Hall of fame
A walk down memory lane, and a tribute to the amazing instructors that we have been lucky enough to call Rocky Mountain Flight School family from past years.
CFI Eldon Hesselius
Eldon's father is the one that passed on the aviation addiction to him while he was involved in the Air Force. In the summer of 2018, Eldon started his training to obtain his own Private Pilot's License in Boulder. He then finished his Instrument, Commercial, and CFI ratings from the University of Oklahoma, along with a Bachelors in Aviation. Then came CFII, and his Multi-Engine/MEI followed, both being completed at Rocky Mountain Flight School. Eldon loves flying in the mountains and also flies his father's Baron in his spare time, so KBJC is like a second home to him.
Eldon moved on from RMFS September 2022 to pursue his career with Endeavor Air!
CFI Andrew Whitney
Andrew began his journey as a first generation pilot in 2018 in Centennial, then continued his training at Rocky Mountain Flight School. Andrew plans on continuing his training as a flight instructor before eventually heading to the airlines. He doesn’t care what he’s flying, as long as he’s in the air. Outside of flying, Andrew enjoys attending sporting events, fishing, golfing, and spending time with his pup, Frannie.
Andrew departed RMFS September 2022 to begin his career with Key Lime Air!
CFI Erika Ausley
Erika first started flying in 2016 out of a small airfield in Texas. She moved to Colorado in 2019 to finish her flight training and get her Bachelors Degree in Aviation and Aerospace Science from Metropolitan State University in Denver. She obtained all of her pilot certificates through Rocky Mountain Flight School! Outside of aviation, Erika loves hiking, trail running, and is a singer-songwriter that plays guitar, ukulele, and piano.
Erika exited RMFS in July 2022 to begin a job opportunity with FedEx!
CFI Risto Vukovic
Risto Vukovic completed his training through ATP Flight School and received his CFI rating in March 2020, right at the beginning of an unexpected pandemic. Although raring and ready to go, he had to put his teaching plans on pause. Risto later began instructing at Centennial Flyers located at KAPA, yet he still had hopes of getting into Rocky Mountain Flight School; to gain experience in the wide range of available aircraft and their many systems. Having an instructor with flying as his #1 hobby has its advantages, and Risto is ready to share his love of aviation with you during your journey of flight training and exploration! When not flying, Risto also enjoys hiking, fishing and camping, although, you may catch him wishing he was in the air instead.
Risto resigned from his CFI position at RMFS August 2022. He now works for Piedmont Airlines!
CFI Chris Cocozzella
Chris is a piano playing, rock and ice climbing, wannabe astronaut. Turns out being an astronaut was harder than advertised in elementary school, so becoming a pilot was the next best thing. Chris finished all his ratings in a year through ATP and enjoys flying and spending time with his three year old border collie.
Chris left RMFS in June 2022 and now works at Key Lime Air!
CFI Dio Beck
Dio grew up in Virginia, and began his flying in the green hills of the Appalachians. After earning a Physics degree from Roanoke College, he migrated to Colorado in 2016 to pursue higher education at CU Boulder, where he gained experience as a Teaching Assistant. Since then, he has shifted gears towards a career as a pilot. His journey has taken him to the Swiss Air Force in 2017, and back to Colorado in 2018 where he has worked with Pilatus Business Aircraft as an analyst. He towed gliders for the 2019 season with Mile High Gliding in Boulder, where he earned a glider rating as well. He is excited to be a part of RMFS, and looks forward to helping others achieve their aviation goals!
Dio departed RMFS April 2022 to pursue a new aviation career opportunity with Key Lime Air!
CFI Luke Cifelli
Luke Cifelli has had his eyes to the sky since childhood. His love of Star Wars and all things interstellar had him imagining a future career as an astronaut. In 2015, Luke started his aviation journey and he was hooked. Simultaneously he completed all of his ratings up to CFI at Rocky Mountain Flight School and graduated in 2020 with a BS in Aviation and Aerospace from Metropolitan State University in Denver. Climbing, biking, and hiking; all things outdoors and adventurous keep Luke entertained during his off time. He is happy to join RMFS, now as an instructor, to help pilots of all ages achieve their aviation dreams as he once did.
Luke left RMFS in March 2022 to start his training and career with Sky West Airlines! He still works at RMFS time to time doing Discovery Flights and advanced training.
CFI Sweta Kolisetti
Sweta is originally from the Western New York area. She previously graduated from Clemson University with a degree in Pre-Med and worked in the medical field before realizing her true passion was in aviation. She moved to Colorado to complete all of her flight ratings, and is becoming well established in the Denver aviation community. Sweta enjoys live music, theater, fashion, culture, fitness, exploring new places and meeting new people. But most of all, Sweta is truly passionate about sharing her love of aviation with others.
Sweta resigned from her position at RMFS in January 2022 to become a Learjet Medevac Pilot!
CFI Randy Evans
Randy is a Colorado native who has had a lifelong aspiration to fly in the mountains. After high school, Randy moved up to Bozeman, Montana, where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Mountain Geography and was a successful competitive freeride skier. Shortly after graduating from MSU Bozeman, Randy started his aviation career, completing his Private Pilot License at Rocky Mountain Flight School in 2014. Since then, Randy has earned his CFI, Advanced and Instrument Ground Instructor ratings, an Aircraft Dispatcher certificate, and a Professional Flight Officer degree from Metropolitan State University in Denver. In addition to flight instruction, Randy has experience as a scenic tour pilot in the Denver area. Randy is an outdoor enthusiast, an enthusiastic instructor, and loves to share his experience with his students.
Randy departed RMFS in January 2022 to pursue a career with Sky West!
CFI James Madok
James Madok has loved flying ever since he was little, especially with having a United pilot as his father. James has been flying since 2014 and appreciates every hour he can be in the air. When he isn’t instructing at Rocky Mountain Flight School, he enjoys hunting, shooting, hockey, and biking. Oh, and did we mention he loves flying?!
James departed RMFS in November 2021 for SkyWest!
CFI Brian Young
Brian's passion for aviation was sparked at a very young age. He grew up with his eyes in the sky in wonder and amazement of each passing aircraft. Brian's first flight experience was at 10 yrs old with his great uncle, a former Navy pilot. From that point on he knew he wanted to be a pilot. He completed flight school as part of his college education and worked his way up to Instrument Flight Instructor. However, life had other plans for Brian and he was pulled away from flying for a number of years. Now he is back to his passion and loving it more than ever! During his absence from flying, Brian managed outdoor businesses, was a guide in Alaska, and a rock climbing instructor. He didn't realize during these experiences the amount of skills he was continuing to develop (teaching, thinking under pressure, and patience) and how they were all preparing him to be the best flight instructor he could be later in life.
Brian is happy to be back in aviation and not sure where the many opportunities in this industry may take him, but ready for when it comes.
Brian departed RMFS in October to purse an Airline Transport Pilot opportunity with SkyWest!
CFI Jason Samatas
Growing up not far from Chicago's O'Hare airport, Jason's passion for aviation began as a young boy as he would sit outside his house and watch the low flying aircraft for hours upon hours. Jason himself has been flying airplanes for over 20 years, first receiving his private pilot's license in 2000. Since then, he's accumulated over 2200 flight hours and added an instrument rating, multi-engine rating, Commercial rating, and his CFI ratings (single engine, multi-engine and instrument). He also just completed his ATP rating. Jason made a career change three years ago and decided to make his life's passion of flying airplanes his career. A native Chicagoan for almost his entire life, Jason now embraces all that life in Colorado provides after moving here a few years ago. He lives just outside Boulder and has three kids ages 16, 14 and 12.
Jason departed RMFS September 2021 for SkyWest to continue his aviation journey! He promises to return to RMFS and wishes to continue flight instruction even while flying commercial.
CFI Matt Berger
Matt is a Colorado native and grew up right next to the airport in Broomfield. Matt has always aspired to fly airplanes and knew it was his calling after a discovery flight at Rocky flight school in the summer of 2017. Matt has completed all of his training at Rocky Mountain Flight from private, instrument, commercial single engine, and CFI. Matt also had a degree in Aviation and Aerospace Science from MSU Denver, which he received in December of 2019. He is very proud and excited to be on the staff on RMFS and looks forward to sharing his passion of flying with others.
Matt departed RMFS July 2021 to begin his ATP career with SkyWest!
CFI Cameron Wogrin
Cameron completed his Private-CFI training in a flash! He was a member of Rocky Mountain Flight School for many years as both a student and instructor. He loves sharing his passion for aviation with great enthusiasm, and a contagious smile that makes all of his students excited for their aviation training journey.
Cameron departed RMFS April 2021. He currently flies as first officer with Denver Air Connection and will shortly start mountain flying cargo in a single-pilot metroliner!
CFI Jake Huitt
Jake Huitt started flying in 2009 with his initial training here at Rocky Mountain Flight School at the age of 10. He later received his Instrument rating, Commercial rating and Flight Instructor certificates.
Jake departed RMFS April 2021 to fly the Citation Excel for Red Wing Aviation Charter. He continues instructing whenever he can!
CFI Madi Siegrist
Madi Siegrist departed RMFS February 2020 to pursue another CFI opportunity in Kearney, Nebraska. When COVID halted many pilots plans, including hers, she returned to Colorado and instructed at McAir Aviation, also located at KBJC.
Madi now works for a worldwide air ambulance company flying Learjet 35/36’s, equipped with medical equipment and stretchers. With 6 hour, non-stop flying capabilities, she is able to cross the ocean to many different places to pick up those in need of transport. On call, 24/7 to deliver patients or organs to almost anywhere in the world, her work has taken her to places such as Alaska, Hawaii, St. Johns, the Dominican Republic, Japan, most of Europe, and sometimes even Australia. Madi says flying the Learjet is a lot of fun, but flying as a medevac pilot is so rewarding and has always been a dream of hers!
As of 2022, Madi joined her father as a Captain at Frontier Airlines!
CFI Jim Franke
Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Jim Franke found himself interested in aviation at a young age. From his first Thunderbirds Airshow at age 6, to his reoccurring cinema trips to watch Top Gun at age 10, Jim made the leap into his aviation journey in 2015 when he began receiving Private Pilot training at Rocky Mountain Flight School. He continued his training while also working as a registered nurse in the emergency department, first starting in 2002. Jim hopes to bring enjoyable and thoughtful instruction to his students, following the teachings of his respected mentors, CFI Willow Robillard and CFI Tony Moreno.
Jim departed RMFS February 2020 to return to family in St. Louis. He continued Part 61 instruction, became Chief Pilot, and as of 2022 is now training with Sky West!
CFI Tammy Raines
Tammy started flying in 2018 at KBJC and continues as a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines. She enjoys mountain flying and fly-ins. On days off you can find her working maintenance on airplanes, traveling into the mountains for a hike and camping, or on a plane to a new country to explore. Frequent flier for Pilots-n-Paws and Colorado Pilot’s Association (CPA) article author of “Ask a CFI”.
Tammy continues to instruct at RMFS when she can, but has returned full time as a Flight Attendant for Southwest Airlines!
CFI Sergio Apedaile
Serge earned his private pilot certificate at the United States Air Force Academy, where he flew the Diamond DA-20 while enrolled in the Introduction to Flight Training (IFT) program. After graduation from the Air Force Academy, he moved around in the military, finally settling in Denver in 2013. He completed his commercial single engine and commercial multi-engine ratings at Rocky Mountain Flight School. He is very excited to be on staff at RMFS and looks forward to helping you achieve your aviation goals.
Serge departed RMFS July 2021 and his now flying Part 121 for Key Lime!
CFI Mark Roomy
Mark began flying in 2010 in Jacksonville, FL and received his commercial CFI and CFII ratings in 2012. He then went on to fly aerial survey missions in C210’s throughout the continental United States, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. After spending some time working jobs outside of the cockpit he recently received his MEI with RMFS. When he’s not flying Mark spends as much of his free time as possible climbing, snowboarding, or skiing.
CFI Weston Greene
Weston started flying in 2000 and had his first lesson in an airplane before he started on his driver's license. He has flown to every airport in Colorado and loves to mountain fly. He has time flying in Alaska and Canada with crossing the border and declaring customs. When able he flies Pilot N Paws missions and for Angel Flight West. Outside of flying Weston loves the winter and the activities of snowmobiling, skiing, snowboarding and building a good snow cave. He is an Eagle Scout and enjoys helping others taking extra time to assist where possible. He is a father of two and enjoys time at home with his family and 4 dogs. He commutes in his own plane to Metro and is also checked out in all of the planes at Metro.
Weston departed RMFS January 2021 to pursue airline and charter operations!