A few of our Industry Partners & Associates include:
- Spectrum Aero Maintenance – Our sister company, aircraft maintenance at KISM.
- FAA – The Federal Aviation Administration, an operating mode of the U.S. Department of Transportation
- Florida Institute of Technology – FIT
- Sunrise Aviation – Pilot Training & Flight Instruction near Daytona Beach, FL
- TSA – Transportation Security Administration – protects the nation’s transportation systems for people & commerce
- WIA – Workforce Investment Act Laws & Regulations
- Silver Airways – US Airline with flights between Florida & the Caribbean
- SkyEagle Aviation – Full Part 141 Academy
- Phoenix East Aviation – Pilot Training School
- Spartan College of Aeronautics – Aviation College
- CIFA Peru – Aviation/Flight School
- SimPilot Peru – Flight Training School
- Max Flight – Central Florida’s Premier Helicopter Tours & Training Company
- EMU/Eagle Flight Centre – Aviation Flight School at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, MI
- SkyBlue Jet Aviation – Aviation company specializing in advanced Aircraft Training, Aircraft Management, Crewing, & Consulting.
- AviationSchoolsOnline – Find reputable aviation resources for other aspects of your career training needs.
Introducing a few members of our AeroStar team:
Deidra Toye – Owner & CEO
Deidra has over 13 years of experience working in Flight Training. She has served as a Receptionist, Training Center Coordinator, Office Manager, and Director of Operations prior to being promoted to Chief Operating Officer. In 2015, she took over as Owner and Chief Executive Officer of AeroStar Training Services, and transformed it into a multimillion-dollar international corporation. Under her leadership, AeroStar has gained recognition as one of the finest aviation-training providers in the world, by serving the needs of individuals as well as flight schools, colleges/universities, government agencies, and airlines across the globe. In addition to her success in the flight training industry, she is Owner and Chief Operating Officer of Spectrum Aero Maintenance Services in Kissimmee, FL (KISM).
Dave Hensley – Training Center Manager & Director of Training Services
Dave Hensley is the Training Center Manager and Director of Training Services for AeroStar. He is a retired Air Force Colonel with extensive commander experience in both high altitude reconnaissance and jet training operations. He is a graduate of the USAF Academy and also earned a Master of Education degree in curriculum and instruction from South Dakota State University. His military flying career includes experience as a WC-130 “Typhoon Chaser” weather reconnaissance pilot, a T-38 “Talon” advanced jet instructor and evaluator, as well as a U-2/TR-1 “Dragon Lady” instructor/evaluator. After a full military flying career, Dave retired and continued to fulfill his passion for aviation as a flight instructor. He was a flight academy Part 141 Chief Instructor and also a Part 142 Training Center Evaluator. He is a FAA Gold Seal flight instructor and also holds the National Association of Flight Instructor’s Master Flight Instructor designation. He has over 10,000 flight hours with over 5000 hours of dual instruction given and holds an Airline Transport Pilot license.
Rob Becker, our Director of Flight Training has been flight instructing full-time since 2009. Rob holds an ATP, MEL, and SEL license. Rob’s instructor ratings include CFI, CFII, and MEI with Gold Seal. He also has his Ground Instructor and Advanced Instrument Ground Instructor Ratings. He has 4,500 total flight hours and has given over 4,000 hours of instruction. He has also given 1,000 hours of multi-engine instruction. Rob has been happily married to his wife Lyn for 29 years and together they have two adult children. Prior to working in aviation, Rob owned a construction company for 26 years.
Robin Frey – Director of Marketing
Over the past 12 years, Robin Frey has held marketing positions in various capacities including engineering, secondary education, & hospitality. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from Illinois State University and is currently completing a Master in Business Administration with a focus on Aviation from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide. Prior to joining AeroStar, Robin taught high school career technical education business and marketing courses in Salem, Oregon. Ever since her discovery flight in 2015, she’s been hooked on aviation. She is also a member of Women in Aviation International. Her husband also works in aviation and they live in the Orlando area with their two dogs and two cats.
Bobby Wilson – Director of Maintenance / Spectrum Aero
Bobby grew up in the Florida panhandle in a military family and later moved to Northern Georgia. He came to Central Florida after serving in the US Air Force. He worked as an aircraft technician, later becoming the Director of Maintenance for an aviation company in Orlando before starting his own maintenance firm in Kissimmee in 2014. He is married to Deidra Wilson, owner and CEO of AeroStar. Spectrum Aero, our sister company specializes in aircraft inspection, maintenance, and repairs. For generations, Bobby’s family has been involved in many aspects of aviation and over time, it has become a passion of his as well, which he enjoys sharing with others through his work.
Andy Hammond – Training Center Coordinator
Andy Hammond grew up in Baltimore, MD, completed his A.B. Summa Cum Laude in English and Philosophy at Syracuse University as a double major, and attended the University of Cincinnati’s Ph.D program in Philosophy before dropping out and learning to fly airplanes instead. He’s worked as a CFI/CFII/MEI since 2001, earning Gold Seal status and specializing in Technically Advanced Aircraft and the training of other Certified Flight Instructors. He joined AeroStar in 2016 as our Training Center Coordinator. He can also teach you to juggle if you’ve got fifteen minutes.
Kelvin Minaya – Bookkeeping
Kelvin is originally Dominican, but grew up in Providence, Rhode Island. His family moved to Florida when he was 13. He started working in the aviation industry as a Training Services Coordinator in 2012. Kelvin worked at three different flight schools and a helicopter touring company, but want to focus on becoming a licensed CPA. He is hoping to begin classes in Spring of 2018 at UCF (Go Knights!) His hobbies include yoga, horticulture, and collecting lapel pins.
AeroStar Training Services’s Instructors
David Santo – A320 Examiner Captain & Instructor
Captain Santo has accumulated over 14,000 hours flying Airbus A319/320/321/330, Boeing B747-400, B-727, Douglas DC-9, Learjet, Citation Jet, and Hansa Jet HF-320 aircraft. Captain Santo has served in positions as Check Airman, Flight Test Captain, Delivery Captain, Simulator Instructor, Training Center Evaluator and line pilot for various well known airlines such as JetBlue Airways, North West Airlines (now part of Delta Airline), Atlas Airlines and American International Airways. Captain Santo is also one of the original founders and former President of AeroStar Training Services, who has experience developing, managing, and constructing training programs and facilities from inception to completion.
Mike Barra – A320 Instructor
Captain Barra has served as an A320 sim and ground instructor with AeroStar since 2009. He has experience on the A320, C-130, on all models for USAF, Coast Guard Pilots, and Air Force; Lear jets 25 and 35, N-265 and Cessna CitationUltra CE-560, CE-550, Falcon 20, and Metroliner (SW-II). He was also part of the Venezuelan Air Force with experience on the Supersonic Fighter CF-5, instructed on T-34, T2-D, C-123 (cargo), BE-65, BE-90, BE-200, B-707, and A-319. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Science and Aeronautical Engineering.
Majid Khokhar – A320 Instructor
Mike Charles – A320 Instructor
Rainier Coombs – A320 Instructor
Alex Pintado – B737 Instructor
Jon Heyl – B737 Instructor
Captain Heyl has accumulated over 8,000 hours flying the Boeing 737 (BBJ, CL & NG), 767 and 747-400 along with the CE-650 and 500 and an additional 2,000 hours as SIM Instructor on 747, 767 and 737. Captain Heyl served as Training Center Evaluator (737), SIM, Ground and Flight Instructor, Chief Flight Instructor, Check Airman and TrainingCoordinator. Captain Heyl is currently a SIM, Ground Instructor and Check Airman on the Boeing 747-400 with Western Global Airlines, and previously flown with New Gen Airways (Bangkok, Thailand), Polaris, Swift Air, Miami Air and as Corporate Chief Pilot.
Peter Dunn – Ground ATP-CTP, Boeing & Airbus Instructor
Captain Pete Dunn is a long-time associate of AeroStar, having partnered together to launch the first collegiate jet type-rating program at Florida Tech. Seven Florida Tech seniors earned their A320 type rating from AeroStar as a result. Captain Dunn was also the lead faculty member when AeroStar trained ab-initio students for a major foreign carrier. In just five months, AeroStar instructors delivered 115 A320 and B737 type ratings: an incredible feat worthy of America’s largest airlines, and unprecedented for a Part 142 Academy. Finally, Captain Dunn worked closely with AeroStar’s Dave Hensley to create our ATP-CTP training program. This program has made AeroStar the largest provider of ATP-CTP courses in America, and leader in the industry.
Rafael Madrid – Ground ATP-CTP, Boeing & Airbus Instructor
Captain Rafael Madrid has accumulated over 10,000 hours flying Boeing 767, Boeing 737, Airbus 320 family and Embraer 170/190 aircraft. Captain Madrid has served as Director of Flight Standards, Maintenance Test Pilot, Simulator Instructor, Line Instructor, Check Airman and Captain for various US-based and international airlines such as LAN Airlines, Eastern Air Lines, Spirit, and Republic Airlines. Captain Madrid is also currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Science with a minor in Aerodynamics.
Joe Millard – Ground ATP-CTP, Boeing & Airbus Instructor
Joe has accumulated over 21,000 flying hours. He is an Airline Transport Pilot for both single and multi-engine aircraft. He is also type rated in the following aircraft: Saab 340, Fokker F-28, Boeing 737, 757, 767, Airbus A330-200, and has also flown the Boeing 727. Having made over 150 North Atlantic crossings, Millard flew for airlines Piedmont & USAirways for over 26 years. Millard also has FAR 135 & 121 experience at Mississippi Valley Airlines & Silver Airways and Mountain Air Cargo. He grew up in aviation with a father who was a commercial pilot, flight instructor, and mechanic for American Airlines. His first airplane ride occurred at less than one month old. Joe’s non-aviation activities include amateur radio, extra class, and antique cars. Mr. Millard has taught college level aviation courses at Parks College in the past and is very excited to join AeroStar’s team of excellent instructors.
Larry “Maddog” Maddox – Ground ATP-CTP, Boeing & Airbus Instructor
Captain Maddox has accumulated over 22,000 hours flying B-727, B-737, B-757 and B-767 aircraft. He is also Duel ATP rated in Helicopters with a Bell 206 type. He flew Lear 55’s for Corporate Aviation prior to entering the Airline service with Continental/United Airlines where he served as a Senior Line Captain for 20 years before recently retiring. Captain Maddox also served with the US Army for six years as an Assault and Attack Combat Helicopter Pilot. Additionally, he flew TH-55, Hugh’s 500, Bell-47, Bell 212 and Bell 206 in Vietnam Nam in Combat Support in UH-1s and AH-1g. He also has extensive helicopter experience offshore in support of the Oil industry in both the Gulf of Mexico and Persian Gulf during Iraq War 1.
Michael Zois – Flight Attendant Program Instructor
Michael has over 30 years of experience as a flight attendant for both the airlines and as a corporate flight attendant. He also has his private and commercial pilot’s license. Zois has been a flight instructor teaching Cabin Safety for over 15years, in addition to serving as a CFI for over 10 years. He has flown for Qantas and Delta Airlines and is currently flying for Net Jets Aviation, a fractional ownership private jet company. Flying is his passion along with meeting people and providing a world class service keeping in mind that SAFETY is his number one priority in any aviation business.