Ever dream of flying? Let us help you fulfill your dream.
2505 Cunningham Avenue San Jose, California, 95148 (408)729-5100

Flight Instructors

Name Position  Certifications  Profile 

Donald MacLennan

Advanced Flight Instructor CFI Don has been flying since 1993 and received his Instrument, Commercial, Multi engine and CFI ratings at Trade Winds Aviation. He also has an A&P certificate and occasionally helps out with maintenance. A flying enthusiast with 1800 hours of personal flying, he has made two Atlantic crossings and takes great pleasure in teaching new students how to fly. He has over 1000 hours in a Turbo Mooney and over 300 hours in a Cessna 421. Since retiring from the semiconductor industry, flying has become Don's passion and he would be very happy to share his experiences with you.

Rocky Kabotsky

Advanced Flight Instructor CFI In 2008, having no previous piloting experience, just for fun Rocky decided to explore getting a Private Pilot certificate at Tradewinds Aviation. Each pilot certificate earned led to the next one until two years later in 2010 when, with the attainment of a Certified Flight Instructor certificate, flight instruction had become a career path. Rocky not only teaches flying here at Tradewinds Aviation, he received the majority of his pilot training right here at Tradewinds on Reid-Hillview airport. Before his flying career, Rocky worked as a software engineer and engineering management professional, having spent 15 years as a software engineer and an additional 6 years experience in engineering management. Rocky also has several years experience in Real Estate investing and property management. Rocky holds FAA Certified Ground and Flight Instructor certificates, an FAA Airframe mechanic's certificate and a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science. When he's not flying, Rocky is an avid motorcyclist and physical fitness enthusiast. He is ready to pass on his knowledge and passion for flying to you so that you too can realize your dream of becoming a pilot.

Gene Hudson

Assistant Chief Flight Instructor, Senior Flight Instructor II CFI, CFII, MEI Gene is an Assistant Chief Flight Instructor with over 16,000 hours of flight time. He is an FAASTeam representative, and has delivered over 1000 public presentations in the FAA Safety Program. He has lectured on aviation safety, human factors and precision/workload reduction flying techniques at national venues, including AOPA and the EAA (Oshkosh). He has experience in over 100 aircraft types, including singles, twins, piston, turbine, round gauge and glass cockpit aircraft. He has published articles in Plane and Pilot magazines, and the USAF magazine Safety. Gene has developed unique processes for teaching flight skills to a higher level of precision while reducing workload.

Nick Burns

Certified Flight Instructor CFI Nick has been flying for ten years and always knew he wanted to become a professional pilot. After years of working in agriculture, he left his former job to train full time and finish his ratings. He loves to share his passion for aviation and teach people to fly. In his free time, he enjoys surfing and being outdoors, but nothing beats a day at the airport.

Seth Howell

Chief Flight Instructor, Senior Flight Instructor II CFI, CFII Seth is the Chief Flight Instructor and received his training out of the Reid-Hillview airport. As a CFI/CFII he has given over 4,000 hours of instruction in a variety of aircraft ranging from light sports to the C400. He is committed to providing a fun and safe learning environment. Whether you want to take your first introductory flight, expand to instrument training, or work toward the completion of your commercial certificate, Seth is excited to help you succeed!

David Benkoski

Flight Instructor CFI David started and completed his flight training in the Bay Area, receiving his IR, CPL, and CFI here at Tradewinds! David's aspirations are to eventually become a captain of a corporate jet, and help as many aspiring pilots as possible on the way. But David hasn't always been an air guy, he raced mountain bikes for 10 years prior to taking the skies. David believes in the importance of having fun and maintaining air safety when flying.

Erik Cutshaw

Flight Instructor CFI, CFII, MEI Erik is a certified flight instructor for single engine, multi engine and instrument airplanes--so whatever your goals may be, he can help you get there. He has a background in the automotive field but decided to change careers and chase his passion for flying and he couldnt be happier with his decision. His goal is to become an airline captain but he says "being able to teach people how to fly is personally rewarding in itself."

Daniel Bradshaw

Flight Instructor CFI, CFII, MEI Daniel pursued his passion for flying, taking his office to the sky after spending time working in the financial sector. He has not looked back since and believes that flying lessons are the funnest classroom you will ever have. Daniel enjoys teaching people how to safely fly and says it is very rewarding to help you achieve your flying goals. He looks forward to sharing the experience with you in the cockpit at Tradewinds Aviation.

Scott Giotta

Flight Instructor CFI Scott is a TWA graduate himself, completing the entirety of his flight training here at Tradewinds. He drove trucks across the country to pay for his flight training, and it paid off! Scott is passionate about passing the knowledge of flying onto the next generation of pilots. In his spare time, he enjoys surfing and camping, but he prefers to fly most of the time.

Hosea Kamau

Flight Instructor CFI, MEI Hosea is a CFI/MEI here at Tradewinds Aviation. He got his passion at the age of 6. After completing his education at Utah Valley University, where he got a lot of mountain flying experience, he returned to his home in Hayward California and began looking for a job as a flight instructor in the bay area. Hosea says he enjoys flight instructing because of the pleasure he gets seeing someone progress from not knowing anything about the world of aviation to becoming a licensed pilot. Hosea likes to make flight training fun and enjoyable without hindering safety :)

Wasif Farooq

Flight Instructor CFI Wasif started his career in aviation by getting his A&P License before he even graduated from SJSU. He then graduated from SJSU and worked as a mechanic at TWA for 2 years while acquiring his CFI. Wasif has always loved all things aviation, and is excited to now share his love with future pilots!

Chris Meszaros

Flight Instructor CFI, CFII, MEI Chris has been fascinated by aviation since early childhood, so when planning his next steps after graduating from San Jose State University in 2018, the decision was an easy one. Chris moved to Carlsbad, CA to start flight training, where he earned his CFI, CFII, and MEI ratings. Flying an airplane for the first time is one of the most enjoyable things you can do, and Chris wants to help you make that a reality! Aside from aviation, Chris enjoys spending time outdoors with friends and family, and eating great food.

Bob Arasmith

Senior Flight Instructor CFI, CFII Bob learned to fly at Tradewinds Aviation and used their great planes and instructors through his CFI. He became a Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot (CSIP) in 2015 and specializes in Cirrus instruction. He is part owner in two SR22s and flies them for charter under part 135. If you would like to experience flight in one of the club's Cirrus, or thinking you might like to buy a Cirrus, please contact Bob.

Terry Blumenthal

Senior Flight Instructor II CFI, CFII, MEI Terry earned his Private Pilot Certificate in 1968 and continued on to become an ATP in airplanes and helicopters with seven jet type ratings. He earned his Commercial Certificate in 1969 and then his CFI and CFII in both airplanes and helicopters. He has flown more than 23,000 hours with 6,000 of those being in rotorcraft. His most recent position prior to Tradewinds Aviation was a Charter-Management Company in Southern California where he was an International Captain flying Gulfstream G-550 aircraft. Terry now enjoys sharing his experience with those who want to learn to fly.

Miguel (Mickey) Arias

Senior Flight Instructor ll CFI, CFII, MEI, ATP Mickey is a part time instructor at Tradewinds Aviation when he’s not flying jets around the world. With nearly 11,000 hours flight time, several type ratings in jets, and a diverse instructional aviation background, Mickey still has the passion to teach and share the skies with those pursuing the dream of flying. He is an FAA Gold Seal Instructor and his commitment to quality instruction ensures a fun and efficient flying experience. If becoming an airline pilot is your goal, his experience and industry knowledge will be an asset to you well past initial certification. Bilingual English/Spanish