is a highly decorated combat veteran, having been awarded seven personal military decorations for valor, more than 15 other decorations, earning the coveted “dual cool” USMC Recon designation of being parachute and SCUBA qualified and having earned a seven-time expert rifle qualification and a six-time pistol expert qualification.

Leaving the Marine Corps, he returned to aviation and, as a professional pilot, worked in all facets of aviation including airlines, charters, flight instruction, banner towing, tour industry, EMS, ENG and much more.

Johnson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU), as well as a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Science (also from ERAU). A published aviation author, Johnson has written 10 flight training books and multimedia software packages published commercially and sold through national chains, such as Barnes and Noble. Johnson holds an FAA Airline Transport Pilot Certificate, and a FAA Gold Seal Flight Instructor certificate. He was one of the first Cessna Factory Authorized Instructors (CFAI) for the Garmin G1000 glass cockpit system. He holds airplane single- and multi-engine, land and sea ratings, as well as rotorcraft helicopter. His flight instructor credentials include airplane single and multi-engine, rotorcraft helicopter, as well as instrument instructor in airplanes and helicopters. Johnson also has both Advanced and Instrument Ground Instructor certificates.

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Karen Kalishek NAFI Master Instructor MCFIKaren A. Kalishek, MCFI 03/2017-03/2023:

This is Kalishek’s 3rd NAFI Master Accreditation. Kalishek was an aviation late bloomer. As happens to many pilots, after lessons at a younger age, life got in the way. She became a certified public accountant, licensed real estate broker, bank executive, taught finance courses in graduate school, and for 20 years ran her own firm providing international consulting services in 37 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. Then the aviation bug bit once again and did not let go.

Kalishek is now a Designated Pilot Examiner and independent Master and Gold Seal Flight Instructor with ATP, CFI, CFII, CFIME, CFI-Glider, AGI and IGI certificates. She has a special fondness for antique and experimental aircraft and flies her own Van's RV-6. Kalishek is a Major in the Civil Air Patrol, serving as a CAP volunteer flight instructor, G1000 instructor, check pilot, examiner, safety officer, aerospace education officer, public affairs officer, special flight release officer, mission pilot and cadet orientation pilot.

Kalishek serves on the NAFI Board of Directors and six NAFI board committees. She is also a member of the Wings Industry Advisory Committee and FAA Surface Safety Group. In 2014, she founded the Green Bay IMC Club, and serves as its leader and club coordinator. For the past six years, she has served on the EAA Pilot Proficiency Center (PPC) organizing committee and as volunteer PPC CFI Manager during AirVenture. Since 2006, she has served as treasurer of EAA Chapter 651, and is an EAA Flight Advisor for the chapter. Kalishek is a member of Women in Aviation, The Ninety Nines and Women Soaring Pilots Association.

Kalishek has served as FAASTeam Lead Representative for the Milwaukee FSDO since 2015, as a FAASTeam Representative since 2013 and was named the 2019 National FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year.

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Braunschweig NAFI Master Instructor MCFIDaniel Katz-Braunschweig, Associate MCFI 11/2020-11/2022:

Katz-Braunschweig says he was “bitten” by the aviation bug early in life when his father, a former private pilot, scheduled his first flying lesson at the age of 12 at Cherry Ridge airport in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. His interest in flying caused Katz-Braunschweig to join the Civil Air Patrol and during his tenure, he was regularly active in the cadet program, aerospace education and emergency services. His skills were put to task a few days after September 11, 2001 when he, as a photo specialist, was tasked with his aircrew to take photos and video of the terrorist attack at the World Trade Center and immediately deliver them to New York State’s office of emergency management. He said that experience caused him to really want to move to the left seat of the aircraft and he started flight training in December of that year towards his private pilot’s certificate.

With his family helping him study and supporting him in his goals, he received his certificate in June and his instrument rating in December of 2002. Braunschweig’s full-time job is as a senior lecturer in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at New York University’s Tandon school of Engineering, where he sometimes uses his aviation background to excite students on the complexities of both fields. He has given his students insight into aviation by showing them the intricacies of ADS-B and building projects which rely on data processing and performance characteristics of both aircraft and ground systems. Since it was the obvious combination of his vocation and avocation, Katz-Braunschweig obtained his CFI rating in 2006 and been teaching ever since. He owns and flies a K35 Bonanza, which he uses to transport his wife and two children around the United States and to international destinations. He says that his greatest thrill is when he sees a student who has had difficulty with understanding or performing a task finally “get it.”

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Donald Kaye, MCFI 9/2002-9/2022:

This is Kaye’s 10th consecutive NAFI Master Flight Instructor award. Born in Canton, Ohio Kaye says he was interested in aviation from an early age. After getting his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, he went to work for Kaiser Aerospace and Electronics. Most everyone in his department had their pilot’s certificate and in early 1968 he became a Private Pilot. A year later he got his Commercial Certificate.

From 1970 until 1992, worked as a real estate broker selling apartment houses, as a real estate developer, and real estate investor. It took an issue of Flying Magazine with a Mooney TLS on the cover to direct his attention back to flying. He soon earned his Instrument Rating, and within a month purchased a Mooney TLS. Thereafter, he achieved his Instructor and Instrument Instructor Ratings, and started teaching full time, specializing in teaching all models of Mooneys. His ATP certification followed.

For many years he taught both the primary Mooney Pilot Proficiency Course and its corresponding Mountain Flying Course. After a student of one of his students bought a King Air C90, he earned his Multiengine and Multiengine Instructor Ratings and began teaching the Multiengine Rating. Shortly thereafter the same student bought a CJ1, and the Citation CE-525S ATP was added to his credentials.

With over 11,600 hours of total time, 6,600 hours have been devoted to teaching. He has been willing to travel, to Canada, Australia and even North Dakota in the middle of January to assist those interested in learning the art of flying.

Several years ago, he upgraded the panel of his airplane to the latest in technology. With the experience gained, he has been able to quickly guide students on both purchases of such technology and on how best to use it to provide for the safest flight possible.

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Mike Kehoe NAFI MCFIJohn "Mike" Kehoe, MCFI 6/2015-1/2024:

This is Kehoe’s fourth consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation. Kehoe has held the CFI designation for almost 35 years. He currently holds Commercial, Multi-Engine, Instrument as well as CFI-CFII-MEI-AGI-IGI. He has been a Senior Instructor, Chief Flight Instructor and Director of Aviation, Stage Check Airman & End of Course Check Ride Examiner for Part 141 schools.

Kehoe says one of the most satisfying moments in aviation is watching a student’s “first solo flight.” A close second would be a student passing a checkride the first time.

Kehoe served in Vietnam with F Company, 51st Infantry (LRRP) as well as the 82nd Airborne. He has four children and four grandchildren. He says he still enjoys flight instructing and has also taught sky-diving, scuba diving and snow skiing.

When asked to sum up life as a professional flight instructor, Kehoe said: “What a great career, being a flight instructor, where else can you experience the thrill and joy of ‘first time experiences’ over and over again.”

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kennedy mcfiKevin Kennedy, Associate MCFI 8/2020-8/2022:

Kennedy flew solo in an airplane at the age of 16 with friends and family watching. Like so many others, the sense of freedom during flight is what got him hooked. He went on to acquire a Private Pilot’s Certificate and an applied economics degree from Florida State University. After a brief but accomplished stint on the business side of aviation, he decided to make a beeline for his dreams and enrolled in flight school full time.

After earning CFI/CFII/MEI, Kennedy began his flight instructor career in Austin, TX where he saw enough success to add an FAA Gold Seal to his flight instructor certificate. In addition to primary instructor, he has held roles such as Multi-Engine Flight Standards Instructor and Lead Instructor. He now works as an Indoctrination Instructor for ATP Flight School in Jacksonville, FL where his function is to assist newly certificated CFIs who are just beginning their aviation journey. Plane and Pilot Magazine has also published some of Kennedy’s work.

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Tzu-Cheng Kuo NAFI MCFITzu-Cheng Kuo, MCFI 11/2021-11/2023:

Tzu-Cheng is from Taipei, Taiwan. He says the reason he became a pilot is because, one day, a captain invited him to visit the flight deck, and it was fascinating! From then on, he embarked on his professional pilot journey. He did his flight training at Epic Flight Academy, New Smyrna Beach, Fla. and earned the CFI, CFII, and MEI in South Florida.

He has been flying and working as a flight instructor for a few years. In addition, he has maintained strong pass rate and achieved the FAA Goal Seal Certificate. Tzu-Cheng is specializing in instructing international students, focusing on a strong connection with his students during and after achieving their goals.

He continues to promote the aviation industry, whether in service with Young Eagle in his free time or as a friend to others who dream of becoming a pilot. He is also a volunteer Command Pilot for Angel Flight West. He holds a bachelor’s degree and is now studying for his second degree in Arizona at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to improve his aviation knowledge.

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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!”

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Sam Lindsay NAFI MCFISam Lindsay, MCFI 1/2021-1/2023:

Lindsay is a U.S. Air Force veteran and former airline first officer who began flying in the 1990s. He quickly progressed through his ratings and is currently a primary, instrument, and multi engine instructor. He specializes in Mooney and Comanche aircraft as well as high tech avionics, but he also instructs local tailwheel pilots at a nearby grass field, and mentors student pilots in his 1977 Cessna 150. He is an independent instructor and owns his own flight school, named "CourseAir Flight Training".

Lindsay has a Master of Science degree in Information Systems, and prior to becoming a full-time instructor, spent 38 years in the information technology field. He has been published numerous times in various periodicals, including NAFI Mentor, Mooney MAPA Log and IFR Refresher. He also produces online instructional videos for use by all students of aviation.

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emily locketz NAFI MCFIEmily Locketz, Associate MCFI 9/2020-9/2022:

Locketz got her start in aviation while in high school when she was 17, discovering her love for aviation through Aviation Explorers and the dedication of her first instructors. She said that helped her realize she wanted to make aviation her career and joined ATP Flight School in 2015, where she became a CFI/CFII/MEI at 19 years old.

She continued to grow as an instructor in Phoenix, Arizona, training students from a range of airline ab initio training programs including JetBlue and Japan Airlines, and eventually progressed to Lead Instructor of the Japan Airlines training program. She then decided to go back to where it all started at ATP, and help students obtain their CFI initial ratings.

While working at ATP, she earned the Distinguished Flight Instructor award from AOPA for 2019. She now works as the Lead of Ground School programs at ATP, and says she hopes to continue to grow her experience and dedicate herself to being a lifelong instructor and educator.

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Jason Lorenzon NAFI MCFIJason Lorenzon, MCFI 1/2021-1/2023:

Lorenzon said that as a boy he loved to watch airplanes flying over his house in Windsor, Ontario, Canada and dreamed of one day learning to fly. When he was old enough, he began flying lessons at the Windsor Flying Club and his love of flying grew. Since his parents were concerned for his safety and did not want him to pursue flying as a career, he would often sneak to the airport, and at the age of 18 he received his pilot’s certificate.

At the University of Western Ontario, Lorenzon pursued a degree in political science and music, and met his future wife Heather, who was also working on obtaining her pilot’s certificate. Knowing that it is rare to meet someone with the dream of flight they began flying together and have enjoyed many adventures, now with their three children and two pug dogs.

While Lorenzon came to Cleveland to pursue a Masters in Piano at the Cleveland Institute of Music and went on to pursue his law degree at Cleveland Marshall School of Law, his love of flying and helping others achieve the dream of flight continued to grow. He became a CFI in 2003 and holds the CFI instrument and CFI multi-engine ratings. Most recently he became an FAA certified Airline Transport Pilot (multi-engine).

Eventually Lorenzon was able to bring his love of flying and law together at Kent State University where he is the Aeronautics Coordinator while also teaching Aviation Law, Aviation Security and Policy, UAV Courses and instructing commercial and multi-engine students at the Kent State Airport (1G3). Additionally, he also serves as FAA Safety Team Lead for the Cleveland FSDO, practices aviation law, serves as an AOPA panel attorney, serves as Chair of the Aviation Law Committee of the Ohio State Bar, serves on the Aviation Law Committee of the Florida Bar, and is a co-founder/owner of AeroTrek Flight Academy at the Wadsworth Municipal (3G3) airport.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Tim Mcswain NAFI Master Instructor MCFITim McSwain, MCFI 10/2020-10/2022:

McSwain began his aviation career by soloing Cessna 150 N7112S on August 8th, 1968 at Essex County Airport in Caldwell, New Jersey (KCDW). He earned his Private Pilot Certificate in September of 1969 in Ohio, where he had moved to attend college and law school. Soon after, McSwain moved up to a Cessna 172, then a Beech Musketeer, then to Citabrias and Grummans. Instrument, Commercial and CFI ratings and certificates followed. He flew for a Cessna Pilot Center, adding airplane demo/sales/delivery pilot to his duties, as well as adding MEL and MEL-CFI.

Over the next 6 years McSwain flew for several schools in and near Columbus, teaching private, commercial, instrument, single and multi- students at John Glenn Columbus International Airport (KCMH), Bolton Field, Columbus Southwest and Ohio State University Airport (KOSU). During that time, he flew 80-some different SEL and MEL types as a CFI or on demo/delivery flights for the dealership and added ATP-MEL to his certificate in 1980.

In 1983 McSwain moved to Memphis to practice aviation law and joined a flying club, teaching in types ranging from J3 Cubs to Piper Aztecs. He moved back to New Jersey in 1985, and while instructing at various locations added SES to his ratings, and was appointed a Designated Pilot Examiner with the Teterboro FSDO in 1990.

By 1994, time commitments to his legal career and a growing family led him to relinquish his DPE status but was able to continue instructing on a more relaxed pace. He flew company airplanes and his own aircraft on business trips around the United States and Canada until retiring in 2013.
Since then, McSwain has continued instructing, consulting, and flying his own airplanes, mostly to visit family and old friends. His current airplane is a Cessna 180A.

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Georgios “George” Michelogiannakis, Associate MCFI 9/2020-9/2022:

Michelogiannakis has been actively flight instructing for six years. Born in Greece, he pursued flight training at Reid-Hillview airport (RHV) in California where he flew a few of his first hundred hours mostly in a 180HP Cessna 172. Shortly after becoming a CFI, he focused on private and instrument pilot training while acquiring additional qualifications such as MEI, ATP MEL, and TAA training.

Michelogiannakis' latest focus is G1000 transition training, introductory flights, as well as re-currency of "rusty" pilots. Much of his flight instructing time is as an unpaid volunteer as an instructor and check pilot of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) where he provides not only transition training and evaluation, but also evaluation flights for search and rescue (SAR) pilot candidates. As part of CAP, Michelogiannakis has participated in numerous actual SAR and disaster relief missions. He is also an active FAASTeam representative who frequently delivers seminars on many safety topics. He says when he is not flying or thinking about flying, he is a research scientist at a national laboratory.

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Robert Mitchell NAFI MCFIRobert Mitchell, MCFI 5/2021-5/2023

Mitchell has dedicated most of his adult life to military and civilian flight instruction. He has been an active FAA Certified Flight Instructor for 34 straight years and has flown more than 8000 flight hours, including 500 combat flight hours.  He currently works for CAE, a Canadian manufacturer of simulation technologies and training services to airlines, as an Advanced Instructor Pilot (Upset Prevention and Recovery Training) in support of the U.S. Army Fixed-Wing Flight Training Program in Dothan, Alabama.  In addition, he owns and operates Strikehawk Aviation, a full-time flight training school in Enterprise, Alabama.  Mitchell volunteers much of his time to organizations such as the EAA Young Eagles program and the Troy University Air Force ROTC You Can Fly Scholarship program. 

Mitchell recently retired after serving 30 years in the United States Army. As a career Aeromedical Evacuation Officer, he served in numerous command and staff positions, including two combat tours. In 2004-2005, he served as a Medevac Battalion Commander in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He retired in 2014 at the rank of Colonel. He is a graduate of the University of Toledo where he was a starting wide receiver for the Rocket football team. He also holds master’s degrees from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the U.S. Army War College. He is also a member of the Distinguished Alumni and Athletic Hall of Fame at his high school as well as a member of the DUSTOFF Association Hall of Fame.

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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.

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Jay Nabors NAFI MCFIJay Nabors, MCFI 12/2019-12/2023:

This is Nabors’ second NAFI Master Accreditation. Nabors has been flying since 1975. He holds a private pilot rotorcraft/helicopter; Commercial ASEL, ATP AMEL certificates and a SIC type rating in a Citation CE500. He has been a flight instructor since 2014 and holds CFI, CFII, MEI, AGI, and IGI instructor ratings. He is an FAASTeam representative and has organized several ATC townhalls to connect the general aviation community with ATC controllers. Nabors has served aviation in a variety of roles including aviation flying club board of directors member, mentoring to newly minted CFIs, and conducted Children’s Flight of Hope and Pilot’s and Paws flights. He is an FAA designated pilot examiner with over 200 checkrides conducted in the last year. He holds examining authority for private, commercial and instrument ASEL as well as flight instructor initial, renewal and reinstatement ASEL. His other flying passions include corporate flying in a Diamond DA-42 and DA-62, Pilatus PC-12, Kingair 250 and a Citation V.

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