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.
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.
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.
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.
ATP/CFII, Aerobatics Instructor
Dave Hirschman is an ATP/CFII who specializes in aerobatic and tailwheel flight instruction. He has provided more than 2,000 hours of aerobatic dual instruction in airplanes including the Decathlon, Pitts S-2B, Extra 300L, Stearman, WACO, and T-6. He has flown piston singles in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Mexico, and the Bahamas and performed air-to-air photo missions in those places.
Dave is the author of “Hijacked: The Heroes of Flight 705,” and he has been on the editorial staff of AOPA Pilot magazine since 2008. He has logged more than 8,000 flight hours in single and multi-engine land and seaplanes. He has a masters degree in journalism from the University of Michigan.
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, Course Developer
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 based in Wausau, WI, specializing in instrument flight training.
Ryan was the driving force behind the development of several PilotWorkshops online courses, including IFR: The Missing Lessons and Advanced IFR. Ryan is also a contributing expert for our IFR Mastery series and is a regular participant in the Instructor’s Roundtable. He 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.
CFII & Aviation Attorney
Like many who fly for personal business or pleasure, Mark Kolber came to aviation later in life. Mark had been interested in flying since childhood, but his first three lessons were a birthday gift from his wife, hoping to get it out of his system. She claims she hasn’t seen him since.
Thirty years later, Mark is a single-engine commercial pilot and CFI/CFII. He focused early on pilots coming to flying in mid-life as he did, and provided many hours of mountain flight instruction during his 20 years in Colorado. Now primarily involved in transition and recurrent training, Mark brings the perspective of an attorney who has represented pilots, mechanics and businesses in FAA enforcement and other aviation-related matters. He speaks to both legal and pilot groups and is a regular contributor to IFR Magazine.