Donald Putnam, Head of Training

Donald is our Head of Training and Chief Flying Instructor. Donald has been instructing for 10 years and is qualified to teach all flying disciplines from basic PPL and Multi-Engine  through to Commercial flying, FIC courses, Instrument Flying and Aerobatics.

Donald is a passionate flyer and has been flying since he was 13 and lives to pass on his passion to everyone else. He has prodigious knowledge both about the practice of flying in the real world and all the theoretical background to it all in order to help both students and qualified pilots through the technical exams needed to obtain or revalidate the different licences.

Photo Credit: JFB


Trix Lummis, Senior Flying Instructor

Trix is one of our senior flying instructors and has been instructing for 5 years. Trix is a lynchpin of the school and is qualified to teach PPL, Night, CPL and Instrument Rating (Single Engine).




Captain Piers Smerdon - Senior Flying Instructor and Examiner

Piers is a legend in the industry and we are proud to include him in our roster of instructors. Piers can teach and examine all aspects of the flying curriculum and has taught pilots from all over the world. He has recently been awarded the prestigious Pike Trophy for excellence in flying training.

Piers is an examiner for PPL, CPL, IR, FI, IRI Multi-Engine, PBN, Radio Telephony,




Damien Andre, Flying Instructor

Damien originates from Marseille in the South of France and went to the USA to carry out his initial pilot training in mostly Florida and California. Damien carried out his Flying Instructor rating at Cranfield and liked it so much that he has decided to stay here and instruct. He has been part of theschool since July 2016.





Gino Sabatino, Flying Instructor

Gino is a part time instructor with the school when he can spare the time from his job with Ryan Air. He loves flying and teaching so much that when he is not in the air with the big jets he comes to the school to share his passion with our students.





Rachelle Fays, Flying Instructor

Rachelle is a part time instructor with us for two days a week at the moment as she also works as a childrens occupational therapist when she is not flying. Rachelle has 1600 hours flying time and has been instructing for 17 years. Her personal approach to teaching flying is that you are never too old to stop learning and she loves to teach. She also speaks french and has two children to keep her occupied when she is not doing all this other stuff.


Sylwester Nowak, Flying Instructor

Sylwester hails from Kielce in Poland and has lived in the UK for 11 years. Sylwester started learning to fly gliders when in Poland and accumulated 100 hours prior to learning to fly powered aircraft when he came to the UK in 2007. He funded all of this learning by earning a living as a truck driver.  He loved flying so much that he decided that he would like to teach flying and has now acquired more than 500 hours flying and has been instructing for 2 years. Sylwester speaks five languages, including French and Italian, and is now a central member of our school.




George Yakas, Senior Flying Instructor

George is originally from Greece and has been in the UK for over 40 years.  George is a very experienced commercial pilot and flying instructor having accumulated over 17,000 flying hours in a wide variety of aircraft and locations. He is able to teach and examine for PPL, IMC and Multi-Engine. In addition to English and Greek, George is able to teach inFrench and Portuguese.


Abubaker Niazi, Operations Manager

Niazi is our operations Manager and has been running the school for over 5 years. He looks after all aspects of the running of the school from induction of new students, ensuring the aircraft are available for flight, booking lessons and scheduling and despatching flights. 


Jason Kettlewell, Head of Maintenance

Jason, our head of maintenance is a licenced engineer of many years experience. He and his team of enthusiastic professionals keep the fleet flying and safe. Jason has been working in aviation for 20 years many of them for this school.