About Chuck Lapmardo

Flight Instructor, Chuck Lapmardo, Scottsdale AZA Private Pilot since his 16th birthday and Commercial, CFI/CFII and MEI by his 19th birthday, Chuck has devoted 35 years to General Aviation and the airline industry.

Chuck’s Flight Experience:

  • More than 14,000 hours of overall flight experience.
  • More than 3,000 hours in Cirrus aircraft alone.
  • Type ratings include A-320 and DO328Jet.
  • Pilot In Command includes Captain A320 and DO328Jet, single pilot PIC Cheyenne III and 400 series Twin Cessna, in addition to a host of single engine aircraft.
  • Extensive glass experience includes advanced FMS systems and basic EFIS systems.

Chuck’s Instruction Credentials:

  • Gold Seal Flight Instructor: Single/Multi Engine Airplane, Instrument Airplane, Ground Instructors-Advanced/Instrument.
  • Airplane-Land SE/ME with 4000+ hours as a Flight Instructor, 6000+ hours of Turbojet time, and nearly 8000 hours of cross country flying.

Avionics Experience:

  • Garmin 430/530, Garmin 500/600, Garmin 1000; Avidyne Entegra; Avidyne R9; Aspen EDF1000Pro and conventional panels.

Flying Career:

After instructing and flying Charter and Corporate into his twenties, Chuck earned a degree in Aeronautical Science. He entered the airline industry with Skyway Airlines in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He flew the Beech1900 and then became First Officer and Captain on the Dornier DO328 Jet. Chuck then moved to USA3000 Airlines to fly the Airbus A320 as First Officer and then Captain on domestic and international routes. Chuck maintained his Instructor status throughout. When he left USA3000 in 2011, he identified a need in General Aviation: making pilots safer by applying his knowledge of airline training to all sectors of General Aviation.

Chuck lives in Scottsdale, AZ, and his company, Elite Flight Training, is based at Scottsdale Airport, where the skies are always blue.

Paul Woodford – Senior Flight Instructor, ATP, CFI, CFII, MEI

Flight Instructor, Paul Woodford, Scottsdale AZPaul’s experience in aviation spans decades, countries, and a wide variety of aircraft. With more than 13,000 total hours, he has been an airline Captain and Check Airman in the United States and China, and has flown internationally for corporate and charter companies.

His type ratings include: Embaer Regional Jet 145, Hawker 125 Jet, Lear Jet and other jet type ratings.

Mr. Woodford has trained professional pilots for several air carriers, and has worked with students as a CFI for more than 20 years. Paul brings this vast experience to his Elite Flight Training & Rentals LLC students, offering them the consistency and precision of airline training, and making them safer and more proficient in the air.

He also co-owns a software development and web publishing company in Phoenix.

Scott Andrew – Senior Flight Instructor, CFI, CFII, MEI

Flight Instructor, Scott Andrew, Scottsdale AZ Scott brings very extensive Cirrus expertise to our students. Born and raised on an Idaho farm, Scott earned a degree in finance before pursuing his lifelong passion ‑‑ flying. He is a former airline pilot (flying the Embraer jet) and his aviation experience also includes Corporate and Charter flying.

Scott has been a CSIP (Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot) since 2006, logging several thousand hours in Cirrus SR20 and SR22’s. With total time of about 5,000 hours, he brings excellent flying skills and operational experience. He is also known for an instruction style that enhances our clients' opportunity for success. Scott lives in Mesa with his wife and two children.

Dale Hersh – Senior Flight Instructor ATP, MEI, CFII, CFI

Flight Instructor, Scott Andrew, Scottsdale AZ Dale started flying with money earned from his paper route, solo’ed just after his 16th birthday, and earned all of his ratings including ATP by age 23. He’s been a busy pilot ever since, accumulating more than 24,000 hours in a career that culminated in Captain on a Boeing 777 for American Airlines.

But Dale has always maintained a commitment to teaching others to fly, having instructed in everything from a Piper Cub to the Big Boeing. His talent and love for instructing make him a great asset to Elite Flight Training and our student-pilots. He believes in structuring and targeting his instruction to each student’s needs and learning style, making Dale a perfect fit for Elite’s customized teaching approach.

We welcome Dale back to Arizona, after a recent stint in southwest Florida.


Flight Instructor, TOM BAKER, Scottsdale AZ Tom brings an incredible wealth of experience to his students at Elite Flight Training. With 26,000 total flight hours, he began his aviation career as a Private Pilot at age 17.

Tom went on to a career in the Air Force, where he flew F4s and F16s and became an Instructor Pilot and Flight Examiner. He then launched a 28-year career at Southwest Airlines, where he became Captain on a Boeing 737. Tom has always been committed to flight instruction since he became a CFI more than 35 years ago.

Tom now has time to spend with his wife and family here in Scottsdale, and coach middle school basketball alongside his son. We’re happy to welcome Tom to our team!


Flight Instructor, Vic MYEV, Scottsdale AZ Vic brings his students a wide range and many hours of experience in Flight Instruction, training both private and commercial pilots. He has served as an FAA Part 141 Instructor for Private Pilot, Instrument, Commercial and Multiengine ratings, flying in a wide variety of aircraft. His own aviation career includes time as a Naval Flight Officer, bush pilot and commercial glider pilot, as well as Single and Multiengine time in the U.S. and overseas.

Vic earned his Aeronautical Engineering degree from Stanford University and Undergrad from MIT, and his professional career includes many years as a State Department Analyst at diplomatic posts in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Doug DeFrancesco – Senior Flight Instructor, CSIP

Flight Instructor, Doug DiFrancesco, Scottsdale AZDoug has a diverse instructional background including Lecturer at Arizona State University teaching Meteorology, Air Navigation and Airline Instrument Procedures; B-1B Instructor-Weapon Systems Officer for the United States Air Force, as well as FAA Certificated Flight Instructor from 1996 to the present.

Doug DiFrancesco has been involved in aviation for over 23 years, and is a highly experienced aviation professional with over 5100 hours of flight time. He holds ATP, CFII and MEI certificates. Doug’s variety of flight experience includes the United States Air Force, FAR Parts 121, 135, 91 and 91K as an airline and corporate pilot, as well as flight instructor. He flew the Hawker 900XP for Netjets Aviation and the CRJ200 for Comair, Delta Connection. During his career in the United States Air Force, Mr. DiFrancesco served as a Weather Officer then as an Instructor Weapons Systems Officer(Navigator) on the B-1B Bomber.

Doug earned a BS in Geography/Meteorology from Arizona State University, MA in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle University and a MA in Accountancy from Northern Kentucky University. He is a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association(AOPA), Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association(COPA), ASU Alumni Association and a FAA FAAst Team Representative.

John D. Johnson – ATP, CFII, CFI, MEI

Flight Instructor, John D. Johnson, Scottsdale AZJD’s aviation career spans 35 years and 22,000 total flight hours, beginning as a Certified Flight Instructor in Orange County and culminating as an international Boeing 767 Captain for US Airways/American Airlines. He has flown single engine, turboprop and jet aircraft in every flying environment and weather condition, and brings to his students a knack for training and mentoring.

JD participates in the Arizona Business Aviation Association and lives in Prescott Valley.

Our Location

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Elite Flight Training & Rentals LLC
14700 North Airport Drive
Suite 203
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Tel: 480-305-0911
I am very glad to have found Elite Flight Training. I started my training at another Cirrus flight school and I just did not feel like the structure and expertise was there for me to get the best training possible. Once I came to Elite Flight Training, Chuck's methodical teaching, professionalism and knowledge of the Cirrus aircraft allowed me to develop my skills and become a proficient and safe pilot. Not only does Chuck bring over 35 years of extensive flying experience but he has brought into the school other instructor pilots that are just as professional and dedicated to great teaching as he is. I gladly would recommend Elite Flight Training & Rentals LLC to anyone whose goal is to become a safe pilot in a timely manner.
- Dr. Adri Rama
Flight School Scottsdale Testimonials