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Expert Teacher

Introducing our team.

Katie Spillane – Chief Flight Instructor 


Katie was called to the skies by a “Learn to Fly Here” sign posted on the side of route 50. She earned her private pilot certificate in 2011 at Freeway Airport, then spent several years flying for fun in Pennsylvania and Florida. She started flying with Bravo in 2017 and earned her instrument, commercial, CFI, and CFII ratings. Katie added the FAA Gold Seal to her instructor certificate in 2023. She is a career flight instructor who is passionate about safety and helping clients achieve their aviation goals. When she is not flying, Katie works as a veterinarian at a small animal practice. In her free time she enjoys hiking, reading, and hunting grocery store aisles for new kinds of hot cocoa.

Frank Watson


Frank Watson graduated from the US Air Force Academy in 1996 and spent 13 years as an Air Force logistician. He separated from the Air Force in 2009 to get married and settle down in Frederick. He began his flight training in 2014 and earned his CFI in November 2016 and CFI-I in October 2017. He’s currently working on multi-engine airplane and commercial helicopter ratings. He enjoys long walks on the beach and sunsets.

Leon Jackler


Leon started flying in 1987 and got his private license soon after his 17th birthday, fulfilling a lifelong dream/obsession. Over the past 30+ years he has flown several thousand hours in his own and other planes, recently earning his CFI and joining Bravo. Leon has flown all over the country, including going to Oshkosh every July, and volunteers for animal rescue and disaster relief flights. An aspiring ex-lawyer, he loves to share his passion for flight with students, other pilots, and anyone who’ll listen, and learns something new on every flight. Oh, he also enjoys spending time with his wife, kids, and dog.

Pete Bastien


Pete Bastien has been flying for nearly six decades. He made his first solo flight in 1962, and in the intervening years has never turned down an opportunity to go flying. Retired from the Air Force and several business ventures, Pete has firmly resolved to spend his remaining years doing only the things he truly loves: flying, teaching, and taking long walks in the woods with his beloved dog, Byla. Because of his advanced age, his students have bestowed upon him the nickname “Retro Pete”, a sobriquet he wears with pride. Working nearly every day as a flight instructor and charter pilot, Retro says, “My plan is to live and fly forever; and so far, so good!” Pete encourages his students occasionally to invite their pets along for a lesson; he says it is fun for him, relaxing for the student, and avoids separation anxiety for the pet. However, dogs are somewhat problematic on cross-countries, because they absolutely hate flying in straight lines; they would much rather make…um…doglegs! Go figure!

Chris Meyer


Chris began flying with a discovery flight at Bravo in 2019. Quickly hooked, he decided that flying sounded more fun than working as an insurance adjuster. Earning his Private certificate in 2020, Chris took advantage of the unplanned time off provided by Covid-19 to complete his instrument rating. Flying paused while Chris and his wife Amy welcomed their first child to the world in fall 2020. Adjusting to his new life as a stay-at-home dad, Chris returned to training, earning his Commercial and CFI certificates in 2021. Chris is dedicated to helping you reach your goals, whether they be cultivating a new hobby or pursuing a new career. When he isn’t flying, Chris enjoys relaxing and spending time with his two young children.

Ryan Gee


Ryan was interested in aviation since his first discovery flight in 1996. In 2011, he began his flight training in Lancaster, PA (KLNS) as a Light Sport Pilot in an Evektor Sportstar. After an encounter with severe turbulence in a light sport airplane, he decided it was “time for an upgrade.” In 2016 he began training in Frederick, MD (KFDK) and successfully transitioned his license to Private Pilot in 2017. After many canceled flights due to poor weather he decided it was time to earn an Instrument Rating, which was completed in 2019. In 2021 he earned his Commercial Pilot license and in 2022 his Flight Instructor certification. When not flying, he enjoys time with his wife, daughter, son, two dogs and two cats in Frederick, Maryand.

Bryan Wang


Bryan discovered his passion for flying after a discovery flight with Bravo Flight Training. In 2020 he decided to quit his career in Finance to begin his new journey in aviation. Training under Bravo instructors Jay Chiang and Katie Spillane, Bryan earned his Private Pilot, Instrument, Commercial and CFI certificates by summer of 2022, and is looking forward to completing his CFII and muti-engine rating in the near future. He is excited to share his love for aviation with anyone who is interested in flying, whether they be working towards becoming a professional pilot or simply flying as a hobby. During his free time, Bryan enjoys hiking and playing table tennis.

Allison Schmidbauer


 Allison is excited to share her passion for aviation with Bravo students and aims to provide a comfortable, safety-focused training environment for all learners. She earned her CFI certificate in 2023, after fulfilling her lifelong dream of becoming a pilot in 2018. When she is not flying, Allison works in animal advocacy. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her four pets, various foster animals, and traveling to new destinations around the world. 

Rick Van Lehn


Many years ago my parents started my flight training in hope of straightening me out. It was nothing like I expected and I was bad at it. But I loved flying. Soon all my friends were at the airport an I still call Boeing Field my alma matter. Now that I have finished a fantastic career in the airlines it’s time to give back to aviation. 

Delaney Webb


Delaney embarked on her aviation journey in 2019 at Montana State University. Inspired by a lifelong passion for flight, she completed the institution’s two-year aviation program. During her time there, Delaney acquired a range of qualifications, from her private pilot license to her multi-engine commercial license. Though she thoroughly enjoyed the magnificent mountain flying experiences in Montana, Delaney felt compelled to return to her home state to further her aviation career. Here, she successfully achieved a single-engine add-on and earned her Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) qualification with Bravo Flight Training. Looking to the future, Delaney aspires to transition into the charter aviation sector. When not flying she loves the outdoors. She enjoys things like climbing, hiking, and snowboarding.

Bridget Kalivretenos


Bridget Kalivretenos caught the flying bug back in 2004 when a family friend took her flying in his old C-152. She immediately knew she wanted to become a pilot. A southern California organization The Gillespie Field Eagles awarded her a scholarship to learn to fly. She earned her private pilots license at 18 and enrolled at Embry Riddle in Daytona Beach, FL. Afterwards, she perused other passions in life, including traveling around the country and raising three wild boys. 2022 called her back to flying and peruse a CFI rating. Bridget plans to be a flight instructor for many years and loves to share her love of flying.

Lin Caywood


Lin Caywood is a native of Maryland and has been a resident of Frederick City and County for 40 years. She earned her wings in 2003 and is an instrument-rated Commercial Pilot, single and multi-engine land, a private pilot sea, advanced and instrument ground instructor, and certified flight instructor with instrument privileges for single engine-land (AGI, IGI, CFI,CFII) with over 3,000 hours flown. In 2024 she was awarded the AOPA Best Flight Instructor for the Eastern Region of the US.

Ben Funderburg


Ben started pursuing aviation when he enlisted in the Navy as a P-3C Avionics Technician. After his enlistment he moved into flight simulation as an engineer and then into DHS aviation acquisitions. He is currently finishing an MS in Aviation Cyber Security at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical while instructing and flying whenever he has time. He likes ferrying airplanes cross-country and flying with his fiancé and their Dalmatians.

Stephen Hite


 Stephen was a High School Math teacher before changing career paths and taking a discovery flight with Bravo in January of 2022. He enjoyed the flight and the atmosphere so much that he began pursuing aviation as a career. He now hope to pass that enjoyment to anyone else he has the pleasure of interacting with. When he is not flying, he like to spend time with his family and his many nieces and nephews. 

Curtis Berry


Curtis took a Discovery Flight 1/1/2004 out of Hagerstown, MD and became a Private Pilot in June 2004.  He has always enjoyed aviation and teaching so in 2012 he got his CFI and then CFII.  A recently retired engineer he now gets to spend more time with his wife, kids and grandkids.  They own a Cessna 177RG which they love and fly frequently.

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