About Our Team

Tampa Bay Aviation
laura taylor tampa bay aviation

Laura Taylor

Owner, Chief Airplane Pilot, Airplane Charter Pilot

Laura Taylor has been a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI, CFII, MEI) in airplanes since 2006. She comes from a family of pilots and grew up around aviation, which fueled her passion. Laura and her husband, Zack, opened up the flight school in March of 2012 and have truly enjoyed growing the company to where it stands today and introducing hundreds of new people to aviation. Laura has completed the Cirrus Factory training to become a Cirrus Instructor (CSIP) and enjoys transitioning people in our SR22 or SR20, or their own aircraft. In addition to flight instructing, Laura also enjoys flying as a contract pilot in a King Air 350, Challenger 604/605, and Citations. When not flying, Laura enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons and being on the water.

Laura has the following ratings:
• Commercial: Single/Multi Engine Land & Sea
• Airline Transport Pilot: Fixed Wing
• Certified Flight Instructor: Fixed Wing CFI, CFII, MEI

zack taylor tampa bay aviation

Zack Taylor

Owner, Chief Helicopter Pilot, Helicopter Charter Pilot

Zack currently oversees Tampa Bay Aviation’s part 61 and part 141 helicopter flight school as chief helicopter instructor and is also Tampa Bay Aviation’s helicopter charter chief pilot as well as director of operations. His previous experience includes flying Eurocopters for AirLife in Florida and Georgia as well as Bell Helicopters in the Gulf of Mexico to the oil platforms. Zack’s extensive experience and knowledge with helicopters drives Tampa Bay Aviation’s helicopter flight school to exceed expectations and continue to grow into a prestigious establishment also including helicopter tours and now helicopter charters.

Zack has the following ratings:
• Airline Transport Pilot: Helicopter
• Certified Flight Instructor: Helicopter CFI, CFII
• Commercial: Single Engine Land

Airplane Instructors

mike coston tampa bay aviaition

Mike Coston

Airplane Flight Instructor

Mike was born in Nashua, NH and raised in a military family. After his father retired from the Navy in 2001 his family moved to Melbourne, FL where Mike started his first flight lessons. He graduated from Florida State University in 2012, became a loan officer and quickly realized that working in a cubicle was not for him. Started and completed his flight training at ATP flight school in 2015 before starting his professional pilot career at Tampa Bay Aviation.

Mike currently holds the following ratings:

  • Commercial: Single/Multi Engine Land
  • Certified Flight Instructor: Fixed Wing CFI, CFII, MEI
eugene croft tampa bay aviation

Eugene Croft

Airplane Flight Instructor

Gene Croft was born and raised in Silver Spring, Maryland and flew as a Navigator/Combat Systems Officer upon receiving his commission in the United States Air Force. He has served abroad multiple times in all recent major military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other volatile regional areas around the globe. Gene has a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering with an emphasis in flight testing and aerodynamics. He trained at Airline Transport Professionals (ATP) Flight School in Saint Petersburg, and enjoys spending his time off with his family boating, fishing and relaxing.

Gene has the following ratings:

  • Commercial: Single/Multi Engine Land
  • Certified Flight Instructor: Fixed Wing CFI, CFII, MEI
mario espaillat tampa bay aviation

Mario Espaillat

Airplane Flight Instructor

Mario was born and raised in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic before moving to the US in 2005. Mario’s dream to become a pilot started before he was in Kindergarden and he began to pursue his career in aviation as soon as he moved to the US. Mario earned his Commercial and Instructor ratings in 2013. Mario’s dynamic personality and passion for flying make him a great instructor.

Mario has the following ratings:

  • Commercial: Single/Multi Engine Land
  • Certified Flight Instructor: Fixed Wing CFI, CFII, MEI
durrant pettey tampa bay aviation

Durrant Pettey

Airplane Flight Instructor

Durrant was born in Washington D.C. and moved to Utah with his family while he still young. Durrant’s love for flying began as a child when he flew with his father to various work conferences. While living in Utah Durrant received his private pilot certificate from Leading Edge Aviation and graduated from the University of Utah. After graduation he spent the next several years as a buyer before moving to Florida to complete his ratings at ATP and Tampa Bay Aviation. Now he is a full time flight instructor with Tampa Bay Aviation focusing on private pilot training and DA 42 multi engine training.

Durrant has the following ratings:

  • Commercial: Single/Multi Engine Land
  • Certified Flight Instructor: Fixed Wing CFI, MEI
larry gosselin tampa bay aviation

Larry Gosselin

Airplane Flight Instructor

Born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia Larry gained interest in flying as a kid while attending air shows at the Norfolk Naval Station. He joined the US Air Force in 2007 as a turbo prop engine mechanic. Shortly after, Larry moved to Little Rock, Arkansas where he received his flight training at Central Flying Service.

Larry holds the following ratings:

  • Commercial: Single/ Multi Engine Land
  • Certified Flight Instructor: Fixed Wing CFI, CFII, MEI

Helicopter Instructors

rose presley tampa bay aviation

Rose Presely

Helicopter Flight Instructor, Helicopter Tour Pilot

Growing up with both her father and grandfather as private pilots, flying runs in the Rose family. Presley grew up in Fayetteville, West Virginia and moved to Titusville, Florida after high school to pursue her love for aviation. She attended Bristow Academy where she obtained her helicopter instrument, commercial and certified flight instructor ratings, becoming a Whirly Girl in 2014. Now Presley’s goal is to help others achieve their dreams of flying, as she is grateful to have been able to achieve her dream and wishes to share the experience with others. “To most the sky is the limit. To a pilot, it is home.”

Presley has the following ratings:

  • Commercial: Helicopter
  • Certified Flight Instructor: Helicopter
Roland Collins tampa bay aviation

Roland Collins

Helicopter Tour Pilot

Roland’s interest in aviation goes back to a very young age and got started at the age of 18 when he began flying fixed-wing aircraft at Daniel Webster College in Nashua, NH. After more than two decades, which included careers of nearly the same amount of time in police work and insurance fraud investigations, he returned to flying, but this time in helicopters. Now he enjoys regular dual assignments, the first flying tours at TBA’s Albert Whitted Airport location entertaining tourists and locals alike with tours of St. Petersburg and the area beaches in the Robinson R44 Raven I. And, the second, performing news gathering tasks for iHeart Media Group, flying their ENG equipped Robinson 44 Astro helicopter.

Roland has the following ratings:

  • Commercial Pilot – Helicopter
  • Instrument Rating – Helicopter
Ronnie Morales tampa bay aviation

Ronnie Morales

Helicopter Flight Instructor

Originally from South Coastal Georgia, Ronnie put aside his career in construction to pursue his dream of becoming a helicopter pilot. Moving to Central Florida to attend Bristow Academy in 2012, he earned his Private, Instrument, Commercial, Certified Flight Instructor and Certified flight Instructor Instrument Ratings. After working as a flight instructor at Bristow for 2 years, Ronnie was excited to join Tampa Bay Aviation in March of 2016. Along with being a flight instructor at TBA, Ronnie also pilots Discovery flights and private tours of the beautiful Clearwater are. Ronnie’s passion is to fly and he is proudly Living the dream

Ronnie has the following ratings:

  • Certified Flight Instructor: Helicopter CFI, CFII

Interested? Contact Us.

If you are interested in learning to fly contact us and we will get back to you right away.

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