CFI Instructor Biographies

Art Flior | Bill Gunn | Catherine Fish | Gerry Fairbairn | Mark Grady | Mike Mechsner
Pat Shaub | Tom Emanuel | Wayne Phillips | Kurt Reesman | Andy Miller

Art Flior

Art FliorArt is an active flight instructor specializing in turbine, multi-engine, and GPS transition training. He is a captain for a Washington, D.C., area charter operator flying Citation 560, King Air 200, and Hawker 800XP aircraft. Art is type rated in the Gulfstream G-IV SP and the Citation 560/550/500. He holds ATP, Gold Seal CFIAI, MEI, AGI, and IGI ratings. He has been an FAA Aviation Safety Counselor for the Baltimore FSDO since 1978. Art also provides consulting services to developers of computer-based aviation training software. He served as a NOAA Commissioned Officer for more than 26 years. Art was the Chief Pilot for the NOAA (NOS) Office of Aeronautical Charting and check pilot for the National Weather Service. Visit Art's Web site for links to useful aviation information.


Bill Gunn

Bill is the director for Systems and Training for the Texas Department of Transportation, Aviation Division. Bill is an ATP, CFII, MEI, and ACR authority. He has approximately 7,000 flying hours in a wide variety of military and civil business, corporate, and general aviation areas. Bill flew RF 4C aircraft in South East Asia, air shows in Great Britain, and represented the Air Safety Foundation in test CFI clinics in Australia. Bill is an aircraft owner and flies for work and pleasure.


Catherine FishCatherine Fish

Catherine Fish has been an active flight instructor since 1974 and is a current mountain pilot. Her background includes diverse experiences including glider tow pilot, USDA contract pilot, airplane camping and commuter airline captain. Formerly an Av Tech instructor at Cochise College in Douglas, Arizona, she is currently a ground instructor for P-3 Orion Air Tanker Pilots.  She has been an AOPA Air Safety instructor since 1983. She is an active member of the Aviation Speakers Bureau, and is co-author of the book Speaking of Flying.


Gerry FairbairnGerry Fairbairn

Gerry holds a Ph.D. in business and is a professor at Daniel Webster College. He is an ATP, a flight instructor with airplane, glider, and instrument ratings; a ground instructor with advanced and instrument ratings, and holds a mechanics certificate with A&P ratings. He has accumulated over 6,500 flight hours with much of it in flight instruction.


Mark GradyMark Grady

Mark has over 6,000 hours in a Cessna 152! He earned most of those hours during a decade as an award-winning traffic watch pilot/reporter in Raleigh, N.C. He is an aviation writer and member of the Aviation Speakers Bureau. In 1998 he was named North Carolina’s Aviation Safety Counselor of the Year.


Mike Mechsner

Mike MechsnerMike Mechsner is an active flight instructor who has been a CFI since 1970. He has an undergraduate degree in education specializing in teaching aviation subjects and has been affiliated with the AOPA Air Safety Foundation since 1994. Mike is a retired USAF Lt Col and his background includes duties as the Director of Training for a US regional airline and most recently, a pilot for a US Flag carrier. He maintains the website for all CFI’s to use in their flight training activities.

Pat ShaubPat Shaub

Pat is an experienced ATP, CFI-I, and an active FAA Safety Counselor with many years of experience flying and teaching pilots. Pat’s classes are interesting and fast paced, salted liberally with examples taken from his extensive real-world flying experience in the civil and military world, including his career flying as an air ambulance helicopter pilot.


Tom EmanuelTom Emanuel

Tom holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and is Associate Director and a pilot examiner at the University of Illinois Institute of Aviation. He has been a CFI for over 45 years and is rated in gliders and seaplanes, as well as SE & ME airplanes. He has been designated by the FAA as a National Accident Prevention Counselor.


Wayne Phillips

Wayne PhillipsWayne Phillips is an ATP with B-737 and Falcon 20 type ratings. Wayne is a DA-20 Examiner, has owned and operated a 135 company, a banner towing business, and a hot air balloon tour enterprise in the Rockies. He manages the Airline Training Orientation Program (ATOP), a two-day B-737 introductory course for aspiring airline pilots conducted at the Continental Airlines Pilot Training Center ( He’s the careers writer for Flight Training Magazine. Wayne earned “CFI of the Year-1999” in the FAA NW Region.


 Kurt Reesman

kurt reesmanKurt holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Masters of Aeronautical Science and considers himself a student for life. His consulting business specializes in aviation education and course design, in addition to educational speaking engagements. Kurt’s website,, features his unique perspective on aviation subject matter, as well as information focused on current aviation events. For over eight years, he served as an Associate Professor and Assistant Chief Flight Instructor in Liberty University’s School of Aeronautics where he brought life, and practicality to aviation academic content. He is a retired USAF Instructor/Evaluator Pilot and has flown the T-37, T-38, RF-4C and F-15E/S. Kurt holds CFI, CFII and MEI certificates and has flown over 4000 hours; approximately half of his flight time has been as a flight instructor. Kurt has been with the Air Safety Institute since December 2008. His hobbies include golf, traveling and enjoying good food.


Andrew Miller

Andy flies all over the country in his beautiful 1973 Cessna Skylane to help pilots and CFIs sharpen their skills. A member of the National Speakers Association Wisconsin chapter, Andy has extensive experience speaking in the technology world, and in 2004 he joined the AOPA Air Safety Foundation first as a Safety Seminar presenter, and now as a FIRC instructor. A commercial pilot, he holds CFI-A, CFI-I, IGI, and AGI certificates. He regularly flies Young Eagle and Angel Flight missions, is an AOPA Airport Support Network Volunteer, and serves as a FAASTeam Lead Representative in the Great Lakes Region.