Previously Accredited NAFI Master Instructors (A-G By Last Name)

Master Logos

 

Nicholas Ahlen, MCFI 03/2016-10/2020:

Nick Ahlen, who holds Instructor ratings in multiple categories, started flying in 1998 at the age of 21. His passion for aviation led him to the U.S. Naval Academy to pursue a degree in aerospace engineering. Following graduation, Ahlen entered flight training and has been flying for the Navy ever since.

After deployments in the Seahawk helicopter, Ahlen discovered his true passion through flight instruction. He has instructed thousands of U.S. and international students in both helicopters and fixed wing aircraft for the last 10 years and shows no signs of stopping. He is currently instructing in the T-6B Texan II in Training Squadron Two.

Ahlen keeps busy with aviation outreach through NAFI, EAA, IAC, CAP, RAF, CAF and Young Eagles as well as participating heavily in the airshow circuit as a static display with various military aircraft. Ahlen feeds his aviation thirst by adding ratings in differing types as often as possible.

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Ben Atnip, MCFI 02/2016-02/2018:

Ben Atnip, Gold Seal, CFI, CFII, MEI, ATP AMEL & ASEL, has been a commercial pilot in Wyoming since 2005. He attended Utah Valley University. He worked in the construction industry growing up, and started flying at 19 years old.

Atnip’s first flight job was working in Riverside, Oklahoma where he taught private through commercial students. Atnip then moved back to his hometown Cody Wyoming and started a flight school with a local FBO, Choice Aviation. At first he was the only instructor, with one airplane, but it quickly grew. The flight school now employs 13 pilots and a has fleet of airplanes ranging from a Super Cub to King Airs. Atnip is Chief Flight Instructor and is connected with the collegiate program at Northwest College.. In addition he is Chief Pilot for the company's Part 135 certificate.

Atnip has a passion to teach and has acquired around 8,000 hours with over 3,500 hours of instruction given. He teaches a variety of courses, but specializes in spin training, tailwheel courses, mountain flying,Cirrus CSIP instruction as well as an insurance-approved King Air instruction Atnip is married to Alyssa and they are expecting their first baby girl in April.

In his spare time, Ben also enjoys skiing, playing the banjo, chess, ping-pong and volleyball.

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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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Sue Ballew, MCFI 3/2015-3/2017:

Ballew earned her private pilot certificate in 1996 and began instructing in 1999.  She received a Citation V Type Rating and then was hired by American Eagle to fly in the Caribbean, Miami, Bahamas, and Cuba.

Since 2007 Ballew has been instructing fulltime as an independent flight instructor and has logged 6,000 hours of dual given, and is seaplane rated.

Ballew is very active in the Ninety-Nines, having won numerous awards within the organization, and was named CFI of the Year for West Valley Flying Club (the largest flying club in the U.S. at the time). She organizes monthly flyouts and is newsletter editor for the club, has flown in several air races, was named to the AOPA Honor Roll twice, and was inducted into the international Forest of Friendship in 2014.

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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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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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David Cecchino, MCFI 10/2016-10/2018:

Cecchino grew up in Virginia Beach near the Oceana Naval Air Station. Hearing the thunderous roar and feeling the sonic booms of the Blue Angels rocket across the sky was intoxicating, he said, and a pivotal event that inspired his motivation to fly. The bumper sticker “I LOVE JET NOISE” was ubiquitous in his hometown in the 1980s.

Cecchino began flying in 2003 while working as a Systems Engineer and earned a private certificate at Manassas Regional Airport (KHEF) in 2004. In 2006, he earned his ground instructor certificates and taught private and instrument ground school in Leesburg, Virginia. He received his CFI certificate in 2011, and said he continues to enjoy teaching motivated students and flying multi-engine aircraft.

In 2016, Cecchino earned a Bachelor of Aeronautical Science degree, graduating magna cum laude from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University while he was instructing part time. For his final capstone course, he wrote a research paper on Human Factors in Cockpit Automation. Cecchino is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree at Embry-Riddle with a specialization in aerospace.

Cecchino is a commercially rated pilot and a Gold Seal CFI/I, MEI, AGI, and IGI. He has given over 1,000 hours of dual instruction and teaches at Leesburg Executive Airport (KJYO). “I emphasize the highest degree of safety in my flying and inculcate that same level of safety to my flight students,” he said.

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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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Matthew Cummins, MCFI 11/2014-11/2018:

This is Cummins' second consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation. While serving as an emergency room registered nurse and firefighter-paramedic during the summer of 2000, Cummins fulfilled his childhood dreams by earning a pilot’s certificate. He said it forever changed the course of his life. By the end of the following summer, he was working as a Certified Flight Instructor holding Instrument Instructor (CFII) and Multi-Engine Instructor (MEI) ratings. After the events of September 11th, Cummins volunteered for military service and began a career as a United States Air Force pilot.

Over the past 15 years, Cummins has flown and instructed in over 50 different aircraft types and holds an Airline Transport Pilot rating and Master’s Degree in Aeronautical Science. He serves as an evaluator pilot-chief functional check pilot for the United States Air Force Academy and helps coach the intercollegiate Precision Flying Team.

Although Cummins has had many aviation experiences such as flying supersonic and piloting trans-global flights lasting nearly 24 hours, he says his most memorable times aloft are those spent “low and slow” or on flying adventures with the family.

Cummins is an enthusiastic mountain flying and tail wheel instructor who’s been the “caretaker” of several unique aircraft, including an L-19 Bird Dog that he and a friend restored to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh award-winning condition. He continues to spread his passion with the capable help of a lovable J-3 Cub and versatile Cessna Skywagon. His children have inherited their dad’s infectious love of flight and can often be seen camping with him at Oshkosh or on some beautiful remote mountain airstrip.

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John Cutcher, MCFI 2/2015-2/2017:

Cutcher wanted to be a pilot from early age, crediting his career path to some of his fondest memories as a child while playing in a B-36 bomber.

Cutcher learned to fly at the former Ramey Air Force Base Aero Club in Puerto Rico (the base closed in the 1970s), and earned his private pilot’s certificate in high school. He later worked as a CFI for the Kirtland Air Force Base Aero Club in Albuquerque, while attending University of New Mexico.

Cutcher later completed U.S. Navy flight training and spent a career flying multi-engine aircraft, including instructing in the Beechcraft C-12, Grumman TS-2A and Lockheed P-3 B/C. After retiring from the navy, Cutcher flew for US Airways, based in the Baltimore, until retiring from airline flying and becoming chief pilot for a pharmaceutical company.

Cutcher is a Gold Seal freelance CFI, and was asked by the Baltimore FSDO to serve as DPE and FAASTeam representative.  In his time as a FAASTeam Representative, Cutcher has produced and conducted safety seminars in Maryland, Pennsylvania , Rhode Island and New York. He also recently became the only DPE in the United States to complete the Searey Flight Instructors Association training program in one of the first factory certified Seareys produced. Cutcher has also owned a Cessna 150/150 Texas taildragger for over 20 years.

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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.
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Jason Depew, MCFI 3/2015-3/2017:

Depew was the kid who was terrible in Little League because traffic at the airport next to the soccer field constantly distracted him from the game.  He started flying at Colorado Contrails Aviation during high school and moved on to instruct in gliders as a cadet in the USAF Academy’s soaring program.

Since the academy, Depew has accumulated more than 1800 combat hours on deployments to Afghanistan, Djibouti and elsewhere.  He’s served as an Instructor and evaluator pilot and has flown the B-1B, U-28A, T-6A, T-38C, E-11A, TG-4A, and TG-10B/C/D.

Unable to fully satisfy his appetite for flying at work, Depew is also active in general aviation.  He has flown as a mission pilot, instructor and evaluator with the Civil Air Patrol any time his deployment schedule allowed.  He’s given civilian glider instruction as a member of the Black Forest Soaring Society and the Black Hills Soaring Club.  As chief pilot of EAA Chapter 1493, Depew has helped introduce dozens of young people to aviation through the Young Eagles program.   He also gives tailwheel and military-to-GA transition training in his 1950 C-170A.

Depew’s favorite students so far are his two children who fight over the copilot seat in the family Cessna.  He’s worked with some friends to publish “The Flying Adventures of Panda and Baileron,” a series of eBooks based loosely on his daughter and her dog.  He hopes they’ll inspire kids, especially girls like his daughter, to get excited about aviation.

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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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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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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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Alan Frazier, MCFI 10/2009-12/2017:

This is Frazier’s fourth consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation. Frazier began flight training when he was a teenager living in Tennessee. He worked at Stones River Aviation as an aircraft lineman in exchange for flight time. Frazier earned his private pilot certificate at Stones River and went on to graduate from Middle Tennessee State University with a bachelor's degree in aerospace administration. He relocated to California and accepted a position as a police officer with the Glendale Police Department. Seven years of his 28-year career with Glendale PD were spent assigned to the Air Support Unit, where he flew MD-520N helicopters and served as the officer-in-charge. During this time, he also worked at Glendale Community College as the chairman of the Aviation Department. Three summers were spent flying for the National Park Service in Alaska. In 1990, Frazier earned a master's degree in public administration from the University of Southern California. He retired from law enforcement in 2010 and accepted a teaching position at the University of North Dakota., where he serves as an associate professor teaching helicopter flight courses and a public safety aviation course, and has collateral duties as a helicopter stage check pilot. Frazier’s academic research centers on the use of small, unmanned aircraft in law enforcement missions. He has accumulated over 7500 pilot-in-command hours with over 4400 hours of dual instruction given.

He possesses an FAA Airline Transport Pilot Certificate with AMEL and BE-1900 ratings, and an FAA Commercial Certificate with ASEL, ASES, RH, and Glider ratings. Frazier is active in the Civil Air Patrol where he serves as the Standardization and Evaluation Officer for the North Dakota Wing as well as a check pilot and mission check pilot. In his spare time Alan flies a BE-1900 for Alpine Air.

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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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Francis Goeddeke, MGI 11/2016-11/2018:

Goeddeke took his first flying lesson in 1986 and says that one flight changed his life. When he began flight instructing, he also enrolled in Embry-Riddle’s bachelor’s program in Professional Aeronautics through the independent study program. From there, he took an educational leave from his day job to attend Embry-Riddle on campus in Daytona Beach to study for his Master of Aeronautical Science degree, specializing in Human Factors. While studying, he realized there are a lot of great human factors researchers, but the bigger problem is management doesn’t always use them. From there he went on to study for his MBA and PhD in management.

When he retired from his day job, he joined the Peace Corps where he spent 4-1/2 years in Mongolia. Upon returning to the United States he was on the beach in Miami, wondering what he was going to do with his life. Then he saw a DC-3 flying overhead making an approach into Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport. That gave him his answer. So he showed up at the airport the next day and started working at Wayman Aviation.

At Wayman, he became Assistant Chief Flight Instructor and teaches many of the professional pilot ground school courses. In this capacity he has developed his own 32-hour ground school for aspiring flight instructors. He also teaches online in Embry-Riddle’s Master’s program and with St. Thomas University’s Education Doctorate program. He is also a FAASTeam representative.

Frank says he would like to thank all the instructors he has flown with, especially Todd Birdsall, Jeff Hall, Mike Zielke, Alex Alvarez, and Alfredo Wayman, for being such great role models.

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Gregory Gorak, MCFI 05/1998-06/2018:

This is Gorak’s Tenth consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation. Greg Gorak is an 8,600 plus hour Airline Transport Pilot as well as a dynamic educator. Gorak started flying in 1962 in a J3 Cub and received his Private Pilot's License in a 7 ECA with long time instructor Al Sabota and examiner Hugo Picco. At the time he was a member of the West Allis flying club which allowed him to get all his ratings starting with his private in 1963, commercial in 1966, and CFI in 1967. Gorak was Chairman of the Career Pilot Program at Gateway Technical Institute for nine years and also taught for the National Association of Flight Instructors in 1976. Gorak then founded Gaits Aviation Seminars, Inc. in 1977 and has been on the Presenter's Circuit for 43 years. Gaits Aviation Seminars has now graduated over 17,676 flight instructors. Gorak flew charter for seven years with Scott Air Charter at Mitchell Field, accumulating thousands of hours in various turboprops including most Beechcraft King Air type aircraft the Beech Baron, Cessna 421, Shrike Commander, and Cessna Citation. During this time Gorak had five children one of which (Mark) followed him into aviation getting his helicopter rating at Fort Rucker and is now a Colonel serving in the Pentagon.

The Federal Aviation Administration named Gorak the Flight Instructor of the Year for the United States in 1975 and The National Association of Flight Instructors inducted him into the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame in 2013. Gorak has written a number of articles for publications including FAA Aviation News, Midwest Flyer, Professional Pilot, and NAFI Mentor.

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Jason Grafel, MCFI 11/2014-11/2016:

Jason Grafel was born in Laramie, WY.  As an “Army Brat,” while growing up he had the opportunity to live all over the United States and Germany.. As the son of a U.S. Army aviator, he developed a passion for aviation early in life. After graduating from the University of Wyoming, Grafel served in the army both stateside and in Iraq and Korea as a UH-60 Blackhawk mechanic and crew member. After his time in the army, Grafel pursued a corporate career in the insurance industry. Realizing that he did not have passion for what he was doing, Grafel left his corporate job in 2011and returned to college to pursue his dream of becoming a pilot. He attended Montana State University where he completed his professional pilot course work.  While attending MSU, Grafel trained at Summit Aviation where he completed his pilot ratings from zero time to CFI in 20 months. After graduation, Grafel was hired at Summit as a full-time flight instructor. He is currently assistant chief instructor at Summit and on the adjunct faculty at MSU teaching courses in aircraft systems, commercial, and instrument ground.  His certificates include CFI, CFII, MEI, and IGI. Grafel was recognized on the 2014 AOPA Flight Training Excellence Honor Roll for outstanding flight instruction.

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Nathan Grupenhof, MCFI 05/2014-05/2016:

Nathan was born and raised in a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio. His aspirations to become a pilot as a child came to fruition in the fall of 2007 while attending Ohio University. During his time spent at Ohio University, Grupenhof acquired all certificates and ratings required for graduation, and was able to flight instruct during his junior and senior years while completing course work for graduation.

After graduation in March 2011, Grupenhof moved back to the Cincinnati area and began working as an independent contractor. He primarily instructs through Lunken Flight Training Center specializing in Cirrus SR20, SR22 and C172SP training. While working as an independent contractor, he has been afforded the opportunity to fly over 20 different aircraft types ranging from a Velocity XLRG to B350.

While not instructing, Grupenhof also serves as a King Air 200 pilot for FlightLogix Aircraft Management. He is an FAA Gold Seal Instructor and an accredited CSIP Instructor (Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot), with more than 2600 total hours, including more than 1800 hours of dual given When not flying, Grupenhof enjoys spending time with his wife Chandra of one year, and with close family and friends.

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