Instructor Bios

Judy Phelps

Judy Phelps executing aerobatics in Pitts S2B over Santa Paula,

Judy Phelps, Master Certified Flight Instructor-Aerobatic, CFI – Instrument, specializing in Tailwheel, Spins, Emergency Maneuver Training and Aerobatics.

Judy is the 2011 National Flight Instructor of the Year, the 2010 Western Pacific Region FAA Flight Instructor of the year, the 2008 Professional Woman Pilot of the Year by the Southwest Section of the Ninety-Nines International Organization of Women Pilots, and the 2006 Woman Pilot of the Year by the Ventura County Chapter of the Ninety-Nines.  She is a charter member of the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE).  Judy’s career in aviation started in 1994 when she met and married Clay Phelps, the CP of CP Aviation.  In 2003 she became a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) and has logged over 7,000 hours.

Dennis Magdaleno


CFI-Instrument, MEI, DPE
Dennis is our Chief Flight Instructor, and an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner with over 11,000 of flight time.  He has been flying since 1976 and has been at CP Aviation since 2001.

Because Dennis is a DPE, he manages his own schedule. Anyone wishing to fly with him should contact him directly at 805-890-1268.

Luci Galgano

Luci Web Photo

CFI Luci Galgano is a Ventura County native who completed all of her flight training at CP Aviation. Luci recently retired and is now enjoying a second career as a CFI. Luci and her husband enjoy flying to Mexico and Central America. Flying has opened a whole new world of travel, adventure and cherished friendships for her and it is this world that she wants to share with others. Luci has been a pilot since 2007 and she teaches Private Pilots.

Berkeley Brandt


Berkeley Brandt, CFII, comes from a family of pilots (mother, father, uncles) and began flying in 1963.  After another career as a cardiac surgeon, he has become obsessed with flying after retirement in 2004 and began teaching at CP Aviation in 2010.  It turns out that there are many similarities between teaching heart surgery and flying.  His main focus has been primary flight training, but he enjoys instrument training as well.  He is a member of the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE).

Cory Buck

Cory Buck

Cory Buck is a CFI, CFII, and MEI, born and raised in Santa Clarita. Cory did all of his flight training in the east coast and went from zero hours to becoming a Certified Flight Instructor in just 7 months. He is happy to be back in California and teaching at CP Aviation. He can teach private pilots, instrument, and commercial pilots.

Mark R. King


Mark King, Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), Advanced and Instrument ground instructor,  is a southern California native who was born into an aviation family and began flying in 1974.  Mark has extensive experience flying in Alaska in a turboprop Quest Kodiak, has over 1000 hours flying the Beechcraft Bonanza and is G1000 qualified.   He is a member of the Society of Aviation Flight Educators (SAFE) and the North American T6 formation group called the Condor Squadron.  He teaches Private Pilots, Instrument, Commercial, Tailwheel, Emergency Maneuver Training, and Aerobatics.

Omar Lala


Omar Lala, CFII, Graduated from Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology.  He has been teaching at CP Aviation since 2011 and is the Chapter leader for the Santa Paula Chapter of the IMC Club.  He teaches Private Pilots, Instrument,  and Commercial.

Robert Zeyssig

Robert Zeyssig cropped3 CFI 03.03.14

Robert (Robi) Zeyssig was born and raised in Finsterwalde, Germany and currently lives in Carpinteria with his wife Christea. He is a pharmacy school graduate from Free University of Berlin, in 2006. Robi has completed all his flight training (Private, Instrument, Commercial, Certified Flight Instructor) here at CP Aviation. He is also a Advanced and Instrument ground instructor. Robi is excited to share his passion for flying as a team member of CP Aviation. His personal goal is to make flight training a fun, safe and life-changing experience.

Paolo De Censi


Paolo De Censi, CFII, MEI – learned to fly in1992.  Paolo traveled back to Italy after completing his Flight Training and worked at a Sea Plane base on Lake Como.  In 2004 Paolo came back to the states where he worked at various flight schools until coming to CP Aviation in 2011.  Prior to coming to CP Aviation Paolo specialized in working with international students.  Upon coming to CP Aviation he realized there was much more to learn, especially when it comes to Stick and Rudder skills. He teaches Private Pilots, Instrument,  and Commercial.

Roger Vecchio

Roger Vecchio CFI

Roger is a Certified Flight Instructor, MEI, ATP and holds type ratings in a Jetstream 41 and Boeing 767-757. He was born in Southern California and learned to fly out of Van Nuys airport in the 80′s where he flew corporate turbo props and jets. He has experience flying AT-6, Pitts, Twin Cessna, King Air, Sabreliner, 737 and airbus 320. He enjoys flying and teaching aerobatics, spins, and tailwheel as well as primary flying.

Michael Phillips


Michael Phillips, CFI, CFII, ASMEL, Glider. He is the Managing Partner and Chief Flight Instructor at Aviation Instruction Simulator Training, Chief Flight Instructor for the Cessna Advanced Aircraft Recurrent Training Program (CAART) and a charter member of the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE).

Michael is a seasoned teaching professional with a passion for aviation and all phases of flight instruction. He has a diverse background which provides him with the ability to work with a wide variety of personalities and backgrounds. He has been a Certified Flight Instructor since 1975. He has had an opportunity to fly and teach in a number of regions of the country which provides him with an understanding and appreciation for weather and challenges that other parts of the United States offer to pilots.

A Certified Flight Instructor for thirty-five years he is a Master Instructor and an FAA Gold Seal Instructor with 8,600 total hours and over 6,500 hours of dual given.

Jeremy Dempsey

Jeremy Dempsey

Jeremy Dempsey, CFII, has been flying for over 8 years and instructing for 6.  He has found a true passion for teaching people to fly.  He teaches Private Pilots, Instrument, Commercial, Tailwheel, Emergency Maneuver Training, and Aerobatics.  He has logged thousands of hours in many different types of small aircraft.

Darin Moody


Darin M. Moody (ATP, CFI-I, MEI) grew up in Ventura County and has been flying for over 15 years and teaching since 2006. He is a career oriented pilot and a graduate of California State University of Los Angeles with a B.S. in Aviation Business Administration. Darin has logged over 5000 hours with over 3000 dual given in over 50 makes and models. Aside from teaching, he has worked as a charter, survey and ferry pilot and airshow performer.  Along with teaching private, instrument and commercial students, Darin specializes in tailwheel, spin training, EMT, aerobatics, and technically advanced aircraft. Even though he doesn’t teach full time anymore, it is still is favorite and hopes to have more time in the future to devote to it.

Rich Stowell

Rich Stowell

CFI, Rich Stowell’s career as a flight instructor began at CP Aviation in 1987 when he developed the renowned Emergency Maneuver Training — EMT — Program. While part of CP Aviation, Rich’s training techniques and expertise have been featured in numerous articles as well as radio and TV segments. He has published three aviation textbooks and hosted four educational DVD programs while here as well. Among many other awards, Rich is the 2006 National Flight Instructor of the Year — one of three flight instructors from Santa Paula Airport to receive this prestigious honor.  He is a charter member of the Society of Aviation and Fllight Educators (SAFE). Rich now travels the world providing safety seminars as well as spin, emergency maneuver, aerobatic, and tailwheel training; consequently, his time in Santa Paula is limited and so you must contact him directly for instruction at