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

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Zachary HagelyZachary Hagely, MCFI 02/2020-02/2025:

This is Hagely's second NAFI Master Instructor accreditation.

Hagely did his flight training and earned both his CFI and bachelor’s degree in aviation management at Southern Illinois University (SIU) in Carbondale, Illinois. Afterwards, he moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where he began instructing almost immediately out of Spirit of St. Louis Airport (KSUS). 

After honing his craft flight instructing, Hagely decided to pursue his dream of flying at a Part 121 airline. However, during COVID, the airline he was working for ceased flight operations. In a positive turn of events, he was contacted by the management at Elite Aviation, the school he had taught at previously, and was offered a part time flight instruction role performing progress checks, instrument instruction, and student-owned aircraft instruction.  Soon after, he was proud to graduate his first CFI candidate, a student whom he had instructed previously for his private pilot certificate, as well as parts of instrument and commercial training.

Hagley now has returned to the airlines and has since upgraded to captain in an Embraer 145. He currently volunteers with the Greater St. Louis Flight Instructors Association, an organization that promotes safety and improvement of flight instruction on a regional level.
While he isn’t currently providing primary instruction, he hopes to lend his passion for instructing to the airline world by becoming a line check pilot someday.

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Elayne Humphrey, MCFIElayne Humphrey, MCFI 9/2023-9/2025:

Humphrey’s love of aviation started when she was inspired to become an astronaut. She grew up in the Washington D.C. area watching airplanes take off from Dulles International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, and wished she was on those airplanes. As a teen, the luxury of flight lessons was not a possibility, so she postponed her dream. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in marketing research from the University of Texas at Arlington, she got married, raised two kids, and had her own website design business. During the 14 years she was homeschooling her kids, she never gave up the hope of flying one day. Finally on May 2, 2018, after taking her first flight lesson, she knew she had found the life path she was longing for — combining her passion to teach and her desire to fly.

In the past five years, Humphrey has gone from student pilot to CFI, CFII, MEI, and earning a seaplane rating — a highlight of her flying time thus far. She won the Ladies in Flight Training scholarship and trained in floatplanes in Talkeetna, Alaska. This led to a great relationship with Alaska Floats & Skis at AK8 where she created and leads a yearly CFI intensive course.

Humphrey’s goal is to inspire others to know that they can do “it” — whatever “it” is for them. At every stage of flight training, she has sought to help people have confidence to pursue their dreams. Each new adventure has opened more possibilities for her to give back to the aviation community. To inspire others, during the month of May for the anniversary of her first lesson, she gives away free lessons.

Her free time is spent reading about and watching aviation-related or instructor-related videos and challenging herself to learn new techniques and knowledge to make her a better pilot, instructor, and mentor. When she is not flying, she loves being outdoors, taking care of her plants, golfing, and traveling with family and friends.

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And Jones NAFI MCFIAndy Jones, MCFI 9/2022-9/2024:

Jones dreamed of flight from a young age. At five years old, he recalls waiting for the Air National Guard A-8s and F-111s to fly over his home, a small farm in eastern Kentucky. He spent childhood days reading books about aircraft design and the history of aviation, searching for information and firsthand accounts that would make him feel as if he were a part of it all.

Everything changed when he experienced his first flight at the age of eighteen. During his senior year of high school, his football coach and mentor, Mike Stanley, offered to take him for a flight in a Cessna 172. To say he was hooked was an understatement. After years of educating himself on what it would feel like to fly in an aircraft, it was everything he had dreamed it would be. Jones knew then that aviation would present him with the mental and physical challenges that he yearned for, and that he would do anything to become a pilot himself.

Another dozen years would pass before he was able to pursue his boyhood dreams of flight. In 2003, Jones earned his private pilot certificate and promptly put it to use chasing down $100 hamburgers. As his family grew, he stepped away from aviation for a few years before returning to the cockpit in 2011.

With a renewed passion for aviation, as well as the time and resources needed, he put a plan together of continuous learning. "If I was going to fly my family around, I needed to maintain as near as possible a professional program of regular flying and continuous improvement," Jones said. “Any pilot takes on the responsibility for the safety of those he is transporting so I knew I needed to be the best I could be. That’s where the idea of being a “perpetual student” came from. I wanted to keep learning and keep growing.”

Jones began his self-imposed program to become a "perpetual student” and placed an emphasis on cultivating new skills while simultaneously developing upon what he had already learned. Part of this program involved pursuing additional ratings. He holds ATP ratings for ASEL and AMEL, commercial ASES, CFI, CFII, MEI, Advanced Ground Instructor, FAA Gold Seal Flight Instructor, and Remote Pilot (SUAS). He has shifted his focus to upgrading the ASES to an ATP, as well as adding a commercial helicopter rating in the near future.

Jones instructs advanced ratings, especially pilots seeking to add or upgrade to instrument and/or multiengine ratings. He finds great personal gratification collaborating with pilots who have similar mindsets to his own. "My desire to constantly learn new skills and knowledge carries directly over when I am sitting in the right seat,” he said. “We all should be perpetual students in aviation, after all, it is called a license to learn."

Outside the cockpit, Jones is deeply engaged in the aviation community. He actively participates and supports a myriad of organizations, from preserving the machines of aviation's greatest generation with the Commemorative Air Force, to supporting diversity and inclusion efforts by funding scholarships for his local chapter of Women in Aviation International. He serves as a board member for the Cleveland National Airshow, and participates as a volunteer pilot for Young Eagles and public benefit flights through PALS and Lifeline Pilots.

Beyond aviation, Jones serves as CEO of a cybersecurity organization headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. He has been married for 26 years to the love of his life with whom he shares three wonderful daughters. Jones is an active cyclist and a participant in annual charity bike rides supporting cancer patients and their families.

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Karen Kalishek NAFI Master Instructor MCFIKaren A. Kalishek, MCFI 03/2017-03/2025:

This is Kalishek’s fourth 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 is the current NAFI board chair. She is also a member of the General Aviation Joint Safety Committee, Wings Industry Network 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 decade, she has held various volunteer positions with the EAA Pilot Proficiency Center, serving on the organizing committee and as a flight instructor or operations manager during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.

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 a FAASTeam Representative since 2013, FAASTeam Lead Representative for the Milwaukee FSDO since 2015, is a WINGS Pro and was named the 2019 National FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year. A passionate advocate of aviation safety, she has created and delivered hundreds of safety presentations to various groups.

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Brandon Keller NAFI MCFIBrandon Keller, MCFI 06/2023-06/2025:

Keller said he grew up ignorant about the world of aviation. It wasn’t until he was 18 when he first met an airline pilot that he was introduced to the industry. Later, Keller was encouraged to take a discovery flight at a local flight school in Rock Hill, South Carolina. This sparked his interest in pursuing flying airplanes as not just a hobby, but potentially as a career.

Soon after earning his private pilot certificate, he continued his flight training through the American Airlines Cadet Academy in San Marcos, Texas. Here he obtained ratings from instrument through CFII, as well as commercial multi-engine, AGI, IGI, and UAS remote pilot.

After finishing flight training, Keller began instructing independently in central Florida, where he had the opportunity to fly a variety of GA airplanes. Eventually, he was hired at a flight school in Ormond Beach, Florida where he earned his FAA Gold Seal flight instructor certificate.

Most recently, Keller was hired by a regional airline where he earned his ATP and CL-65 type rating as a first officer flying the CRJ 200/700/900. After going to the airlines, Keller wants to finish his degree. He has enrolled in Embry-Riddle Online with the expectation of completing in bachelor’s degree in aeronautics.

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Iven Kuo NAFI MCFITzu-Cheng Kuo, MCFI 11/2021-11/2025:

This is Kuo’s second NAFI Master accreditation. Kuo graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) in October of the previous year with a degree in aeronautical science. He is an AGI, IGI, Gold Seal CFI, CFII, and MEI. Recently, he acquired an ATP license and an A320 type rating.

In his role as a flight instructor, he loves educating and promoting aviation. Kuo actively mentors and guides his students to become outstanding pilots. His engagement extends to various organizational activities, including volunteering at the Professional Asian Pilot Association career exposition and ERAU alumni engagements, where he shares his aviation journey with current students.

Kuo recognizes the persistent barriers that often deters individuals interested in aviation due to a lack of understanding or financial constraints. He endeavors to offer assistance and answers to those navigating the complexities of aviation. He aspires to collaborate with friends to establish a comprehensive platform that will facilitate information integration and make it more accessible to aspiring aviation enthusiasts. As technology progresses, he remains committed to advancing his knowledge in the field.

Kuo expressed his honor in becoming a NAFI member. He is also a member of the Royal Aeronautical Society, National Business Aviation Association, and National Air Transportation Association. Kuo is set to commence training to become a part of the FAA Safety Team. 

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Domenic LaFauci NAFI MGIDomenic LaFauci, Associate MCFI 02/2017-02/2021

MGI 6/2022-6/2024:

LaFauci has previously been accredited as both an Associate Master and a Master Flight Instructor. LaFauci is the assistant dean of aviation at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), where he oversees the Aviation Operations and Management program, as well as the Unmanned Aerial Systems certificate program. In addition to his assistant dean role, he teaches academic courses, including aerodynamics, aircraft operations, and aircraft systems, and is working with the university’s product team to operationalize innovative hybrid-academic models. Previous to his employment with SNHU, he flew with Wiggins Airways as PIC on the Beechcraft BE-99, was a staff member at Bridgewater State University, and was a flight instructor for East Coast Aero Club.

LaFauci is currently pursuing his doctoral degree in Applied Educational Studies with a focus in Aviation and Space Education at Oklahoma State University, and is scheduled to graduate in the fall of 2023. He recently graduated from the Department of Transportation’s Basic Accident Investigator certificate program via the Transportation Safety Institute, as well as SNHU’s Unmanned Aerial Systems certificate program. An active FAASTeam Representative for the Portland and Boston FSDO region, he continues to educate others through his website www.TheCFIGuy.com, and will soon be making his return to flight instructing at CHI Aerospace. He says he hopes to someday teach in turbine aerobatic aircraft while continuing his career in higher education.

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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 1/2021-1/2025:

This is Lindsay’s second NAFI Master accreditation. Sam Lindsay is an independent flight instructor located in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. He is an Air Force veteran and former first officer for Continental Airlines. Currently Lindsay specializes in Mooney and Van's Aircraft training and transitions throughout North America, in addition to local primary and advanced flight instruction. He has been instructing since 2001 and has accrued 5,700 hours of flight time since becoming a pilot in 1996. Sam is an FAA Safety Team representative, and when not flying, is an active astronomer and amateur radio extra class examiner.

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Jason Lorenzon NAFI MCFIJason Lorenzon, MCFI 1/2021-2/2025:

This is Lorenzon's second NAFI Master Instructor accreditation.

Lorenzon is an airline transport pilot with multi engine and instrument ratings. He also is a CFI, CFII, and MEI. He was one of the first pilot/lawyers to receive a Part 107 Remote Pilot sUAS Certificate in Ohio. Lorenzon is a board-certified specialist in aviation law, awarded by the Florida Bar in June 2021. He was also the recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Award from the Kent State College of Aeronautics and Engineering in 2021. Lorenzon serves as a safety lead for the FAA Safety Team program.

Lorenzon’s first passion was always aviation. When his parents would not let him achieve his dream of becoming a pilot, he would sneak to the Windsor Airport as a teenager, and by the age of eighteen he received his Canadian private pilot certificate.

Currently, Lorenzon is currently an associate professor of aeronautics. He recently served as coordinator of the aeronautics program for the College of Aeronautics and Engineering at Kent State University until he was promoted to tenure track faculty position. He oversaw six undergraduate degree programs, and six minors. He teaches aviation law, aviation security and policy, and regularly instructs as a multi engine instructor for PROP majors at the Kent State Airport. He serves as senior attorney at Gertsburg Licata, LPA in Cleveland, Ohio where he focuses his practice on aviation law. Periodically, he flies a Diamond 40NG aircraft with his wife and his children, who are all FAA certificated pilots.

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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.

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Matt McDaniel NAFI MCFIMatthew P.R. McDaniel, MCFI 7/2003-7/2025:

This is McDaniel’s 11th NAFI Master Accreditation. McDaniel has been an active CFI for more than 32 years and has specialized in Cirrus and other technically advanced aircraft instruction for the past 22 years. He is a Platinum Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot. He also enjoys teaching in antique taildraggers, such as the Globe/Temco Swift. He has flown more than 125 aircraft types and holds eight turbine aircraft type ratings.

As a freelance aviation author, McDaniel has had nearly 150 articles published in about a dozen aviation magazines and online. He currently flies as a Boeing 737 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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Brandon Miguez NAFI MCFIBrandon Miguez, MCFI 04/2023-04/2025:

Miguez was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Graduating from Louisiana State University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Miguez’s original plan was to pursue a career in aviation law. He clerked for a law firm in Baton Rouge for a short period of time and decided he was putting off his true passion; the love for aviation was always lurking in the back of his mind. He quit his job at the law firm, moved to Tampa, and completed the rest of his flight training.

Miguez is currently the assistant chief flight instructor at FlightGest Academy in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is a CFI, CFII, MEI, AGI, IGI, FAA Gold Seal Flight Instructor, and FAASTeam Representative for the Greensboro, North Carolina FSDO. Miguez is also pursuing his Master of Science degree in aviation safety at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. His passion is multiengine instruction, and he specifically works to transition commercial rotorcraft pilots from North Carolina’s National Guard who wish to fly for the airlines. Miguez says he is thrilled to be doing exactly what he always dreamed of doing, exactly where he is supposed to be doing it: in a professional environment full of supportive individuals and stellar pilots.

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Robert Mitchell NAFI MCFIRobert Mitchell, MCFI 5/2021-8/2025

This is Mitchell’s second NAFI Master Accreditation. Mitchell has dedicated most of his adult life to military and civilian flight instruction. He has been an active FAA certificated flight instructor for 34 consecutive years and has flown more than 8,000 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, specializing in upset prevention and recovery training in support of the U.S. Army Fixed-Wing Flight Training program in Dothan, Alabama. 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 with 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 holds master’s degrees from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the U.S. Army War College. He is 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 6/2001-12/2025:

This is Moran’s 12th 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 a training supervisor, chief pilot, and vice president 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. Moran lives in Summerville, South Carolina.

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Jay Nabors NAFI MCFIJay Nabors, MCFI 12/2019-12/2025:

This is Nabors’ third NAFI Master accreditation. Nabors has been flying since 1975. He holds a private pilot certificate in rotorcraft, ATP AMEL/ASEL certificates, and a second-in-command 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 director member, mentor to newly minted CFIs, and has conducted Angel and Pilots N Paws flights. He is an FAA designated pilot examiner with more than 1,100 checkrides conducted to date. He holds examining authority for private, commercial, and instrument ASEL, as well as flight instructor initial and instrument, renewal, and reinstatement ASEL. His other flying passions include corporate flying in a Diamond DA-42 and DA-62, Pilatus PC-12, King Air 250 and Citation V.

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