Experienced Teachers as Flight Instructors
Simply being in the air and building flight time isn’t good enough. A student needs a teacher. That’s why USAeroFlight is guided by veteran teachers Mike Gonzales, Brett Zukowski, Cecil Tune and Tom Burke. These men bring a passion for both guiding the next generation of flight instructors as well as training the next generation of commercial pilots, private pilots, and missionary aviators. Years of teaching experience coupled with thousands of hours of flight time in commercial, corporate, and missionary aviation enable them to bring you to a high level of proficiency and a thorough understanding of flight. With that you can achieve your aviation goals!
Brett Zukowski, CFII, MEI, ATP, IA
Co-Owner, Chief Flight Instructor
All-around aviation expert with experience in air charter and aircraft maintenance.
I have been fascinated with aviation since childhood. Over the last 30 years, I’ve been privileged to work as pilot, mechanic, flight instructor and mechanic instructor in general aviation, Alaskan missionary aviation, and the regional airlines. I consider teaching aviation my greatest privilege because teaching allows me to have a positive influence in the lives and careers of others.
Cecil Tune, CFII, MEI, ATP
Chief Ground Instructor
Decorated fighter pilot and former pastor who has made teaching pilots his personal ministry.
My background includes naval aviation, the assistant pastorate, and many years as a faculty member at Bob Jones University. The Naval Academy provided excellent flight training, and taking off from aircraft carriers in the F-8 Crusader was a special challenge. After the Navy and then the pastorate, I began one of my chief joys—helping others succeed in their aviation careers.
Mike Gonzales, CFII, MEI
Co-Owner, Flight School Manager
Gifted mentor who is passionate about helping others succeed in and out of the classroom.
My flying career began in the baggage compartment of my grandfather’s Cessna 150 as soon as I was old enough to remember. Since then, I’ve had a passion to fly that has never ceased. My degree is in Business & Commercial Aviation and I have been teaching since 2002. I have the most exciting job in that I get to see others realize their dreams by becoming professional pilots.
Thomas A. Burke - Designated Pilot Examiner
I am thankful for a rewarding career in aviation which has spanned 50 years and included more than 20,000 hours in the air. My earlier years in aviation included charter, corporate, and flight instruction.
After accumulating enough flight experience I completed a year of Bible Training at Piedmont Bible College and another year of aviation mechanic training at Moody Aviation completing the requirements for my ultimate goal of missionary flying.
I flew some 13 years as a missionary pilot and mechanic serving with Missionary Flights International (MFI). This involved regular scheduled flights in twin-engine aircraft carrying missionaries, work teams, medical teams and cargo to support mission work in the Caribbean, including the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic.
One of the highlights of my missionary flying was living in the country of Haiti and setting up an aviation program utilizing single-engine airplanes. During this time, I was able to serve missionaries in remote areas of Haiti, flying in and out of small grass runways.
I have been privileged to continue being involved in missionary flight and mechanic training through the ministries of Missionary Aviation Institute and Bob Jones University. It is rewarding to see our graduates continue the work of missions in different countries around the world.
Over the last 25 years, in addition to flight instructing and missionary pilot evaluations, I have served as a Designated Pilot Examiner for the FAA.
It is a privilege to work alongside the USAeroFlight team as they work to continue and maintain the vision that was Bob Jones University’s for so many years through quality flight.
Stephen Laird, CFI
Competent and energetic teacher with an eclectic skill that ranges from aviation to sales to software development.
My love for aviation was sparked by my grandfather and aunt, both airline pilots. I began my own aviation career while attending Bob Jones University majoring in computer science and minoring in aviation. I am honored to be a part of the great team of instructors here at USAeroFlight, and I am excited for the opportunity to pass on my love for aviation!
Stephen Horner, CFI
Well-rounded instructor and communication professional preparing for commission as an Air Force officer.
My aviation career began at Bob Jones University where I earned a degree in Business Aviation as well as my flight instructor certificates (CFI, CFII). I enjoy teaching flight and helping students achieve their aviation goals. I’ve had excellent teachers over the years and hope to pass that legacy on to each of my students!
Stephen Pate, CFII
Aspiring missionary pilot who understands that enjoying the journey is as important as reaching the destination.
Growing up, I was exposed to aviation in various ways, including the legacy of Nate Saint, the free rides at the local airport, and Aviation Camp. For college, I enrolled at BJU where I earned a degree in Cross-Cultural Service and took flight lessons. Now I have the exciting opportunity to teach others how to safely enjoy this amazing gift we call “flying!”
Randy Kimlin, AGI, CFI, CFII
Flight Instructor, Corporate Pilot
Professional corporate pilot who spends his off hours volunteering with the local Civil Air Patrol and lending a hand at the flight school.
I still remember the day when, at Toronto Airways in Buttonville, Ontario, I soloed a Cessna 172! The thrill and passion of aviation, of flying and of teaching, seems just as strong now as it did back then. Even better is the excitement of helping others pursue their dream for flying, no matter how young or how old they may be. USAeroFlight is an excellent teaching facility because it brings the highest levels of technical skills along with a thorough sense of why it matters. That is an important ingredient in making it fun! I do need to warn you, flying can be addictive!
John Leupp, CFI
Active member of the local Experimental Aircraft Association chapter with a passion for sport planes and classic aircraft.
I am blessed to be a third-generation pilot whose grandfather was involved in Marine Aviation in WW I and whose father flew fighters with the Royal Air Force in WW II. I have been flying for 47 years and have been a flight instructor since 1972. While I spent some time as a corporate pilot and have multiengine and instrument ratings, I specialize in instructing in tailwheel aircraft. I own a Cessna 140 that I rebuilt in a corner of the church bus barn and have been flying it for over 40 years. It is this experience with tailwheels and grass runways that I bring to USAeroFlight.