Co-CEO’s

Matt Liknaitzky, Wayne Toddun, Jean d’Assonville

 

 

Some of our Certified Flight Instructors…

The best, most-passionate CFI’s, ready to share their knowledge

Kathryn Stanley
Chief Flight Instructor

CFI, CFII, MEI

 

For Kathryn, flying is a family affair; both of her parents are pilots (and currently building their own Sling TSI) and her brother is working on his Private Pilot Certificate.  Kathryn grew up riding horses and is an avid animal lover, volunteering her time saving shelter animals with Pilots N Paws. She has been a pilot since 2012, but her interest in flying was sparked at a young age hanging around the hangar at the flight school her father owned.  At Sling Pilot Academy, Kathryn is very busy as the Assistant Chief Flight Instructor (aka “CFI Therapist”), but any free time she has is spent in the air either flying aerobatics or flying cross country to new airports with friends and family for the $100 garden burger. Kathryn is currently working on her ATP after recently completing ATP-CTP course and plans to join the airlines in the not too distant future.

Tomas Martinez
Certified Flight Instructor

CFI, CFII, IGI, UAS

 

Tomas has been a full time flight instructor since 2006 and is the epitome of a professional student of aviation -- starting with his first solo at 16 years old in 1978 and continuing to today as an Aviation Professor at Cypress College and a Flight Instructor at Sling Pilot Academy. Tomas holds a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics with minors in aviation safety and aviation business management from Embry Riddle, and an Associate in Science degree and a Aviation Professional Pilot Certificate from Long Beach Community College - earning honors and making the Dean’s List at both schools.  Tomas is also a proud veteran of the U.S. Army. When Tomas is not flight instructing, you can find him working on his experimental Bede BD5, or on the cliffs of Palos Verdes flying one of the many model airplanes he has built.

Anastasia Vetrova
Certified Flight Instructor

Gold Seal CFI, CFII, AGI

 

Anastasia has been instructing as a CFI/CFII in Los Angeles since 2016. She's a member of the Long Beach 99s women in aviation organization and also a member of a local flying club in Torrance. Her future goal is an airline career on the West coast. Outside of aviation Anastasia enjoys traveling, hiking, paddle boarding, snowboarding, wine tasting, and spending time with her family.

Stuart Craig
Certified Flight Instructor

CFI, CFII

 

An Idaho native, Stuart grew up on a farm and loves the outdoors. After graduating from Idaho State University with a degree in Health Science and a concentration in Occupational Therapy, Stuart worked with two cognitive therapy programs for troubled youth. This experience, along with ten years as swim instructor,  has helped anchor his passion for working with and helping others find their true potential. Stuart eventually decided to move to Los Angeles to pursue his life-long dream to fly. At Sling Pilot Academy, Stuart is one of the tail-dragger experts and, with any free time, can still be found in a pool helping teach people how to swim.

Kevin Butler
Certified Flight Instructor

CFI, CFII

 

The year was 1978 and, as Kevin likes to put it, aviation was about to get its “greatest gift” (it just didn’t know it yet). Born into humble means, Kevin began his professional life pursuing the honorable trade of haute cuisine as a chef in some of LAs finest restaurants. But something burned within his soul... the open skies. So at the age of 40, Kevin decided to take the flying world by storm, tirelessly training and honing his aviation skills with the flair and attention to detail that only a classically trained French chef could offer.

Mark Cole
Certified Flight Instructor

CFI, CFII

 

Born, raised and currently residing in Redondo Beach, Mark has been flying out of Zamperini Field since 2015.  As a native Angelino, Mark is intimately familiar with the local airspace and the numerous, beautiful flyover landmarks that he shows off during his city sightseeing tours. Mark is endorsed for high performance, complex, and tailwheel aircraft and loves mountain flying and showing off the unique landscapes of California (he is even known to sprinkle in aerial history lessons while flight instructing).  When not flying around Southern California with students, Mark enjoys surfing, snowboarding, mountain biking and prone paddleboarding.

JC Chang
Certified Flight Instructor

CFI, CFII

 

While studying  political science at a university in South Korea, JC  decided politics just wasn’t for him; and because of his love for travel and adventure, what  he really wanted to pursue was a career in aviation. JC knows what a privilege it is to fly and while his goal is to fly for an airline, he really enjoys teaching new student pilots  how to follow their aviation dreams. Outside of flying, JC loves completing Do It Yourself  projects around the house,  travelling, and all things sports.

Brandy Fogelman
Certified Flight Instructor

CFI, CFII

 

Brandy’s interest in aviation started as a young girl in Apple Valley, California listening to her father's stories about his own flying adventures. On her 20th birthday, she decided to join him in the air and took her first flying lesson. Brandy earned her Private Pilot License while studying at the University of Alaska Anchorage flying Piper Super Cubs and Cessna 185 Skywagons. Knowing she wanted to continue to grow as a pilot, Brandy decided to drive from Alaska to Southern California and join the Sling Pilot Academy in April 2019 and follow her dreams of making flying a career. Outside of flying, Brandy likes riding motorcycles, hiking, camping, skiing, ice skating, Jeeping with her family, and yes… crocheting and knitting. Her short term goal is working for a small part 135 operation doing flightseeing tours, and long term, she wants to fly in the big leagues.

Tex Hagoski
Certified Flight Instructor

CFI, CFII, MEI

 

For Tex, the beginning of his love of aviation came as a very young boy living under the departure path at Santa Monica Airport. While he was an active kid playing all the usual sports, he also loved tinkering with cars and flying model airplanes with his dad. Despite all this, the decision to fly as a career didn’t come until a year after finishing high school when he took a glider flight with his father. Like many aviation professionals, that incredible first experience at the controls was all it took and he couldn’t see himself doing anything else. Today, Tex is continuing to build his hours in order to further his flying career. When not flying, you can find him surfing, mountain biking, playing soccer, football, camping, or swimming.

Will Stubbs
Certified Flight Instructor

CFI, CFII, MEI

 

An east coast native, Will grew up in Atlanta and attended Georgia College where he earned a business degree. Will has been a pilot since 2018, but he’s been jet setting since he was young.  With a parent working for the airlines, Will was afforded the opportunity to hop on a plane at a moment’s notice and travel anywhere in the world he wanted (something he still does today as he’s known for hopping in a Sling and flying up the coast of California just to snap a few pictures). In addition to his passion for flying, Will loves the outdoors - from wakeboarding on the water to snowboarding on the mountain. And he still loves to travel to unique, new, out of the way places - if only for a couple of days.

Scott Papera
Certified Flight Instructor

CFI, CFII, IGI, AGI

 

Scott knew how to fly a plane before he knew how to drive a car. He started flying at age 14 and earned his private pilot certificate and multi engine rating at age 17. After graduating from Loyola Marymount University, Scott embarked on a career in Hollywood starting as a cameraman on shows such as “Friends”, “ER,” “NYPD Blue” and “The Drew Carey Show” among others. He began directing commercials, industrial films, and eventually created and produced a TV series called “Triple Rush” about New York City bike messengers. After a successful 28 years in Hollywood, Scott decided what he really wanted to do is chase the dream he had as a 6 year old boy and fly for a living.  When not flight instructing at Sling Pilot Academy, Scott is an avid traveller and has visited 55 countries to date. He and his wife, Kathie, live in Manhattan Beach with their daughter and son.

Victor Ponte
Certified Flight Instructor

CFI, CFII, MEI

 

A Southern California native, Victor has been around aviation his entire life. As a 3rd generation pilot, Victor started flying when he was 22 and has flown everything from a Citabria and a Mooney to an Eclipse jet. When he is not up in the air, he can be found either on a golf course, eating Thai food somewhere, watching a comedy, traveling to someplace new, or at home spending time with friends and family. In addition to instructing at Sling, Victor flies a small business jet up and down the west coast with his father.