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Our Seminar Instructors

photo of pat brown next to a yellow cessnaPat Brown

Pat is AOPA’s Texas You Can Fly Ambassador. He was bitten by the flying bug early, and began taking lessons at age 16, earning his Private Pilot license shortly after his 17th birthday. Today, nearly 9000 hours later, he holds a Commercial Pilot certificate for Gliders, Single-Engine Land/Sea and Multi-Engine Land aircraft and is a Gold Seal Flight Instructor for gliders, single and multi-engine aircraft and seaplane, with over 5500 hours of instruction given. Pat is the co-developer of AOPA’s Rusty Pilot seminar, travels the country speaking to pilot groups as a Safety Seminar Presenter for the Air Safety Institute, and has conducted Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics nationwide.

air safety institute instructorTom Curran

Tom started flying at Seattle’s Boeing Field in 1978 and holds ATP, CFII/MEI, and float ratings. His early exploits included instructing in Florida and Alaska. After college, he helped produce Alaska’s first Aviation System Plan and several airport master plans. Tom later joined the USAF and served as an Instructor and Evaluator pilot in the F-15C and B-1B. His adventures included tours in Alaska, Europe, Japan, and Southwest Asia. His “day jobs” included Commander of a B-1B squadron, Director of a NATO Air Operations Center, and Deputy Director of the DoD‘s Joint Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center of Excellence. His credentials include degrees from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Florida Institute of Technology. Tom lives in Gig Harbor, WA, and WILL fly for food!

photo of norm isler next to a yellow cessnaNorm Isler

Norm worked instructing unmanned aerial vehicle technology and flight from 2014 through 2017 at multiple community colleges. He holds both Single Engine Land and Sea ratings, as well as Part 107 Unmanned Aircraft and Advanced Ground Instructor Certificates.

With more than 30 years as a volunteer advocating for General Aviation, Norm joined AOPA full time as Northeast Ambassador in January, 2017. Living just west of Rochester in Brockport, NY, as ambassador, Norm travels throughout the northeast, frequently in his “Brand New 1985 Reimagined Cessna 152” nick-named “Tweety” to interact with all sorts of aviation organizations and promote aviation how and wherever possible.

Penny Levin

Dr. Penny Levin is a CFI, a psychologist and a safety professional, working with both pilots and physicians to understand the “Softer Side of Safety.” Since learning to fly, her goal has always been to merge her two professional passions—psychology and aviation.

A longtime member of the Civil Air Patrol, Penny has flown as an instructor, a mission pilot and a mission pilot instructor. She is now a PA Wing Assistant Director of Safety, responsible for an innovative aircrew safety seminar series.

Penny writes for a range of publications, including AOPA Flight Training, and speaks nationwide on topics related to flight instruction, flight safety, and pilot mental health. She has won a number of awards, including an Amelia Earhart Career Scholarship from the International 99’s and a Women in Aviation Achievement Scholarship.

air safety institute instructorJohn McGonagill

John ‘Bart’ McGonagill graduated from the University of Arizona and immediately entered the United States Air Force and undergraduate pilot training. Twenty years and four-corners of the world later, he concluded his USAF career as a combat rescue pilot and continued his passion for general aviation. Aside from flight instruction he has also worked as an airport manager, technical writer, and authored aviation legislation for the Maine Aeronautics Board. A resolute aviation enthusiast, he built and flies an RV-10, and is an airpark community dweller in Granbury, Texas.

photo of andy miller next to a yellow cessnaAndy Miller

Andy is AOPA’s You Can Fly Ambassador for the Great Lakes Region.  He is a nationally recognized aviation educator; a lead representative in the FAA Safety Program, an IMC Club leader, and a member of both the National Association of Flight Instructors and the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators. He is also an aircraft owner and regularly flies Young Eagle and Angel Flight missions.  

Andy is based in the Great Lakes and works with flying clubs, flight schools, aviation organizations, and secondary schools to increase the number of active pilots. You’ll often find him traveling to events and meetings in one of the AOPA's bright yellow "Reimaged Cessna 152s.”

jason millerJason Miller

Jason Miller is a Certified Flight Instrument Instructor with more than 18 years of aviation experience and thousands of hours of instruction given. Jason is a member of the FAA safety team, an instructor for AOPA’s Air Safety Institute and was nominated by the FAA for the 2009 Flight Instructor of the Year Award.

“I am passionate about developing systems that help pilots become safer and more efficient.” Says Miller.

Using his background as a performer and experience on the flight line, Jason created The Finer Points – Aviation Podcast, one of the most recognized and well respected aviation podcasts in the world. The critically acclaimed podcast has delivered more than 3m flight training files to pilots all over the world.

Christine MortineChristine Mortine

Following a twenty- five year career as a classical musician, Christine Mortine has turned from conducting instruments to flying by them. She is a Designated Pilot Examiner, an active CFI, CFII, MEI and TCI, a member of the FAASafety Team and instructor for AOPA’s Air Safety Institute. Christine serves on the boards of Professional Pilots Association, Scioto Valley 99s, Columbus Symphony Orchestra and WOSU Public Media. She is an Ohio State Liaison for Recreational Aviation Foundation and covets flying her Cessna 185, often on long cross countries.

air safety institute instructorJeanné Willerth

Jeanné Willerth is a Master CFI who provides single and multi-engine training in the Kansas City area. She was named the 2015 “CFI of the Year” for both the Kansas City Flight Standards District and the FAA’s Central Region. Jeanné was the 2012 “National FAASTeam Rep of the Year”. She is an ATP and holds CFI-A, CFI-I, MEI, IGI, and AGI certificates. Jeanné is active in the Ninety-Nines, SAFE, and the Missouri Pilots Association. She volunteers for Angel Flight Central, Challenge Air, LifeLine Pilots and Young Eagles. Jeanné holds both undergraduate and master’s degrees in mathematics.