Presenter Bios

Mark Adams
Mark Adams, the past Chairman and a charter member of SAFE, currently serves as the Manager of Airbus Flight Standards and Training for Federal Express. His responsibilities include the standardization and oversight of training for more than nine hundred Airbus crewmembers. He has been employed as a flight crewmember for more than thirty years, the last twenty- four of which he has served as B-727 and Airbus captain. Mark has served as a subject matter expert in Human Factors for more than ten years. A five time Master Instructor, Mark specializes in Cessna 300/400 series aircraft providing initial and recurrent training. His courses heavily emphasize Single Pilot Resource and Threat Error Management. Mark has flown more than 16,500 accident and incident free hours in the last 40 years in aircraft ranging from a 1939 Taylorcraft to the McDonald Douglas DC-10 and Airbus A300/310.

Paul “Doc” Buza
Dr. Paul Buza is the Founder and Medical Director of the Southern AeroMedical Institute, located in Melbourne, FL. The author of “Scenario Based Physiological Training” and “Crew Based Physiological Training”, he has conducted over 3000 pilot flights in an Altitude Chamber equipped with a simulator and ATC integration. He conducts ongoing research in physiological monitoring in cabin depressurization scenarios involving slow- onset hypoxia.

Steve Cusick
Dr. Steve Cusick is the Chair of Graduate Programs of the Florida Tech College of Aeronautics. As a former U.S. Navy Captain, flight instructor and Naval Aviator, he flew many hours as a Search and Rescue (SAR) pilot. He is an active pilot with multi-engine, instrument and helicopter flight ratings from the Federal Aviation Administration. He is the co-author of a recent textbook entitled Commercial Aviation Safety, Fifth Edition from McGraw-Hill.

Adrian Eichhorn
Adrian A. Eichhorn, a charter member of SAFE, is an airline transport-rated pilot, currently flying for JetBlue Airways. He is type rated in the Airbus 320, Gulfstream IV, III, II, 200, Challenger 604and Cessna 560 Excel. Prior to JetBlue he flew for the FAA, NASA, General Dynamics, and the Washington Redskins. While flying for the FAA he provided flight and ground instruction to FAA flight crews and senior officials including the Deputy Administrator, Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety, and the Federal Air Surgeon. He is Master Certified Flight Instructor (MCFI) and Master Ground Instructor (MGI).

Adrian is an A&P/IA who has worked exclusively on Beechcraft Bonanza and Baron aircraft for the past 20 years. He has received numerous national awards including being named the FAA National Safety Counselor of the Year in 2001 and is the sole recipient of both of the highest honors given by the American Bonanza Society – the M.D. Cashion for Technical Excellence in 2005, and the Airmanship Award in 2008.

Eric Hake
Eric Hake, the President of The Modern Pilot, LLC holds AGI, IGI, CFI, and CFII ratings and is a member of SAFE. He was hired as employee #1by ForeFlight, in 2009. Eric helped build the ForeFlight Pilot Support Team and for the last several years, traveled the air show circuit with ForeFlight, sharing with thousands of pilots each year all the new enhancements to this popular App.

When not traveling, Eric teaches local pilots Emergency Procedures Training (EPT), Technically Advanced Aircraft (TAA) Training with the Cirrus Perspective, Garmin G1000 / GNS430 / 530 /GTN650 / 750, Using the iPad in the Cockpit: ForeFlight Mobile (FFM), SinglePilotResource Management (SRM), and Private / Instrument / Commercial / CFI/I Ratings in conjunction with the RedBird FullMotion flight simulator.

Tony Johnstone
Tony has owned and operated Knife Edge Aerobatics since 2003 specializing in aerobatic and tailwheel instruction. He first learned to fly in 1969 and is a two-time Master CFI-Aerobatic. He is passionate about helping pilots in maintaining their stick and rudder skills even when they are flying aircraft with technically advanced avionics.

Juan Merkt
Dr. Juan Merkt, a SAFE member, is director of the Davis Aviation Center at Jacksonville University. He has been involved in programs that educate and train professional pilots for 20 years. Merkt serves on the board of trustees of the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) and is chair of its Criteria and International Committees. In 2013, he received AABI’s Paul Whelan Educator Award for his efforts to improve aviation education and accreditation. Merkt’s credentials include a Ph.D. from Harvard University and FAA commercial pilot and Gold Seal flight instructor certificates with some 1400 hours of pilot in command time and over 1000 hours as a flight instructor. He recently authored the study “Flight Energy Management Training: Promoting Safety and Efficiency” which appears in Purdue University’s Journal of Aviation Technology and Engineering (

Doug Stewart
Doug Stewart, a Founding and Charter member of SAFE and now their Executive Director, is an active full time CFI having provided more than 10,500 hours of dual instruction with almost half of that instruction being Instrument Instruction. He is a DPE, an eight time Master CFI, and 2004 National CFI of the Year. A frequent contributor to FAA Safety Brief, he also authored “The Vintage Instructor” column in Vintage Airplane magazine for many years, and still conducts his popular “East Coast IFR Experience” instrument training trips.

Ken Wittekiend
Ken Wittekiend is a five time Master CFI, DPE, aircraft owner and founder of ProMark Aviation Services, a flight training company based in Burnet, TX. He is the 2009 CFI of the Year for the Southwest Region and has provided over 8000 of dual instruction. In 2005, Ken flew over 5700 miles in his Bonanza in multiple relief missions following hurricane Katrina. In summer of 2013, he flew a Super Cub from Texas to Alaska and back, covering 12,000 miles and visiting some of the last wild places on earth. He is a contributor to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s magazine, the Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Report and Flying magazine. Ken is a charter member of the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators.