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Mike "Cuckoo" Kloch

naval aviator wings

Mike is the CEO and Chief Instructor Pilot for SAW.

He is a two - time Master CFI - Aerobatic (MCFI-A), a two-time NAFI Master CFI, a former Marine Corps F/A-18 pilot, combat veteran, and school trained Aviation Safety Officer (Naval Postgraduate School). Mike is a contract test pilot and instructor for Epic Aircraft, Elite Pilot services, and others, a two-time NAFI Master CFI/CFII/MEI and an FAA Safety Team (FAAST) Representative. He is a member of Master Instructors, LLC board of review. Mike has a Bachelor of Science degree from Oregon State University and 2 AAS Aviation degrees from Central Oregon Community College. He is also Commercial and Instrument rated in helicopters with Night Vision Goggles qualifications. To learn more about Mike see his website at

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Andrew "Chief" Reischauer

Navy aircrew wings

Andrew is the Assistant Chief pilot for SAW. He is an ATP rated Instrument and Multi-Engine Flight Instructor and Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE).  He served a 20-year career in the U.S. Navy as a MH-60S Crew Chief and Rescue Swimmer.  There he gathered a wealth of military leadership and teaching experiences which helped him to be an outstanding airplane instructor. Some of the airplanes Andrew flies are the Lancair Evolution, Cirrus SR-22, Beechcraft Baron, and of course the Super Decathlon. He is a tailwheel, spin and aerobatics instructor for SAW and looks forward to expanding his teaching roles. Email Andrew


Dan "OB" O'Brien

Naval Flight Officer Wings

Dan is a Certified Flight Instructor with both advanced & instrument ground ratings.  Prior to joining SAW Dan served as a Naval Flight Officer in multiple U.S. Navy and Royal Air Force aircraft, including the A6-E Intruder, S2-B Buccaneer and various U.S. Navy/RAF training aircraft. He was selected to be an exchange officer with the British Royal Air Force, where he served as a bombardier navigator in the Buccaneer bomber jet. He has deployed to the Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf, and Mediterranean. A former all-American triathlete, Dan enjoys all outdoor activity that Bend has to offer including mountain biking, hiking and rock climbing. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Portland State University and Dan is a joint owner of a Cessna Skyhawk located at KBDN but his true passion is flying the Super Decathlon.  He is currently a tailwheel instructor and is looking forward to expanding his teaching roles as an instrument, spin & aerobatics instructor.

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Rich Stowell

Rich "Dizzy" Stowell

Rich is a guest instructor at SAW

Rich Stowell took his first flying lesson in 1982 and began his career as a full-time flight instructor specializing in spin, emergency maneuver, and aerobatic training in 1987. He authored the books Emergency Maneuver Training and The Light Airplane Pilot’s Guide to Stall/Spin Awareness, and has had more than 80 articles appear in various aviation publications.
Rich is a recognized subject matter expert in loss of control in light airplanes. He is the 2014 National FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year and 2006 National Flight Instructor of the Year, and has delivered nearly 450 safety presentations. Rich served on the organizing committee for the Pilot Training Reform Symposium hosted by the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators in 2011, and facilitated the “Flight Training Curricula” breakout session there.
A 20-year Master Flight Instructor (now Emeritus), Rich is a Charter and Life Member of SAFE, and a 37-year member of AOPA, EAA, and IAC. He is one of fewer than 200 pilots who have earned the All Five achievement award from the International Aerobatic Club. Rich has logged 10,200 hours of flight time, with 9,100 hours of flight instruction given, 34,700 spins, and 25,700 landings. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY.

Nick Thomsen in Cub

Nick Thomsen

Navy aircrew wings

Nick is a CFI, CFII and MEI. Nick's aviation career started in the Marine Corps as a MV-22 Osprey mechanic and eventually as an aircrewman with over 500 hours in the back of the Osprey. Immediately after being discharged from the USMC he started flight training. Nick is now a tailwheel instructor and he also spends 4-5 months out of the year flying float planes and wheel planes in the backcountry of Alaska, mostly in the Katmai National Park. If Nick isn't available at SAW just look up and you might see him flying around in his 1946 J3 Cub!



Jake Ruhl

Jake "Slide" Ruhl

Jake is a seasoned professional pilot and aeronautical engineer. He began taking flying lessons when he was 18 years old but put flight training on hold until earning his private pilot's license several years later. He received a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2001, and has been working as both a professional pilot and aeronautical engineer ever since.

Jake has extensive experience in backcountry flying and flight instruction. Jake is a Certified Flight Instructor and holds a multi-engine commercial pilot's license with an instrument rating. He has logged more than 3500 flight hours, with 2000+ backcountry hours and 3000+ hours in tailwheel aircraft, among other noteworthy flight experiences.

He also has decades of experience with fixed wing aircraft design, analysis, manufacturing, certification and project management. Specializing in advanced composite airframe design, systems design and conceptual development using advanced 3D CAD systems, he has a track record of developing successful aviation designs. He has held multiple delegations as a FAA Designated Engineering Representative as well.

Working part time performing aerial wildlife survey work is another passion for Jake. He is an entrepreneur, having been involved in the management of several startups throughout his career.

When he is not performing design work or flying professionally, he is riding mountain bikes, skiing, adventuring in the wilderness in his Cessna 180 bush plane and spending time with his family.

Travis "Hubble" Spaid 

Travis is a native Oregonian growing up in Bend. He attended Central Oregon Community College, Oregon State University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University culminating in a Bachelors degree in Professional Aeronautics with a Minor in Aviation Safety and an MBA. His flying adventures started in his late teens and took him across North America, equatorial Africa and eventually back in Bend.  Travis flew part 135 operations to austere backcountry locations in Africa for 2 years. In the past 20+ years of flying he has flow over 50 different types of aircraft working as a skydive pilot ,instructor, corporate pilot, and is currently an Epic Aircraft instructor and air ambulance captain.   

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