Since 2005, PilotWorkshops has been delivering online proficiency training with our award-winning team of instructors. Our mission is simple – offer the best pilot proficiency training in the industry and make it available online.
What’s different about the PilotWorkshops team? Experience.
Take a look at the biographies below. Our highly experienced instructors come from a variety backgrounds and share their unique perspectives based a wide variety of experiences and training. Some have logged over 10,000 hours teaching exclusively in General Aviation airplanes, while others had long and distinguished careers in the military, airlines and corporate aviation. But all of them share a love of general aviation flying and teaching pilots what they’ve learned through decades of experience.
Tens of thousands of pilots have benefited from our training products and online education programs which continue to get national acclaim and recognition from industry leaders.
DPE, CFI of the Year
Bob Nardiello was the “Flight Instructor of the Year” in 2004 and “FAA Safety Counselor of the Year” in 2006 for the Windsor Locks Flight Standards District Office. He has over 14,000 hours of total flight experience, with more than 7,500 hours as a Flight Instructor. He currently holds CFI, CFII, MEI, and ATP ratings and serves as a Designated Pilot Examiner. Bob was the Chief Flight Instructor at a Part 141 Flight School and is also a seasoned charter pilot flying a Cessna 421, Citation Ultra and Citation Excel
DPE, NAFI Flight Instructor Hall of Fame
Wally Moran is a retired airline captain and spent much of his career as a training instructor and check airman on aircraft including the Boeing 747 and 767. He has held a flight instructor certificate for over 50 years. He is a Designated Pilot Examiner for airplanes and gliders and has given over 4000 hours of flight instruction in single engine, multiengine, gliders and seaplanes. Wally has been awarded the FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award and is designated a Master CFI by the National Association of Flight Instructors. In 2017 Wally was elected to the NAFI Flight Instructor’s Hall of Fame.
CFII, FAA ATC Instructor & QA Specialist
John Krug’s 27 years of experience as an Air Traffic Controller combined with his experience as an active flight instructor and charter pilot, allow him to assist pilots in gaining a better understanding of the ATC system and how to best operate in it. While with the FAA, he was an On-the-Job-Training Instructor for new controllers and worked as a Quality Assurance Specialist, responsible for conducting in-flight evaluations of the Air Traffic System and investigating accidents and incidents.
USAF (ret) Safety Officer, FAA Safety Program Manager
Bob Martens is a nationally known speaker, consultant and aviation safety expert. He retired from the FAA after spending 17 years as a Safety Program Manager. In this role, he delivered hundreds of live seminars devoted to General Aviation safety. Bob retired from the USAF (rank of Colonel) in 2000 after 30 years of active and reserve duty. He was an Aircraft Commander in a C-5A and also served as Flying Safety Officer and Chief of Safety with the 439th AirWing. Bob has logged thousands of flight hours in both military and GA aircraft.
NAFI Flight Instructor Hall of Fame
Master CFI Tom Turner holds an ATP certificate with instructor, CFII and MEI ratings and has a Masters Degree in Aviation Safety. He was the 2010 National FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year and the 2008 FAA Central Region CFI of the Year and has logged over 2,500 hours instructing. In 2015 Tom was inducted into the NAFI Flight Instructor’s Hall of Fame.
Tom was a Captain in the United States Air Force and has been Lead Instructor for the Bonanza pilot training program at the Beechcraft factory. He now directs the education and safety arm of a 9000-member pilots’ organization.
National CFI of the Year
Doug Stewart was the “National Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year” in 2004. A Master Certified Flight Instructor, Gold Seal Instructor and Designated Pilot Examiner – he is based at the Columbia County Airport (1B1) in Hudson, NY. He owns and operates his own flight school specializing in instrument training and has logged over 11,600 hours of dual instruction given, with over 4,700 hours of that being instrument instruction. He regularly gives instruction in aircraft as simple as the J-3 Cub, and as complex as the Piper Malibu / Mirage.
Rod Machado has taught millions the basics of flying through flight lessons, simulation and training materials. Teaching and speaking to pilots in the 50 states and Europe since 1973, he simplifies the complex, makes bland topics interesting and educates with humor.
Flying since age 16, he is a rated ATP with all fixed wing Flight Instructor ratings, he was AOPA’s National Flight Instructor Spokesman and a columnist for AOPA Pilot and Flight Training magazines for many years.
Rod Machado’s Private Pilot Handbook and Instrument Pilot’s Handbook are used to train pilots in respected Universities, Flight Schools, FBOs and High Schools throughout the country.
Keith Smith is a highly accomplished instrument pilot and founder and developer of PilotEdge, the award-winning network that provides real (human) ATC interactions for pilots flying and training on flight simulators. This experience gives Keith a unique perspective on what pilots struggle with when communicating. Keith also has deep experience with flight simulators, from the desktop to full-motion sims used in commercial applications.
Keith flys his own Lancair 360 in the Real World IFR and Real World Coast to Coast products and he flies a 172 in Real World VFR. He has logged over 600 hours in his Lancair and routinely flies it in a wide range of weather conditions at airports ranging from 1800 ft non-towered strips to JFK, Atlanta Hartsfield, DFW and everything in between.
CFII, Sim training expert
Ryan Koch taught himself to fly virtually when he was 10 years old using Microsoft Flight Simulator. Fast forward several decades and Ryan is now an innovator in flight instruction, combining desktop simulation with remote instruction to deliver highly effective training programs for pilots around the country. He’s an active flight instructor, specializing in instrument training in Wausau, Wisconsin.
Ryan teaches ground schools, runs ATC communications courses for both IFR and VFR pilots, and has developed curriculum for a variety of IFR proficiency programs and even a simulator-centered high school aviation program.
Scott Dennstaedt is an FAA-certificated instrument flight instructor and former NWS research meteorologist specializing in aviation weather training. He has written over 100 articles for various aviation magazines to include IFR, Plane & Pilot, Pilot Journal, Flying, Aviation Consumer and Twin & Turbine magazines just to name a few.
Scott has logged over 3,500 hours of flight time all throughout the United States. He’s always had a love for weather and aviation since childhood and is now enjoying his true vocation of teaching.
PilotWorkshops.com founder Mark Robidoux holds a commercial pilot certificate with instrument and seaplane ratings and has been flying since 1996. Before starting PilotWorkshops.com in 2005, he spent 18 years in high-tech, working for several of the world’s largest and most successful software companies. He held a variety of sales, marketing and product development positions during his career.
While studying for his Instrument rating, Mark noticed there was little proficiency training available for pilots online. Most of the information out there was for student pilots looking to pass their FAA test and check ride. He was convinced there was an opportunity to combine his passion for aviation with his knowledge and experience in web technologies. So he connected with some of the best flight instructors in the country and set out to develop a series of online training programs that help pilots fly better and safer.
His idea grew into the PilotWorkshops.com products, web site and partner network we have today.
Jeff Van West
CFII, Author, PilotWorkshops Creative Director
Jeff Van West is PilotWorkshops’ Creative Director with the primary responsibility for managing the development and creation of the company’s pilot proficiency training programs, including our flagship IFR and VFR Mastery programs.
For 19 years, Jeff ran many noteworthy aviation media projects with his own firm, Van West Communications, including magazines, books, videos, and live seminars. Jeff previously served as editor-in-chief of IFR Magazine and co-editor of Aviation Consumer, and his work appears in AOPA Pilot, Flight Training Magazine, Plane and Pilot, and AVweb. He’s an experienced flight instructor with certifications for single- and multi-engine airplanes, seaplanes, and gliders. Jeff was the creator of the first pilot transition program for new Cirrus aircraft.
Jeff Mulligan is responsible for driving our technology direction. He oversees the design and development of our website and training platforms to ensure they deliver the best possible experience for our customers. In addition, Jeff manages our strategic partnerships to expand our online, email and social media channels to reach as many pilots as possible.
During his 35 year career, Jeff has served as senior vice president of an ad agency and vice president of marketing for two software companies. Jeff has been building websites and developing integrated digital marketing campaigns since 1996.
Mallory, a CFII with commercial and multi-engine ratings, is responsible for ensuring that our customers receive outstanding support and assistance with all their questions. She also assists on a variety of product development projects.
Mallory graduated from the Flight Operations program at Daniel Webster College in Nashua, NH where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Aviation. Previously, Mallory was an instructor for East Coast Aero club for 6 years where she taught in 172’s, Arrows and Warriors. She most recently was the Manager of East Coast’s Nashua office before joining PilotWorkshops.
In April of 2014 we began a substantial commitment to General Aviation by becoming a Premier Partner of AOPA. We believe in AOPA’s mission and are honored to support them and to work with their team in helping make aviation safer and more enjoyable.
The PilotWorkshops Tip of the Week, published since 2006, is received by over 185,000 subscribers.