Management

RON KUIST

PRESIDENT

RON KUIST
CFI
CFI-I

FRANK GOZZO

Image
CFI
CFI-I
MEI

Administration

ALEX TUDOR

Image

Flight Instructors

DANIEL DISHNER

Daniel Dishner
CFI
CFI-I
MEI

Daniel Dishner is a Certified Flight Instructor with FlightGest Academy who has been flying full-time since 2019. 

After his first trip on an airline at a young age, he became fascinated with all things aviation, taking control of a small plane for the first time at age 9. He boasts about the variety that comes with being a part of the FlightGest Academy team with each day bringing different experiences, challenges, and adventures.

Daniel loves to share flying and experiences with people whether that be his students, his friends, or his family, which he credits as one of his favorite experiences working in aviation. “There is something about being able to eat breakfast in one state and lunch in another. Being in one climate here and a totally different one there. Plus, there’s no better way to end a long day than to watch a sunset from a few thousand feet off the ground.” 

CHRIS COLTMAN

Chris Coltman
CFI
CFI-I
MEI

Chris Coltman is a Certified Flight Instructor at FlightGest Academy who finished his flight track program in 2020 after accumulating flight hours since 2013. 

Chris has always been fascinated by learning how things work and always questioned how 500,000+ pounds of metal, passengers, and cargo could travel 30,000 feet in the air at more than half the speed of sound. This piqued his interest in aviation, leading to his first discovery flight and he’s been hooked ever since. 

Chris stresses the importance of incorporating fun into the flight training experience. “FlightGest Academy is filled with talented and incredibly knowledgeable instructors and staff. They make you feel as though you are part of their family.” 

One of his fondest memories include flying into Fort Lauderdale to pick up a new Piper aircraft and flying it back to Raleigh-Durham Airport, which included flying over a NASA Shuttle Launch Facility on the way. “It is an entirely different feeling when you can see the world from the air through a window bigger than your airline window. Even with as many hours as I have today, I learn something new and log a new amazing story or experience every day that I go flying.”

CLARK CAHILL

Clark Chill
CFI
CFI-I
MEI

Originally from Northern Kentucky, I have just recently moved to the Raleigh area. I have spent my entire life around the world of aviation as my dad is a corporate pilot. I remember being very young and being taken up on flights in a Piper Cherokee around downtown Cincinnati. From that moment, I had fallen in love with flying.

It took me a little while to get into flying as a career, as I went to college for Homeland Security. Upon graduation, I had a little free time so I decided to take up lessons to obtain my private pilot license. Upon completion of my PPL, I quickly enrolled in a full-time flight school where I obtained my instrument rating, commercial single and multi-engine certificates, and my CFI, CFII, MEI certificates. I love working with my students and watching them achieve the big flying milestones. Nothing beats the time a student jumps behind the controls all by themselves for the first time.

When I'm not flying, I enjoy golfing, trying to learn tennis, playing videogames, and going to the rock climbing gym.

Brandon Miguez

Dickson Tam
CFI
CFI-I
MEI

Growing up in New Orleans, I always knew I wanted to fly. Watching gigantic planes disappear into the Louisiana swamp was mind boggling (around age 7 I finally learned Louis Armstrong International was behind those cypress trees). When the time came for college, I was faced with an ultimatum. LSU did not offer an aviation program, and the local flight schools in my area were not strong enough to carry a student much further than Private. So, I went to LSU and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, determined to pursue a career in Aviation Law instead. 

I clerked for two years at a firm and was headed to law school when I decided that I was putting off my real passion; I needed to fly again. That is when I quit my job, moved to Tampa, and finished my flight training. I am now a CFI, CFII, MEI, and AGI and I can say that things happen exactly when they are supposed to if you don’t give up on your passion for flying.

Everything that has happened in my life has led me back to aviation and, thankfully, into the welcoming doors of FlightGest Academy. I am thrilled to be doing exactly what I always dreamed of doing, exactly where I’m supposed to be doing it: in a professional environment full of supportive individuals and stellar pilots. 

PAULA KAVANAGH

Dickson Tam
CFI

Paula believes that backing passions with drive and focus while having fun, creates satisfying results. 

She began flying in 2000. In her early years of flying, she flew single and multi-engine airplanes to destinations in the U.S., Caribbean, and South America.

When the aviation industry was at its low point, she decided to obtain a B.S. in Computer Engineering, which she made a successful career out of for the next fourteen years.

Paula's true passion for aviation was always lurking in the back of her mind. As these ideas to return to aviation as a career became harder to ignore, it lead to her decision to train to be an instructor at FlightGest Academy in 2021!  FlightGest Academy was the perfect fit for her. The training was flexible and she had access to highly skilled instructors and support staff.

Paula is enthusiastic to apply her experience to the aviation community as a dedicated flight instructor.

Adventure is worthwhile in itself.” - Amelia Earhart

Our own life has to be our message.” - Thich Nhat Hanh

COLBY BARNES

Dickson Tam
CFI
CFI-I
MEI

My passion for aviation started at a really young age. I grew up flying out of a little grass airstrip with my dad just outside of Raleigh. Flying for me has always been my favorite thing to do. Growing up, I remember watching airplane documentaries on the history channel with my dad, all of my toys were airplanes, I would build model planes and hang them from the ceiling, and nothing has really changed. When I come home from flying all day, I either play flight simulators or watch airplane stuff on YouTube. I never realized people can actually make living flying airplanes until I was in high school, but when I did, I was super quick to get all of my certificates. As soon as I was done with high school, I worked in the auto body repair industry. I knew that my passion wasn't welding cars together, it was flying airplanes. Flying came super quick to me, and I knew for a fact this is what I was going to do with my life. I graduated from flight school as a CFI CFII and MEI. I am super excited that I have become one of those guys I have dreamed of being ever since I was a young kid. I am excited to share my passion with future safe and professional pilots!

BRANDON KICKER

Dickson Tam
CFI
CFI-I
MEI

I started my aviation adventure in 2015 as a crew chief in the Marine Corps. After completing my enlistment, I decided to pursue my childhood dream of becoming a pilot. I completed my CFI, CFII, and MEI in 2021. In my free time I enjoy hanging out with my wife and sons and working on projects. I am looking forward to sharing my experience with future students as well as continuing to learn more every flight.

“It is possible to fly without motors, but not without knowledge and skill.” — Wilbur Wright

KYLER KRISTIANSEN

Dickson Tam
CFI

From drawing airplanes with sharpies on my parents’ basement floor and taking trips to RDU’s observation deck as a little kid, I have always been fascinated with flying. However, it wasn’t until late 2020 that I began to seriously entertain the idea of pursuing a career in aviation.

Upon some deliberation with my family, and while all of my coursework at UNCW had moved online due to COVID-19 — offering a sizable amount of free time in my day-to-day life — I had finally decided to enroll in a full-time flight training program at the start of 2021. All within a matter of eight months, I had earned my Instrument-Rating, as well as both Commercial Single- and Multi-Engine licenses; the only issue, however, was that school was starting back up and my classes had unfortunately moved back to in-person, putting a brief hold on the remainder of my flight training.


Then… after a few months away from flying, and itching to get back, I was lucky enough to begin my Certified Flight Instructor training at FlightGest Academy — all while being able to train comfortably at my own pace and finishing my last semester of college towards earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology.


As a Raleigh native, I am beyond excited to share my love of flying, make meaningful connections, and help others in the area achieve their aviation dreams; especially here, at FlightGest Academy, with a team of equally dedicated, professional, and passionate pilots!

DICKSON TAM

Dickson Tam
CFI

My name is Dickson and I’ve started flying since I was 15. I enjoy flying, teaching, and just sharing this unique experience with others!

When I was 3 during the summers, I started traveling back to where my family was originally from Hong Kong. These BIG airliners always amazed me and fell in love with these huge machines and the Aviation industry. I’m a CFI with FlightGest Academy and I look forward to flying with you soon! 

FRANK ZHENG

Dickson Tam
CFI

Frank caught the flying bug as a little kid hopping across the Pacific on heavy metal jets to see far away relatives. Since then, he knew that professional aviation was something that he’s always wanted to pursue, despite it being the path less traveled.

Frank officially started his flying career in high school with his private pilot’s license, before obtaining instrument and commercial certifications the summer after his senior year. As a student at UNC-CH studying Investment Banking, Frank spent his free time taking up friends in flying club airplanes and exploring the most that general aviation had to offer along the eastern seaboard. Soon after, he decided to become certified as a flight instructor at FlightGest Academy and is beyond excited to not only be sharing his passion with the community but to also be developing the next generation of future aviators.

Maintenance

HUGO ALVAREZ

DIRECTOR OF MAINTENANCE

Chris Coltman

DEVON SMITH

Chris Coltman

DEAN SMITH

Chris Coltman
Management

RON KUIST

PRESIDENT

Daniel Dishner
CFI
CFI-I

FRANK GOZZO

Chris Coltman
CFI
CFI-I
MEI

Administration

ALEX TUDOR

Image

Flight Instructors

DANIEL DISHNER

Daniel Dishner
CFI
CFI-I
MEI

Daniel Dishner is a Certified Flight Instructor with FlightGest Academy who has been flying full-time since 2019. 

After his first trip on an airline at a young age, he became fascinated with all things aviation, taking control of a small plane for the first time at age 9. He boasts about the variety that comes with being a part of the FlightGest Academy team with each day bringing different experiences, challenges, and adventures.

Daniel loves to share flying and experiences with people whether that be his students, his friends, or his family, which he credits as one of his favorite experiences working in aviation. “There is something about being able to eat breakfast in one state and lunch in another. Being in one climate here and a totally different one there. Plus, there’s no better way to end a long day than to watch a sunset from a few thousand feet off the ground.” 

CHRIS COLTMAN

Chris Coltman
CFI
CFI-I
MEI

Chris Coltman is a Certified Flight Instructor at FlightGest Academy who finished his flight track program in 2020 after accumulating flight hours since 2013. 

Chris has always been fascinated by learning how things work and always questioned how 500,000+ pounds of metal, passengers, and cargo could travel 30,000 feet in the air at more than half the speed of sound. This piqued his interest in aviation, leading to his first discovery flight and he’s been hooked ever since. 

Chris stresses the importance of incorporating fun into the flight training experience. “FlightGest Academy is filled with talented and incredibly knowledgeable instructors and staff. They make you feel as though you are part of their family.” 

One of his fondest memories include flying into Fort Lauderdale to pick up a new Piper aircraft and flying it back to Raleigh-Durham Airport, which included flying over a NASA Shuttle Launch Facility on the way. “It is an entirely different feeling when you can see the world from the air through a window bigger than your airline window. Even with as many hours as I have today, I learn something new and log a new amazing story or experience every day that I go flying.”

CLARK CAHILL

Charlie Crooks
CFI
CFI-I
MEI

Originally from Northern Kentucky, I have just recently moved to the Raleigh area. I have spent my entire life around the world of aviation as my dad is a corporate pilot. I remember being very young and being taken up on flights in a Piper Cherokee around downtown Cincinnati. From that moment, I had fallen in love with flying.

It took me a little while to get into flying as a career, as I went to college for Homeland Security. Upon graduation, I had a little free time so I decided to take up lessons to obtain my private pilot license. Upon completion of my PPL, I quickly enrolled in a full-time flight school where I obtained my instrument rating, commercial single and multi-engine certificates, and my CFI, CFII, and MEI certificates. I love working with my students and watching them achieve the big flying milestones. Nothing beats the time a student jumps behind the controls all by themselves for the first time.

When I'm not flying, I enjoy golfing, trying to learn tennis, playing video games, and going to the rock climbing gym.

BRANDON MIGUEZ

Shaked Maltzman
CFI
CFI-I
MEI

Growing up in New Orleans, I always knew I wanted to fly. Watching gigantic planes disappear into the Louisiana swamp was mind-boggling (around age 7 I finally learned Louis Armstrong International was behind those cypress trees). When the time came for college, I was faced with an ultimatum. LSU did not offer an aviation program, and the local flight schools in my area were not strong enough to carry a student much further than Private. So, I went to LSU and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, determined to pursue a career in Aviation Law instead. 

I clerked for two years at a firm and was headed to law school when I decided that I was putting off my real passion; I needed to fly again. That is when I quit my job, moved to Tampa, and finished my flight training. I am now a CFI, CFII, MEI, and AGI and I can say that things happen exactly when they are supposed to if you don’t give up on your passion for flying.

Everything that has happened in my life has led me back to aviation and, thankfully, into the welcoming doors of FlightGest Academy. I am thrilled to be doing exactly what I always dreamed of doing, exactly where I’m supposed to be doing it: in a professional environment full of supportive individuals and stellar pilots. 

PAULA KAVANAGH

Dickson Tam
CFI

Paula believes that backing passions with drive and focus while having fun, creates satisfying results. 

She began flying in 2000. In her early years of flying, she flew single and multi-engine airplanes to destinations in the U.S., Caribbean, and South America.

When the aviation industry was at its low point, she decided to obtain a B.S. in Computer Engineering, which she made a successful career out of for the next fourteen years.

Paula's true passion for aviation was always lurking in the back of her mind. As these ideas to return to aviation as a career became harder to ignore, it lead to her decision to train to be an instructor at FlightGest Academy in 2021!  FlightGest Academy was the perfect fit for her. The training was flexible and she had access to highly skilled instructors and support staff.

Paula is enthusiastic to apply her experience to the aviation community as a dedicated flight instructor.

Adventure is worthwhile in itself.” - Amelia Earhart

Our own life has to be our message.” - Thich Nhat Hanh

COLBY BARNES

Dickson Tam
CFI
CFI-I
MEI

My passion for aviation started at a really young age. I grew up flying out of a little grass airstrip with my dad just outside of Raleigh. Flying for me has always been my favorite thing to do. Growing up, I remember watching airplane documentaries on the history channel with my dad, all of my toys were airplanes, I would build model planes and hang them from the ceiling, and nothing has really changed. When I come home from flying all day, I either play flight simulators or watch airplane stuff on YouTube. I never realized people can actually make living flying airplanes until I was in high school, but when I did, I was super quick to get all of my certificates. As soon as I was done with high school, I worked in the auto body repair industry. I knew that my passion wasn't welding cars together, it was flying airplanes. Flying came super quick to me, and I knew for a fact this is what I was going to do with my life. I graduated from flight school as a CFI CFII and MEI. I am super excited that I have become one of those guys I have dreamed of being ever since I was a young kid. I am excited to share my passion with future safe and professional pilots!

BRANDON KICKER

Dickson Tam
CFI
CFI-I
MEI

I started my aviation adventure in 2015 as a crew chief in the Marine Corps. After completing my enlistment, I decided to pursue my childhood dream of becoming a pilot. I completed my CFI, CFII, and MEI in 2021. In my free time I enjoy hanging out with my wife and sons and working on projects. I am looking forward to sharing my experience with future students as well as continuing to learn more every flight.

“It is possible to fly without motors, but not without knowledge and skill.” — Wilbur Wright

KYLER KRISTIANSEN

Dickson Tam
CFI

From drawing airplanes with sharpies on my parents’ basement floor and taking trips to RDU’s observation deck as a little kid, I have always been fascinated with flying. However, it wasn’t until late 2020 that I began to seriously entertain the idea of pursuing a career in aviation.

Upon some deliberation with my family, and while all of my coursework at UNCW had moved online due to COVID-19 — offering a sizable amount of free time in my day-to-day life — I had finally decided to enroll in a full-time flight training program at the start of 2021. All within a matter of eight months, I had earned my Instrument-Rating, as well as both Commercial Single- and Multi-Engine licenses; the only issue, however, was that school was starting back up and my classes had unfortunately moved back to in-person, putting a brief hold on the remainder of my flight training.


Then… after a few months away from flying, and itching to get back, I was lucky enough to begin my Certified Flight Instructor training at FlightGest Academy — all while being able to train comfortably at my own pace and finishing my last semester of college towards earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology.


As a Raleigh native, I am beyond excited to share my love of flying, make meaningful connections, and help others in the area achieve their aviation dreams; especially here, at FlightGest Academy, with a team of equally dedicated, professional, and passionate pilots!

DICKSON TAM

Dickson Tam
CFI

My name is Dickson and I’ve started flying since I was 15. I enjoy flying, teaching, and just sharing this unique experience with others!

When I was 3 during the summers, I started traveling back to where my family was originally from Hong Kong. These BIG airliners always amazed me and fell in love with these huge machines and the Aviation industry. I’m a CFI with FlightGest Academy and I look forward to flying with you soon! 

FRANK ZHENG

Dickson Tam
CFI

Frank caught the flying bug as a little kid hopping across the Pacific on heavy metal jets to see far away relatives. Since then, he knew that professional aviation was something that he’s always wanted to pursue, despite it being the path less traveled.

Frank officially started his flying career in high school with his private pilot’s license, before obtaining instrument and commercial certifications the summer after his senior year. As a student at UNC-CH studying Investment Banking, Frank spent his free time taking up friends in flying club airplanes and exploring the most that general aviation had to offer along the eastern seaboard. Soon after, he decided to become certified as a flight instructor at FlightGest Academy and is beyond excited to not only be sharing his passion with the community but to also be developing the next generation of future aviators.

Maintenance

HUGO ALVAREZ

DIRECTOR OF MAINTENANCE

Chris Coltman

DEVON JONES

Chris Coltman

DEAN SMITH

Chris Coltman
Flightgest Academy

WHAT FLIGHTGEST ACADEMY STUDENTS SAY


"Whether you are interested in starting up a new and challenging hobby or you are career oriented, FlightGest will help you get where you want to go in aviation. Top notch aircraft, great and rewarding learning environment, and most importantly, friendly, personable, and professional instructors who go above and beyond the call of duty. I have been flying with FlightGest since 2006, and along the way, I have made some great friends and memories. Thank you, FlightGest, for helping me achieve my dreams in earning my wings."
josh smith

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