Kathi Durst attended the United States Air Force Academy the second year women were allowed to enroll, and went to Undergraduate Pilot Training the second year women were allowed to become Air Force pilots. Although she performed well enough to qualify for a fighter assignment, at that time women were not permitted to fly combat aircraft, so she was assigned as an Instructor Pilot (IP) in the supersonic T-38 Talon aircraft.
After seven years, she left the Air Force and hired on with American Airlines, where she rose to the position of Chief Pilot at the largest airline domicile in the world.
Justin started flying at age 14, and received his pilot’s license at 17. In 1999, he graduated from the University of North Dakota with a B.S. in Aeronautical Studies, a Multi-Engine Commercial Pilot Certificate, and a Flight Instructor Certificate.
He built experience as a flight instructor for several years until he left for Navy Officer Candidate School. After receiving his commission, Justin married his high school sweetheart, Sarah Clark Lewis, to whom he attributes much of his accomplishments.
Upon completion of Navy flight school, Justin was recognized as the top graduating tactical jet aviator in 2001. He was assigned the F-14D Tomcat and in 2004, he transitioned to the E-6B Mercury (a Boeing 707 variant). In 2007, he was assigned to train the next generation of Navy fighter and aircraft carrier pilots in the T-45 Goshawk.
After nearly 11 years of years of Active Duty, Justin continued to teach in the T-45 as a Naval Reservist until joining the Arkansas Air National Guard in 2011.
Today, Justin’s a certified Airline Transport Pilot and currently flying the A-10C as a “Traditional Guardsman.”
Laura Einsetler is a commercial airline pilot with over 30 years of flying experience in various aircraft around the world. She is also the author of two books, “Remove Before Flight” and “Lost and Found”. As an aviation and health enthusiast, she is passionate about sharing her knowledge and insight to help create better quality of life by reducing any fear of flying while educating and empowering the passenger.
Don Sebastian started his aviation career flying airplanes at an army aero club in the morning and then jumping out of airplanes in the afternoon. After finishing his military service, which included combat in the Caribbean, he completed his aeronautical ratings, and has been flight instructing for five decades. He now combines his pilot skills with his A&P certificate to conduct pre-buy inspections for airplane purchasers throughout the world.