Staff


Tyler BrownExecutive Director



Lynsey HartshornOffice Manager


Lynsey has been Office Manager and a part of the VFA team since Summer 2017. She has been instrumental in assisting VFA with exponential student growth and facilitate efficient operations.


Steve CarlsonProject Manager


Steve joined VFA in December 2017 to assist with a variety of initiatives that help progress our mission. He brings with him a diverse background that includes project management at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, the Securities and Financial Markets Association, and Green Mountain Transit (Chittenden County Transit Authority). During his tenure at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, Steve held numerous positions, including those in the Planning & Development Department, the Committee on the Future, the Office of Infrastructure Renewal, and the Aviation Department. While working in the Aviation Department he was involved with airport access issues and served as Air Cargo Program Director. As Vice President and Director of Surveys at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, Steve developed proprietary industry information for the Association’s member firms. Most recently, he was Green Mountain Transit’s Project Manager for the new Downtown Transit Center on Cherry Street at Saint Paul. General Aviation has long been of interest to Steve and he looks forward to contributing to VFA and its clients. Steve holds a BA in Economics and an MPA in public policy.

Dru GuskeaMaintenance Manager


Dru is a crucial part of the VFA team. He is an integral part of our Maintenance Team. ( more on Dru to come…).


Matthew ColbyA&P Apprentice


 

Instructors


Daniel Lathrop  Chief Flight Instructor


Dan is a new addition to the VFA team specializing in Multi Engine Flight Instruction. He is our Chief Flight Instructor for Multi Engine Land and Multi Engine Instrument.

Dan started flying at the age of 21, after he took a glider ride at the Morrisville airport and totally fell in love. After earning his glider rating he went back to school to earn a 4 year Aviation degree in Long Island, NY. He continued to fly during college by working summers at a glider operation. Dan has been instructing for many years and is currently the pilot of a King Air, and a Cirrus. Dan loves instructing for VFA part time as it gives him the chance to pass on his knowledge and experience to other students and instructors.

When Dan isn’t flying he’s racing a side by side all over New England, riding his motorcycle, hanging on his boat, or snow machining in the winter. Dan’s favorite quote is by Leonardo da Vinci, “For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.”

Certificates & Ratings
  • ATP Certificate
  • Multi Engine Rating
  • Certified Flight Instructor
  • CFI Instrument
  • CFI Multi Engine
  • CFI Glider

Travis Benson Flight Instructor


Travis has been interested in flying ever since he was a young boy going on plane rides, to airshows, and aviation museums. After graduating from high school, he pursued his career in Aviation starting at the Community College of Beaver County in PA. Travis completed their two-year program then transferred into the 4-year Bachelor’s in Aviation degree at Vermont Technical College: where he graduated in the spring of 2016.

Certificates & Ratings
  • Commercial Certificate
  • Certified Flight Instructor
  • CFI Instrument
  • Tailwheel

Eric JohnsonFlight Instructor


 

Certificates & Ratings
  • Commercial Certificate
  • Certified Flight Instructor
  • Certified Flight Instructor–Instrument

James Chitwood Safety Officer – Flight Instructor


James began his interest in aviation from an early age, but never thought he would have the opportunity to pursue training. After High School, he joined the U.S. Army as an Infantryman. His desire to pursue aviation came during a combat deployment to Afghanistan, where they had close air support from various types of aircraft. James was amazed by the capabilities of both the pilots, and the equipment they flew. After the military, he focused on raising a family and pursuing secondary education. James enrolled in Vermont Technical College’s Professional Pilot Program in 2013, and graduated in 2017. As an instructor, James strives to provide students with a safe and positive learning environment, while sharing his passion for aviation with students of all ages.

Certificates & Ratings
  • Commercial Certificate
  • Certified Flight Instructor
  • CFI Instrument

Matthew SawyerFlight Instructor


 

Certificates & Ratings
  • Commercial Certificate
  • Certified Flight Instructor
  • Certified Flight Instructor–Instrument

Reed BelisleFlight Instructor and A&P Mechanic


 

Certificates & Ratings
  • Commercial Certificate
  • Certified Flight Instructor
  • Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic

Tyler HuffmanFlight Instructor


 

Certificates & Ratings
  • Commercial Certificate
  • Certified Flight Instructor

Michael DelaneyFlight Instructor


 

Certificates & Ratings
  • Commercial Certificate
  • Certified Flight Instructor

Elisabeth (EB) HoehnFlight Instructor


 

Certificates & Ratings
  • Commercial Certificate
  • Certified Flight Instructor

Joe Kolk Flight Instructor


Joe Kolk had an interest in aviation for many years from watching airplanes fly over his home in Williston, Vermont. In pursuit of his passion for aviation Joe took a discovery flight at Vermont Flight Academy at age 16. From this amazing experience Joe looked to continue his flight lessons and enrolled in the Vermont Technical College Professional Pilot Program.

Certificates & Ratings
  • Commercial Certificate
  • Certified Flight Instructor
  • CFI Instrument

Daniel GrantFlight Instructor


Dan Grant has been a part of VFA for the past few years. He is a part time instructor and also flies on the weekends. Dan became interested in aviation when he was in middle-school. His science teacher created an Aerospace Club to help get kids interested in science and engineering. Years later, while on summer break from college, Dan decided to get his private pilot certificate. He loved it so much that he went on to gain his CFI, Commercial, Instrument, single-engine and multi engine land ratings. For Dan, teaching aviation is all about helping the student to relax, learn, and have fun realizing their goals.

Certificates & Ratings
  • Commercial Certificate
  • Certified Flight Instructor
  • CFI Instrument
  • CFI Multi Engine

George Tucker Flight Instructor


George’s interest in aviation was sparked at the age of 11, when he took his first ride in a small aircraft. After that, he was hooked and continued his pursuit of aviation. George ended up soloing on his 16th birthday, and got his private license before graduating high school. He then enrolled in Vermont Technical College’s Pilot Technology Program. George enjoys flying tailwheel aircraft into grass strips and seaplanes around Lake Champlain. In addition to his flight experience, George is also working on his airframe and power plant certificate (A&P).

Certificates & Ratings
  • Commercial Certificate
  • Certified Flight Instructor
  • CFI Instrument
  • Tailwheel
  • Seaplane

Kathy Daily Flight Instructor


Kathy Daily works part time with VFA as a Tailwheel and Acrobatic Instructor. Kathy’s  start in aviation came with a flying lesson that was a gift. She fell in love with the feel of an airplane because it reminded her of riding horses, her first love. She has a background of over nine years as a commuter airline captain, overseas ferry pilot, and professional airshow pilot with a civilian jet team. Kathy enjoys teaching basic aerobatics and tailwheel transitions the most. She has shared these skills with pilots in a Citabria, Decathlon, and Pitts trainers.

Certificates & Ratings
  • Commercial Certificate
  • Multi Engine Rating
  • Certified Flight Instructor
  • CFI Instrument
  • CFI Multi Engine
  • Tailwheel
  • Acrobatic

Dick Ferno Flight Instructor


Dick Ferno started flying in 1963 in a J-3 Cub. He spent 36 years as an air traffic controller, allowing him to bring an invaluable perspective on flight safety to VFA. He spent four years as an Air Force controller from 1964 – 1968. Dick especially enjoys teaching the instrument rating and flight in advanced aircraft. He believes that his job as an instructor and mentor is to make every pilot safe and to help them strive to be the best they can be

Certificates & Ratings
  • ATP Certificate
  • Multi Engine Rating
  • Certified Flight Instructor
  • CFI Instrument
  • CFI Multi Engine

Doug Smith Designated Pilot Examiner


Doug Smith co-founded Vermont Flight Academy in 2009. Over the course of his career, Doug has accumulated the following certificates and ratings: Airline Transport Pilot, Single and Multiengine, Land and Sea; CFI and CFII; Advanced and Instrument Certified Ground Instructor. Doug is also a Designated FAA Pilot Examiner and performs the majority of check rides for VFA students.

Over the course of his extensive career, Doug has served as Captain on a B-727, B-757, B-767, B-777 and a C-172. He has amassed over 34,300 hours total time, and counting.

Doug loves teaching private pilots and enjoys the responsibility of being a Designated FAA Pilot Examiner.  He is dedicated to the health and growth of general aviation.

Certificates & Ratings
  • Commercial Certificate
  • Multi Engine Rating
  • Certified Flight Instructor
  • CFI Instrument
  • CFI Multi Engine
  • ATP Certificate

Hobbie TomlinsonDesignated Pilot Examiner


Hobie is one of VFA’s Designated Pilot Examiners and the Chief Flight Instructor for VTC’s Pilot Technology Program. Hobie got his start in aviation in 1960 as a Line Service Technician (LST) – and later as an aircraft mechanic (A&P) for Northern Airways in Burlington, VT. Hobie is a member of SAFE (Society of Aviation Educators), a 6 Time Master Flight Instructor (MCFI), A Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot (CSIP), A Gold Seal Instructor and was the FAA National CFI of the Year for 2012. His specializations include Cirrus Aircraft, and other advanced training (Tail Wheel & Seaplane). Hobie’s teaching philosophy is: Train to produce safe, competent pilots who are able to display  professionalism in the cockpit.

Certificates & Ratings
  • Commercial Certificate
  • Multi Engine Rating
  • Certified Flight Instructor
  • CFI Instrument
  • CFI Multi Engine
  • ATP Certificate
  • Designated Pilot Examiner
  • Aircraft Dispatcher
  • Aircraft Mechanic (Airframe & Powerplant)