Tom’s unique aviation career began at Spurling Aviation on Seattle’s Boeing Field. After earning his Private Pilot certificate, he headed east to Florida Institute of Technology (FIT), to pursue the rest of his ratings and an aviation-themed degree. Upon passing his CFI check ride, he was hired to teach in FIT’s flight program. After college, he worked as an airport planner while continuing to teach “on the side”. Along with several master plans, his projects included Alaska’s first Aviation System Plan, and the initial design for Telluride Regional Airport (KTEX). Tom was eventually selected for USAF pilot training, graduating in 1986 at the top of his class. Becoming one of only a handful chosen to fly fighters and bombers, he served as an Instructor and Evaluator in the F-15C and B-1B. His adventures included tours in Europe, Japan, and Alaska, along with deployments to the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia. His “day jobs” included Commander of a B-1B squadron, Director of a NATO Air Operations Center, and Deputy Commander of the DoD‘s Joint Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center of Excellence. Post-USAF, Tom traveled extensively as a contract instructor for AOPA’s Air Safety Institute. He currently holds ATP, CFI, and Comm SES ratings, and lives in Gig Harbor, WA.