Meet our Instructors

Whether you want to be a weekend flyer or an airline pilot, getting your private pilot license is the first step. At Aero Maintenance we can help you in this journey. We have capable, experienced instructors to help guide you along the way and teach you the skills needed to become a safe and confident pilot.

Our FAA Certified Flight Instructors bring skills and experience to the training environment from airline, bush, corporate and water flying backgrounds. At Aero Maintenance we teach flying, not just numbers. From Private Pilot to Airline Transport we will get you trained and ready for your FAA check ride and a life long journey in aviation.

Call us to schedule for flight training, flight reviews, IPC checks and custom training.

Instructor Bios

Adam Moore (Director of Flight Operations: CFI, CFII, Tailwheel)

Biography: Adam is an accomplished pilot and instructor with 10 years of flying experience in the Pacific Northwest. He has spent many of those years instructing here at Pearson and is always seeking new ways to teach more effectively. Adam has most of his flying time in tail-wheel aircraft, making him a great fit for those who want to learn to fly our Cub.

Hobbies: Woodworking, Family, Making music with his guitar and drums.

Peers describe Adam as: Engaging, fun, hard working, and dedicated.

Teaching style: Demonstrator

“A good pilot is humble.”

See what Adam has been up to here.

Hudson Frost (Assistant Chief Instructor: CFI, CFII,)

Hudson Frost (CFI)Biography: Many of us are proud to be aviation nerds..Hudson is no exception. He has been in the aviation community since childhood and has been supported by many pilots in the hangers here at Pearson. He has an educational background with both ATC and Aerospace Science. His involvement in the industry has created a wonderful teacher who is never tired of learning and researching aviation. You can find him at AMFC most days.

Hobbies: Skiing, flying, camping, outdoors, traveling

Peers describe Hudson as: Witty, researcher, and a trivia nut

Teaching Style: Delegator

“The best lessons in aviation, are the ones learned with plenty of laughter and fun. Anything else is just wo


See what Hudson has been up to here.

Darrel Carter Jr. (DJ) (Assistant Chief Instructor: ATP, CFI, CFII, MEI)

Biography:Hailing from the Dixie, DJ has been flying for 10 years and has flown from the East Coast to the West Coast. Dj has traveled the skies professionally and brings that experience to the teaching environment. Technique, knowledge, and safety define his teaching style, allowing for comprehensive and complete training to help students reach for the skies. You might find a corny joke mixed in there also. Dj has a part time schedule here at Aero Maintenance.

Hobbies: Firearms, Witty humor, and walks on the beach

Peers describe DJ as: Devoted, funny, and thorough.

Teaching style: Mentor

“Dreams are flightless ideas until you mix a little bit of hard work and motivation! From who I have taught and who I get the pleasure of interacting in this fun thing we call aviation, the more a person strives fo

r the skies they will see success and fun in the skies ahead!”

See what DJ has been up to here.

Chris Butrico (CFI, Tailwheel)

Biography: Chris became fascinated with aviation after a flight with his grandfather in a Piper Cherokee when he was five years old and has pursued flying ever since. In 2013 Chris achieved his dream of becoming a pilot and is constantly flying nonstop. He is always on the quest to learn something new, fly a different airplane, and to obtain a new certificate or rating. If you were to ask him what the favorite plane is he’s

flown, he would say, “a Piper J3 Cub on floats.”                                

Hobbies: Hiking, golf, photography, exploring unfamiliar places, and flying.

Peers describe Chris as: Skilled aviator and a real dry wit

Teaching style: Demonstrator / Facilitator

Quote: “Success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Learning to fly requires a lot of studying, book work, and intense training. But if you’re able to buckle down and work hard, the reward will last you a lifetime”.

Tom DeMarino (CFI)

Biography: Tom grew up in a military aviation family and is a retired U.S. Navy pilot. His second career was in aerospace spread equally between manned and unmanned aircraft systems with an emphasis on research and development. As a pilot he has flown over 50 different models of aircraft. His aviation background includes instructing in all modes of flight, aviation accident investigation, safety systems, and interfacing with the FAA on airport design, approach design, and flight test. His personally owned aircraft have included a Stinson 108-1, Beech Bonanza, AeroCommander Darter 100, and a Cessna 172.
He dabbles at building a Glastar experimental.

Hobbies: Flyi

ng, photography, grandkids, flying, flying . . .

Peers describe Tom as: Humorous, experienced, calm

Teaching style: Facilitator

“‘No, that is the great fallacy: the wisdom of old men. They do not grow wise. They grow careful.’  – Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms. Hemingway’s wisdom is pronounced in the old aviation adage ‘There are old pilots, there are bold pilots, there are no old, bold pilots.’ As an instructor, I strive less to teach the art of flying than the art of thinking.”

See what Tom has been up to here.

Peter Hopkins (CFI, CFII)

Biography: Peter grew up in the Pacific NW, just north of Seattle.  He got his first discovery flight, while at the Arlington air show, at the age of 10 and became instantly hooked.  Father fueled the dream with frequent trips to the Museum of flight and any airshow that was around. Peter g

ot his Private cert in 2000 in Eastern WA flying out of Grant County airport (13500 ft runway!) but finished all the remaining certifications in Arizona.  While there, Peter earned his degree at Arizona State and met his wife.  Peter is a student of aviation and is always learning.  Bucket list:  Red Bull air race in Dubai, cross the U.S. in a Cessna and Reno air race with father.                                                             

Hobbies: Flying, YouTube videos about flying, gardening, being anywhere outdoors with my shepards

Peers describe Peter as: Valuable partner/leader, knowledgeable, “Always there when needed”

Teaching style: Coach

See what Peter has been up to here.

Niko Magistrale (CFI)

Biography: Raised In Vancouver, Niko is a recent graduate of the aviation program at Central Washington University. Niko showed versatile interests from a young age by racing motocross, playing drums, snowboarding, and playing every sport he could. Niko took up flying at CWU and was hooked immediately. While at CWU he got to explore the sky’s of most of Central/Eastern Washington and western Idaho. He has developed leadership skills throughout his life serving as team captain on many different sports teams, and as the president of the CWU Golf Team. He is eager to help new students discover aviation in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.                                                            

Hobbies: Golf, Water Sports, Snowboarding, Exploring, Riding his motorcycle

Peers describe Niko as: Funny, dependable, easy to be around

Teaching style: Coach, Friend

See what Niko has been up to here.

Brian McCormick (CFI, Tailwheel)

Biography: Brian grew up in the Pacific Northwest and is not a stranger to adventure and flying. With his sense of curiosity, flying was a natural progression for Brian. When he is not spending time with his family, Brian is constantly looking for new places to go and n

ew things to discover.

Hobbies: Fishing, flying, rock climbing

Peers describe Brian as: Honest, Professional, Researcher

Teaching style: Demonstrator

“In the past two years, my daughter has taught me to mentor and teach with patience and empathy, and I am looking forward to applying this during flight lessons.”

See what Brian has been up to here.

Theresa Nelson (ATP, CFI, CFII)

Biography: From a childhood surrounded by aviation, Theresa has made this industry her own and sports a list of accomplishments longer than many who will ever take to the skies. Working between the airlines and as a driving force for success at AMFC, she has undoubtedly left a legacy for us to follow. Theresa has been flying for upwards of 20 years and brings to the table years of experience, passion, and mentorship to pilots old and young. Shes an extremely gifted teacher and upholds a standard fine tuned for safety and knowledge.

Hobbies: Family, The Great Outdoors

Peers describe Theresa as: Thorough and Informative

Teaching Style: Mentor

““There is an art to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.” — Douglas Adams, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.”

See what Theresa has been up to here.

Frank Parker (CFI, CFII, Tailwheel)

Biography: Born and raised in Portland Oregon, Frank trained to fly at Pearson Air field and Troutdale Airport with a pit stop in Alaska to earn his Seaplane and Multi-engine ratings. He brings a varied flight exposure and a desire to teach well rounded and proficient pilots.                            

Hobbies: Hunting, Rock Climbing, Camping, and other outside activities.

Peers describe Frank as: Naturally Talented and Easy Going

Teaching style: Patient and Practical

Quote: “I’ve never said anything cool. I’ve been thinking hopelessly for the last 24 hours.”.

See what Frank has been up to here.

Jared Persitz (CFI, CFII, Tailwheel)

jaredcfiBiography: Many people talk about getting the “aviation bug”.  Jared got the “bug” at the age of 10 after watching “Top Gun”.  Hard work, dedication, passion, and excellent customer service skills has been his driving forces to achieve his career goals.  Any small business would be lucky to have such a gem on their staff…Aero Maintenance is very fortunate.

Hobbies: Working out, being a dad, and a few rounds of golf

Peers describe Jared as: A flying machine

Teaching Style: Motivator

“Students learn best when there is a bit of intrigue in the topic at hand.  There is power is giving a student the tool needed to discover an answer instead of being told.  Oh the thrill in research when it IS inside your reach!”

See what Jared has been up to here.

Jessica Petersen (CFI)

Biography: Jessica grew up in the Portland Oregon area, learning to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible. After high school she started flight training at Troutdale Airport and earned ratings flying in the Seattle area and here at Pearson. Jessica initially began teaching in Bozeman Montana, gaining experience with mountain flying and to explore. We are happy to have Jessica back. Her Seaplane rating and Tailwheel experience speak to her commitment to fundamental flying skill.

Hobbies: Camping, Hiking, Backpacking

Peers describe Jessica as: Adventurous

Quote: Flying is just plane fun!

James Wunder (CFI, CFII, MEI)

Biography: Born and raised just a few miles north of Pearson Airfield, James first soloed here in 2010. After receiving his educational background in both Air Traffic Control and Aerospace Science, he has come ba

ck to serve proudly as one of our instructors. When hes not at the airfield, hes outside enjoying the Pacific Northwest, spending time with family, and furthering his education in aspects within aviation.

Hobbies: Anything Outdoors

Peers describe James as: Hardworking, Dependable, Informative

Teaching Style: Demonstrator, Motivator

“The fan on front of the airplane is very important, when it fails, you can actually see the pilot start to sweat. Just remember, blue side up!”

See what James has been up to here.

Larkin O’Shea (CFI, CFII,)

Biography: Larkin has been in love with flying since he was a little kid.  He grew up on the rugged coast of Northern California and spent his childhood exploring the woods, climbing trees, investigating tide pools, and jumping off of sand dunes with a big blue tarp.  Larkin has been flying since 2013 and has trained in the complex airspace of the San Francisco Bay, the high mountains of the Sierra Nevada, and rolling hills of Vancouver WA. In addition to his passion for flying Larkin has always loved nature and received a degree from Lewis and Clark College in Biology. Larkin is eager to share his enthusiasm flying, the freedom of flight, and the importance of safety.

Hobbies: Flying, paragliding, rowing, climbing, backpacking, skiing, sailing, and anything else outdoors.

Peers describe Larkin as: a level headed guy who makes everyone feel safe and at ease. His intellect, kindness, and good humor make him an ideal instructor.

Teaching Style: Patient, discussion,

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you will always long to return” – Leonardo da Vinci