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About Our Team

Tampa Bay Aviation

 

Laura Taylor

Owner, Airplane Charter Pilot, C-SIP

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:
‚ÄĘ Commercial: Single/Multi Engine Land & Sea
‚ÄĘ Airline Transport Pilot: Fixed Wing
‚ÄĘ Certified Flight Instructor: Fixed Wing CFI, CFII, MEI

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:
‚ÄĘ Airline Transport Pilot: Helicopter
‚ÄĘ Certified Flight Instructor: Helicopter CFI, CFII
‚ÄĘ Commercial: Single Engine Land

Chief and Assistant Chief Pilots

jason paul

Chief Fixed-Wing Pilot

Bio coming soon.

Dennis Berghuijs

Assistant Chief Helicopter Instructor, Helicopter Tour Pilot, Helicopter and Fixed-Wing Charter Pilot

Dennis Berghuijs, originally from The Netherlands, moved to Florida in 2013 to pursue a career in the aviation industry. After successfully completing the FAA and EASA pilot programs, he became an active Certified Flight Instructor in 2014 and joined Tampa Bay Aviation in 2016. In addition to instruction, Dennis does Tour, Photography and Charter flights.

Dennis has the following ratings:

  • Commercial: Helicopter
  • Airline Transport Pilot: Helicopter
  • Certified Flight Instructor: Helicopter CFI, CFII
  • Ground Instructor: Advanced
  • Commercial: Airplane Single Engine Land
  • Certified Flight Instructor: Fixed Wing CFI, CFII
  • Cirrus:¬† TCI

Airplane Instructors

Alex Russo

 Airplane Flight Instructor

Born in Syracuse, NY Alex moved to Florida when he was three years old.¬† Most of Alex family is involved in commercial aviation.¬† His father was a captain for American Airlines while his mom was a flight attendant for American also.¬† Alex’ brother was also a flight instructor until he was recently hired at Piedmont.¬† Alex attended Florida State University and graduated with a BS in political science and international affairs.¬† After graduating, he took the LSAT as he was considering to law school but also took an introductory flight.¬† After that flight, he switched over to aviation and has never looked back.

 

Alex has the following ratings:

  • Commercial: Airplane Single Engine Land, Multi Engine Land
  • Certified Flight Instructor: Airplane CFI, CFII, MEI
  • Ground Instructor: Advanced, Instrument
 

Brandon Goff

 Airplane Flight Instructor

Brandon is from Melbourne Florida and has dreamed of a flying career his entire life.¬† After playing four years of baseball at Southeastern University, he graduated with a Bachelor’s in Marketing and at 22 decided to take the plunge into the world of aviation.¬† Flying is his passion and it shows.

Brandon has the following ratings:

  • Commercial: Airplane Single Engine Land, Multi Engine Land
  • Certified Flight Instructor: Airplane CFI, CFII, MEI
  • Ground Instructor: Advanced, Instrument
 

Clive Charpentier

Airplane Flight Instructor

Clive was born here in Florida and has lived here in Pinellas County since 1982.  After graduating from Dunedin High School where he played in the school and City of Dunedin Pipeband, he became a master certified Marine Technician.  After 25 years in the marine sector, Clive took the plunge in 2011 and has moved into the aviation sector. He hopes to enjoy his time instructing others who love to fly while he builds time to become an airline pilot.

Clive has the following ratings:

  • Commercial: Airplane Single Engine Land, Airplane Multi-Engine Land
  • Certified Flight Instructor: Airplane CFI, CFII, MEI

Zachary Carter

Airplane Flight Instructor

Zachary is a native Floridian, born and raised in Tampa.¬† He learned to fly when he was 20 years old, and knew that is what he wanted as his chosen career. ¬†He attended Polk State College, majoring in Professional Pilot Science, where he was a member of their Flight Team and competed in a navigation event as well as a short-field landing event. After completing his education at Polk State, Zach obtained his¬†CFI with Tampa Bay Aviation’s CFI Training Program.¬† Upon completion of the CFI Training Program, he was offered a job teaching with Tampa Bay Aviation.¬†¬†Zach has his High Performance and Complex endorsements.

Giving back to the aviation community through flight instruction is an important step in his career.  Providing his students the best teaching possible, safety, and continually improving him self as a pilot is his paramount concern.  Someday in the future, he wants to fly cargo for a major freight company. 

Zach has the following ratings:

  • Commercial: Airplane Single Engine Land
  • Certified Flight Instructor: Airplane CFI, CFII

Zach Williams

Airplane Flight Instructor

Zach was born and raised in Florida. He took his first introduction flight with Tampa Bay Aviation at the age of 12 years old and fell in love with flying. Zach continued working on his ratings from Private to CFI and upon completion of the CFI Training Program he was offered a job teaching with Tampa Bay Aviation. Zach is currently working toward finishing his Bachelor’s in Business Administration with St. Petersburg College.

Zach enjoys sharing the art of flying with students and takes pride in helping others achieve their aviation goals as he pushes onward to his dream of flying for the airlines.

Zach has the following ratings:

  • Commercial: Airplane Single Engine Land
  • Certified Flight Instructor: Airplane CFI, CFII

Prescott Wilson

Airplane Flight Instructor

Prescott was born and raised in Pensacola, Florida where he grew up playing sports and enjoying the beautiful beaches of the gulf coast. Prescott’s mother and sister work as Flight Attendants for American Airlines so he has always dreamed of being a pilot. While attending the University of West Florida, he began taking steps to make that happen. He was able to receive his private pilot’s license in Foley, Alabama. He then continued his training in Dallas, Texas where he earned his commercial single/multi-engine license and his instructor/instrument instructor certification. Since then, he has returned to his home state to instruct and help others achieve that same dream. 

Prescott has the following ratings:

  • Commercial: Airplane Single Engine Land, Multi-Engine Land
  • Certified Flight Instructor: Airplane CFI, CFII, MEI

Ryan Polder

Airplane Flight Instructor

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Ryan became interested in aviation as a toddler after watching the U.S Navy Blue Angels perform at an airshow. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, he had a successful career as an electronic controls engineer. Ryan has been flying since 2012, and moved to Florida in order to pursue his dreams as a pilot while taking advantage of the year-round flying weather. He was offered a position as an instructor after graduating Tampa Bay Aviation’s CFI Training Program. Ryan became a flight instructor to share his passion and knowledge of aviation with others, and enjoys helping build students’ skills as they achieve their own goals. His long term career aspirations include charter operations, advanced flight instruction and flight test engineering.

Ryan has the following ratings:

  • Commercial: Airplane Single Engine Land
  • Certified Flight Instructor: Airplane CFI, CFII

Isaiah Karsen

Airplane Flight Instructor

Isaiah was born and raised in Michigan. He attended North Western Michigan college where he earned his pilot ratings up to commercial license. During his commercial check ride process he had come down to Florida to fly (better weather) and finished his commercial, CFI, and CFII ratings. Isaiah was hired directly from our CFI class when a spot opened up. His goal is to earn his hours and work for a regional airline or a cargo company.

Isaiah has the following ratings:

  • Commercial: Airplane Single Engine Land
  • Certified Flight Instructor: Airplane CFI, CFII

emily leist

Airplane Flight Instructor

Emily is a 3rd generation pilot and her enthusiasm for aviation shows from the moment you meet her. After taking an introductory flight with Tampa Bay Aviation last year, she knew she had chosen the right career path and community of instructors to guide her. She’s completed her private certificate and CFI program all while earning her associate’s degree at St. Petersburg College. To continue toward her dream of flying cargo she is working toward her degree in Aviation Business Administration at Embry Riddle’s online program. She is excited to help students become the best pilots they can be!

Emily has the following ratings:

  • Commercial: Airplane Single Engine Land
  • Certified Flight Instructor: Airplane CFI

max walker

Airplane Flight Instructor

Max was born and raised in Tampa, Florida. He grew up playing sports and enjoying other outdoor activities until he found his true passion for aviation. Max knew he wanted to be a pilot after his first introduction flight with us in 2017. From there, he has achieved his Private and Commercial Multi-Engine ratings with Tampa Bay Aviation. Max is currently working on his Bachelors in Personal Finance at the University of South Florida. 

He enjoys his office in the sky and helping students accomplish their aviation goals. Max’s long term goal is to become an airline pilot and travel the world. 

Max has the following ratings:

  • Commercial: Airplane Single Engine Land, Multi-Engine Land
  • Certified Flight Instructor: Airplane CFI, CFII

    wes davis

    Airplane Flight Instructor

    Wesley Davis is a Florida native, born in Dunedin, Florida. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Sciences. After graduating college, he took the MCAT to pursue a career in medicine¬†while simultaneously receiving flying lessons to diversify his background. After obtaining his private pilot license at Tampa Bay Aviation, he quickly realized flying was his true calling and pursued further pilot and instructor certificates instead of medicine. He enjoys seeing his student’s develop into confident and skillful pilots ready to navigate the skies!¬†

    Wesley has the following ratings:

    • Commercial: Airplane Single Engine Land, Airplane Multi-Engine Land
    • Certified Flight Instructor: Airplane CFI, CFII, MEI

      tyler smith

      Airplane Flight Instructor

      Tyler Smith is a Florida native, born and raised in Brandon, FL. He has been flying since 2013. He graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach with a Bachelor’s¬†Degree in Aeronautics. During his time at Embry-Riddle, he pursued¬†his pilot¬†ratings while attending classes. After graduating college, he pursued¬†a career in surveying and mapping with drones while attending the CFI course at Tampa Bay Aviation. His true passion is teaching aviation. He went on to complete the CFI course at Tampa Bay Aviation and was offered an instructor position after completing the CFI program.
      Aviation is his passion. He enjoys helping people accomplish their goals in aviation. 
      His goal is to eventually teach Aerobatic and Tailwheel flight training with future goals of going to the Airlines or Unmanned aviation operations.
      Tyler has the following ratings:
      • Commercial: Airplane Single Engine Land, Airplane Multi-Engine Land
      • Certified Flight Instructor: Airplane CFI

        juan leon

        Airplane Flight Instructor

        Juan Leon is an experienced Airline Transport Pilot and Flight Instructor for single and multi-engine airplanes and instrument ratings.  He has flown for a Part 135 air carrier but his primary experience is in corporate aviation., He was a factory demo pilot and instructor at Beechcraft. He was a corporate pilot in Kings Airs and Falcons and was also an instructor and Designated Pilot Examiner at CAE on Falcon models.

        Juan has the following ratings:

        • Commercial: Airplane Single Engine Land, Airplane Multi-Engine Land, Airplane Single Engine Sea
        • Certified Flight Instructor: Airplane CFI, CFII, MEI
        • Airline Transport Pilot: Airplane
        • Cirrus certified Training Center Instructor (TCI)
        Mike Longnecker

        Tony Johnstone

        Aerobatic Airplane Flight Instructor

        Tony Johnstone, MD, has been flying since high school in 1967.  He has been instructing aerobatics and tailwheel since 2003 and has given over 2000 hours of dual in his Super Decathlon.  Tony also holds a CFII, MEI, ATP with 2 type ratings in jets, Commercial Seaplane and Glider ratings, and has been in the past designated Master CFI-Aerobatic.  He is a FAASTEAM rep with the Tampa FSDO and a retired general surgeon who practiced in Canada and then Kansas for a total of 30 years.  Tony worked as a demo/transportation pilot for Cessna in Wichita following his retirement from surgery.

        Tony has the following ratings:

        • ATP: Airplane Multi-Engine Land
        • Type Rating:¬† C525, C560XLS
        • Commercial: Airplane Single Engine Land, Multi-Engine Land, Single Engine Seaplane, Glider
        • Certified Flight Instructor: Airplane CFI, CFII, MEI
        • Ground Instructor: Advanced
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        Ryan Rokicki

        Airplane Flight Instructor

        Ryan was born and raised in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. He knew he wanted to be a pilot ever since his intro flight in 2017. He attended NorthWestern Michigan College to pursue his flying career and received an associate’s degree. He also received his CFI certificate right here at Tampa Bay Aviation. Ryan has played ice hockey since the age of 10 and still continues to play in his free time. He is excited to instruct here at Tampa Bay Aviation and help other students achieve their goals.

        Ryan has the following ratings:

        • Commercial: Airplane Single Engine Land, Airplane Multi-Engine Land
        • Certified Flight Instructor: Airplane CFI
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        Ben Phillips

        Airplane Flight Instructor

        Born in Cincinnati Ohio, Ben’s first flight was at 6 months old with his father flying a helicopter. Ben started training in Ohio and quickly moved to Tampa Bay Aviation to escape the weather. He finished his private license and continued thru his certified flight instructor instrument rating here. Ben is excited to help others on their path. His long-term goals include a job in the airline industry.

        Ryan has the following ratings:

        • Certified Flight Instructor: Airplane CFI,CFII

        Helicopter Instructors

        Josh Montour

        Helicopter Instructor, Helicopter Tour Pilot

        Josh was born in Vermont and then went on to attend Southern Utah University. Josh trained in Cedar City, UT where he worked through all of his helicopter ratings. He would like to work as an EMS pilot and then work his way up to fire/utility flying!

        Josh Montour has the following ratings:

        • Commercial:¬†Helicopter
        • Flight Instructor: Helicopter CFI, CFII

        Carlo Biagini

        Helicopter Flight Instructor 

        Carlo is from Santa Rosa, California and began instructing in airplanes in 1991. After 12 years of fixed wing instruction, he decided it was time for a change and began a new challenge instructing in helicopters. He considers himself fortunate to have joined the exceptional team at Tampa Bay Aviation in 2018. Carlo would eventually like to pursue a career in fire fighting, EMS, or Search and Rescue

        Carlo Biagini has the following ratings:

        • Airline Transport Pilot: Helicopter, Airplane Multi Engine Land
        • Commercial:¬†Helicopter, Airplane Single Engine Land
        • Flight Instructor: Helicopter CFI, CFII; Airplane CFI, CFII, MEI
        • Ground Instructor: Advanced, Instrument
        Grace Summers Helicopter Instructor

        Grace Summers

         Helicopter Flight Instructor 

         Grace was born and raised in Cordova, TN. She played 4 years of tennis at Eastern Illinois University and graduated with a B.S. in Exercise Science. Originally the goal was always to be a tennis coach, but after coaching multiple summer camps, Grace found out that coaching tennis wasn’t her true passion and that she wanted to do something more exciting. Although at that time she had never been in a helicopter, she just knew that being a helicopter pilot was the job for her! She started off flying airplanes in 2017 and then moved down to FL in 2019 to start her helicopter training with TBA. Down the road, she would love to fly for Border Patrol and potentially Medevac after that.

         Grace Summers has the following ratings:

        • Certified Flight Instructor: Helicopter
        • Ground Instructor: Advanced
        • Commercial: Helicopter
        • Instrument Rating: Helicopter; ASEL
        • Private: ASEL
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        marshall holland

         Helicopter Flight Instructor 

        Marshall is from Texas. He graduated from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in History: International Studies. He was an Athletic Director and History teacher for 6 years before transitioning to aviation and becoming a helicopter pilot. Marshall is proud to be part of the Tampa Bay Aviation crew, and would like to continue using aviation as an outlet to help and serve others in whatever ways possible.

        Marshall Holland has the following ratings:

        • Commercial: Helicopter
        • Flight Instructor: Helicopter CFI, CFII, IGI

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

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        jena kendall

         Helicopter Tour Pilot

        Jena was born and raised in Three Lakes, WI. Her fascination with helicopters began at 5 years old, when the pilot demonstrated an autorotation on her first helicopter ride.

        Jena graduated from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a double major in Finance and Marketing. While attending college, Jena completed her private pilot training. After working in business for a few years, she has made her transition into aviation.

        Jena Kendall has the following ratings:

        • Commercial: Helicopter

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

        Staff

        Katie Gannon Flight School Manager

        Katie Gannon

        Third-Party Benefits Coordinator

        Katie was born and raised here in Florida and because her father is an airline pilot she has been around aviation her entire life. She attended USF St. Pete. She has obtained her Private through Commercial ratings and is working toward her CFI!

        Interested? Contact Us.

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

        Contact

        tampa bay aviation

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