JATO Aviation leads the field with the highest standards of safety and professionalism, and provides training recognized by aircraft manufacturers, like Cirrus Aircraft, as well as most insurance companies. Our Certified Flight Instructors (CFIs) have thousands of hours of dual flight instruction given in both piston and turbine aircraft with the latest glass cockpit avionics.  Our training programs are designed to work around our students’ schedules and to help them meet their personal flight training goals.


April Gafford

CFI/Mentor Pilot
Founder: JATO Aviation

Ratings Held:
ATP, CFI/CFII, MEI, Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot (CSIP)
Type ratings: CE-500, SIC: CE-510
Veterans Airlift Command Pilot

Aircraft Specialty:
Cirrus SR20/SR22/SR22TN/SR22T, Pilatus PC12, TBM 850, Piper Matrix/Malibu/Meridian, Cessna Corvalis (formerly Columbia) 400/350, Cessna Citation 500/510.

Flight Experience/Training:
Over 4000 hours total flight time
Spirit Aviation: Part 135 Charter Pilot: King Air 200
JATO Aviation: Part 135 Charter Pilot: Pilatus PC12 UND/Cirrus Aircraft:    
Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot
Factory-trained: Cessna - G1000 CFAI plus; Columbia - Columbia 350/400:
Flight Safety: Citation I/II/V, King Air 200/C90B, Beech Baron, Cessna 414A
SIMCOM: Piper Matrix/Meridian, TBM 850, Pilatus PC12

Teaching Experience:
Over 3000 hours dual given Chief Flight Instructor: Diamond Aviation (2000 – 2009) and JATO Aviation (2004 – present) Turbine Transitions, Mentor Pilot , Technically Advanced Aircraft, WAAS FAA wings safety seminar instructor

What is rewarding to you about being a CFI?
Helping pilots achieve mastery of the aircraft and facilitating clients reaching their goals in aviation are incredibly rewarding to me. I also have a particular interest in Human Factors, developing best teaching practices, and promoting safety in aviation.


Carl Mauck

CFI/Mentor Pilot

Ratings Held:
ATP, CFI/CFII/MEI
Type Ratings: B-747, B-727, DC-10, DC-9, A-320, G-V, F-27, CE-510S

Aircraft Specialty:
Citation Mustang

Flight Experience/Training:
40 years as an airline pilot and captain for Northwest Airlines with extensive domestic and international flight experience in Mexico, Canada, Europe and Asia.

FlightSafety: Gulfstream V, Cessna Citation Mustang

Teaching Experience:
Flight instructor in technically advanced aircraft and very light jets since 2007.

What is rewarding to you about being a CFI?
Being able to share with others my enthusiasm for aviation.


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Bob Wood

Lead Flight Instructor (CFI, CFII)

Ratings Held:
ATP, CFI, CFII, MEI, AGI

Aircraft Specialty:
C-172 Stretch, Cirrus SR20, 22. TAA (G-1000, Cirrus Perspective)

 

Flight Experience and Training:
5000+ hrs ASEL, 28 yrs, Flight Attendant-United Airlines, Cirrus Certified Training Instructor

Teaching Experience:
Initial Flight Attendant Training Instructor UAL 1992-1994, Voice Acting Instructor (1992-Present), CFI, CFII-Diamond Aviation (2006-2013), CFI, CFII-JATO Aviation (2013-Present)

What is rewarding to you about being a CFI?      
“I make people’s Dreams come true”


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Mark Heidenreich

CFI/Mentor Pilot

Ratings Held:
CFI/CFII/AGI, Cirrus Training Center Instructor (TCI)

Aircraft Specialty:
Cirrus SR20/SR22TN/SR22T, Cessna, Tailwheel

Flight Experience/Training:
I've been intrigued with aviation since I was a young child, living in a house situated directly beneath the approach to LAX in the early '50s. I never gave serious consideration to a career path other than flying airplanes since then. My first lesson was in 1970, and I was instructing by 1973. In 1975 I found a solid corporate flying job I kept for the next 25 years. I began flying Cirrus aircraft in 2004. I left in 2000 to return to my native state and left corporate aviation for good in 2005.  

UND/Cirrus:    Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot (CSIP) – 2009

Teaching Experience:
I have been instructing again since 2009 and currently averaging 600 hours flight instruction annually.

What is rewarding to you about being a CFI?
Because no two people will perceive and acquire new information and skill in exactly the same way, I enjoy the challenge of attempting to tailor my approach to teaching in a manner best suited to the individual student pilot. Emphasis on fundamental flying skills is a priority with me.


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Tara Borton

CFI/Mentor Pilot, Assistant Chief Flight Instructor

Ratings Held:
CFI/CFII, Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot (CSIP), ASEL, ASES, AMEL

Aircraft Specialty:
Cirrus SR20/SR22TN/SR22T, Cessna 172/182/400T (Corvallis)

Flight Experience/Training:
Over 7000 hours total flight time

Aviation for me started when my grandmother and grandfather earned their pilot's certificates, bought a Cessna 182 and used it to pick up my brother and I at the Palo Alto airport for "visiting the grandparents" down in Southern California.  We flew with my grandparents and their monster white Samoyed all over the Western States.  We learned the Morse Code (no headsets) and watched VOR intercept and navigation on round dials. Years later, while in college, I took my first flying lesson and fell in love with the idea of becoming a flight instructor as I met CFI Mayetta Behringer, another amazing woman pilot!  I finished Stanford with a degree in Psychology, and by 1991, I too was a Certified Flight Instructor.  I began teaching flying in Southern California and in 1997 returned to the Bay Area airports. I began teaching in Cirrus aircraft in 2012.

Teaching Experience:
I have been flight instructing since 1991 and currently averaging 400 hours flight instruction annually

I have been instructor in many other areas since 1979 including: personal swimming trainer, Masters Swim Coach, Training and Development department GTE Sylvania

What is rewarding to you about being a CFI?
Getting to know my students.  I take a personal interest in every student's flying goals and strive to help them achieve them.

Moto: Every day is an opportunity for learning something new!


Joe Romson

CFI/Mentor Pilot

Ratings Held:
Commercial ASEL, CFI/CFII, Cirrus Training Center Instructor (TCI)

Aircraft Specialty:
Cirrus, Cessna, Light Sport, experimental Van’s RV (including aircraft construction)

Flight Experience and Training:
Private pilot since 1986, flying in San Francisco Bay area and Seattle. Additional training in gliders, aerobatic aircraft (C-150 aerobat, Citabria) and aircraft accident investigation.

Teaching Experience:
Biomedical educator for more than 30 years, (PhD in 1982, MD in 1986). Published author and lecturer, with areas of interest in Human Factors/Human Performance, Aviation Safety, Aero medical factors and Simulator based training.

What is rewarding to you about being a CFI?
Both the opportunity to share a very special activity with people (becoming a pilot or advancing their goals as a pilot) and seeking news ways to educate and develop better, safer pilots.


Daniel Heraldez

CFI/Mentor Pilot

Ratings Held: 
Commercial ASEL/AMEL, CFI/CFII/MEI, Cirrus Training Center Instructor (TCI)

Aircraft Specialty: 
Cirrus SR20/SR22/SR22TN (Avidyne and Perspective), C172-G1000

Flight Experience/Training:
Approximately 2100 hours total time

UND/Cirrus: Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot
NASA Ames Research: Contractor working on projects related to pilot performance and automation.

Teaching Experience: 
Experience teaching in PA28, C172SP, C172-G1000, C182-G1000, DA-20, DA-40, SR20, SR22, SR22TN

What is rewarding to you about being a CFI? 
Guiding a person with no aviation experience into becoming a safe, responsible, and competent pilot. There is great joy and exhilaration when your student successfully completes their first solo flight or safely returns from their first cross-country flight. It's also quite satisfying knowing that what I do helps promote and advance general aviation.


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Keith Johns

CFI/Mentor Pilot

Ratings Held:
CFI/CFII, Cirrus Training Center Instructor (TCI)

Aircraft Specialty:
Cessna 172, Cirrus SR20, G1000 Avionics

Flight Experience/Training:
I started my professional life teaching and playing music (trumpet). As a kid flying had always been a distant dream. By my late 20’s I decided to go for it, and after my first flight I knew I wanted to be a flight instructor. I continued to teach music and play my trumpet as I earned my PPL, Instrument rating, and Commercial certificate in 2000, 2001, and 2002 respectively. My career as a Flight Instructor began in 2010. More recently I earned my CFII certificate and my Cirrus Training Center Instructor qualification.

Teaching Experience:
I have taught instrumental music privately and in small groups for over 20 years. Together with my wife / business partner we own the Myriad Music School and Dance Academy in San Mateo with over 600 students and 30 instructors. I began flight instructing at Diamond Aviation in 2010 and joined JATO in 2014. In early 2017 I logged my first 1000 hours of flight instruction, and I look forward to every hour that follows.

What is rewarding to you about being a CFI?
My goal is to be the best instructor I can be for each student. As a teacher, discovering each student’s learning style and identifying their strengths and challenges is a deeply rewarding process for me. Beyond developing the essential skills of becoming a pilot, I hope to guide my students to new insights and experiences that inspire them toward the endless pursuit of a better self.

“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.” - Mark van Doren
“The real secret to success is enthusiasm.” - Walter Chrysler


Ramon Rick

CFI/Mentor Pilot

Ratings Held:
CFI/CFII/MEI, Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot (CSIP)

Aircraft Specialty:
Cirrus SR20/SR22/SR22TN/SR22T

Flight Experience and Training:
Cirrus Aircraft Factory Trained Instructor, Multiengine Instructor, Helicopter Pilot, Stanford PhD in Applied Physics, Stanford MBA in Business Administration

Teaching Experience:
Flight Instructor since 2007. Cirrus Instructor since 2014.

When not teaching aviation, I am a budding entrepreneur and investor in the technology space.

What is rewarding to you about being a CFI?
I fly extensively for business and pleasure. Through teaching, I wish to serve as a long term mentor to prospective and fellow pilots.


 

Greg West

Cirrus Platinum CSIP

Ratings Held:
ATP, CFII, MEI, Embraer E190/170 regional jet

Aircraft Specialty:
Cirrus SR22T, SR22TN, SR22, SR20, Avidyne and Perspective

Flight Experience and Training:
3500 Cirrus hours, Charter Pilot using a Cirrus, Corporate Pilot for various Bay Area companies, owns an SR22 Avidyne based at SJC

Teaching Experience:
2000+ hours teaching in all varieties of Cirrus aircraft

What is rewarding to you about being a CFI?
It is enjoyable to watch clients reach milestones and realize their dreams.


Scott Young

CFI, CFII, Cirrus Training Center Instructor

Ratings:
Commercial ASEL, CFI/CFII, Cirrus Training Center Instructor; Flight Surgeon - US Navy

Aircraft Specialty:
Technically Advanced Aircraft, Cirrus SR20/SR22/SR22T/SR22TN, C172 G-1000

Flight Experience and Training:
Seven years old and sitting in the backseat of a Cessna with a former World War-2 fighter pilot at the controls.  I was hooked and dreamt of flying from that day forward. Working odd jobs paid for a private pilots license. Since then I joined the US Navy, flying and practicing aerospace medicine as a Flight Surgeon.  There I learned safety, systems and team work as a core flying ethic.

My experience ranges from tailwheel flying in a Cessna C-140 to training student naval aviators in a TA-4J Skyhawk. In addition I’ve served on a number of safety and aerospace training teams with efforts ranging from mishap investigation to curriculum design.

Teaching Experience:
Wide ranging experiences that spans targeted training environment (jet aviation) to instructing private pilot students in technically advanced (GA) aircraft.  I’ve taught not only the ground and flying component but also safety systems/practices, human factors and survival skills. 

What is rewarding to you about being a CFI?
Very simply helping someone achieve the dream of flight.


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MATTHEW W FISHER

CFI, Lieutenant USNR

Ratings Held:
CFI/CFII/MEI

Aircraft Specialty:
Single and multi-engine Cessna, Piper, and Beech aircraft

Flight Experience/Training:
Over 1000 hours of flight time in wide variety of general aviation aircraft.

I earned my private pilot certificate at the Norfolk Navy Flying Club in 2000 and completed my instrument rating at the Langley AFB Aero Club in 2003, while serving on active duty in the U.S. Navy. Many of my primary flight instructors were prior and active fighter pilots.  In the fall of 2007, about three years into a break from flying, I was invited to go on a ride along with Neils Agather and pilot his Beech 18 to Midland, Texas, where we boarded another fully restored WWII warbird: the B-24 Liberator. Needless to say, this chance of a lifetime experience quickly catapulted me back into aviation.  I immediately enrolled into the commercial pilot and CFI program at American Flyers Flight School and vowed to continue to share my passion for aviation as a flight instructor.

Teaching Experience:
I began flight instructing under Part 141 in 2008 at American Flyer in Addison, Texas immediately after completing my initial CFI, where I instructed students ranging from private pilot applicants to certified flight instructors.  In 2014, I was once again called up by the Navy to serve on active duty in Okinawa, Japan.  I landed a part-time flight instructor position at the Kadena AFB Aero Club, and for almost a year, I instructed students overseas on island flying and international procedures in both Cessna and Liberty aircraft.

What is rewarding to you about being a CFI?
As flight instructors, we learn more from our students than we ever could from flying alone. Every flight is a new adventure for both the student and the instructor.