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!


Roy Richardson, JATO Aviation flight instructor

Roy Richardson

Certified Flight Instructor/Cirrus Platinum CSIP/Charter Pilot

Ratings Held:
Flight Instructor - single engine, land and sea, multi-engine land, Airline Transport Pilot - Multi-Engine, Commercial Pilot - Single Engine, Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic, Authorized Maintenance Inspector.

Aircraft Specialty:
Cirrus Aircraft, Most Cessna, Piper, and Beechcraft. I, also specialize in tailwheel and Experimental Aircraft.

Flight Experience:
Approximately 18,500 hours total flight time including 3,000 Cirrus, 6,000 Cessna, 2,000 Tailwheel, 2,000 Multi-engine. 

Teaching Experience:
I have been teaching full-time since 1986, with the bulk of my flight experience being instruction given.

What is rewarding to you about being a CFI?
Probably the most rewarding event of flight instruction is the soloing of a student; being a participant and watching a student grow on their aviation journey is extremely rewarding; friendships that are made and kept through the years.


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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.


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MATTHEW W FISHER

CFI / Cirrus TCI

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 instructed students overseas on island flying and international operating procedures in both Cessna and Liberty Aircraft.  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.  

                                           


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Tammy Burton

CFI/Mentor Pilot/Charter Pilot

Ratings Held: 
ATP, CFI/CFII, MEI/MEII, TCI (Cirrus Training Instructor,) AGI

Aircraft Specialty:
Cirrus, Pilatus, Cessna, Piper, Embraer, Bonanza, Gliders, Tailwheel

Flight Experience:
Over 8000 hours total time including 3600 hours turbine, 3700 hours multi-engine, and 3000 hours as a flight instructor. 

What is rewarding to you about being a CFI?
I started flying shortly after my undergraduate degree primarily to check a box on my lengthy “bucket list,” but earning a Private Pilot Certificate turned out to be just the beginning of my lifelong passion for aviation. As a Flight Instructor, I not only get to share my passion for aviation with others – but I also get to play a role in shaping the safe and knowledgeable pilots of the future. 


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Bill Frank

Certified Flight Instructor / Cirrus Platinum CSIP / Mentor pilot / Charter pilot

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

Type ratings:
CE-500 (Citation), EMB 500 (Phenom)

Aircraft Specialty:
Cirrus SR20, SR22, SR22TN, SR22T, Pilatus PC12NG, TBM 900 series, Cessna Citation, Embraer 100, Columbia/Corvallis 350 & 400, Piper Meridian

Flight Experience/Training:
I’ve been flying for 45 Years and instructing for the past 39 years. Over that span of time I have accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience (sometimes the hard way!) that I can pass on to others. That said, I have yet to fly the “perfect“ flight and am constantly learning along with my students and clients. I have flown close to 100 aircraft types from Stinsons to Phenoms and love most anything with wings. I’ve flown aircraft in every state of the union and throughout Canada, Central America and South America. 

Teaching experience:
With the advent of technically advanced aircraft I began focusing my instructing on working with pilots to understand these technical advancements and safety features. I provide specialized training in mountain flying for owners of these technically advanced aircraft. I have been chairman of the Cirrus CSIP advisory program and I am a course developer and instructor for the Cirrus Pilot Proficiency Program (CPPP). I am also lead instructor for the Cessna Advanced Aircraft Recurrent Training (CAART) program. I work as a mentor pilot for turbo prop and jet transitions.

What is rewarding to you about being a CFI?
I am absolutely passionate about helping pilots up their game, become better risk managers and achieve their goals as pilots. I want pilots to be able to get the maximum usage out of their aircraft and employ instructing techniques incorporating weather tactics and aeronautical decision making.


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THOMAS DANIEL

CFI/Mentor Pilot

Ratings Held:
CFI/CFII, AGI, Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot (CSIP) EASA (Europe) and South African PPL

Aircraft Specialty:
Cirrus SR20/SR22/SR22TN/SR22T, Cessna 172/182, TAA (G1000, Perspective), tailwheel (Citabria)

Flight Experience/Training:
3000 hours total flight time. I've been been flying single engine pistons in Central and South America, Bahamas, Europe and South Africa. For the last 5 years, I organized annual Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) trips to Mexico averaging 20 airplanes. I own and fly a Cirrus SR22TN out of San Carlos. http://cfi.thomas-daniel.com

Teaching Experience:
Flight Instructor since 2011, teaching full time.  Instructor at Cirrus Pilot Proficiency Program (CPPP).

What is rewarding to you about being a CFI?
I am obsessed with safety, but I smile each time we take off and I want to you to smile too, have fun and enjoy flying. Each pilot, each aircraft and each flight brings new discoveries, which I want to share with you.