Christophe Simon wanted to fly from an earlier age, but his initial efforts were nipped in the bud when he could not pass the French medical exam because he had bad eyes. So he attended a university to become qualified for non-flying aviation employment.
After graduation, he discovered he couldn't find employment because he had not attended a prestige (Ivy League) university. He relocated to England and quickly found meaningful employment in his chosen career. After 7 years, he was hired by Airbus Industrie back in France!
During a trip to Canada, he discovered that vision correcting glasses was not a problem for obtaining a medical certificate to fly, so he began his flying career. He is now a rated pilot, specializing in aerobatics.
Motivational keynote speaker Waldo Waldman – The Wingman – is the author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller Never Fly Solo. He teaches tactics on how to build trusting, revenue producing relationships with employees, partners, and customers while sharing his experiences as a decorated fighter pilot and sales expert. A graduate of the Air Force Academy, he holds an MBA with a focus on Organizational Behavior and is a former top producing sales manager. He successfully led national sales efforts for several cutting edge technology and consulting firms before becoming a motivational speaker and leadership expert.
Waldo overcame massive claustrophobia and a fear of heights to become a fighter pilot with 65 combat missions and 2,650 flight hours. He’s deployed worldwide and flew missions in Iraq, SE Asia, and Kosovo during Operation Allied Force. Waldo has been awarded 5 Air Medals, 2 Aerial Achievement Medals, 4 Commendation Medals, and 2 Meritorious Service Medals.
Katie leads AOPA’s Communications division and is responsible for its You Can Fly programs. Under the You Can Fly umbrella, Katie and her team are building programs designed to get lapsed pilots back in the air, provide more affordable access to aviation through flying clubs, support best practices in flight training, and introduce high school students to aviation.
Katie earned a degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and flew the Canadair Regional Jet with Atlantic Coast Airlines/Independence Air before serving as the director of communications for the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.
Katie is also a CFI and rated seaplane pilot. Her idea of the perfect weekend involves flying her Cessna 180 Skywagon. Katie's narrative is the cover story of the January 2017 issue of AOPA Pilot magazine.
Jeff Nielsen, the host of the Airline Pilot Guy podcast, started his aviation career in the U.S. Air Force, flying C-141s worldwide, then instructing in the T-37. He then left the Air Force to pursue a career in airline operations, hiring on with the airline he calls "Acme Air".
His Airline Pilot Guy podcast, to show what happens "on our side of the cockpit door", is immensely popular, and just passed the 250-episode milestone.
Larry Salganek has been instructing pilots for 25 years. Most of his instructing has been in warbirds, both piston and jets, including the T-34, T-33, T-28, YAK 18, YAK 52, CJ-6 Provost T-5, Mig 15/17, L-29, L-39 and Siai Marchetti and Fouga Jets. Larry has probably spent more hours instructing civilians in military piston and jet aircraft than anyone else in the United States. Larry currently holds low altitude airshow waivers in the T-34, YAK 52, Marchetti 260, L-29, L-39, Mig 15, T-33 and Fouga Jets. He is a CFI, CFII, and MEI and is an FAA Designated Examiner in our jet warbirds.