Previously Accredited NAFI Master Instructors (H-N by Last Name)

Master Logos

 

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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Benjamin Hastings, MCFI 05/2014-05/2016:

Originally from Hillsdale Michigan, Benjamin Hastings started in aviation at an early age. His father, an aviation enthusiast, was instrumental in encouraging him to achieve his dream of flight. From the age of three, Hastings knew that he wanted to fly airplanes and has focused on that goal ever since. In November 2005, Hastings started taking flight lessons at his local airport in Hillsdale Michigan. "I was fortunate to have the support of my parents and my high school." Hastings stated. "I was even able to earn high school credit while in the air." He continued his flight training and earned his Private Pilot License before graduating high school.

In the fall of 2008, Hastings enrolled at Western Michigan University's College of Aviation. As an aviation administration major, he learned the fundamentals of aviation business while continuing to earn additional licenses and ratings. It was during this time that Hastings was able to participate on the Precision Flight Team. As a competing member, he traveled around the Midwest and worked closely with his teammates to capture a seventh and fourth place finish at the national flight competition. During the 2012 national competition, he earned the Top Scoring Contestant award and placed second for the Top Pilot Award. To Hastings however, the real achievement was being able to fly with 15 of his closest friends.

While attending college, Hastings worked closely with his flight instructor to achieve his own flight instructor certificate. In August of 2010, he completed his practical test and earned the privilege to teach the art of flying. During the spring of 2012, he was promoted to Chief Flight Instructor and continues to enjoy working closely with his staff and students.

Hastings is a Certified Flight Instructor (CFII, MEI) and holds a Commercial Pilot Certificate. He currently resides in Wauseon Ohio and is employed by Stewart Aviation Services, Inc. as Chief Flight Instructor.

Click to Download Benjamin's Press Release!

Reginald "Rusty" Henderson, MCFI 8/2015-8/2017:

Rusty Henderson, an ATP, CFI, CFII, MEI, has been instructing since 2009. He was born in western Arkansas and resides there with his wife Cindy and son Chase. He has practiced veterinary medicine in Fort Smith, Arkansas for nearly three decades.

A certified pilot for the last 30 years, Henderson never envisioned being involved in flight instruction..  He was introduced to the joy of general aviation while in his second year of veterinary school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Flying became an integral part of his life from that point. Henderson then developed a passion for sharing the aviation experience ,and with encouragement from a very important mentor, he acquired his flight instruction certification.

Henderson teaches at local air fields. He is also an instructor and check pilot for the Arkansas Wing of the Civil Air Patrol, where he served as wing vice-commander. He is also a FAASTeam Representative and president of The Arkansas Veterinary Medical Association. In February of 2015 he was designated a Pilot Examiner by the FAA’s Little Rock Flight Standards Office.

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David Hensley, MCFI 01/2002-03/2018:

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

Dave Hensley is a Part 142 Training Center Manager based in Orlando, Florida. He holds the ATP with CFI/CFII and MEI along with the advanced ground instructor designation. Hensley is a retired Air Force Colonel with extensive experience in both high altitude reconnaissance and jet training operations. Hensley first soloed in 1974 while a student at the USAF Academy. His military flying career started with Air Force pilot training and led to lots of instrument time as a WC-130 “Typhoon Chaser” weather reconnaissance pilot.

After several years of hurricane flying, Hensley cross trained into jets as a T-38 “Talon” instructor and check pilot at Reese AFB, Texas. Next, he volunteered for the U-2 program and fell in love with high altitude operations flying as a U-2/TR-1 “Dragon Lady” mission pilot, instructor and evaluator.

After a full military flying career, Hensley retired and continued to fulfill his passion for aviation as a flight instructor. He was a flight academy Part 141 Chief Instructor as well a Part 142 Training Center Evaluator. He is a FAA Gold Seal flight instructor and has held the National Association of Flight Instructor’s Master Flight Instructor designation since 2002.  Hensley has over 10,000 flight hours with over 5000 hours of dual instruction given, and has earned a Master of Education degree in curriculum and instruction from South Dakota State University. Hensley has been a CFI for over 33 years.

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Benjamin Jaffee, MCFI 5/2015-05/2019:

This is Jaffe’s second NAFI Master Instructor accreditation. Jaffee grew up in California, taking his first flight in a small airplane on a EAA Young Eagles flight and realized that he wanted to be a pilot.  He joined the Civil Air Patrol and then earned his private pilot certificate shortly after graduating from high school. Jaffee then attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, earning his Bachelor’s degree in aeronautics and his AGI, CFI, CFII, and MEI.

After graduation, he began flight instructing and teaching ground schools from private pilot all the way to multi-engine instructor. He has been a Training Center Evaluator and a 141 Check Airman conducting practical tests and end of course tests. While instructing Jaffee added his single-engine sea rating, gold seal, and his ATP AMEL. He also completed a Masters of Business Administration in Aviation and graduated with distinction.  Jaffee is now the assistant chief flight instructor for a collegiate Part 141 flight program and is the advisor to their NIFA Flight Team.  He also currently teaches the private pilot and commercial pilot ground schools.  Jaffee is still a member of the Civil Air Patrol serving as a Standards and Evaluations officer (check pilot), and as an assistant Aerospace Education Officer.  He has over 4,700 flight hours, and over 4,000 of which are as a flight instructor, and has also given over 1,000 hours of instruction in FTDs.

 Click to Download Ben's Press Release!

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 dreamt 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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James Kapenas, MCFI 05/2014-05/2016:

James Kapenas is a 7400 hr Airline Transport Pilot and currently a full time Gold Seal/Senior instructor with one of the largest flying clubs in the world consisting of over 1400 members and 60 aircraft.

After high school, Kapenas spent four years in the USMC infantry and then attended the University of Massachusetts, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a degree in English and History.  He then moved to San Diego to begin his flying career in the year 2000.

Kapenas specializes in private pilot through ATP training as well as all cfi candidates and advanced avionics transition training.  He is the founder and chief pilot of San Diego Sky Tours and has recently begun a foray into the charter world flying a King Air B100 and an Eclipse jet.

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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!

Elias Kontanis, Associate MCFI 10/2014-10/2016:

Elias began flying in 2001 at the East Hill Flying Club in Ithaca, New York.  He earned his CFI with Aviation Adventures in Manassas, Virginia in 2012 and became a part-time instructor for the company the same year.  As a one-time "Rusty Pilot," Elias is passionate about encouraging lapsed pilots to re-engage with aviation.  To this end, he specializes in comprehensive flight reviews.  He equally enjoys working with those aspiring to earn their private pilot certificates and commercial certificates.  Elias also volunteers as a FAASTeam representative for the Washington FSDO and was recognized on the AOPA 2014 Flight Training Excellence Awards Honor Roll.

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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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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 www.TheCFIGuy.com. He says he hopes to someday teach out of turbine-driven aerobatic aircraft.

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Nick Larson, MCFI 8/2010-04/2019:

This is Larson's third NAFI Master Instructor accreditation. Born in Walnut Creek, California, Larson comes from a family of aviators, from U.S. Navy jet pilots to P-38 World War II test pilots. His passion for flying began when he attended his first airshow in 1989 at March Air Force Base in southern California. After attending the Community College of Allegheny County for flight training, Larson began working at the College of Beaver County near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for its Professional Pilot and Air Traffic Control Initiative Programs before moving to Florida.

Larson joined Sunair Aviation, located in Leesburg, Florida, in 2009 where he became flight operations manager & Part 141 chief instructor pilot for all land and sea training programs. He also oversees Sunair's commercial air tour operations, veteran's programs, and conducts new hire and yearly FAA Part 141 instructor evaluation flight checks. Larson specializes in seaplane and multi-engine add-ons, instrument training, and Garmin G1000 transition courses. Sunair is an FAA approved 141 flight school for land and sea, FAA approved 136 Air Tour Operator, FAA approved CATS testing center, and the only Veterans Administration-approved school in the United States that offers Part 141 seaplane training to veterans.

Since moving to Florida, Larson also spent some time flying corporate in King Air 90s, PC12s, and King Air200s. With over 5300 hours of total logged flying time and 4100 hours of instructor time, he holds an ATP certificate for both single and multi-engine land, a type rating in the CL604, a commercial pilot with a single-engine sea rating, a Gold Seal CFI land & sea, CFII, MEI, AGI, IGI, and holds a sUAS certification. Larson is an active member of EAA, flies Young Eagles and participates in Pilot-n-Paws.

Larson lives in Mount Dora, Florida with his wife Christie and their three dogs, Kyra, Jet, and Zoey.

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Timothy Lemke, MCFI 7/2002-8/2016:

This is Lemke's Seventh consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation. Tim Lemke was fascinated with airplanes and aviation from the time he was a small child, growing up on a dairy farm near Green Bay, Wisconsin. He began pursuing that aviation interest in his mid-twenties by earning his private pilot’s license in 1976. Lemke continued his training by obtaining an instrument rating in 1985, followed by a commercial pilot’s license in 1987 and the flight instructor license in 1988. Lemke now has accumulated over 5200 flight hours including more than 4200 hours of dual instruction given and has recommended more than 75 pilots for practical tests.

Lemke is the current president of the Winnebago Flying Club based at Wittman Field Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, a position he has held for the past dozen years. He is also a representative for the FAA FAASTeam and a member of the National Association of Flight Instructors, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and the Experimental Aircraft Association. Lemke serves on NAFI’s Master Flight Instructor Board of Review, and was awarded NAFI’s Jack Eggspuehler Award in 2013.

Lemke retired from Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation in 2011 where he was the manager of the Manufacturing Engineering function at Gulfstream’s Appleton, Wisconsin facility.  He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Arts Education from Stout State University.

Lemke continues to be very active with flight instructional activities at both the Appleton and Oshkosh Airports. He specializes in primary and instrument instruction and also provides tailwheel instruction and specialized instruction for the Garmin 430/530 GPS.

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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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Scott McBrayer, MCFI 03/2014-03/2018:

This is McBrayer’s second consecutive NAFI Master Instructor accreditation. An Edmond, Oklahoma native, McBrayer is the first aviator in his family, and began flying in January 2004 while a student at Oklahoma State University.  He said he had always loved flying and dreamed of doing as a child, but never thought that he could actually become a professional pilot.  His first major in college was aerospace engineering, but he switched away from it the first semester when he realized he had a much greater desire to be a pilot.  He said his desire grew to become involved with missionary aviation and he began to realize that flying was something he was made for.  He changed my major to aviation sciences and "the rest is history," he said.  While at OSU, McBrayer was also a member of the Flying Aggies and was a student teacher for the department's cockpit automation course, where students learned systems for the CRJ200 and the Collins 4200 FMS.

After college, McBrayer earned his first CFI job in Oklahoma City for Oklahoma Aviation and became its first Assistant Chief Flight Instructor as he helped the company obtain its Part 141 certificate.  During that time, he gained experience in over 30 different aircraft, from single-engine pistons to multi-engine turbines, and began doing corporate flying in conjunction with his flight school duties.  He also became a Cirrus Standardized Instructor and began to conduct transition training and insurance checkouts for Cirrus owners and pilots in the region.

McBrayer then moved to Waco, Texas to partner with a mission organization and go through its training program.  He met his wife, Jenny, while in the program and decided to stay in Waco longer than originally expected.  He earned a job as a faculty member for the Texas State Technical College Aircraft Pilot Training Department and began teaching collegiate level ground classes.  After his first semester of teaching, he was moved to the Assistant Chief Flight Instructor position and then to the Chief Flight Instructor position eight months later.  Since assuming that role, McBrayer says he has worked hard to ensure that his love of flying gets passed on to those that enroll in the program and that the department graduates the most qualified pilots possible.  When possible, he still takes occasional corporate flying jobs.  He said he feels he has been blessed to be part of seeing some of the highest numbers of flight hours, graduates, and pass rates that the department has ever seen.  He also serve as an advisor on the City of Waco's Aviation Advisory Board, a member of the Waco Aviation Safety Committee, and has been working as a subcontractor with L3 Communications and has been conducting turbine transitions, tailwheel transitions, missions systems training, and type specific training on DOD contracts.

Above all else, he said, he gets to help others discover the path to realizing their dreams fulfilled as professional aviators.

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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.

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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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Jack Morton, MCFI 10/2016-10/2018:

Morton has always lived in the Indianapolis area. He says he has always been fascinated with flying but like many, life sort of got in the way. “I realized as I passed into my 40s, it was now or never and walked into the local county airport.”

During instrument training a good friend and local DPE encouraged him to consider teaching, which was intimidating for someone with so little experience. Ten years into instructing and says he’s glad he listened. Since retiring from an information technology career in 2011, he’s been instructing full time and enjoying every day.

In 2002, he was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Indianapolis Airport Authority, which owns and operates Indianapolis International Airport, four reliever airports and the downtown heliport. "Participating in the direction and growth of the Indianapolis aviation environment has been an incredibly rewarding experience," he said.

With several primary students at the same point in their ground training, he began group sessions that have morphed into a monthly ground school for anyone that wants to attend. The group varies from 10 to 20 primary students through commercial pilots who pick the topics they want to cover.

In 2015, he formed the local IMC Club and has a steadily growing group working to polish their instrument skills. He also serves as the flight advisor to EAA Chapter 1121. "The most rewarding and satisfying aspect of instructing is seeing the confidence emerge as students realize they have taken on something significant and can claim what only a small percentage of people have accomplished," he said.

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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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Janine Nunes, MCFI 11/2014-11/2016:

Janine Nunes began her flight training just after her 15th birthday.  One year later she soloed with 99 hours.  She continued with her flight training, becoming a multi-engine private pilot on her 17th birthday.  Having no idea what she wanted to do, but knowing that she never wanted to be a teacher, Janine went to Kansas State University to pursue her college degrees.  After becoming a commercial pilot at 18, she took the next step to becoming a CFI, even though she felt no grand desire for it.  Once she began instructing in 1999, that all changed and she has never stopped teaching.  Even as her career progressed to corporate and then the airlines, Nunes kept returning to teach at K-State.  As an assistant chief instructor for KSU, Nunes taught all levels of college courses and found her passion was teaching private pilots and CFI initial applicants.

In 2009, Nunes left the plains of Kansas for the mountains of Montana where she is the chief instructor for Summit Aviation in Bozeman and continues her love of teaching at Montana State University in its aviation degree program.  She oversees 20 of her personally trained CFIs as they flight instruct over 150 students to completion each year.  She has led the flight school to be named an AOPA Top 5 Flight School with the Summit Aviation CFIs taking AOPA Outstanding Flight Instructor awards.  For someone who never wanted to be a teacher, she sure seems to be enjoying it.

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