Peak Aviation Center is proud to offer the largest staff of Flight Instructors in all of Colorado Springs. Our instructors are all highly trained and diligently aspire to be the absolute best instructors available. Some of our instructors are University trained with advanced aviation degrees while others have careers outside of aviation and work as instructors because they love imparting their knowledge of aviation to students. Below is a bio of each instructor with a personal note from him as well. Please call or stop by to meet our instructors and to decide which instructor would best suit you!
John Clare-Panton - Full Time - Chief Flight Instructor
Able to train: private through ATP (single and multi-engine), checkouts, flight reviews, instrument proficiency checks,
certificates / ratings: ATP Airplane Single and Multi-engine, Gold Seal CFI, Instrument, Multi-engine
John is a gold seal instructor, formally of the R.A.F., and has flown in Europe, and both the Middle and Far East. He has over six thousand hours of dual instruction given and has graduated students in all disciplines from Private through ATP. Prior to joining Peak Aviation Center, he was project manager with British Aerospace on the Tornado Aircraft program in Saudi Arabia.
A note from John: Teaching students to fly is a privilege and one of the most satisfying occupations. I want our students to receive the very best quality of instruction not only in the air but throughout the learning process towards their goals. Colorado Springs provides the very best environment for developing pilots who can successfully manage the very variable conditions that flying has to offer. We at Peak Aviation Center want you to enjoy your transition from ground dweller to "Aviator" in a manner providing a lasting memory of your success.
Wick Taylor - Full Time - Instructor
Able to instruct- private thru ATP (excluding initial CFI) flight reviews, instrument proficiency checks, aircraft checkouts, mountain flying courses.
certificates / ratings: CFI single, multi and instrument.
Wick grew up in a small town in Wyoming and graduated from Idaho State University in 2008. Three years out of college he decided to chase the dream of becoming an airline pilot. All of his training was completed in Phoenix AZ at a school that specializes in professional aviation. Prior to instructing here, Wick instructed in Jacksonville FL and Las Vegas NV. He is now here instructing with us, still in pursuit of the airline dream. A note from Wick: I am very passionate about flying and instructing. Although my long term goal is the airlines, I take a lot of pride in my work as an instructor. I train each student to be as safe as pilot as possible and encourage life long learning. I enjoy the variety of training conditions that Colorado Springs has to offer.
Jim Van Namee- Part Time (Wednesday-Saturday) - Instructor
Able to train: single and multi-engine, private, instrument, commercial, checkouts, flight reviews, instrument proficiency checks, mountain checkouts
certificates / ratings: Commercial Airplane Single and Multi-engine, Instrument, Glider
Jim is a Flight & Instrument Instructor, formerly of the US Navy, and has flown in the Mediterranean Sea area and South-East Asia. He has almost 3500 hours flying the F-4 Phantom II and other tactical fighters. He also has over 3300 hours of dual instuction given and has graduated students in all disciplines from Private, Instrument, Commercial and Flight Instructor. Prior to moving to Colorado Springs, he operated a flight school in Taos, NM and was the Director of Mountain Flying Training for the New Mexico Pilot's Association. Jim was an aviation writer for Southwest Aviator and America Flyways. Before joining Peak Aviation Center, he was Assistant Chief Instructor at the USAF Academy Aero Club.
A note from Jim:
Teaching students to fly is a satisfying endeavor. I want to bring my training and background in Naval Aviation to the discipline of learning to fly. Having spent 22 years flying fighter airplanes taught me a great deal about attention to detail. I hope to instill this into my students thought process and flying skills.
Ali Ghorashi - Part Time (evenings and weekends) - Instructor
Able to train: private through ATP (single and multi engine), checkouts, flight reviews, instrument proficiency checks, mountain checkouts, GPS proficiency, autopilots
certificates / ratings: CFI, instrument, single and multi-engine
Ali started flying in Pearland, TX (near Houston) at Clover Field Airport in 1998 after obtaining an Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Louisiana. His initial training was conducted in Piper Warriors, Archers, and Arrows.
In 2000, he moved to Colorado and has been flying around Colorado Springs since then. He has flown out of both Meadow Lake and Colorado Springs Municipal airports. He obtained his CFI in 2003 and both his CFII and MEI in 2004 at Peak Aviation in Colorado Springs. At the same time, he obtained a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
A note from Ali:
I have been passionate about flying for as long as I can remember. As an instructor, I have a chance to share that joy with my students and continue to learn about flying from each one of them. As someone who learned to fly while working full time, I can offer incite into flying on a limited time budget.
Rob moved to the Colorado Springs area from Dayton, Ohio.
After obtaining his CFI rating, he immediately put his skills to work as a Flight Instructor for a local area flying club in Dayton. He eventually went on to obtain his CFII and MEI ratings.
A note from Rob:
A career in the field of aviation has been the primary driving force for all my training. From the start of my pilot training, my goal was to obtain a commercial rating and immediately seek employment with the airlines. But my training quickly led to a desire to obtain additional ratings and certifications. In 1999, I met an extremely knowledgeable individual by the name of Jim Walden who had years of aviation experience as a FAA Designated Examiner, Flight Instructor, and Corporate Pilot. Jim was willing to give me the kind of unparalleled flight training I could truly benefit from in becoming both a safe and proficient pilot. With his guidance and understanding of what it takes to be a successful pilot, the goal of becoming a CFI soon became a reality.
In searching for a pilot training center to instruct at in the Colorado Springs area, I wanted to teach at a school that provided the best and highest quality flight training in the most efficient and cost effective fashion possible. After talking with several different flight schools in the local area, it became quite evident that Peak Aviation Center held to this standard.
Learning to fly is a dream many talk and dream about. If your goal is to fly for pleasure, business, or professionally, Peak Aviation Center can help you achieve that goal!
Jerome Bierut - Part Time (afternoons and evenings) - Instructor
Able to train: single-engine, private, instrument, commercial, checkouts, flight reviews, complex, high performance
certificates / ratings: CFI, instrument
Jerome was a flight instructor in Ohio before moving to Colorado. As a passionate golfer and pilot he has a great ability to relate to students and his breadth of experience are a great asset to any student.
A note from Jerome:
I am addicted to golf and passionate about flying. I started flying at the age of sixteen. That was several presidents ago! After a quarter century in the high stress computer tech world, I am now fortunate to be able to supplement my retirement from both the aviation and golf industries. Life is good.
Al Mathews - Full time (on call) - Co-Owner
Able to train: single-engine, private, commercial, checkouts, flight reviews, mountain checkouts
certificates / ratings: CFI, instrument
Al has been a pilot for 30 years, flying various general aviation aircraft during his career as an Air Force Communications Engineer. He is the Vice-President and co-owner of Peak Aviation Center and is a Certificated Flight Instructor. He and Pat Carlile have established High Hopes for Teens, a non-profit program to introduce at-risk youth to aviation. He has worked directly with youth in a number of different areas of aviation, scouting, and church mission projects; including taking many up for their first flights.
Pat Carlile - Part Time (on call) - Owner
Able to train: single-engine, multi-engine, private, commercial, checkouts, flight reviews, mountain checkouts, helicopter transitions
certificates / ratings: CFI, MEI, ME ATP
Pat has been flying professionally for 30 years. He was a career Army pilot, both rotary and fixed wing and a school trained test pilot. He has flown more than 45 different aircraft and has approximately 8000 total hours military and civilian combined. He holds a Multi-engine ATP/MEI/CFI airplane ratings as well as commercial Helicopter with Instrument. He currently flies corporate and charter out of the Colorado Jet Center but is available with coordination for instruction and pilot services.