Meet Our NAFI Master Instructors

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Christopher Rothe, MCFI 9/2019-9/2021:

Rothe started flying gliders with the Civil Air Patrol, earning his glider instructor rating at 16. A graduate of Metro State University in Denver, he joined the Air Force Reserve as a C-130 Aircraft Commander and instructor at Peterson AFB, transferring to the academy in 2014 as a soaring instructor. He currently flies Airbus A-319/320s for a major airline, and is a USAF Reserve evaluator and instructor for the Air Force Academy soaring-racing team.


Click to Download Chris' Press Release!


John "Mike" Kehoe, MCFI 6/2015-8/2021:

This is Kehoe’s third 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-AGII. 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 your student passing a checkride the first time.

Kehoe served in Vietnam with F Company, 51st Infantry (LRRP) as well as the 82nd AB. He has four children and four grandchildren. He still enjoys flight instructing and he 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.”

Click to Download Mike's Press Release!


Michael L. Kloch, MCFI 6/2017-9/2021:

This is Kloch’s second NAFI Master Accreditation. Kloch said he knew he wanted to be a pilot before he ever flew. He learned to fly at U.S. Navy  flight school and became a Marine Corps F/A-18 pilot. He served a combat tour flying over Iraq during Operation Southern Watch. Kloch later attended the Aviation Safety Officer’s course at the Naval Postgraduate School and served as a safety officer and F/A-18 standardization officer for all Marine Corps reserve F/A-18 squadrons.

After the Marine Corps Kloch attended Central Oregon Community College (COCC) in Bend, Oregon to earn his CFI, CFII and MEI ratings as well as Commercial and Instrument helicopter ratings along with night vision goggle (NVG) qualification. He worked as a full-time CFI for Leading Edge Aviation (LEA) and eventually became the Chief Airplane Flight instructor. He also became a part-time instructor at COCC teaching Technically Advanced Aircraft and Airport Management classes.

Kloch went on to develop an Upset Prevention and Recovery Training (UPRT) program as the Chief Instructor Pilot for Advanced Flight Dynamics (AFD) of Redmond, Oregon, which became the UPRT provider for COCC. At AFD he taught UPRT, aerobatics and tailwheel in the Super Decathlon. Kloch also taught in AFD’s Fouga Magisters, a first-generation military jet trainer. He also has worked as a contract pilot for Elite Pilot Services, flying Evolution airplanes. Kloch also flew a Fouga Magister in the Airshow of the Cascades for the past two years.

After a brief time working as an EMS pilot in the C90 King Air, Kloch went to work At Epic Aircraft in 2017 as a factory test pilot and instructor. He is part of Epic’s E1000 flight test team working on FAA certification as well as instructing current Epic LT aircraft owners.
When not working as a test pilot Kloch stays busy conducting spin endorsement training at LEA with a specialized course he designed and he also teaches independently.

Kloch 's education includes a BS in Exercise and Sports Science from Oregon State University and two AAS degrees in aviation from COCC. He also enjoys hiking, camping, hunting, shooting, boating and generally anything outdoors. He has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do that he earned while stationed in Iraq.

Click to Download Mike's Press Release!


Ed Pataky, MCFI 6/2017-7/2021:

Ed Pataky says he has been interested in aviation since he was a kid. He began flying in 1968, soloing on his 16th birthday in 1972 and earning his private certificate a year later.  Pataky obtained his basic and advanced ground instructor certificates in 1975 and taught for several years in that capacity. He returned to actively flying in 2002, earning his seaplane rating and instrument ground Instructor certificate in 2003. His instrument rating and commercial and glider ratings soon followed.  In 2006, he earned an aircraft dispatcher certificate, and served as a dispatcher at Express Jet airlines for over five years.  Pataky has been an active flight instructor since 2006, and has over 1200 hours in that capacity.  He hopes to continue to expand his role as an instructor and earn additional instructor ratings in the near future.

Pataky's education consists of two bachelor degrees from the University of Houston, in geography and economics, a master of science degree from Texas A&M, and master degree from the University of Houston in International Relations, as well as an MBA. He has worked a full spectrum of jobs, including 25 years as a broadcast engineer and on-air personality in the Houston market, along with several potions totaling over 10 years with Continental Airlines' operations, and as an aircraft dispatcher again.  He teaches political science and economics at Lone Star College, where he has worked for over 30 years. Over the past 4 years, Pataky has formulated and taught ground school classes at several airports and flight schools.

He has owned a 1977 Cessna 150 “M” model since 2004.

Click to Download Ed's Press Release!

Matthew P.R. McDaniel, MCFI 7/2003-7/2021:

This is McDaniel’s ninth consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation.
McDaniel has been an active CFI for 27 years and has specialized in Cirrus and other Technically Advanced Aircraft (TAA) instruction for the past 18 years. In that capacity, he is a Platinum Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot (CSIP). He also enjoys teaching in antique taildraggers, such as the Globe/Temco Swift, has flown nearly 100 aircraft types, and holds eight turbine aircraft type ratings. As a freelance aviation author, McDaniel has published over 100 articles in a dozen 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, WI, where he lives with his wife and two children.

Click to Download Matthew's Press Release!

Tarike Delisser, MCFI 06/2019-06/2021:

Delisser is from the Caribbean island of Jamaica, and says that as a young boy visiting the Normal Manley International Airport in Kingston seeing local pilots around planes inspired him to want to fly. Delisser has traveled and lived in many countries. He earned a bachelor's degree in economics and political science from the University of the West Indies and shortly afterward decided to pursue a professional pilot's training course in Canada where he obtained his commercial certificate.

After moving to the United States, Delisser achieved his Gold Seal Flight Instructor rating and CFI, CFII, MEI , IGI, AGI, ATP. In addition to instructing Delisser flies as an airline pilot at regional airline, is a captain in the Civil Air Patrol, and volunteers with the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) where he conducts aerospace education and works to inspire disadvantaged youth to pursue flight. Click to Download Tarike's Press Release!

Dan Meyer, MCFI 03/2019-03/2021:

Meyer was born in 1965 and raised in Granger, Iowa and is the youngest of 9 children. He attended Dowling Catholic High School in Des Moines and received a basketball scholarship at Simpson College. He says he always had a burning desire to fly. He dropped out of college at age 19 in 1985 and joined the U.S. Army as a Warrant Officer Candidate to attend the U.S. Army Warrant Officer Aviation Course in Ft. Rucker, AL. Meyer became a WO1 and began to fly the UH1H, flying medevac missions in the United States with a short stint in Honduras.

Meyer says he quickly realized he loved all things about aviation and worked to obtain all the fixed wing ratings from private to MEI while working to finish a bachelor’s degree. HE began his CFI career at Haps Air Service in Ames, Iowa and quickly moved up to the Charter Department flying a very diverse collection of airplanes. Meyer also flew night freight in Cessna twins and Corporate King Airs. He accepted a job with Rocky Mountain Airways in Denver to fly BE1900s and ATR 42s. In early 1992, he accepted a job as a flight engineer on the B727 at American Airlines at the age of 26. At American Meyer flew the B727, MD80, F100, MD11, B757, B767, B777 and finally his current duty, the B787 from Amrican's hub in LAX to points across the Pacific Ocean. Meyer also flies part time for Billings Flying Service as a helicopter and airplane Instructor.

Meyer was U.S. Forest Service carded and type-rated in the Bell 205 and Sikorsky 61 and has served on fire fighting missions throughout the western states when needed. He has remained a current and very active CFI who enjoys meeting and flying with pilots young and old. Meyer lives in Billings, Montana with his wife of 25 years and his four children.

Click to Download Dan's Press Release!

Karen A. Kalishek, MCFI 03/2017-03/2021:

This is Kalishek’s second NAFI Master Instructor Accreditation.
Karen Ann Kalishek was an aviation late bloomer. As happens to many pilots, after lessons at a younger age, life got in the way for decades.  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 an 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. She is also a Cirrus Training Center Instructor. Kalishek is a captain in the Civil Air Patrol, serving as a CAP volunteer flight instructor, G1000 instructor, check pilot, 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 a member of the Wings Industry Advisory Committee. In 2014, she founded the Green Bay IMC Club, and serves as its leader and club coordinator. For the past five years, she has served as volunteer CFI Manager at the EAA Pilot Proficiency Center 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 recently named the 2019 National FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year.

Click to Download Karen's Press Release!

Andrew Dow, MGI 2/2013-3/2021, MCFI 2/2011-3/2021:

This is Dow’s fifth consecutive NAFI Master Instructor Accreditation and fourth consecutive NAFI Master Ground Instructor Accreditation.

Dow was about 12 years old traveling to Washington D.C. when he could remember one of his first flight on an airline. He said he remembers being pushed back in his seat when the airliner lined up on the runway and applied full takeoff power to the engines. He also remembers taking road trips with his mom and she made sure to always point out the airports they drove by and the airplanes that flew overhead. It was when he enrolled in an Explorer’s Post for Aviation through the Boy Scouts of America that becoming a pilot became a career focus.

Dow enrolled in the Aviation Program at Iowa Central Community College, where he earned an Associates Degree in Aviation along with earning Commercial and Flight Instructor certificates. He started his career in aviation in 2003 working as a flight instructor for Great River Aviation in Quincy, IL.  It was during this job that he discovered a passion of teaching others how to fly.  Dow worked up through the roles of assistant chief flight instructor to chief flight instructor in the flight school's FAA Part 141 Program and became the chief pilot and director of operations for its Part 135 Charter certificate.  Dow also started teaching at Quincy University as an adjunct instructor of aviation in 2005 and eventually became an assistant professor of aviation and the aviation program coordinator, which helped him start a career as an educator and full-time flight instructor.

Dow recently started working as an independent flight instructor training students in the Quincy, IL and surrounding airports and as contract pilot for a corporate aviation department.  Dow also became a FAA Designated Pilot Examiner for the Springfield, IL FSDO in 2017, conducting pilot practical test examinations for various pilot certificates and ratings.  He currently has administered over 200 practical tests and said he enjoys giving back to the aviation industry, which has given me so much over the years.

Dow, who earned his Eagle Scout from the Boy Scout of America several years ago, now has the privilege of being an aviation merit badge counselor and has helped 87 Boy Scouts earn their aviation merit badge to date.  He also is a Federal Aviation Administration FAASTeam Representative for the Springfield, IL District Office hosting and presenting aviation safety seminars throughout the region.  He belongs to several aviation organizations and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Aviation Trades Association.

In 2014, he was awarded the “Brown Jacket Award” at the EAA AirVenture from the IMC Club, and was awarded “Coach of the Year” award by the National Intercollegiate Flying Association for Region VIII during the 2014 and 2016 SAFECON competitions. Dow was also recently honored as a “Distinguished Flight Instructor” through AOPA’s Flight Training Experience Award in both 2017 and 2018.

Click to Download Andrew's Press Release!


Benjamin Porch, MCFI 04/2019-04/2021:


Porch says he has been fascinated by aviation and airplanes since he was young. Upon graduating high school, he attended LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas, completing a degree in aviation with a concentration in mission aviation. Porch has instructed in Texas and Minnesota across a range of types including single-engine, multi-engine, tailwheel, high performance, and technically advanced aircraft. He is a Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot, FAA Gold Seal Instructor, and has over 3,000 hours, with over 2,500 hours of flight instruction given.
In addition to a relaxed and joyful approach to being a flight instructor, Porch is a certificated airframe & powerplant aircraft mechanic who enjoys working on aircraft as well.

Click to Download Ben's Press Release!



David Yost, MCFI 03/2017-03/2021:

This is Yost’s second NAFI Master Accreditation.

Yost as always been an active volunteer in one organization or another, and shortly after receiving his Private Pilot certificate, he joined the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) in Lake Elmo, Minnesota. He received his  initial CFI 31/2 years later and became a CAP flight instructor, and later a CAP check pilot. Yost flies almost exclusively through the Civil Air Patrol, and serves as a mission pilot, instructor pilot, orientation pilot, and check pilot examiner. He has endorsed three students for the Private Pilot certificate and one for the Instrument Rating – all successful on their first attempt. In addition to the CAP, Yost serves the Minneapolis FSDO as a FAA Safety Team representative, and has given numerous flight safety briefings and presentations in various venues. Yost is also looking forward to adding a glider rating to his commercial certificate this summer.

Outside of flying, he works in the computer IT industry for a major computer manufacturer. He is married to Shawn, his wife of 39 years. They have two sons and a three-year-old granddaughter. In his "spare time," Yost enjoys the occasional round of golf. Fortunately, he says, he flies better than he plays golf!

Click to Download David's Press Release!

Domenic Lafauci, Associate MCFI 02/2017-02/2021:

This is Lafauci's second consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation.

On his 20th birthday, LaFauci fulfilled a childhood dream and took to the skies for the first time. The seemingly innocuous discovery flight changed everything; he was hooked. In a matter of months, he found himself driving an over-packed Jeep from Massachusetts to Daytona Beach, Florida; home of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. It was there, that LaFauci would earn a Commercial Pilot certificate, an Aircraft Dispatcher certificate and his AGI and IGI ratings.

While at ERAU, LaFauci purchased an unfinished Bede BD-5 from a local EAA Chapter. He housed it in his living room, which was not easy to explain to his newlywed wife. However, with her help, he was able to convince the school's legal board to take the aircraft on as an educational endeavor for the benefit of the students. This project would eventually lead him to rub elbows with NASA Astronaut Nicole Stott, as well as some of the top mechanics in the country. He used this project as a way to get students involved with airplane design. Students from the pilot, aerospace engineering and mechanics disciplines all participated in building the BD-5.

Post-graduation, LaFauci instructed for Bridgewater State University's Part 141 Aviation Science Program. He worked his way up to the position of Staff Assistant for Records and Compliance. LaFauci managed the university's aviation outreach programs and hosted BSU flight program annual open house, career expo, and FAASTeam safety events. LaFauci also served as advisor of the Bridgewater State University Aviation Flight Team and lead the team into the NIFA Safecon 2018 National Competition.

During this time, LaFauci earned his Instrument and Multi-engine Instructor certificates and worked part-time at East Coast Aero Club, where he says he satisfies his passion for vintage tailwheel, multi-engine, and high-performance airplane instruction. 

LaFauci is pursuing a masters degree in education and is scheduled to graduate in May of 2019. He recently begun working with Wiggins Airways as a PIC on the Beechcraft BE-99, and continues to educate others through his website He says he hopes to someday teach out of turbine-driven aerobatic aircraft.

Click to Download Domenic's Press Release!

Richard "Dick" Rochfort, MCFI 2/2005-2/2021:

This is Rochfort’s eighth consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation.

Rochfort is an Airline Transport Pilot and Master Instructor providing training, consulting, aircraft relocation and expert witness services worldwide to owners, pilots and instructors of the Piper PA-46 aircraft through his company, RWR Pilot Training and The Professional Association of Pilot Instructors (PAPI) of which he is a founding member.

He holds ATP, Commercial and Gold Seal Flight Instructor Certificates with SEL, SES, MEL, CFII, MEI, and CE-525S ratings. He has been actively involved in flight training as an instructor since 1992.

Rochfort has researched, written and published hundreds of articles and demonstration videos specific to the operation of Piper PA-46 aircraft. This body of work comprises the PA46 Pilot Reference Library, which is the single largest on-line collection of its kind. Additionally, he creates and manages more than 6,500 personal training videos and documents on over 100 private on-line reference libraries each year for his training customers.

Rochfort’s training programs are PA-46 type-specific, insurance industry approved, FAA Industry Training Standards (FITS) approved, FAA Wings approved and they are fully insured.

Rochfort is an FAA FAASTeam volunteer for the Baltimore FSDO, a National Industry Member of the FAA Safety Team, a member of the national FAA Wings Industry Advisory Committee, Director Emeritus of the Malibu Mirage Owners and Pilots Association (M/MOPA), and Instructor Emeritus of the M/MOPA Safety and Training Foundation. He is a member of EAA and NBAA. He is also the Official Meridian Instructor for Red Bull Air Racer Kirby Chambliss and Team Chambliss.

Rochfort served as a “Green Beret” staff sergeant E6 in the U.S. Army Special Forces from 1970 until 1976 as an “A team” radio operator, training indigenous personnel in field radio communications. He worked from 1976 until 1991 as an industrial engineer training manufacturing personnel for the production of communication and navigation equipment for the U.S. military.

His education includes undergraduate degrees in clinical psychology and engineering, and a master’s degree in business administration. Rochfort lives in Baltimore, Maryland with his wife and has two daughters. He is a PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) certified open water scuba instructor, a DAN (Divers Alert Network) certified first aid instructor and an Eagle Scout.

Click to Download Dick's Press Release! 

Anthony Cirincione, MCFI 2/2019-2/2021

Cirincione has over 39 years, and 11,000 hours of flight experience, flying almost every aircraft. His holds a Gold Seal CFI with airplane, helicopter, gyrocopter, glider, weight shift control, and powered parachute, FE – Turbojet, and A&P with Inspection Authorization. He began his aviation career as a crew chief in the U.S. Air Force. From there he became a F-111 Instructor and flight examiner, and later an instructor at the U.S.A.F. Fighter Weapons School flying the F-4 Phantom. He is type-rated in Cessna, Learjet, Dassault, and Boeing aircraft. Cirincione has a master's degree in aeronautical science and has published Advanced Flight Instruction – A teaching Guide for Aviators. Although he teaches in several light sport aircraft, he spends most of his time refining pilot’s skills for safe single pilot operation of Cessna Citation aircraft. For a closer look at his Citation work, go to

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Christopher Anderson, MCFI 12/2000-1/2021

This is Anderson’s 10th NAFI Master Accreditation. Anderson began his aviation career in 1983 in Janesville, Wisconsin. After flying for a local charter operation, he moved to the Chicago area where he became a corporate pilot for a Fortune 100 company. Anderson moved back to Wisconsin in 1999 to work for Midwest Airlines and became a Master CFI and Designated Pilot Examiner with the Milwaukee FSDO.  After the closure of Midwest Express, he is now once again, working in corporate aviation. Since earning his flight instructor certificate in 1986, Anderson has expanded it to include six of the seven ratings.

With over 20,000 hours of flight experience in a wide variety aircraft, he provides training and check rides for multiple certificates and ratings. Currently based out of the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport, Anderson is willing to travel to meet his customers' needs. He has written several articles and has published The Multi Engine Flight Training Guide.

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Gary Reeves, MCFI 1/2019-1/2021:

Reeves has over 7,500 hours in over 50 different aircraft including turbo-prop, and turbo-fan most of which is instruction given. In the last two years, he’s taught in over 30 states and is a popular public speaker on aviation safety. Reeves says his goal is to reduce General Aviation accidents through free FAA Safety Classes, video training, and articles. He is chief safety officer and owner of and chief flight instructor and owner of Master Flight Training. He was awarded 2016 FAA Instructor of the year for the Western Pacific Region, as well as 2014 Flight Instructor and FAA Safety Team Member of the Year Long Beach District. To learn more about Gary please visit


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Gabriel Johnson, MCFI 1/2019-1/2021:

Johnson hails from a small town called Ejigbo in Lagos, Nigeria. Prior to flying, he attended the University of Lagos, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering. After graduation, Johnson became a web designer, but had always dreampt of becoming a professional pilot. He moved to the United States to commence flight training in a Cessna 172 in 2011.  Johnson has since earned a bachelor’s degree in aviation maintenance science at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Florida. He has also earned his CFI, CFII, MEI, AGI, IGI, ATP and mechanic licenses. Johnson has worked in the flight training industry for over 5 years and is currently a flight instructor at ERAU, Daytona Beach.

Johnson has a passion for both flight and aviation safety. He is currently a team safety leader at the ERAU flight department. From investigating ASAP reports to delivering safety related presentations, he strives to promote aviation safety at every opportunity. Johnson also works with the OBAP ACE academy to promote aviation to high school students who dream of becoming pilots.

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Gene Peterson, MCFI 1/2019-1/2021:

Peterson became a CFI, CFII and MEI in 1974.  In 1977 he went to work for Braniff Airways. He moved to Northwest Airlines in 1982, and went along when it merged with Delta in 2006.  All the while he kept on teaching.  Some days it would be in a Cessna 172 and the next day checking out a new pilot on the 747.  In his 35,000 hours total time, Peterson has flown anything from the Ercoupe to F-16s and 747s. When asked to comment on 45 years of teaching Peterson said, "Each airplane is a little bit different, but the fundamentals of flying never change.  It's the fundamentals that will always bring you home safe. Always try and instill that in your students."

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James "Steve" Rutland, MCFI 9/2000-1/2021:

This is Rutland’s 10th consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation.

Rutland is a professional pilot and flight instructor with 45 years of aviation experience beginning in 1973 in Murray, Kentucky. He completed his first FAA flight instructor certificate in 1978 in Honolulu, Hawaii.  He attended U.S. Army flight training in 1975 and is a Master Army Aviator. He is also a U.S. Coast Guard Aviator, having served as a search and rescue pilot for the Guard.  Rutland has 37 years experience as a government civilian flight instructor for the U.S. Army Aviation School of Excellence, Fort Rucker, Alabama.  He holds three Airline Transport Pilot ratings (ASEL, AMEL, Helicopter), five FAA flight instructor ratings (CFI -ASEL, AMEL, Helicopter, CFII - Airplane and Helicopter), two type ratings, and is a graduate of 10 different military instructor pilot courses.  He has flown 20,600 accident-free flight hours in 11 different helicopters and 13 different airplanes.  He has given 17,000 hours of dual instruction in flight with thousands more in flight simulators. While working part-time with Title 14 CFR 141 and 61 flight schools he has trained airplane single and multiengine land student pilots for the Private, Commercial, Instrument, Airline Transport Pilot, and Flight Instructor certificates.  He is a Gold Seal flight instructor and FAASTeam representative for the Birmingham FSDO.  He was selected for the FAA Flight Instructor of the Year for Alabama and NW Florida in 2001, 2002, and 2014.

As a civilian flight instructor at Fort Rucker, he has trained military officers from every branch of the U.S. armed forces and every rank from warrant officer candidate to colonel. At the Army Aviation School he has provided ground and flight training in a broad range of programs of flight instruction including; primary, instruments, combat skills, aero scout, night vision goggles, advanced aircraft qualification, and the UH60 Instructor Pilot Course.   He has served as an UH60 Standardization Instructor Pilot/Instrument Flight Examiner to provide continuity and mentor newly assigned instructor pilots. He was selected as the Department of the Army Civilian of the Year by the Aviation Center Chapter of the Army Aviation Association of America, and revived the Superior Civilian Service Award from the Department of the Army.

Rutland has been employed by the Safety Research Corporation of America to edit the FAA Airplane Flying Handbook and has taught as an adjunct instructor for Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.  He completed his master’s degree from Embry Riddle in aeronautical science in 1988.  In 2014 he was selected for the Alumni Achievement Award from Embry Riddle for an individual who has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the aviation and aerospace industry through their personal and professional success.

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Maureen Garrow, MCFI 02/2017-02/2021:

Garrow began her flight training and received her private pilot certification as a Christmas gift in 1995. Since flying is her passion, she continued her training to earn her instrument, and commercial ratings shortly afterward at United Flight Systems.

Garrow achieved her CFI rating on her 66th birthday in 2014 and her CFII followed shortly. She says her love of teaching combined with flying provides a great deal of satisfaction, especially for the “a-ha” moments when students achieve understanding. She was affiliated with a flight school and served as assistant chief instructor until August of 2016. Garrow is now an independent flight instructor and has been a FAASTeam representative since 2014. She was awarded her FAA Gold Seal instructor in July of 2016.

If you ask Garrow she’ll say, “Any day I can fly is a good day and any day teaching is a great day.” Garrow enjoys attending Wings meeting and promoting pilot and student participation. Her goal as a flight instructor is to produce safe, professional pilots. "I hope to continue instructing and being a mentor for years to come," she said.

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Richard Whittemore, MCFI 1/2019-1/2021:

Whittemore is from Chattanooga, TN. He says he fell in love with aviation at the age of 14. He worked two jobs in landscaping and as a construction hand in order to pay for flight training as a 16-year-old student. At the same time, he also began studying aviation at the local community college. Later that year he soloed and, just a year after beginning flight training, earned his private pilot certificate at the age of 17.

Whittemore eventually completed a degree in aviation management and began managing the small airport/FBO and flight school where he learned to fly. While there, Whittemore completed advanced flight training and began instructing for the school. He then began flying a Beechcraft Baron for a corporation.

Whittemore holds an Airline Transport Pilot certificate with Airplane Single and Multi Engine Land and Commercial privileges for Airplane Single Engine Sea and Helicopter. He also holds a Gold Seal Flight Instructor Certificate for Airplane Single and Multi Engine and Instrument - Airplane as well as Rotorcraft-Helicopter. He is also an Instrument Ground Instructor and Commercial Drone Operator. He currently holds SIC type ratings for the Beechcraft PremierJet and the Cessna Citation XLS+. He is also the current FAA Safety Team (FAAST) representative with the San Antonio FSDO for the Laredo area. He is co-owner/manager/chief flight instructor for the only dual rated flight school in south Texas and owns/operates an aviation business that provides professional aircraft management and services. All of this is in addition to his full-time job as a Helicopter and Airplane pilot for a Part 91 operator.

Whittemore’s says his goal is to "continue his personal aviation education and pass that on to aspiring and current pilots in order to promote a safer environment in the industry."

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Jeremy Hand, MCFI 1/2019-1/2021:

Hand grew up along the final approach corridor for Phoenix Sky Harbor watching airliners fly over his house. He enrolled in ASU’s Aviation Management Technology Bachelor’s Degree program in the fall of 2001, chasing a childhood dream of being an airline pilot.  Hand attained his Private Pilot certificate in 2002 and proceeded to log his first couple hundred hours over the course of about two years.

Due to a downturn in the industry after 2001 Hand began a decade in various lines of work, but his passion for flying never disappeared, and he re-entered the field. He then worked to achieve his instrument, multi, and commercial training with ATP Flight School’s Airline Career Pilot Program.  His CFI, CFII, and MEI ratings soon followed. He has been instructing for ATP ever since, helping to train students from zero time all the way through commercial and CFI certificates.  Hand is now quickly approaching his 1,000th hour of dual given and says he “loves every minute of it!”

For the last year he has been a lead instructor at ATP and conducts many of the stage checks and mock check rides for students as they progress through their training syllabus.  During that time, he added AGI and IGI ratings, as well as attaining FAA Gold Seal instructor status.  In his spare time, he also pursues volunteer work with Angel Flight and the Boy Scouts of America.

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Michael "Todd" Shellnut, MCFI 11/2018-11/2020:

Shellnut has been working in the flight training industry for 18 years now, and although he has performed many duties in his field from corporate pilot to FAA Designated Pilot Examiner, he has always found his way back to his true passion of flight instruction. This is Todd's second nomination as a Master CFI, and he also has received other awards such as AOPA's Best Instructor for 2015 and Distinguished Flight Instructor for 2017 and 2018. Todd is a published author of aviation training texts, an active FAASTeam member for the Atlanta FSDO, and is currently working for ATP Flight School as the CFI Academy Standardization Manager where he is responsible for the multiple training locations across the country for CFI initial training.

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Donald Kaye, MCFI 9/2002-9/2018:

This is Kaye’s ninth consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation. Kaye was born in Canton, Ohio and 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 of his colleagues there had their pilot’s certificates and in early 1968 he became a private pilot. A year later he got his commercial certificate.

From 1970 until 1992, his time was consumed with the business aspects of life including becoming a real estate broker selling apartment houses, a real estate developer, and a long time real estate investor. An issue of Flying magazine with a Mooney TLS on the cover drew his attention fully 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 in 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 also 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 11,000 hours of total GA time, 6,100 hours have been devoted to teaching. He has traveled 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 aviation technology. With the experience gained in the use of all this new technology, he has been able to 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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Jack Stevens, MCFI 9/2006-9/2020:

This is Stevens’ second consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation.

Initially mentored by Alby Cornell, CFI & FBO owner at Warrington Airport in Bucks County, Pennsylvania (8N9) Stevens obtained his private pilot certificate in a PA 22-108 in 1969. Sadly, the airport has long since succumbed to stone quarry and homes, he said. His initial CFI was obtained under the tutelage of CFI David Orr in 1981, flying out of Mt. Sterling Airport (KIOB) in Montgomery County, Kentucky.

Stevens serves as chief CFI for Total Flight Solutions at its Pinehurst, North Carolina location.  TFS is in final phase of accomplishing Part 141 Certification and is providing flight training for the Sandhills Community College Part 141 Aviation Degree Program.

“I'm passionate about mentoring others in aviation and keep in close contact with past clients. It is so rewarding to receive a call, an e-mail or text from a past student telling me about a new job, obtaining an additional rating or successfully and safely dealing with an untoward situation. As instructor pilots we know that there are four stages of learning: Rote, Understanding, Application and Correlation.  I contend that the fifth and highest level is Teaching.”  

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Lynnwood "Woody" Minar, MCFI 9/2006-9/2020:

This is Minar’s seventh consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation.

After retiring from the CIA in 1998, Minar took up flying and received his private pilot certificate in July 2000 in a Cessna 172. The bug hit him hard and after getting his instrument rating and tailwheel and high performance endorsements, he got his CFI in 2003. Since then he has earned his Gold Seal CFI, CFII, Glider CFI (CFI-G), AGI and IGI. That was soon followed by his single engine sea and multi-engine land certificates, and in 2016 his multi-engine sea certificate. 

He is also a FAASTeam Lead Representative and since 2012 a designated pilot examiner (DPE) for the Minneapolis FSDO and has given nearly a thousand flight tests for private, commercial, and instrument in Ssngle engine land and sea airplanes.

In 2009, Minar was awarded the Minneapolis FSDO CFI of the Year. In 2012 he was the Minneapolis FSDO and Great Lakes Region CFI of the Year and in 2013 named the Minneapolis FSDO and Great Lakes Region FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year. Nearing 9,000 hours, he teaches seaplane training for Adventure Seaplanes in Lino Lakes, Minnesota and Lake Wales, Florida. He has taught private and instrument ground schools for Osceola Aero and Wisconsin Indianhead Community College and given safety seminars to more than 7,000 pilots throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Florida.  He is a yearly presenter for the FAA and AOPA at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh. Minar has served on the board of directors for 16 years and is the chief flight instructor for the Wild River Flying Club and is an glider instructor for the Red Wing Soaring Association at the Osceola (WI) Municipal Airport.

Minar is also a contributing editor for Midwest Flyer Magazine writing safety, humorous, and trip-related articles. He has been married to his high school sweetheart for 48 years; they have two daughters and two grandsons.

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Lubomir Gueorguiev, MCFI 8/2016-8/2020:

This is Gueorguiev Second consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation.
Born in Russia, Gueorguiev started flying when he was 16 years old after meeting the first astronaut in space Jury Gagarin. His passion followed him to the United States in 1991 when he immigrated and began instructing professionally. Educated with a doctoral degree in nuclear physics, he said his passion has always been aviation and flight instruction. With more than 4,800 hours total time, and over 4,000 of them dual given as Chief Flight Instructor at Yoanna Flight School at Page Field Airport Fort Myers Flordia, Gueorguiev said he believes that flight safety starts with education.

Gueorguiev is a member of AOPA, is an EAA Young Eagle pilot, a major in the Civil Air Patrol, a FAAST Team Representative for the Tampa FSDO, and member of the United States Parachute Association. He is an ATP pilot, a Gold Seal CFI, CFII, and MEI.

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Joseph Kotowski, MCFI 5/2016-5/2020:

This is Kotowski’s second NAFI MCFI Accreditation. Kotowski bought a used 1976 Cessna Skyhawk, which was the plane he trained in, and received his private pilot certificate with it in 1981. Moving up the Cessna line to a C-182 and then a T-210 he obtained his instrument rating and commercial certificate doing as much personal flying as family and work would allow. He started instructing in 2009 and then in 2012 decided to retire early from a career as an engineer in the power industry to start a second career flying full time. Ratings and certificates include CFI, CFI-I, MEI, multi-engine ATP, and glider. He instructs in the Chicago area, is the Standards and Evaluation Officer for the Illinois Wing of the Civil Air Patrol, and contributes as an FAA Safety Team Representative.

Kotowski is employed by a local charter company flying Part 135 in a Citation Bravo, King Air B200 and C90. His interest in aviation started with his father who was an Army Air Corps mechanic/inspector during WWII. The passion for flying has been passed on to one of his four sons who flies for the airlines. He lives in Naperville, Illinois.

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Robert Templeton, MCFI 8/2018-8/2020:

Templeton says his fascination with aviation started in early childhood while watching U.S. Navy P2V anti-submarine hunters while he lived in Adak, Alaska where his father was stationed in early 1958. His dreams of flying became a reality when he started U.S. Navy flight training at VT-1 Pensacola, Florida in August 1973. Templeton flew the T-34B (Beechcraft Mentor), T-28C (North American Trojan) and the TS-2A (Grumman Tracker), a multiengine submarine hunter. He is a retired U.S. Naval Reserve Captain.

Templeton holds commercial, instrument, multiengine, CFI, CFII and a SIC type ratings in the Shorts 330 and 360 turboprop aircraft. He has experience flying about 25 different military and general aviation aircraft. His experience includes approximately 2,000 hours of flight instruction given.

Templeton was instrumental in developing and establishing the first Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Patrol Air Support Unit in northern California prior to retiring from law enforcement in 2004. After retirement he worked as banner tow and night LED aerial advertisement pilot in the San Francisco airspace and also worked as a cargo pilot for Air Cargo Carriers.

For the past six years Templeton has enjoyed working as a flight instructor at the Travis AFB Aero Club in Fairfield, California, where he provides assistance and instruction to many young enlisted USAF air crew personnel who desire to obtain a private certificate or more to enhance their ability to compete for selection to active duty USAF officer pilot training programs.

Templeton says he loves to teach and enjoys introducing aviation to those interested in its exhilarating challenge. In addition to NAFI, he is a member of AOPA, EAA-Young Eagles Program, and recruits teens for Civil Air Patrol and careers in law enforcement or the U.S. armed services.

Templeton is married to Nancy Ann (Brock) Templeton and they have 3 adult children. He and Nancy live in Benicia, California.

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Brian Schultz, MCFI 6/2018-6/2020:

Schultz has been flying since 2000 and has been flight instructing since 2002. He said he has a strong passion for teaching and loves passing along his knowledge. Schultz holds an ATP certificate in both airplane single engine and multi-engine land, type ratings in the CE-500, CE-510S, CE-525/CE525S, and Lear Jet, a commercial single engine sea certificate, Gold Seal certified flight instructor rating, certified instrument instructor rating, multi-engine instructor rating, and advanced ground instructor rating.  Schultz has flown corporate Part 91 in aircraft from a PA-32 to a CE525 all over world, Part 135 charter service in a CE-500 in North America and was an instructor at numerous flight schools, including Flight Safety where he instructed on the LR-jet.

Schultz currently is teaching students from private to ATP. He specializes in turbine transitions for owner pilots.  He is also involved with his local airport advisory board, as check pilot for the 501 Squadron of Civil Air Patrol, the local airport AOPA ASN, is a FAAST Representative and Beechcraft Pilot Proficiency Program Instructor.

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Ebiri Nkugba, MCFI 6/2018-6/2020:

Nkugba says growing up on a small, local farm instilled his values of keeping busy and working hard.

He put those principles to use when he turned his attention to the sky. He is an active flight and classroom instructor at West Michigan Aviation Academy; holding industry certifications as a A&P technician, electronics technician, project manager, and instructor. He also operates a drone and data science firm working in the construction and engineering fields.

Before taking a classroom and consulting position in education, he worked in industry as airport operations manager for FedEx Express for 10 years, specializing in dangerous goods transport.

Nkugba says he believes in continuous learning, and is currently studying human factors and systems engineering at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.

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Joshua Bibb MCFIJoshua D. Bibb, MCFI 5/2018-5/2020:

Major Joshua D. Bibb has been interested in aviation since childhood. This led him to the U.S. Air Force he graduated the Air Force Academy in 2005. During college, he earned his Private Pilot certificate and shortly thereafter completed pilot training at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. During the following three years, Bibb was a "First Assignment Instructor Pilot." He taught nearly 100 students how to fly and was recognized as the Instructor Pilot of the Year in 2008.

Bibb subsequently completed Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals as a Distinguished Graduate and progressed to fly the F-16 at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. He has served in numerous operational assignments flying the F-16 including at Hill Air Force Base, Utah and Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, where he returned to flight instruction and evaluation. Bibb currently serves as the sole Exchange Officer assigned to the Kingdom of Denmark through the U.S. Air Force Personnel Exchange Program.

In the past fifteen years, Bibb has logged over 2,450 flight hours in all models of the F-16, the T-38C, T-6A, T-37B, L-39ZA, the Beechcraft Baron & the Diamond Katana. He has participated in a variety of exercises throughout North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East including Red Flag, Combat Hammer and Eager Tiger. Furthermore, Bibb has experience as a participant in Operation NOBLE EAGLE, Operation INHERENT RESOLVE & NATO Air Policing. Bibb is a senior pilot and a recipient of the U.S. Air Medal. He holds an Airline Transport Pilot certificate and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Mississippi State University. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and four kids.

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Orlando Villaverde MCFIOrlando Villaverde, MCFI 4/2018-4/2020:

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.

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Mike Lucas MCFIMichael Lucas, MCFI 8/2013-12/2019:

This is Lucas’ third consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation.

Lucas, a CFI for 20 years, is a resident of Wasilla, Alaska. Prior to settling in the Matanuska Susitna Valley, he lived 400 miles west of Anchorage on the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta for 30 years. In Bethel, he taught public school, flew missions for Civil Air Patrol, and served as Chief Instructor and Executive Director for Yuut Yaqungviat, a Part 141 flight school. He joined Elmendorf Aero Club upon moving to Wasilla in 2012.

Lucas attended the University of Northern Colorado, graduating with a BA in music education in 1973, and earned a Masters in Educational Leadership from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1992. After teaching in Wyoming and Montana, he moved north to Alaska in 1984 where the Alaska oil boom funded his entry to the world of flying. By 1997, he was a CFI. Lucas is the holder of all three ground instructor certificates and is a CFII, ATP-SEL, with over 2,800 hours of dual instruction given. Writing essays on flight instruction, speaking at safety seminars and creating original power point presentations are things he likes to do to round out his flight teaching. Now settled in the Matanuska-Susitna valley, he instructs on wheels and floats for Elmendorf Aero Club.

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david barron mcfiDavid M. Barron MCFI 1/2018-1/2020:

Barron says he remembers always being interested in aviation, as his father was a WWII pilot and later an airline pilot.  Barron started by building plastic models, then model aircraft that flew.  His father soloed him in 1964 while Barron was in high school.  Before graduation he earned a commercial and instrument rating.  After a tour in the U.S. Army at the Army Primary Helicopter Base in Mineral Wells Texas, he earned a multiengine rating and joined the Federal Aviation Administration, serving as a controller at Chicago Center and Dupage Tower.  He earned his ATP single engine, flight instructor (airplane and instrument) certificates by 1970.  During this same period he earned his Ground Instructor Certificate and has been a Gold Seal CFI since then.  In 1972 he earned his multiengine ATP, and commercial glider certificates.  In 1976 he transferred to the FAA's Detroit FSS, and in 1980 to the Key West FSS.  Later assignments took him to the San Juan IFSS, and San Juan FSDO as an accident prevention specialist.

Barron has instructed at Luminair in Sugar Grove, Ill., Key West Flying Service, Key West Fla., and Boca Chica Navy Flying Club, Fla., Roosevelt Roads Flying Club in Puerto Rico, Leading Edge at Tampa Executive Airport, and Plant City Flying Service, Plant City Fla., and is now teaching at First Landings in Apopka, Fla.

Other flying experiences have included FAR 135 freight operations, captain for Provincetown Boston Airlines, Life Guard Flights, sightseeing flights, and domestic and international aircraft delivery.

He currently holds an ATP: Airplane Single and Multiengine Land, CE-500, DA-10, DC-3 SIC type ratings, Commercial Privileges: Airplane Single and Multiengine Sea, Rotorcraft-Helicopter, and Glider, Sport Piot Gyroplane.  Flight Instructor: (Gold Seal) Airplane single and Multiengine, Instrument, Ground Instructor: Advanced Instrument, Control Tower Operator, Flight Dispatcher, and Remote Pilot Certificates.

Barron just retired from American Airlines where he taught B-777-200, MD-80, and B-737-800 in ground school and CAE simulators.  He has well over 5000 hours flight time in 94 different kinds of aircraft.  He says that to solo a student is still a thrill knowing full well that they will return safely with what he has taught them.  He was awarded the FAA Wright Brothers Award in 2016 and is a member of the FAAST team.

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Shane Terpstra, MCFI 10/2015-1/2020:

This is Terpstra’s second NAFI Master Accreditation.Terpstra started flying at the age of 16 in Orange County, Calif. and says he has had the flying bug ever since.  After nearly 20 years as owner of an IT company, Terpstra decided to pursue aviation full time, earning his instructor rating and changing careers to become an airline pilot.  When not flying for the airlines, he is a full-time instructor specializing in accelerated courses.  Terpstra is a passionate aviation enthusiast, FAA FAASTeam Member, safety officer and board member of Plus One Flyers, the largest flight club in the United States, as well as an aircraft owner.

Terpstra has been an active member of the Civil Air Patrol in California for almost 30 years, holds numerous ratings in the organization and currently serves as Director of Emergency Services for California.  Terpstra has helped locate dozens of missing aircraft over the years and uses these experiences when teaching other pilots.

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 Aaron Dabney MCFIAaron Dabney, MCFI 8/2013-12/2019:

This is Dabney’s third NAFI Master Accreditation. Dabney has been a full-time CFI since 2009 and has operated Dabney Aviation, LLC at Waco Regional Airport in Waco, Texas since 2013.  He specializes in tailwheel transitions, Piper Cub transitions, and primary training, and is a factory-endorsed transition instructor for the American Legend Cub line of aircraft.  Dabney also enjoys serving as an adjunct lecturer in Aviation Sciences at Baylor University, where he earned his Master's Degree in Education in 2009.  He has been married to his college sweetheart Alisa for 13 years, and they enjoy traveling and building businesses together.

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Denton Finly MCFICharles "Denton" Finley, MCFI 11/2013-11/2015, 10/2017-10/2019:

This is Finley’s second consecutive NAFI Master Flight Instructor accreditation.Finley says he has been interested in aviation for as long as he can remember, but his passion for aviation ignited when he took a discovery flight at the age of 14. After high school, Finley enrolled in Texas State Technical College’s aircraft pilot training program in Waco, Texas. He began working as a CFI for the college in 2005 while continuing his education at Utah Valley State College (now Utah Valley University) and raising a family with his wife Lee Ann. Finley graduated from UVSC in 2007 with a Bachelor Degree in Aviation. While at TSTC, he worked his way up through an assistant chief flight Instructor position and ultimately in 2012 accepted a position as the chief flight instructor. Later that year, Finley earned his ATP certificate and accepted a corporate job flying a Beechcraft Super King Air B200 for the Texas Farm Bureau. After five years of flying the King Air, Finley has accepted a pilot position with XOJet and is slated to begin training in November.

When Finley is not flying for work, he continues to give flight instruction as an independent CFI and volunteers as the Lead FAASTeam Representative for the Waco area under the North Texas FSDO.  In 2017, the General Aviation Awards committee selected him as the North Texas District and Southwest Region FAASTeam Representative of the year.  He has served as a CFI for over 12 years, has given over 3,100 hours of dual instruction, and has logged over 4,300 hours of total flight time. Finley holds an ATP certificate, a Gold Seal Certified Flight Instructor Certificate with single engine, multiengine and instrument ratings, as well as an Advanced Ground Instructor certificate.

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Seckler MCFIJerrold Seckler, MGI 8/2015-10/2019:

This is Seckler’s second consecutive NAFI Master Ground Instructor accreditation. Seckler has been flying for over 50 years.  During that time he has amassed about 7,000 hours in a variety of aircraft.

Seckler holds an ATP as well as CFII, AGI and IGI certificates.

He is active in the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association and serves as the Dean of the College of Flight Operations of COPA University, the training and education arm of that organization.  He is also an active Angel Flight Pilot and serves on the Safety Committee of Angel Flight Central.  He was recently honored to receive the FAA’s Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award for 50 years of safe flying.

In a previous life he was a urologic surgeon and a FAA Aviation Medical Examiner. Seckler owns a Cirrus SR22, which he has flown for almost 3,000 hours.

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Fink MCFIEd Fink, MCFI 11/1997-09/2019:

This is Fink’s tenth consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation. Ed Fink spent 16 years on jump status parachuting out of airplanes from 1962-1978.

Ed received his private pilot’s license from Venice Flying Service on September 18th, 1984. He later moved to Cape Coral, Fla. and joined the Sundowners Search & Rescue Flying Club. During this time Ed trained for his instrument rating, which he completed in October of 1986 followed by his commercial pilot’s license in November 1990.

In 1993, armed with an Advanced Ground Instructor Rating, Ed started teaching a Private Pilot Ground School at Edison Community College and at Cape Coral High School through its Adult Community Education Program. In April of 1995, Ed earned his CFI certificate and began teaching full time, earning his CFII certificate a year later and his first NAFI Master CFI designation the year after that, in November of 1997. 

Ed has been a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary since July 2001 and participated in its aviation program until May 2010.

Ed teaches a Private Pilot Ground School courses at Cape Coral High School and at Cypress Lake High School, and continues to provide individual flight instruction at Page Field in Fort Myers.

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Sarah Rovner, MCFI 9/2017-9/2019:

Rovner is a FAA Safety Team Lead Representative from Houston, TX who enjoys educating general aviation and airline pilots. She is the owner and Chief Pilot of FullThrottle Aviation, specializing in international ferry flights as well as vintage and tailwheel aircraft. She is also an FTD Instructor for new hires and upgrades at a part 121 airline and conducts procedures validations and training on crew resource management, threat and error management, and emergency procedures. Having flown over 114 different types of airplanes in challenging environments, her unique perspective and experience extends beyond the airlines and she uses it to educate and mentor others.

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Dittmer MCFIDr. Peter Dittmer, MCFI 10/1998-10/2002, 05/2014-09/2019:

This is Dr. Dittmer’s fourth NAFI Master Instructor Accreditation. Dr. Peter Dittmer is acting Chief Pilot for the Professional Pilot Program at Eastern New Mexico University in Roswell, New Mexico.  His Ph.D. is in Education, and he holds an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate,  and has a “Gold Seal” Flight Instructor Certificate for instrument single and multiengine aircraft. Dittmer has been teaching college level classes and instructing in both flight and ground classes for more than 27 years.

A NASA Faculty Fellowship recipient, Dittmer spent two summers at Edwards Air Force Base designing curriculum to train mission managers.  He is also a past recipient of the Flight Instructor of the Year Award for the Southwest Region.  He is active with aviation organizations including University Aviation Association, NAFI, Civil Air Patrol, Virginia Space Grant Consortium, and has over 8,000 hours of instruction given.  His says his wife of 28 years, Sondra, has been a great sport, supporting his “passion” that became a “profession.”

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Goetz MCFISteven Goetz, MCFI 8/2011-10/2019:

This is Goetz’s fourth NAFI Master Accreditation. Goetz says he has been interested in flying since he was a kid. In his decade as a CFI, he’s earned an ATP, Remote Pilot – SUAS, gold seal CFI, CFII, MEI, AGI, IGI, and A&P.  In 2008, he began flight instructing for Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), where he is currently an Assistant Professor and Assistant Chief Flight Instructor under its part 141 certificate, providing both flight training and student evaluation for the university.  In addition to his work for SIUC, Goetz is a designated pilot examiner (DPE) for the FAA as well as a FAA Safety Team Representative. Goetz also serves with the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) as a check pilot, mission pilot, and deputy commander for his local unit.

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Wallace Moran, MCFI 6/2001-8/2019:

This is Moran’s Ninth consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation. Moran was recently 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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Martin Fass, MCFI 3/2015-7/2019:

This is Fass’ second NAFI Master Instructor Accreditation. Fass is an ATP-rated flight instructor in the San Antonio/Austin, Texas area.  Originally from Chevy Chase, Maryland, he traveled a lengthy and unusual path to becoming a CFI. By the time he flew his first solo at Birchwood, Alaska, he already had several thousand hours flying and teaching as a U.S. Air Force C-130 and T-43 navigator. Ten years after the solo, he found time to earn his instrument rating through Civil Air Patrol in the Washington D.C. area. His “day job” involved flying as Deputy Mission Commander on international aerial observation flights supporting the Treaty on Open Skies.

While living in the Washington area, he participated in NASA’s Synthetic Vision test program, putting his fingerprints on early versions of the systems that are proliferating in GA aircraft.

In 2004, he earned his Commercial ASEL at Wright Flyers in San Antonio, then moved to Northern California, where he earned his civilian CFI and CFI-I ratings and became Chief Instructor Pilot for the RQ-4A Global Hawk.

Fass retired from the Air Force in 2007 and has been instructing in the San Antonio area, both freelancing and contracting. He earned his MEI and ATP, served as Chief Pilot in a Cessna 340, a First Officer in the Swearingen Merlin, and trained Afghan military pilots and their U.S. instructors in Piper Senecas. He “paid it forward” to Civil Air Patrol by serving as Check Pilot Evaluator and presenting G1000 seminars.

In 2012, Fass was one of the original instructors at Redbird Skyport in San Marcos Texas, training pilots in Redbird FTDs and G1000 Cessna 172s, and serving as the Assistant Chief Instructor. During his tenure the school won the AOPA President’s Award. In 2014, he developed and taught an accelerated course to help military pilots leaving the service earn their ATP ratings, and found time to add a seaplane rating as well.

Fass has nearly 3900 hours as a fixed wing pilot, with over 2600 hours dual instruction given. He now runs Black Hound Aviation, a small Part 61 school in San Marcos training pilots from private through MEI and ATP. He flies several types, including the Columbia 400, Piper Lance and Seminole, Mooney and the G36 Bonanza, and his own steam gauge/Aspen Cessna 172SP. He has recently begun flying pet rescue missions for Pilots and Paws, and enjoys presenting at the San Marcos chapter of the IMC club.  He lives in Garden Ridge Texas, and when he’s not at the airport, he enjoys spending pool time with his wife Randi, their dogs Maggie and Finn, and their local kids and grandkids.

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Angel Cortes, MCFI 6/2017-6/2019:

Cortes was born in Mexico, and grew up in New Jersey building and flying balsa RC planes, and dreamed of becoming a pilot. He eventually became an IT professional working in that field for almost 20 years. It wasn’t until his wife gifted him with an introductory flight that Cortes was reintroduced to his dream of becoming a pilot.

Shortly thereafter, Cortes began flight training out of Morristown, N.J., where he earned his certificates. He changed careers a little over 10 years ago and now owns and operates a flight training center that he founded to provide training to students for Private through Commercial.

Cortes is a CFI/II and holds Commercial Single Engine Land/Sea, as well as Multiengine Land, holds a Cirrus CSIP Platinum, and has over 4,200 hours dual given as an instructor. He loves mentoring new pilots, flying a Citation in his spare time, and often volunteers for the Teterboro FSDO FAASafety Team.
Cortes is happily married to Sally, his wife of 21 years, and has two children, Billy and Hanna. When he is not flying, he enjoys building and operating flight simulators.

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Douglas Auclair, MCFI 11/2013-06/2019:

This is Auclair’s third NAFI Master Accreditation. Auclair is the founder and president of Air Ventures Flying School at North Central State Airport (KSFZ) in Smithfield, Rhode Island.  Air Ventures operates in the location of the former Skylanes flight school, which was founded by the renowned aerobatic instructor Sabatino “Sabbie” Ludovici.  Auclair renovated the location, and expanded the flight school to include a number of single engine planes and an FAA-certified LaserGrade (now PSI)  testing center.  Under his direction, the Air Ventures' location has again become a popular destination for local pilots and students, and the site of well-attended airport social events including an annual chili cook-off and holiday parties.

Auclair, a long-time Rhode Island resident, began his flight training in 2005 and has been a flight instructor since 2008.  In addition to flight training, he conducts regular ground schools for VFR and IFR pilots and has trained and mentored a number of certified flight instructors who will be joining his team of flight instructors.

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