Flight Instructors

Jeff McKinney

Jeff McKinney
Rotorcraft CFII, AGI

Jeff McKinney, Rotorcraft CFII, AGI

Jeff McKinney began his helicopter training in March of 2005 with Silver State Helicopters. He came to aviation after fourteen years experience in the insurance industry and three years as a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative. All in all Jeff has nearly two decades of working with people in all sorts of situations and from all sorts of backgrounds. Jeff’s instructing career began with Silver State as a ground instructor in January of 2007. Jeff has given over 1200 hours of one on one ground and class instruction in the last three years. In addition, Jeff has been an enthusiastic CFII since January of 2008 and achieved his instrument rating and instrument instructor rating in March of 2009. Jeff has given ground and flight instruction to students working on Private, Commercial, Instrument and CFII certificates and ratings. He believes the key to learning in the cockpit is to expand the student’s perceptual field by creating a relaxed, fun and safe environment. Jeff always looks forward to meeting his next flight training student.

Flight Instructor, Jim Laird, CFII

Jim Laird, CFII

Jim Laird, CFII

Jim was certified in 1977 and has logged the majority of flying hours over the past 20 years. He currently has a total of 2225 total time.  His experience includes operating as a search pilot with CAP and WASDOT for 20 years, functioning as a check pilot for CAP and Washington State DOA and serving as a Mountain Flying Mentor for Washington State for 15 years.  Jim has flown 24 different makes and models of aircraft. His certifications include SEL, SES, MEL, Commercial, Instrument.  He has been an ASEL CFI since 2008 with 260 hr Duel given.  Jim was born in Bellingham, Washington in 1952 and lives there with his wife Jeanette.  He owns a construction company specializing in commercial excavation. He flies his own 1971 Super Skymaster and owns a heated hanger at Bellingham International Airport.

Scott Farnes Flight Instructor for Command Aviation in Bellingham WA

Scott Farnes, CFI

Scott Farnes, CFI

Scott Farnes started flying gliders in 1981 at the age of 14 in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. At 15 ½ he transitioned to powered aircraft, earning his pilots license in early 1988. In 1993 with his wife and 3 wonderful children a priority he put is love of flying on the back burner. In 2002 a vacation to Coeur d’alene, Idaho and a flight over the lake gave him the flying bug once again. With the 10 year break he felt he should improve his skills and further his training so 2003 he began adding ratings starting with his instrument, which lead to a commercial certificate. During one of the many visits to Bellingham Washington with his wife, they stumbled upon the 2007 Arlington Fly-in and their love of aviation in the Pacific Northwest began and they knew this was where they wanted to live. Shortly after moving to Bellingham in 2007 Scott became a flight instructor. After a few years of instructing he was drawn to the off runway operations. He began the transition to a tail wheel endorsement, which inspired him in 2010 to purchase a Maule MX7-180A. He currently has logged over 1200 hours in mountain and high density altitude airports and logged over 200 hours in tail wheel both in his Maule and teaching in the Cessna tail dragger.