Meet our all-star team of instructors!

With over a dozen full and part-time instructors, our team has a wide spectrum of experiences. Several of our instructors have been at the company since we opened our doors in 2008! Among them are fighter pilots, airline and corporate pilots, engineers, flight attendants and career instructors.

 

Our #1 goal is YOU. The instructors pull from their unique experiences and strive to maintain standard ways of teaching so our students get the most out of training. When you fly with Mach 5 Aviation, you're in the hands of capable, experienced and passionate aviators.

Dennis Pearson

Owner, Gold Seal Flight Instructor, CFII/MEI/ATP

Dennis’ passion for flying began while attending college at Washington State University.  While completing his undergraduate degree and becoming commissioned as an Officer in the US Air Force Dennis earned his private, instrument and multi-engine pilot ratings.  In the USAF Dennis flew the T-37 and T-38A ‘Talon’ for pilot training earning many awards such as Distinguished Graduate, Top Stick and Commander’s Trophy.  Dennis then went on to fly the F-15C ‘Eagle’ on numerous tours worldwide, was selected to teach air-to-air combat as an exchange instructor pilot with the German Air Force in the F-4F ‘Phantom’, and back at home taught primary jet training in the T-38C.  He has flown combat operations around the world accumulating over 8,000 flight hours, almost 3,000 fighter pilot hours, 1,000 Instructor Pilot hours, 200 Combat flights, and much, much more!  Dennis has also flown and instructed in over two dozen makes and models of civil aircraft from the smallest tail-wheel aircraft to the Cessna Citation jet.  After retiring from the Air Force Dennis began a second career in aviation serving at the FAA office in San Jose.  He also co-founded Mach 5 Aviation with Darcy Brewer with their mission of GIVING BACK!  They want to help make the dream of flight come true for as many people as possible!

Allen Davis

Chief Flight Instructor CFI/CFII/MEI

Allen’s love of airplanes and flying began when he was eight years old. Growing up near Robert Gray Army Airfield at Fort Hood, Texas, he saw many types of military airplanes and determined to be an Air Force pilot. During his Air Force career, Allen flew the T-37, T-38, KC-135, and C-5, and flew 111 combat missions. Early in his flying career, he served two separate tours as a flight instructor and evaluator in the US Air Force’s KC-135 and C-5 training schools, where he gained a deeper desire of flying and teaching. After retiring from the Air Force, Allen worked in the non-profit sector, as well as higher education, but was impressed to return to aviation, so he could share his joy of flying and experience with others. He has accumulated over 9,000 flight hours, with over 3,000 instructor hours. Allen emphasizes safety, general knowledge, precision in flying, checklist discipline, hard work, and continuous improvement. Although he enjoys all phases of training, his passion is IFR, multi-engine, and instructor training.

Andrew Moon

Assistant Chief Flight Instructor Gold Seal/CFII/MEI/ATP

Andrew was born and raised in nearby Grass Valley, CA. He started flying right out of high school in 2006 and began his education at Spartan College of Aeronautics in Tusla, OK. Andrew completed his training at ATP (Airline Transport Professionals) in San Diego where he obtained his CFI and MEI. He is very down to earth, even though he loves flying above it! Andrew enjoys sharing the thrill and love of flight and helping people reach their dreams and goals.  

Tony Pollizzi

CFII/MEI/ATP

Tony grew up in Marysville, CA then graduated from the US Air Force Academy in 1989.  After assignments in Texas, North Carolina, Panama, Arkansas, Puerto Rico, New Jersey, and Illinois, he retired from Beale Air Force Base in 2017.  He accumulated over 5,000 hours in military aircraft to include the T-37, T-38, C-130, MC-12, and RQ-4 with operational deployments to England, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Germany, Iraq, Afghanistan, U.A.E. and Italy.  He also served as an Air Force Liaison to the Civil Air Patrol, flying their various Cessna aircraft throughout the Pacific Region.  He lives in Rocklin with his wife and two teenage sons.  He enjoys all things aviation and sharing his world-wide experiences with pilots young & old.

Chester Gault

CFII/MEI

Chester is originally from Birmingham, Alabama. After high-school he served in the Air Force at Laughlin AFB in Del Rio, Texas before moving to California for the first time. After 25 years in the San Francisco Bay area, he and his wife Meryl moved to southwest Florida for 15 years. They recently returned to California and are thrilled to be back. While discussing where to live, they both agreed that Auburn was the place for them. Chester has been a flight instructor for 40 years and still enjoys teaching people his "bad" habits. He is also a pilot for American Airlines in Los Angeles where he flies the B-787.

Joshua Landry

CFI/CFII/MEI/Tailwheel

Joshua has been infatuated with aircraft and the concept of flight ever since he was a small child. Eventually Josh had the opportunity to take his first small aircraft flight in 2003 over glaciers in Alaska, and has been flying ever since. Though Josh graduated with a degree in physics from UC Davis, he chose to continue his passion for aviation and earn his CFI in order to become an instructor at Mach 5. Joshua places an emphasis on safety, stick and rudder skills, and most importantly having fun!

Jeff Ebey

CFI/CFII/MEI

Jeff started flying at a very young age; his inspiration was my father- who was also a pilot.  Jeff has been flying for more than forty years; working for airlines, the FAA, and a university.  He’s spent time flying as a cargo pilot and a flight instructor.  Jeff is currently working for a large Air taxi operator located in the San Francisco Bay area.  Of the many jobs he’s held, he feels adamantly that the time as an instructor has been the most rewarding.   The instructor theme of his flight career has been interlaced throughout his aviation career, an instructor/ check airman for the airlines and an evaluator for the FAA.  Jeff is excited for the opportunity to join the ranks at Mach 5.

Mike Richardson

CFI

Mike started his aviation career back in 2008 when he earned his Private Pilot license. His Grandfather was the reason for his love of aviation. They flew everywhere together. He taught Mike his version of Aviate, navigate, communicate in a way only a grandpa can word it. He gave Mike the courage to fly across a couple states with ease and learning a valuable lesson about density altitude on a hot day in the dessert. Teaching is a passion of Mike’s because he himself had a very difficult time learning all the ground knowledge involved with aviation. With that in mind, he has developed multiple approaches to explain hard to understand concepts. He hopes to encourage his students and provide clutch knowledge in becoming a proficient and sharp pilot; with the added hope of being a voice in your head one day like his grandpa was in his.

Stay positive.

Sean Swenson

CFI

Sean grew up in Lincoln, CA and where he currently lives with his wife and two daughters. He gained a passion for aviation at a young age flying with his Grandpa in WA. Sean obtained his pilots license after graduating from high school in 2006. He has been flying ever since and received his CFI certificate here at Mach 5 in 2018. Flying is a dream of his and he's loving the opportunity to help others achieve that same dream.

Hailey Truax

CFI

Hailey’s passion for aviation began at age eight with scenic flights through the California valley with her stepdad. For a year after college, she taught English in South Korea and discovered her second love, teaching. Upon returning to the United States, she decided to combine her two passions and pursue a career in flight instruction. She plans to remain a lifelong flight instructor and soon become a CFII, MEI, and tailwheel instructor. Hailey is a seasoned Young Eagles pilot and plays an active role in the aviation community. Her favorite hobby is flying slow and low in her J3 Cub and looks forward to teaching people the unique and challenging skill of flying tailwheels someday. Hailey emphasizes safety, learning from every experience, and keeping your passion for flight alive! 

Bennett Carlson

CFI

Bennett first got the bug for flying back in 2013 and has been chasing his new passion ever since. He enjoys mountain flying the most, not just for the views, but because he says it has made him a better pilot. Born and raised in Truckee, California Bennett is no stranger to adventure. To add to his love of the outdoors, he is also an avid climber (note profile pic) and snowboarding coach.

BJ Schilling

CFI

BJ is a flight instructor (CFI) available to provide flight training in both tailwheel and tricycle gear aircraft. He started his flying career in Reno, NV in a Citabria and Super Decathlon. BJ has a lot of mountain flying experience in single engine aircraft and enjoys passing that experience on to his students. BJ’s time in the Marine Corps and as a police officer helps him to adjust and relate to each student’s needs. He is committed to each student’s success and development to ensure the furtherance of their pilot careers, whether it be recreational or a professional pilot career.

BJ grew up in Lake Tahoe developed a passion for aviation at a young age. His father, a commercial pilot, who flew for the Civil Air Patrol in Colorado for several years, and his uncle who was an F-14 Tomcat pilot, fostered his passion to become a pilot. While serving in the US Marine Corps, he finished his Private Pilot’s license and shortly thereafter his Instrument Rating. After leaving the military he decided to further his education by completing a Bachelor’s degree and a MBA. He then continued to pursue his Commercial Pilot and Flight Instructor certificates.

Certified flight instructor – 80 hours of tailwheel time in Citabria, Super Decathlon, and Cessna 150TW.

Tarin Barlow

CFI/CFII/MEI/ATP

Tarin began her love of aviation by flying, with her dad, from Grass Valley to Auburn for breakfast.  She soloed at the age of 17, and was a CFI by the age of 21.  She has flight instructed for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona and Vandenberg Airport in Tampa, Florida. Tarin flew a Beech 1900 for United Express and Midway Connection, an Embraer Brasilia for United Express and Delta Connection, and a Boeing 737 for United Airlines.  She has been based in Raleigh, North Carolina; Chicago, Illinois; Phoenix, Arizona; Salt Lake City, Utah; Portland, Oregon, and San Francisco, California.  Tarin currently lives in Grass Valley with her husband of 25 years and her teenage son.

Larry Uzelac

CFII/MEI/ATP

Larry started flying gliders at 14 years old and has been a Private Pilot since 1978. He decided to share his love for aviation with others and became an instructor in 1995. He holds many ratings including ATP, MEI, CFII, and Glider. He enjoys instructing in tailwheel and instrument proficiency, as well as primary students. If you're lucky, he'll take you down to Baja Sur, Mexico in his Mooney for one of his famous fishing expeditions! Larry has been at Mach 5 since our doors opened in 2008!

John Kluenker

CFI/CFII - *Tailwheel Instructor ONLY*

John is a certified airplane ‘Nerd’.   He started flying when he was just 14 years old and soloed on his 16th birthday. He has a degree in commercial aviation from the University of North Dakota, as well as King Air 300/350, Beechjet and Citation X type ratings. He has accumulated over 5,000 hours of total flight time, with 3,000 hours in turboprops and jets.   John was awarded “National Top Pilot” after leading the University of North Dakota’s Flying Team to First Place at the 2001 NIFA National Championships.  John has loved airplanes his entire life, and enjoys flying and competing in aerobatics.  He has a way of making students feel comfortable with his easy-going nature and enjoys the challenge of making difficult concepts easy to understand.   He is now a corporate pilot flying a Citation X for a local company and continues flight instruction at Mach 5 Aviation in order to share his love of aviation with others.

Gary Jestice

CFI/CFII/MEI

Gary learned to fly at Montgomery Field in San Diego while serving in the US Navy as an Air Traffic Controller at nearby Miramar Naval Air Station (now MCAS).  After the Navy he added commercial, instrument, and flight instructor ratings while studying engineering at Palomar Community College.   After transferring to Humboldt State in Arcata, CA, Gary and another flight instructor started a Cessna Pilot Center at Murray Field in Eureka, and later added a charter service under FAR Part 135.  He has over 18,000 flight hours, including stints as a corporate pilot, Chief Flight Instructor, Chief Pilot, Director of Operations, Designated Pilot Examiner, and Instructor and Line Pilot for a regional air carrier.  Gary currently works for the FAA as an Aviation Safety Inspector and is type rated in SA-227 and B-737 aircraft.

Rich Harrington

CFII, MEI

Rich Harrington is a Former Naval Aviator at U.S. Navy, but is currently Airline Pilot/First Officer at Alaska Air Group Careers. Rich is a certified PMP, Scrum Master and Six Sigma Green Belt with 10 years leadership experience as a Naval Officer. He was ranked the #1 officer against peers in every assignment while on active duty. In his career path Rich has led over 200 people with responsibilities and assignments in strategy, financial management, operations management, logistics and communications. This may sound intimidating...But don't worry! Rich is one of the friendliest instructors you will ever meet. If you want to have fun and learn a lot, Rich is the perfect instructor for that!

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(530) 889-2000

2409 Rickenbacker Way

Auburn, CA 95602, USA

©2019 by Mach 5 Aviation