Our Team

Instructor Rates

Private (Basic) Training: $52/hr
Instrument (Advanced) Training: $57/hr
Basic Training in Non-Fleet Aircraft: $57/hr
Advanced Training in Non-Fleet Aircraft: $62/hr

Chief Flight Instructor

Paul Castle

Gold Seal Instructor, CFI, CFII, ATP, AGI

Howell Instructors

Jessy Russell

Howell (OZW) CFI

Brandon Sommerville

Howell (OZW) CFI, CFII

Brandon Zender

Howell (OZW) CFI, CFII

Ron Megesi

Howell (OZW) CFI, CFII, MEI, Gold Seal Instructor

Robert Cleary

Howell (OZW) CFI

Regan Lezotte

Howell (OZW) CFI, CFII

Joss Heideman

Howell (OZW) CFI

Brian Lipiec

Howell (OZW) CFI

Thomas Laub

Howell (OZW) CFI

Pontiac Instructors

Dan Holtzclaw

Pontiac (PTK) CFI, CFII, AGI

Connor Novack


Austin Secor

Pontiac (PTK) CFI, CFII, MEI

Moustafa Elbaradie

Pontiac (PTK) CFI, CFII, MEI

Dennis Glaeser

Pontiac (PTK) CFI, CFII, Gold Seal Instructor

Casey McIntyre

Pontiac (PTK) CFI

Michael Clapp

Pontiac (PTK) CFI

Josh Barton

Pontiac (PTK) CFI, CFII, MEI

Joey Augustyn

Pontiac (PTK) CFI, CFII

Douglas Weaver

Pontiac (PTK) CFI, CFII

Flint Instructors

Jeremy McDaniel

Flint (FNT) CFI

Brenden McConiha

Flint (FNT) CFI

Ypsilanti Instructors

At Crosswinds Aviation we are committed to the most efficient and highest quality flight training experience possible. The way we ensure this begins with our instructors. It’s not just the plane you fly, but who you fly with that affects your experience. Through your flight training process you will spend a great deal of time with your instructor, and for this reason, we hand-select the best instructor from our team to meet your needs and personality. Your Crosswinds flight instructor will guide you from the very beginning of your first lesson, through all the lessons in your flight training syllabus, to your final check-ride with an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner; they will be your teacher and mentor throughout the entire process.

Customized Training 

Our instructors are skilled at understanding what their student’s objectives are for achieving a pilot license. Based on this, they will incorporate specific scenarios into the structure of your flight training syllabus. Crosswinds instructors will modify flight lessons and help you obtain more experience in situations based on how you intend to use your pilot license. For example, if you are looking to become a career pilot, your instructor will focus more on efficiency of training and progressing you to the next rating as quickly as possible. If you are planning to use your license for business travel, your instructor will focus on your perspective in regards to flying and good decision making; incorporating trips into your cross-country flights that are similar to the trips and weather conditions you will likely encounter. And if you are flying for recreation, your instructor will incorporate flight training lessons to the types of destinations you plan to visit frequently.


At Crosswinds Aviation we only hire instructors with the following characteristics:

  • Demonstrate a “safety first” attitude towards flying
  • Passion for aviation and teaching others to fly
  • Commitment to a high quality customer experience
  • Relaxed personality and easy to get along with
  • Expert knowledge of all aspects of flying; from aerodynamics, to airspace and communications, to the avionics in our aircrafts

Safety With You In Mind 

We periodically get reports of pilots who have had their instructor yell at them; even very early in their training process. At Crosswinds, we believe that this should NEVER happen. Safety is our first priority, and raised tones or quick authoritative commands can create a tense and combative environment which is not conducive to flight training. If there is a situation requiring immediate attention for safety, your Crosswinds flight instructor has been trained to calmly take over the controls and let the student know, through positive communication, of what should be done differently. In addition, your flight instructor may incorporate the exact same situation in a later course as part of your flight training and in order to help you hone your skills.

Crosswinds Legacy Instructors

Robert Hopman

Howell (OZW) CFI, CFII

Kirstie Ovlasuk

Facility Operations Manager /A&P

Aiden Buck

Howell (OZW) CFI

Jake Lovell

Howell (OZW) CFI

Lina Nowland

Howell (OZW) CFI, CFII, A&P

Henry Smith

Pontiac (PTK) CFI, CFII, MEI, Gold Seal Instructor

Lee Nowicki

Howell (OZW) CFI

Joshua Rushlow

Howell (OZW) CFI, Gold Seal Instructor

Kirksey Hagan

Howell (OZW) CFI, CFII, MEI, Gold Seal Instructor

Scott McDonald


Mackenzie Benson

Pontiac (PTK) CFI

Logan Smith

Howell (OZW) CFI ,CFII

Nathan Sherriff

Pontiac (PTK) CFI

Tyler Keough

Howell (OZW) CFI, CFII

Mac Lipsey

Howell (OZW) CFI