Our mentors bring a wide range of aviation and engineering knowledge and experience to the group. They donate their time, knowledge, experience, tools, supplies and cash, all in an effort to share their aviation passion with teens!
In 2017, Alan co-founded SATA and and continues to be a Volunteer Mentor. His interest in aviation started in his teens building and flying string controlled and radio controlled model airplanes. In 1976 at the age of 25, he was able to afford a weekly flying lesson in a Cessna 150 to earn a Private Pilot License later that year. For many years he was able to fly light aircraft around the State of Arizona in support of the HVAC controls contractor that he worked for. Alan then earned an Instrument Rating, a Commercial License, a Multi-Engine Rating, a Flight Instructor Certificate, and an Eclipse EA500 Jet Type Rating.
Alan also volunteers to fly middle school students as part of the Wright Flight Program here in Tucson where he has taken many young people flying and giving them their first chance to hold the controls and fly an airplane.
While he has owned several factory built aircraft it was always a dream to build his own plane. With help from the Experimental Aircraft Builders community he completed his Vans Aircraft RV10 in 2014 and has flown it all over the United States, Mexico, and to the Islands of the Bahamas. Alan has also flight tested a number of RV12iS Experimental airplanes.
Now retired, Alan brings over 45 years and 4500 hours of flying experience to working with the youth that will be our next generation of Aviators.
Jeff is a SATA co-founder and Volunteer Mentor. He recently retired as an Air Interdiction Agent (Pilot) for the Department of Homeland Security and is currently a Captain for Sky West Airlines. His aviation career began in the Army as a helicopter mechanic, then proceeded to Army flight school. Jeff then flew commercially at the Grand Canyon and spent nearly 20 years with the government. He holds an Airline Transport Pilot certificate for Multi-Engine Airplanes and Helicopters, a Commercial Pilot Certificate in Single Engine Airplanes and is a Certified Flight Instructor in both Airplanes and Helicopters. Jeff brings over 30 years and 9000 hours of flight experience, and more than 10 years of instructing experience to Southern Arizona Teen Aviation. Jeff is also active in the Mountain View High School Booster Club.
Tito became a SATA Volunteer Mentors in 2017. He soloed at age 16 and earned his Private Pilot Certificate at age 17 before graduating from high school. After college he joined the Air Force/Air National Guard where he flew the F-100, F-104, and A-7 fighter aircraft over the course of 15 years. Tito was also a Captain for major airline for nearly 34 years, filling positions as a simulator instructor, flight instructor, and flight examiner, then retired in 2011. He holds an Airline Transport Pilot certificate with a Multi-Engine rating and type ratings for the Douglass DC-9, Boeing 727, Airbus A-320 and A-330. He completed construction of a Van´s RV-12 in 2015 which has been flying ever since. Tito brings over 56 years and 27,000 hours of flight experience to SATA.
Mel is a retired electronics business executive. He holds a Commercial Pilot Certificate with an Instrument Rating and has over 3000 hours flying experience. He has built a Van's RV-6A aircraft and recently finished building a an RV-7A which he currently flies. Mel is also a Test Pilot and consultant for Dynon Avionics, a leading manufacturer of instrumentation for Experimental and Light Sport aircraft. Mel is active in the Arizona experimental aircraft community, offering support and assistance to other builders, especially in the area of aircraft electrical systems.
Glenn has been a SATA Volunteer Mentor since its inception in 2017. He holds a Commercial Pilot certificate with Multi-Engine and Instrument ratings for airplanes and helicopters, and has flight instructed in both. Glenn retired from a public safety career, having spent over half of that career as a helicopter pilot and Unit Safety Officer, and retired again as a medevac helicopter pilot from a large company. He received an Aviation Safety Certificate from the Institute of Safety and Systems Management at the University of Southern California. Since his first solo in 1970, he has had the pleasure in taking over 100 kids flying and takes great joy in flying SATA students in his Vans RV-9A he built. Glenn brings over 50 years and 6,500 hours of flight experience to SATA.
Mr. North is a local business owner, experienced pilot and aircraft owner, and a big supporter of SATA. He keeps SATA up and running with generous donations and by making his large workshop available for aircraft construction. Matt also gives workshop safety lecture to our new students and their parents during the orientation session.
Dr. Miller started in aviation by building and flying control-line model airplanes as a pre-teen then earned his Private Pilot's Certificate at age 22. He joined the Experimental Aircraft Association in 1982 and has been the Secretary of the local Chapter 81 for 15 years. Bob has volunteered parking Vintage Aircraft at Airventure in Oshkosh for several years, and participates in many general aviation events. Bob flies primarily tailwheel light aircraft, and is building a Kitfox.
Wyatt joined SATA as a student in August of 2018 and participated in the construction of three airplanes. After High School he completed the Aviation Maintenance program at Pima Community College and has become a Certified Aircraft Mechanic currently working for Sky West Airlines. In the fall of 2021 we welcomed Wyatt back as one of our Volunteer Mentors.
Ulay's flying journey began while watching F-100 Super Sabres taking off from a local airbase while fixing air conditioners on a rooftop. When he heard the roar of the afterburners he knew doing that would be a lot more fun!
After flying A-7 and F-16 fighter aircraft during a 37 year military career he stepped away from flying in 2005... for only a while. I amassed over 4000 hours of flying time in the A-7 and F-16 fighter aircraft. My last military flight was in 2005.
In 2015, his wife surprised Ulay with a check-out in a Cessna 172 which reignited his passion for flying. In 2018 they began building an RV10 and completed it in 3 1/2 years. They learned their initial building skills in a 6 week supervised course in Eugene, Oregon, and had help from mentors and tech counselors that had already completed their own aircraft builds. Their satisfaction in knowing exactly how the aircraft was built; every rivet, screw, nut, bolt, washer, wire run, switch etc. is amazing!
Today he hold a Commercial pilots certificate with an Instrument rating and have just over 300 hours of GA flying experience.
As a mentor for SATA he passes on what he learned in over 46 years and over 4000 hours of flight experience.
Miguel joined SATA in 2022 and has a passion for all things that fly, fast and slow, large and small. He has flown Radio Control aircraft since 1980, and began his flying career by earning a Private Pilot certificate in 1987 here in Tucson. Miguel served 10 years active duty in the US Marine Corps flying the F/A-18 fighter, and served the last four years there as an instructor pilot. He followed with a 23 year career as a Pilot for a major airline serving as a Captain and Line Check Airman and flight instructor during the last five. Miguel holds an Airline Transport Pilot certificate and type ratings in Boeing 737, 747, 757, 767, 777, and the Airbus A320 aircraft. He is now retired and continues to fly light airplanes. Miguel brings 37 years and over 15,000 hours of flying experience along with nine years of instructing experience to SATA.
Alan joined SATA in 2022. He is an Electrical Engineer and worked for Boeing. He earned his Pilot Certificate and currently holds an Instrument Rating. Some of his free time is spent flying his RV-9 airplane.