About Our Team

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

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

Joshua Breckeen

Managing Director, Chief Pilot

Josh began his professional career with 12 years in the London film industry before turning to aviation as his passion. After obtaining all his pilot and instructor ratings locally in Tampa Bay, he served as Chief Pilot and a charter pilot for Bay Air Charter, which was eventually bought by Tampa Bay Aviation. He also spent 5 years with ExpressJet Airlines. Josh is our company check-airman and an instructor pilot with all our aircraft. He is type-rated in the Challenger, King Air, and Citation aircraft. He teaches and flies Pilatus aircraft, in addition to the over 50 types of aircraft he has flown. In his leisure time, Josh enjoys being a nationally-certified Porsche track instructor

Tom Bayer

Director of Charter Services

Tom is a seasoned industry veteran. His experience includes major aircraft charter and management companies, as well as fractional ownership companies. He was the Project Manager for an air shuttle for a major west coast computer company. At its peak, the air shuttle handled and managed 186,000 passengers per year over 150 flight segments per week in seven aircraft. Later, he partnered with globally recognized VistaJet, and was the Accountable Executive for the management company that operated the inaugural VistaJet Challenger350 fleet in the US. He has held senior leadership positions in Charter Sales and Owner Services over his career. Tom enjoys spending his leisure time with his wife and three children at the beach.

Airplane Instructors

Daniel Klein

Assistant Chief Instructor, Charter Pilot, Airplane Flight Instructor

Born in Dunedin, FL, Daniel attended University of South Florida achieving a B.A. in International Relations. He started flying at the age of 14 and his first interaction with planes was actually here at the Clearwater Airpark washing airplanes, using the money he earned to pay for flying lessons. He obtained his private pilot license at the age of 17.  He took a sabbatical from flying for a while but returned in the summer of 2016 and achieved his goals to obtain his Instrument, Commercial, CFI and CFII certifications. His favorite aircraft is the Cirrus. Just recently he flew his furthest flight yet to Texas volunteering his flight time flying relief supplies for Hurricane Harvey. He enjoys flying and instructing future pilots to reach their goals in the aviation world.

Daniel has the following ratings:

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

Thomas Frick

Assistant Chief Instructor, Charter Pilot, Airplane Flight Instructor

Tom was born in Brooklyn, NY and moved to Florida’s west coast when he was 10 years old. His love of aviation began at a young age when he was given a tour of a 747 cockpit while on a flight to Europe.  After his career in publishing and raising a family, Tom pursued his hobby of flying and became a flight instructor. Today he enjoys helping students safely achieve their aviation goals.

    Tom holds the following ratings:
  • Commercial: Single/Multi Engine Land
  • Certified Flight Instructor: Fixed Wing CFI, CFII, AGI
Ryan McDonald

Ryan McDonald

Airplane Flight Instructor

Ryan McDonald holds the following ratings:

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

robb swiatek

Airplane Flight Instructor

Robb was born and raised in Connecticut. He attended Southern Connecticut University before  getting his private pilot license in Oxford. Robb went to ATP in Hartford to obtain the rest of his ratings and then later on instructed for them in Daytona, Florida.  He then began instructing with us in Clearwater. Robb hopes to build his hours in order to go on to the airlines.

Robb has the following ratings:

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

jake silvey

Airplane Flight Instructor

Bio coming soon

Jake has the following ratings:

  • Commercial: Single Engine Land
  • Certified Flight Instructor: Fixed Wing CFI
Robb Swiatek

kevin kovacs

Airplane Flight Instructor

Bio coming soon

Kevin has the following ratings:

  • Commercial: Single Engine Land
  • Certified Flight Instructor: Fixed Wing CFI
Mike Longnecker

Mike Longnecker

Airplane Flight Instructor

Mike was born in Dunedin, Florida where he played hockey for 20 years, and then attended the University of South Florida for college. Mike came to Tampa Bay Aviation to get his private pilot license before going to ATP to complete the rest of his ratings. His parents have worked for an airline for his whole life, so Mike one day hopes to work for the airlines as well!

 

Mike has the following ratings:

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

Helicopter Instructors

Dennis Berghuijs

Assistant Chief Helicopter Instructor, Helicopter Tour Pilot, Helicopter 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
  • Flight Instructor: Helicopter CFI, CFII
  • Ground Instructor: Advanced
  • Private: Airplane
  • Instrument: Airplane

Ronnie Morales

Helicopter Flight Instructor, Helicopter Tour Pilot

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. Ronnie’s passion is to fly and he is proudly living the dream.

Ronnie has the following ratings:

  • Commercial Pilot - Helicopter
  • Certified Flight Instructor: Helicopter CFI, CFII
Ryan Bell

Ryan Bell

Helicopter Flight Instructor, Helicopter Tour Pilot

Ryan Bell was born and raised here locally in Florida. Ryan started his Helicopter training at Tampa Bay aviation in January 2015.
He is our tour pilot at Albert Whitted airport, he also flies for the local news company.

Ryan Holds the following ratings:

  • Commercial Pilot- Helicopter
  • Certified Flight Instructor: Helicopter CFI
Ryan Bell

Bart Aarsse

Helicopter Flight Instructor, Helicopter Tour Pilot

Bart was raised in Holland before he came to the US to pursue his helicopter career. He was inspired to fly helicopters when he saw a rescue mission at sea. He trained at Bristow Academy and Hillsborough Aero Academy before accepting a flight instructing job here at Tampa Bay Aviation.

Bart Holds the following ratings:

  • Commercial Pilot- Helicopter (FAA and EASA)
  • Certified Flight Instructor: Helicopter CFI, CFII

staff

Katie Gannon Flight School Manager

Katie Gannon

Flight School Manager

Katie was born and raised here in Florida and because her father is an airline pilot she has been around aviation her whole life. She attended USF St. Pete. She has obtained her Private Pilot’s license and is working on her Instrument Rating at the Clearwater Airpark!

Stella Laclé

Stella Laclé

Marketing Manager

Born in Venezuela under British nationality, Stella grew up traveling around the world due to her parent’s work as international journalists. With over 20 years in the hotel, tour and travel & tourism industry and being trilingual, she brings guest service and tour knowledge to our team here at Tampa Bay Aviation. In her new role as Marketing Manager, she is eager to create and share new programs and be able to promote all TBA has to offer to our students, tour-goers, visitors and charter guests.

Raeven O'Neil

raeven o’neil

Assistant Flight School Manager

Raeven has lived in Florida her whole life. She currently attends USF St. Pete where she is majoring in marketing. Raeven uses her marketing skills to help run our social media as well as take tons of photos for the company. Although not a pilot herself, Raeven loves getting up in the helicopter whenever possible!

TANGO

Assistant Rodent Hunter, Certified In Napping, Part Time Security Guard

Spends her days at our PIE location, greeting customers and taking naps on every possible surface.

BRAVO

Lead Rodent Hunter, Certified In Curiosity, Full Time Security Guard

Spends her days at our PIE location greeting customers. Looking to start flight training soon.

Interested? Contact Us.

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

tampa bay aviation

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