A few of our Industry Partners & Associates
Industry associates include the following companies:
- FAA – The Federal Aviation Administration, an operating mode of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
- Spirit Airlines – Ultra low-cost airline headquartered in Miramar, Florida.
- WIA – Workforce Investment Act Laws & Regulations.
- SkyBlue Jet Aviation – Aviation company specializing in advanced Aircraft Training, Aircraft Management, Crewing, & Consulting.
- Nick Tung – a Taiwan-based business for recruiting pilots.
- Athenaeum – a pilot recruiting company based in the Philippines.
- Mars Knight (TFA Flight Academy) – based in China and the USA.
Introducing Our Team of Business Associates:
Deidra is a business leader highly experienced in aviation management. She previously served as Director of Operations of AeroStar prior to being promoted to Chief Operating Officer. In 2015, she took over as Owner and Chief Executive Officer and transformed the company into a multi-million 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, also located in Kissimmee, FL (KISM). Email: [email protected]
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. Email: [email protected]
Dave Hensley 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 other 5,000 hours of dual instruction given and holds an Airline Transport Pilot license. Email: [email protected]
Rob Becker, has been flight instructing full-time since 2009. Rob holds an ATP, MEL, and SEL License and an a320 type rating. 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 4,900 total flight hours and has given over 4,000 hours of instruction. He has also given 1,000 hours of multi-engine instruction.
Rob enjoys taking students on Discovery Flights and introducing students to the world of aviation. Rob has been happily married to his wife Lynn for 30 years and together they have two adult children. Prior to working in aviation, Rob owned a construction company for 22 years. Email: [email protected]
Renato Prieto, AeroStar’s new scheduler, has over 15 years of aviation experience working with FBO’s around the world, and four years of exporting aircraft parts to Brazil, his native country.
Originally from the city Sao Paulo, Renato has lived in the US for the past 20 years. He has taken flight lessons on and off and hopes to resume them in the future to earn his private pilot’s license. When not working, Renato can be found skydiving, an avid hobby of his. He has completed over 2,000 jumps, including jumping out of hot air balloons. Email: [email protected]
Rob Messer has been a customer support specialist with AeroStar since 2015, and previously owned an emergency medical transport business in Central Florida for 20 years. Before that, Rob was a restaurant owner of a steakhouse in Kissimmee with his wife.
He has always been entrepreneurial at heart and now enjoys helping students advance their aviation careers. In his free time, Rob can be found reading, traveling, yard work and spending time with his family and dogs. Email: [email protected]
AeroStar Training Services’ Flight Instructor Associates:
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. He has served as Check Airman, Flight Test Captain, Delivery Captain, Simulator Instructor, Training Center Evaluator, and Line Pilot for well-known airlines such as JetBlue Airways, NorthWest Airlines, Atlas Airlines, and American International Airways.
Captain Santo is also one of the original founders and former President of AeroStar Training Services, and has experience developing, managing, and constructing training programs and facilities from inception to completion.
Majid Khokhar earned his Bachelor of Science at the University of Punjab and has acquired more than 5,000 flight hours in his career as a pilot. He completed his flight training in Sanford, Florida and served as a flight instructor in Orlando from 2006 until 2011. He has served as a captain and first officer for GoJet Airlines on the CRJ-700/900 series as well as serving as a flight instructor for AeroStar Training Services since 2011.
Mike Charles has served as a first officer on the Airbus A320 for JetBlue Airways since 2008 and previously worked as a captain and first officer on the EMB-145LR for Mesa Airlines based out of Orlando. He was also employed as a flight instructor for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach from 1998-2000. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Embry-Riddle as well in Aeronautical Science. His accumulated flight hours have totaled over 10,000 to date.
Ray Coombs has been flying since 2004. He is typed on the CL65-200/700/900, B747-200/300, ERJ145, and A320/321 aircraft. His instructor licenses include CFI, CFII, and MEI. Ray has instructed at Aerostar’s Business partner, Phoenix East Aviation in Daytona Beach, FL and served as a Check Instructor and Director of Flight Standards.
He has also worked for Mesa Air Group, Evergreen International Airlines, Southern Air, Max Air, Trans States Airlines, and JetBlue Airways. Ray gained over 9,000 hours of flight experience flying both domestic and international and is also still current and qualified on the A320/321.
Alexander Pintado holds an ATP certificate and has acquired over 4,500 flight hours in his aviation career. He has worked as a flight instructor since 2008. Alex has also worked as a contract pilot for AP Aviation Services and a first officer and captain for Centurion Air Cargo company. He has international wide-body jet experience including Atlantic crossings and is fluent in both Spanish and English.
Meet another one of our associates, Captain Jon Heyl. 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.
Bio Coming Soon!
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.
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.