Instructors

Introducing our team.

Brenda Tibbs

Brenda Tibbs, a gold seal CFII, opened Bravo Flight Training in 2016 with the goal of creating a fun and safe environment for pilots to learn. She began flying in 2001 and became a CFII in 2010. Thanks to her many wonderful students, Brenda was the recipient of the AOPA Flight Instructor of the Year award in 2016 and recognized as a Distinguished Flight Instructor by AOPA in 2017. Brenda earned her Tail wheel endorsement in 2016 flying a Cessna 120 and her Commercial Seaplane rating in 2017. Brenda is the Post leader for the Frederick Aviation Explorers and an active member of the Sugarloaf 99’s. When she is not working at Bravo, Brenda enjoys spending time with her kids and grandchildren, hiking with her dogs Rex and Emi or working in her garden.


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.

Mike Crawford

Mike is a lifelong resident of Frederick, who got his license in 2005. He is a CFI and CFII. He started flight instructing full time in 2016 after retiring from a 25-year career in the fire department. He still teaches at the University of MD teaching fire/rescue courses around the state. When he is not flying or teaching, Mike enjoys traveling with his family and working on his 1966 Mustang.

Jay Chiang

Jay started flying in 2011 and earned his Private Pilot Certificate in 2012. He spent the next five years flying for fun in and around the Mid-Atlantic and East coast. In 2017 he decided to end his first career in theater administration and production in the District of Columbia and pursue becoming a CFI. In 2018 he earned his CFI and joined the team at Bravo. Jay, a native of Silver Spring, MD chose the Frederick Airport as his home base as he has always loved to be near the Appalachian’s from his days as a Boy Scout. Jay emphasizes safety, good decision making and having fun in all of his flights. In his free time Jay loves reading about history, camping, playing games with friends and spending time in the Outer Banks.

Jim McSherry

Jim grew up in Frederick, and lived in Philadelphia for 30 years, teaching high school & college sciences. He started flying in 1990, and earned his CFII in 2000 at Northeast Philadelphia airport. Along the way, he added ASES, AMEL, and glider ratings. Now returned to living in Frederick, he is eager to share his love of aviation with new friends. Jim has a little over 4700 hours of flight time, and 2500 hours of dual instruction given, and every flight is an opportunity to learn something new.

If he can’t be flying, or scuba diving, he will be found on a tropical beach with his wife Mary – smiling & relaxing.

Katie

Katie Spillane

Katie was called to the skies by a "Learn to Fly Here" sign posted on the side of route 50. She earned her private certificate in 2011 at Freeway Airport, then spent several years flying for fun and building cross country time in Pennsylvania and Florida. She started flying with Bravo in 2017 and earned her instrument, commercial, and CFI ratings. Katie is looking forward to completing her CFII and MEI ratings in the near future. When she is not flying Katie works as a veterinarian at a mixed animal practice. In her free time she enjoys hiking, reading, and spending time with her boyfriend, Kevin, and dogs, Izzie and Copper.

Leon

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.

Instructor Hoa Dao

Hoa Dao

Hoa had an interest in flying after a friend suggested she take a discovery flight. After selling her business, she pursued her aviation career in 2018. She is originally from Pennsylvania and completed her training in Florida. She now holds CFI, CFII and MEI ratings. Every day is a new day to learn and she wants to share her joy of flying with everyone. In her free time, Hoa enjoys spending time with her husband and going to the beach.

Tim Lanigan

Tim graduated from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University with a Bachelors Degree in Aeronautical Science. After Graduating College, Tim worked as a flight
instructor and Part 135 pilot in Albuquerque, NM. He then flew for Republic Airways holdings as a First Officer on the EMb-145 and then as a Captain on the
E-170. After leaving Republic, Tim taught in the Citation 560 business jet program for Flight Safety International. Tim is rapidly approaching 9,000 hours of
flight time with over 3,000 hours of instruction given. Tim enjoys the challenge of training new pilots as well as building the skills of more seasoned aviators.

Walter Barahona

Walter Barahona

Walter is a graduate from Florida Tech that has lived abroad and enjoys sharing and learning about different cultures. Walter felt in love with aviation watching airplanes at LAX every evening for 3 months. Walter decided to start his aviation career in 2013 and moved to Florida to finish his flight training. On his senior year he had a strong feeling that he wanted to help people have fun learning how to fly but also contributing to keep the skies safe by reinforcing aeronautical decision making and safety. With over thousand hours of experience Walter has trained students from different ages for private and commercial ratings. Whenever he's not flying he loves to take pictures of flying airplanes.

Niles Schuch

Niles Schuch

James Joao

I began flying with a discovery flight at Frederick Airport. I took an intro flight and knew from then on it was eyes upward.

At the time, gliders operated from Frederick. I wandered over to the T- hangers where the operation was based out of, on the North side of Frederick Airport. I joined the club Mid-Atlantic Soaring Association, at age 13. I’ve and have been a member since.

After I earned my private-glider, I continued to soar in gliders and built my cross country thermal, ridge, and wave skills. I flew in multiple contests. A lot of fun!

I completed my commercial glider and where I then moved to Upstate NY for my first flying job.

I gave rides in an ASK-21 glider in the mountains south of the Finger Lakes in Upstate New York. This was over a short 3 Month summer season.

At this point, around age 19 or so, I knew without a doubt I would make flying into a career.

I decided to bite the bullet and enroll in a flight school full time in Florida, where I built my skills developing from instrument to flight instructing.

Over the past few years I’ve developed around 800 hours of experience in over 15 types.

I’m looking forward to flying with people and catering to their individual goals in aviation. There’s so many paths to take!

Andrew Gray

Andrew Gray is a CFII who completed all of his training in Southwest Florida. Originally from Minnesota, he got his Bachelor’s degree in psychology from University of Minnesota before deciding that flying was a better career pursuit due to his love of travel. He spent some time living abroad in Germany, the Middle East and South East Asia before returning to the United States to complete both his degree and flight training. When he is not flying, he enjoys spending his free time hanging out with his girlfriend, Patty and their little rescue mutt, Patton going on adventures.