Team

Our flight school team comes together through our passion for aviation, and our dedication to our mission to inspire and empower extraordinary living through flight.

Michael Tarascio, President/Founder

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Ratings, Certifications and Experience

  • 20,000+ Hours of Flight Time
  • Airline Transport Pilot
  • Certified Flight instructor: SEL/MEL/CFII/MEI/MEII
  • Commercial Rating
  • Multi Engine Rating
  • Instrument Rating
  • Learjet Type Rating
  • Airframe and Powerplant Certification (A&P)
  • Inspector Authorization (IA)

History

In 1981, Mike was asked by a business partner to join him at an electronics conference in New Jersey. Mike wasn’t that interested in the conference, but when his partner invited him to fly there in a small 4-seater airplane, he accepted the invitation eagerly. It was an event that changed his life.

That first flight from Long Island to New Jersey exposed Mike to the accessibility of personal aviation and planted the seed that led to a passionate pursuit of both a lifestyle and a business built around introducing and enabling others the freedom and privilege of flight. The experience dovetailed with Mike’s entrepreneurial nature. He was determined both to get his own license and to create a company that would lead others to the discovery of aviation. Flying did not have to be out of reach to the ordinary guy.

Nick Tarascio, Chief Executive Officer

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Ratings, Certifications and Experience
FAA Certified Pilot – I started lessons at 14, soloed on my 16 birthday, earned my private pilots license on my 17th birthday and was flying Learjets at 19. Aerobatics came 10 years later, but has become my current flying obsession. With my Mooney 231, I’ve flown all over the US with my favorite destinations being Arizona and Colorado due to the dramatic landscapes and challenges associated with mountain flying. I currently have roughly 2600 hours total time.

  • Commercial Rating
  • Multi Engine Rating
  • Instrument Rating
  • Learjet Type Rating
  • Tail Wheel, High Performance, Complex Endorsement
  • Airframe and Powerplant Certification (A&P)
  • Inspector Authorization (IA)
  • Chief Avionics Installer

History
My history in aviation is rather extensive, but I will share a few pivotal moments in my history.

  • When I was 2 years old, my parents started the flight school (Air East).
  • As a kid, I thought everyone had planes just like everyone had cars. It wasn’t until 3rd grade when my teacher asked me what I had done during the summer that the reality had set in. I told her that I flown an airplane from the pilot seat. She accused me of lying and called my mother to tell her that I had a problem with lying. I won that battle.
  • My parents took my siblings and me to Disney World most every year when we were kids (I still go every year in my Mooney). It had forged such a positive emotional connection to airplanes for all of us. We would get in a plane in NY, play games for a bunch of hours and end up at our favorite place in the world. Aviation was something wonderful that my family could share and it was because of this that I still believe airplanes are tools to create special experiences and adventures… and to avoid the misery of commercial airport security lines.
  • I took a 10 day “roadtrip” around the states with my Mooney in 2005. I picked a bunch of random places I always wanted to go and just went and did it. I visited Pike’s Peak, white water rafted in Canon City, rode rollercoasters in Cedar Point, hiked Antelope Canyon and the Grand Canyon, flew through Monument Valley and so much more. I realized that for so long, I had just been making excuses of why I couldn’t do something like that when it was surprisingly easy to plan and relatively inexpensive. Since then, I have always found more reasons to go than to stay.



Hobbies and Interests
Writing and Performing Music, Snowboarding, Racquetball, Traveling, Logic Puzzles, Couchsurfing, Dreaming, Space, Learning.

Why I Fly
It serves every aspect of my life. It enables many of my hobbies, strengthens my relationships, has taught me so much about myself, and literally and metaphorically has given me a grander perspective on what it means to be alive.