Meet Our NAFI Master Instructors (V-Z By Last Name)

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

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

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

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Chenyu Wang NAFI MCFIChenyu Wang, MCFI 07/2023-07/2025:

Wang has been flying since 2016 and has been a flight instructor for three years. Flying has been passion since he was young and was always one of many things he wanted to do in his life. He obtained his FAA airline transport pilot license in 2022. He believes a diverse background would build him into a better pilot. In the past seven years, he has been striving to develop a well-rounded and in-depth knowledge of the aviation industry. This was one of the reasons Wang decided to pursue a NAFI Master Flight Instructor accreditation.

Wang joined Phoenix East Aviation (PEA) in Daytona Beach, Florida as a flight instructor in 2020. Prior to PEA, he was focused on academic and professional development. He graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science degree in geoscience in 2017. Wang began his career development as professional pilot at PEA in 2019, and that year became a certificated flight instructor. He earned his Master of Science degree in aeronautics from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in 2019 and entered the aviation world to explore his passion for research and teaching.

In 2022, Wang was recognized by the FAA as a Gold Seal flight instructor for his commitment to safe and quality flight training. During his tenure at PEA, he has helped the company found and develop a mentorship program that aims to assist students achieve higher learning goals and enhance the safety of operations during flight. Soon after, Wang was promoted to manager of flight training and endorsed role as Part 141 check airmen with authorization by the FAA.

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Richard Whittemore NAFI MCFIRichard Whittemore, MCFI 07/2021-01/2026:

This is Whittemore’s third NAFI Master accreditation. Whittemore is from Chattanooga, Tennessee. He fell in love with aviation at age 14, soloed at 16, and earned his private certificate a year later. Whittemore’s goal was to become a missionary pilot. After completing flight training, he moved to Argentina to study Spanish. After returning home and completing his degree in aviation management, he began managing the airport and flight school where he learned to fly. Over the next two years, he earned instrument, commercial, multiengine, CFI, CFII, and MEI ratings. In addition to instructing, began his first professional flying job in a Beechcraft Baron. He earned a commercial seaplane rating in 2011.

Whittemore earned a commercial helicopter certificate in 2012. He and his family moved to Brazil in 2013 where he flew as a missionary pilot in a float plane on Amazon River. Whittemore moved back to the United States in 2016, where he earned his multi-engine ATP and helicopter CFI.

Later that year he began flying a Citation XLS+ and helicopters in Texas and owned and operated the only dual rated flight school on the Texas/Mexico border. In 2017, Whittemore added ASEL to his ATP rating. In 2020 earned his ATP helicopter and helicopter CFII and worked as an EMS helicopter pilot serving rural communities. He became a night vision goggle instructor and started a flight school in Birmingham, Alabama.

In 2022, Whittemore transitioned fulltime to his wholly owned and operated company. He serves as PIC in Citation CJ series, Hawker 800 series, and King Airs. He provides in- aircraft and simulator instruction in the CJ for a nationally recognized training company and is chief pilot for a Part 135 operator.

Whittemore believes a good instructor never stops learning and is currently pursuing his long-time goal of becoming a designated pilot examiner.

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David Yost NAFI MCFIDavid Yost, MCFI 03/2017-03/2025:

This is Yost’s fourth NAFI Master Accreditation.

From a young age, Yost had a keen interest in airplanes, building many models as a kid growing up, primarily WW II warbirds. However, this love of airplanes didn't translate into actual flying until later in life. On the advice of a fellow Boy Scout leader who was also a private pilot, Yost took his first flying lesson at age 47 and never looked back. In the 21 years since then, Yost has become a CFII and accumulated just over 3100 hours of flight time, all ASEL.

Yost has 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. 3½ years later he received his initial CFI 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 5 students for the Private Pilot certificate and 2 for the Instrument Rating – all successful on the first attempt. There are several more Private, Instrument, and Commercial students currently training with Yost. Beyond the CAP, Dave serves the Minneapolis FSDO as a FAA Safety Team representative and has given numerous flight safety briefings and presentations in various venues. He has also added a glider rating to his Commercial certificate.

Outside of flying, Yost works as a database administrator for a major insurance company, and is eagerly looking forward to retirement on April 1 2023. He is married to Shawn, his wife of 43 years. They have two sons, and two grandchildren.

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