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

Master Logos

 

Zach HagelyZachary Hagely, MCFI 02/2020-02/2022:

Hagely said he first became interested in learning to fly in his early 20s when looking at career options. His stepdad suggested he talk to his brother about becoming a pilot. After some research, he quickly decided this was a career he would enjoy and began training at SIUC (Southern Illinois University Carbondale).

Hagely graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor's Degree in Aviation Management, and an Associate's Degree in Applied Science for Aviation Flight, and earning his commercial ASEL and CFI certificates. Coincidentally, the day he earned his CFI certificate, he received a call from a past instructor about an opportunity to interview at a new flight school he was managing, Elite Aviation at Spirit of St. Louis Airport. With help from senior instructors and management, Hagely quickly gained his footing, and took a lead role in developing training courses and procedures for the school. During his time there, Hagely achieved a CFII and a commercial AMEL certificate. He put instructing on hold for a short while to focus on airline training and earn an ATP. He then began to work for a regional airline, where he is currently employed. Hagely says he still enjoys instructing part-time, and said that Flight instructing offers a special type of reward he hasn’t found elsewhere in passing knowledge forward, and helping pilots succeed in achieving their goals.

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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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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.

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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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Eric Hineman, MCFI 11/2019-11/2021:

Hineman started his initial flight training in Iowa at the age of 17 and went for his Private Pilot Certificate on September 11, 2001. After completion of his Private Certificate, Hineman Enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and started his aircraft maintenance career on the B-1B in Rapid City, SD. While in maintenance, his passion for aviation blossomed and he went on to earn his initial CFI rating in 2005 and subsequently earned his CFII, MEI, and CFI-G as well. Simultaneously, he went to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (World Wide) to complete his Bachelors Degree in Professional Aeronautics and subsequently earned his Commission in the Air Force as an Aircraft Maintenance Officer.

Hineman has instructed in many parts of the United States. and says he enjoys all aspects of aviation. He continues to serve in the U.S. Air Force in aircraft maintenance while flight instructing part time. In addition to his flight ratings, he is also an A&P, and says he enjoys working on and maintaining airplanes. Hineman is also a member of EAA and enjoys giving Young Eagle flights in addition to being a Civil Air Patrol member who actively participates in National Flight Academy activities as well as being a Check Pilot. He says one of his favorite part about being in aviation is helping others reach their aviation goals.

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Alaba Gabriel Idowu, MCFI 9/2020-9/2022:

Idowu’s dream of becoming a pilot came true in  2004.  He  did  not  know  how  to  achieve  his goal financially, but his passion for the industry inspired him to secure admission into an aviation business school to study travel  agency  management/air  ticketing  and reservation. In 2005 his first step into an aviation  career  officially  began  after  finishing classes at the international school of aviation (ISA) in Lagos, Nigeria.

He  then worked for three travel agencies as a travel agency manager, and while  working as a ticketing officer, Idowu pursued a National Diploma (ND) in computer science at Lagos State Polytechnic.

In 2010, Idowu moved to the  United States to start a piloting career. In 2015  he obtained multi-engine CPL from Delta Qualiflight at Forth-Meacham, Texas and proceeded to enroll in Aviator college in Florida for CFI/CFII/MEI.

Idowu  then  worked  with  Hillsboro  Aero  Academy  in  Hillsboro,  Oregon  as  a  flight  instructor  and  also  a progress  check  instructor.  He  then  also  worked  for  Kansas  State  University  as  an  advanced  flight instructor.

Idowu  currently  holds  a  Bachelor  of  Science  in  Aeronautics  from  Embry-Riddle  Aeronautical  University (ERAU) and is working towards a Master of Science in Aviation Safety from the same university.

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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.

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Michael Johnson NAFI Master Instructor MCFIMichael Johnson, MCFI 10/2020-10/2022:

This is Johnson’s third NAFI Master Instructor accreditation. Johnson has been flying since 1974 and has flown a multitude of airplanes and helicopters. He is a former Chief Pilot and Director of Training for a U.S. airline. He also has years of experience in Part 135 air carrier operations, including fixed and rotor-wing operations. Starting his aviation life competing in aerobatics, Johnson performed at airshows across the southern United States. At a young age, he won the 1979 Texas State Aerobatics competition, which he said in today’s terms equals a national championship in the Unlimited Class. His first airline job was as a line pilot for Texas International Airlines (which became Continental Airlines).

Johnson left aviation to serve more than 11 years on active duty in U.S. Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance, most of which were in the Middle East. He is a highly decorated combat veteran, having been awarded seven personal military decorations for valor, more than 15 other decorations, earning the coveted “dual cool” USMC Recon designation of being parachute and SCUBA qualified and having earned a seven-time expert rifle qualification and a six-time pistol expert qualification.

Leaving the Marine Corps, he returned to aviation and, as a professional pilot, worked in all facets of aviation including airlines, charters, flight instruction, banner towing, tour industry, EMS, ENG and much more.

Johnson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU), as well as a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Science (also from ERAU). A published aviation author, Johnson has written 10 flight training books and multimedia software packages published commercially and sold through national chains, such as Barnes and Noble. Johnson holds an FAA Airline Transport Pilot Certificate, and a FAA Gold Seal Flight Instructor certificate. He was one of the first Cessna Factory Authorized Instructors (CFAI) for the Garmin G1000 glass cockpit system. He holds airplane single- and multi-engine, land and sea ratings, as well as rotorcraft helicopter. His flight instructor credentials include airplane single and multi-engine, rotorcraft helicopter, as well as instrument instructor in airplanes and helicopters. Johnson also has both Advanced and Instrument Ground Instructor certificates.

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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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Braunschweig NAFI Master Instructor MCFIDaniel Katz-Braunschweig, Associate MCFI 11/2020-11/2022:

Katz-Braunschweig says he was “bitten” by the aviation bug early in life when his father, a former private pilot, scheduled his first flying lesson at the age of 12 at Cherry Ridge airport in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. His interest in flying caused Katz-Braunschweig to join the Civil Air Patrol and during his tenure, he was regularly active in the cadet program, aerospace education and emergency services. His skills were put to task a few days after September 11, 2001 when he, as a photo specialist, was tasked with his aircrew to take photos and video of the terrorist attack at the World Trade Center and immediately deliver them to New York State’s office of emergency management. He said that experience caused him to really want to move to the left seat of the aircraft and he started flight training in December of that year towards his private pilot’s certificate.

With his family helping him study and supporting him in his goals, he received his certificate in June and his instrument rating in December of 2002. Braunschweig’s full-time job is as a senior lecturer in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at New York University’s Tandon school of Engineering, where he sometimes uses his aviation background to excite students on the complexities of both fields. He has given his students insight into aviation by showing them the intricacies of ADS-B and building projects which rely on data processing and performance characteristics of both aircraft and ground systems. Since it was the obvious combination of his vocation and avocation, Katz-Braunschweig obtained his CFI rating in 2006 and been teaching ever since. He owns and flies a K35 Bonanza, which he uses to transport his wife and two children around the United States and to international destinations. He says that his greatest thrill is when he sees a student who has had difficulty with understanding or performing a task finally “get it.”

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kennedy mcfiKevin Kennedy, Associate MCFI 8/2020-8/2022:

Kennedy flew solo in an airplane at the age of 16 with friends and family watching. Like so many others, the sense of freedom during flight is what got him hooked. He went on to acquire a Private Pilot’s Certificate and an applied economics degree from Florida State University. After a brief but accomplished stint on the business side of aviation, he decided to make a beeline for his dreams and enrolled in flight school full time.

After earning CFI/CFII/MEI, Kennedy began his flight instructor career in Austin, TX where he saw enough success to add an FAA Gold Seal to his flight instructor certificate. In addition to primary instructor, he has held roles such as Multi-Engine Flight Standards Instructor and Lead Instructor. He now works as an Indoctrination Instructor for ATP Flight School in Jacksonville, FL where his function is to assist newly certificated CFIs who are just beginning their aviation journey. Plane and Pilot Magazine has also published some of Kennedy’s work.

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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.

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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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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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emily locketz NAFI MCFIEmily Locketz, Associate MCFI 9/2020-9/2022:

Locketz got her start in aviation while in high school when she was 17, discovering her love for aviation through Aviation Explorers and the dedication of her first instructors. She said that helped her realize she wanted to make aviation her career and joined ATP Flight School in 2015, where she became a CFI/CFII/MEI at 19 years old.

She continued to grow as an instructor in Phoenix, Arizona, training students from a range of airline ab initio training programs including JetBlue and Japan Airlines, and eventually progressed to Lead Instructor of the Japan Airlines training program. She then decided to go back to where it all started at ATP, and help students obtain their CFI initial ratings.

While working at ATP, she earned the Distinguished Flight Instructor award from AOPA for 2019. She now works as the Lead of Ground School programs at ATP, and says she hopes to continue to grow her experience and dedicate herself to being a lifelong instructor and educator.

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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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Tim Mcswain NAFI Master Instructor MCFITim McSwain, MCFI 10/2020-10/2022:

McSwain began his aviation career by soloing Cessna 150 N7112S on August 8th, 1968 at Essex County Airport in Caldwell, New Jersey (KCDW). He earned his Private Pilot Certificate in September of 1969 in Ohio, where he had moved to attend college and law school. Soon after, McSwain moved up to a Cessna 172, then a Beech Musketeer, then to Citabrias and Grummans. Instrument, Commercial and CFI ratings and certificates followed. He flew for a Cessna Pilot Center, adding airplane demo/sales/delivery pilot to his duties, as well as adding MEL and MEL-CFI.

Over the next 6 years McSwain flew for several schools in and near Columbus, teaching private, commercial, instrument, single and multi- students at John Glenn Columbus International Airport (KCMH), Bolton Field, Columbus Southwest and Ohio State University Airport (KOSU). During that time, he flew 80-some different SEL and MEL types as a CFI or on demo/delivery flights for the dealership and added ATP-MEL to his certificate in 1980.

In 1983 McSwain moved to Memphis to practice aviation law and joined a flying club, teaching in types ranging from J3 Cubs to Piper Aztecs. He moved back to New Jersey in 1985, and while instructing at various locations added SES to his ratings, and was appointed a Designated Pilot Examiner with the Teterboro FSDO in 1990.

By 1994, time commitments to his legal career and a growing family led him to relinquish his DPE status but was able to continue instructing on a more relaxed pace. He flew company airplanes and his own aircraft on business trips around the United States and Canada until retiring in 2013.

Since then, McSwain has continued instructing, consulting, and flying his own airplanes, mostly to visit family and old friends. His current airplane is a Cessna 180A.

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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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Georgios “George” Michelogiannakis, Associate MCFI 9/2020-9/2022:

Michelogiannakis has been actively flight instructing for six years. Born in Greece, he pursued flight training at Reid-Hillview airport (RHV) in California where he flew a few of his first hundred hours mostly in a 180HP Cessna 172. Shortly after becoming a CFI, he focused on private and instrument pilot training while acquiring additional qualifications such as MEI, ATP MEL, and TAA training.

Michelogiannakis' latest focus is G1000 transition training, introductory flights, as well as re-currency of "rusty" pilots. Much of his flight instructing time is as an unpaid volunteer as an instructor and check pilot of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) where he provides not only transition training and evaluation, but also evaluation flights for search and rescue (SAR) pilot candidates. As part of CAP, Michelogiannakis has participated in numerous actual SAR and disaster relief missions. He is also an active FAASTeam representative who frequently delivers seminars on many safety topics. He says when he is not flying or thinking about flying, he is a research scientist at a national laboratory.

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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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Walter NewsomeWalter Newsome, MGI 03/2020-03/2022:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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