Who I am
I am a husband, father, sommelier, airline pilot, and certified flight instructor - and my favorite planes to fly are ones that go fast and upside down.
I started flying when I was sixteen years old, washing airplanes at Attitude Aviation in Livermore, CA in exchange for flight training. After high school, I enlisted with the Navy to work as an aviation mechanic on the F-18 Hornet. I served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, and learned a lot at 18 years old just by travelling the world and experiencing different cultures. Although I was able to flight train a bit while in the Navy, and actually earned my Private Plot’s license during that time, after five years I really wanted to devote all my time to building a career in aviation.
After being honorably discharged from the Navy, I worked hard to earn my CFI, CFII and MEI from ATP in Las Vegas, NV. I immediately came “home” to Attitude Aviation where Rich Perkins gave me a job as a flight instructor. For the next couple years, I taught fulltime and loved every minute of it. But when I got the chance to earn some more flight hours as a “freight dog”, I took a leave from teaching to go work at Ameriflight. While at Ameriflight I used the GI bill to earn my BS in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
After a few years at Ameriflight I made the switch to Part 135 and flew for GoodJet, Meridian Charter and NetJets. During those years I volunteered my time with the Collings Foundation (owners of the “Wings of Freedom Tour” that bring WWII aircraft to small airports throughout the United States) and started flying what would quickly become my favorite planes ever: the B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator. I still volunteer with the tour each spring, and have a not-so-secret fantasy to fly the P-51 Mustang one day.
After my work in the Part 135 world, I hired on with Alaska Airlines and have been loving every minute of airline life. The flexibility of my airline schedule allowed me to come back to Attitude Aviation and teach part time, so I jumped at the chance. With renewed focus, I now concentrate my teaching efforts on three of my favorite airplanes: Pitts, Extra, and Super Decathlon. (Tail wheels for life!)
I love teaching my flying students the science behind aerobatic maneuvers, and about how practicing acrobatics can actually make it safer to fly small aircraft. I enjoy giving Flight Experiences to first time flight students and watching their love for aviation come alive. I believe flying should be safe, rewarding, and kick ass! So book a flight and let’s do this.
My personal philosophy is that learning to fly a tailwheel is important for anyone looking to have a well rounded knowledge of flying. Tailwheel experience opens up a pilot to a world of amazing planes, and I wouldn’t want anyone who loves planes to miss the chance to fly one. I also believe that the “first flight” is the one that ignites a passion, begins a career, or starts a love for aviation. For that reason I believe a Flight Experience is an incredible opportunity and thoughtful gift for anyone who is interested in airplanes...it just takes one flight to get hooked!