Howard McClure, President
Ratings and Endorsements: Instrument, Hi-Perf, Complex, TailwheelCommercial Pilot, CFII w/ 3445 PIC hrs (5 Multi, 25 Tailwheel), Mountain Flight TrainingPart 141/G1000 CFI, CFII, Cirrus Instructor
Howard started his flying career in 1973 at Cape Central Airways, Cape Girardeau, MO, received his private certificate in March of that year. He received his Instrument, Commercial, Advanced Ground Instructor, Flight Instructor and Instrument Flight Instructor in 1979. He then filled the position of Staff Instructor/Transport and Charter Pilot at that same facility. Howard has been a Chief Check Pilot with the Colorado Wing of the Civil Air Patrol since 1996, and has been an Instructor Pilot since 1993. He is certified to train CAP members in search and rescue operations in the Colorado Rockies, and conduct flight examinations in all phases of search and rescue in accordance with FAA and CAP regulations.
Jon Payne, Vice-President/CFO
Ratings and Endorsements: Instrument, Multi, Hi-Perf, ComplexCommercial Pilot Single/Multi , CFII, MEI, AGI. IGI (700 PIC)
Jon joined Western Air in September 2007 as Vice President, Finance. He grew up in central Montana and has lived all over the US. Jon has over 30 years of experience in Information Technology at the senior management level, and has worked for companies such as General Mills, PepsiCo, Sprint, and Wild Oats Markets.
Jim Burr, Vice-President
Ratings and Endorsements: Instrument, Hi-Perf, ComplexCommercial Pilot, CFI w/ 550 PIC hrs (5 Multi)
Jim Burr combines hands-on experience at the line management level with a comprehensive human resources and training background. Prior to becoming Vice- President of Western Air Flight Jim spent 5 years as president and CEO of Western Air Enterprises. Jim is an instrument rated commercial pilot, certified flight instructor and is serving as a Lt. Col. in the Civil Air Patrol.
Jackie Burant, Chief Pilot
Ratings and Endorsements: CFI, CFII +2400 total time +2000 dual given
Jackie caught the flying bug after her first introductory flight in Ohio in 1999. By Fall of 2003 she moved to Florida where she attended and then graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a Bachelor's of Science in Aeronautical Science and as a Commercial ASEL, AMEL; CFI and CFII. She taught for over 3 years in the Daytona Beach area then relocated to Colorado and began working at WAFA. Jackie has a passion for flying and teaching, so stop by the school - she'd love to meet you and share in her love of flight!
Maai Riga, Instructor
Ratings & Endorsements: CFI, Instrument, Multi, Commercial, High performance, Complex, Tailwheel.
Maai grew up on the western slope of Colorado, in the town of Palisade, as a fruit farmer. He always knew he wanted to fly, so he went to college at CU Boulder, and joined their Air Force ROTC program in 2002. He started civilian flight training at Rocky Mountain Metro Airport, in 2005. He graduated from C.U. Boulder in 2007 with a degree in Economics, and a minor in Business Administration. After graduation he dedicated himself completely to flying and quickly moved through his instrument, commercial, multi engine, and instructor ratings. "I'm very happy being a flight instructor at a beautiful airport like Rocky Mountain Metro". Maai has extensive mountain, and cross country time, and he prides himself on crosswind take offs and landings. “I look forward to meeting you, and flying with you in this beautiful state".
Matthew Fishback, Instructor
Ratings and Endorsements: Instrument, Multi, Hi-Perf, Complex, ATP, CFII-MEI w/ 2500 PIC hrs (1095 Multi)
Flying has been a passion for the past 15 years for Matt. He earned his Private Pilot at Airwest Flying Club in 1998. Attended Metro State College and graduated from the Professional Pilot Program at Delta Connection Academy in Orlando, Florida in 2003. Matt has been teaching people to fly for 6 years now and says he loves every minute of it. he is currently a Captain flying LearJets for International Jet Aviation of Denver and looks forward to owning his own Jet Charter Company in the near future.
Lou Jendras, Instructor
Ratings & Endorsements: Typed in EMB 120,BE1900/300, B737, A319/320ATP / CFIAIME Gold Seal / AGII / FE Turbojet, CFII, ATP,AGI, 21,000 hours
Lou Jendras soloed in 1968 in Peoria, IL. A flight instructor since 1976, he has attained ratings for airplane single and multi-engine land, instrument airplane, and advanced ground instructor - instrument. From 1979 to 1982 he served as chief flight instructor for Mt. Hawley aviation in Peoria, IL. Joining Britt Airlines in 1983, he flew Metroliner II and Beech 99 aircraft. Britt became Continental Express and Lou moved to mainline Continental where he acquired experience in the Boeing 727, 737, and McDonnell-Douglas MD-80. He retired from Continental in 2007 as B737 Captain. He holds an Airline Transport Pilot certificate with type ratings in Beech 1900/300, Brasilia EMB-120, Boeing 737, and Airbus A319/320, as well as Flight Engineer - turbojet. He has given over 3000 hours of flight instruction and holds the coveted Gold Seal on his certificate. In 2001 Lou started Daedalus Aviation at Front Range airport and ran Daedalus until 2010.
John Blum, Owner, New Attitude Aerobatics
Ratings and Endorsements: CFI, Tailwheel, 5,500 Total, 4500 Dual Given
John runs New Attitude Aerobatics which is located within the Western Air building and specializes in instructing basic aerobatics, spins and tailwheel endorsements. In 1988, John took a Pitts aerobatic adventure flight while visiting California.. He was so positively influenced by the experience that he immediately started working on his private pilots license and soon bought a Pitts aerobatic biplane. Several years later he had obtained his commercial and CFI ratings and began sharing his passion for aerobatics with students. He is a believer in the motto “flying aerobatics makes you a better, safer pilot while having fun!”
Lauren di Scipio, Director of Marketing
Lauren joins us with over 20 years experience with marketing and public relations. An art director and webmaster, she is refining our message to our clients and the public, with a life-long love of aviation as inspiration. A 2nd Lieutenant in the Civil Air Patrol, Lauren has served as crew on several search and rescue missions and ELT finds, and is an airborne photographer for CAP. She has a BA in Visual Arts and a BA in Anthropology from Eckerd College and has worked on archaeological digs in places like Scotland, India, California and Italy. Lauren is not a licensed pilot YET...
Taylor Reese, Membership Manager
Taylor joined WAFA in November of 2009 and finds that the business of aviation and the flight school itself was and is an exciting and challenging industry. She is the first person people meet upon entering the flight school and she handles the phone, billing, scheduling, and can provide information to both visitors and our students.