Our Staff

One of the things which sets Chesapeake Sport Pilot apart from most other flight schools is our commitment to hiring only the most dedicated and experienced instructors. Unlike most other flight schools, our instructors are experienced pilots and teachers, who instruct out of a passion for sharing their love of flight with others.


Luther Alexander
Luther Alexander grew-up in Wichita, Kansas, which calls itself "The Air Capital of the World," because it was the home of the Cessna, Boeing, Beech, and LearJet aircraft manufacturing companies. Due to work-related moves as an adult, Luther has flown (and instructed) in the Great Plains, New England, Florida, California, Hawaii and, of course, the mid-Atlantic states. He has been a Flight Instructor for nearly 30 years and is licensed to give Instrument Airplane and Multi-Engine flight instruction. Luther and his wife live in Annapolis, and have two adult daughters.

Mike Bangert
Mike, a graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy, Class of 1970, began his aviation career with Navy flight training at Pensacola, FL. He went on to fly the P-3 Orion, both on active duty and in the Naval Reserve. His first introduction to general aviation took place in 1977at BWI flying the Grumman American Tiger, AA-5B, in the Naval Academy Flying Club. Later, he would serve as president of that club. In 1980, while living in Ohio, he began training for his Flight Instructor - Airplane, Instrument, Multi-Engine, and Glider Ratings. He enjoyed a successful career as a pilot for United Airlines, flying the Boeing 727, 757, 767, and 777 aircraft, retiring in 2007. With 18,000+ total hours and 1500+ hours of instruction given, he looks forward to expanding his range of knowledge and experience in Light Sport Aircraft and bringing the joy of flight to those he instructs.


Rose Bult
After marrying and raising three great kids, Rose Noyes decided to become a flight instructor and realize her dream of chasing sunbeams in the endless blue sky. Flying full time has been her profession since 1999 and she has worked at a variety of flight places from friendly "mom and pop" schools to military flying clubs to big "airline training" academies. After so many hours flying and instructing her outlook on flying is basic- have fun and show each student the right way to think in an airplane. She loves it when a student has an "aha!" moment and takes another step up the ladder to his or her goal. She doesn't let the seemingly complex rules of flight and the airplane systems intimidate her students- mastery of the details is fun and fulfilling. When she is not flying, she logs a lot of flight time on commercial airliners traveling the world with her husband Jan and getting an occasional jump seat privilege with European carriers. She enjoys windsurfing, road cycling, cross country skiing, painting, and cooking. She only wishes she didn’t have to sleep!


Tim Collins
Dr. Tim Collins has been flying with Chesapeake Sport Pilot since 2008, but has been involved with aviation since 1978. He is an Air Force command pilot and has flown the A-10, E-3 B/C, F-16 A/B/C/D, KC-10, RQ-4, T-37, T-38, T-41, and U-2, as well as a wide variety of general aviation airplanes and sailplanes. With over 3,600 flying hours and extensive combat flying experience, Tim holds FAA Commercial Privileges (Airplane Single and Multi-engine Land; Glider; Instrument), Instructor Privileges (original issue in 1980), and a Type Rating (Boeing 707/720). He is a certified ‘Board President’ for aviation accidents/mishaps. Tim is an Assistant Professor and has been teaching aviation-related undergraduate and graduate courses for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University since 1996, in addition to teaching advanced aviation technologies for graduate students at the Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering more recently. He has been professionally associated with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Air Force Association (AFA), Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), National Affiliation of Flight Instructors (NAFI), Order of Daedalians, and as a designated Flight Instructor for the Soaring Society of America (SSA). Tim has served as a volunteer FAA Aviation Safety Counselor, and spends his free time flying and playing golf.


Chris Criswell
Chris Criswell began flying in 2000 while completing his Bachelor of Science degree in Geography from Salisbury University. He has a Masters of Science degree in Information Technology. He holds an instrument, multi-engine commercial license and is a licensed Certified Flight Instructor with over 2000 hours of experience. In 2002 Chris joined the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as a Cartographer. He currently works at the FAA as a Project Manager within the Aeronautical Information Management (AIM) directorate. He is the AIM lead for international standards coordination with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). When he’s not flying or working at the FAA, Chris enjoys spending time with his wife Sarah and three children, Ryan, Tyler and Lauren.


Jim “Cookie” Crum
Jim “Cookie” Crum fell in love with flying at a young age watching crop dusters fly around the fields in Arizona. He received his Private Pilot’s License while in high school at the age of 16 and has been flying ever since. Following high school Jim enlisted in the Air Force as an aircraft mechanic and continued to pursue his love of aviation and flying by earning his Bachelor’s Degree from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (Prescott) and an officer commission as a USAF Pilot in 2001 where he continues to fly today. Cookie, as we call him, is an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP), CFII/MEI and airframe mechanic with 4500+ total flight hours and 1900+ flight hours as an Instructor.   Cookie has flown aircraft ranging from a J3 Cub to a DC-10 with experience in a T-37, T-1, T-6, KC-10, E-11A, C-20 and C-37A/B but most importantly Cookie wants to share his love of aviation with as many people as possible.


David Frostbutter
Dave’s his first airplane ride was soon after birth. He spent many hours (maybe more upside down than right side up) as a passenger with his father. Needless to say he was smitten at an early age. He obtained his Private license in 1970, the commercial, instrument and CFI in 1976, the CFII in 2001 and has been an active flight instructor since 1976. Dave has worked as an Aerospace Engineer at The Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory for 34 years and currently working in the R&D area with the FAA. He was a team member that developed the ADS-B technology which is now in the nation-wide implementation phase. Flying has been a life-long passion and looks forward to many more years in the air, sharing the experience with all who want a higher education.


Fred Lagno
Fred started his flying career in San Angelo, Texas while attending Air Force Intelligence School at Goodfellow Air Force Base. He soloed in 1966 and began flying full time as a flight instructor at Bay Bridge Airport in 1971. In 1972 he started the first aviation ground school at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, MD. Fred’s experience includes cargo, commuter and airline flying in various aircraft including the Boeing 727, the DC9 and the Boeing 737-200, 300, and 400 models with 25,000+ hours flying time. He retired from USAirways in 2002. Fred is also the designer of numerous supplemental type certificates for electrical modifications to antique aircraft. He holds airline transport pilot, flight instructor airplane and instrument with a gold seal, ground instructor, flight engineer, airframe & powerplant mechanic, and aircraft inspector certificates.


Hannah Lagno
Hannah has been airborne since she was six months old, when her parents first strapped her in a car seat in their 1947 Cessna 140. Her love of taildraggers continues today as she enjoys the challenge of perfecting wheel landings on Sunday trips with her father, particularly to airports with restaurants conveniently on site. After earning a double Bachelor's degree in music education and percussion and piano performance from Frostburg State University, as well as a Performer's Certificate in percussion from Penn State, she had a change of heart and decided to pursue her passion for aviation. In 2013, she earned her private license at Chesapeake Sport Pilot under the guidance of her father, and continued to study here for her sport pilot instructor's certificate. Hannah's next venture is her instrument rating; in the meantime, she is excited to launch her new career at CSP.

Dave Manion
Dave Manion had always wanted to fly.  He had his first flight in a Piper Cherokee 140 at the age of 10, and was hooked. While in college, he joined the Navy as an Aviation Reserve Officer Candidate (AVROC), hoping to earn his pilot’s certificate through the service.  As Vietnam was coming to a close, so was the need for Naval aviators.  Dave received an Honorable Discharge from the Navy in 1974, along with a nice military haircut and a pair of flight boots.  Disappointed, he then went on to find a career in industry.  He moved to Maryland in 1977 to work as an instructor at the Goddard Space Flight Center, teaching technicians to operate and repair spaceflight tracking and telemetry systems. He eventually obtained his Private Pilot certificate, learning to fly at Freeway (W00), and flew with the Civil Air Patrol for several years, flying out of W00 and FME.  He obtained his Instrument Ground Instructor (IGI) certificate in 2003 while working towards an instrument rating.  He is also now an Advanced Ground Instructor (AGI) and is also certified to commercially operate small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS).  He is a member of AOPA and EAA, and enjoys participating in the Boy Scouts Youth Aviation Adventure (YAA) and the EAA Young Eagles programs.  When Dave is not flying, he manages government contracts for SAIC.  He and his wife have two grown children, both living in Maryland.  He loves to fly when he can get away from work and honey-do’s. 


Tom McKnight
Tom’s passion for airplanes began in the 1950’s when his uncle, a former Tuskegee Airman raised on the Eastern Shore, landed his surplus WWII aircraft on a grass strip near his home in Ridgely, Maryland. He soloed in 1972 at College Park airport while studying aerospace engineering at the University of Maryland. After graduating as a distinguished graduate of Air Force ROTC, Tom spent twenty years in the Air Force as an aviator and aeronautical engineer, including a stint at the US Naval Academy as a mechanical engineering instructor and VTNA flight instructor. After retiring from the Air Force in 1994, he joined the faculty of Delaware State University as Chairman and Associate Professor in the Airway Science Department and managed the school’s FAA Part 141 flight school. For the past several years, Tom has been at FAA Headquarters as an engineer with the NextGen program and is currently an Aviation Safety Inspector in the General Aviation and Commercial Division. Tom holds an airline transport pilot certificate, Gold Seal CFI/CFII/MEI, sport gyroplane endorsement, and advanced ground instructor certificates. He has logged over 6500 hours in over 80 military and civilian aircraft and rotorcraft.


Ed Ritchie
Ed was born in Pennsylvania and grew up in Maryland and has been a lifelong aviation enthusiast.  He earned his first pilot certificate in Gliders in 1983.  He joined the FAA in 1986 where he enjoyed working as an Air Traffic Controller for over 28 years in New England.  His Air Traffic Control credentials include certifications as a pilot weather briefer/weather observer, tower controller, RADAR approach controller, and ATC instructor.  When Ed wasn't controlling aircraft, he was busy building his flying resume, ultimately achieving ratings in single- and multi-engine aircraft as a Commercial and Air Transport Pilot.  Ed became a flight instructor in 2002 and is qualified to teach basic, instrument, and multi-engine pilot candidates.  He retired from the FAA in 2014 and with his wife Laura moved back "home" in 2015.  Ed currently works part-time as a pilot/instructor for a small charter airline and has flight experience in over 25 different types of aircraft.  In his spare time, Ed enjoys long-distance bicycling.  He and his wife also enjoy kayaking, traveling and being closer to their grown daughter.

Bruce Spinney

Gretta Thorwarth
Gretta’s longtime love of flying was kindled by her father, a pilot and instructor since the 1960’s who first brought her out to Bay Bridge Airport before she was old enough to walk. With her first logged flight lesson in a Cherokee 180 at age 8, Gretta was hooked for life and spent many days accruing hours while along on her father’s flying business trips. Within a year or two, she had also become involved in the restoration process of a historic antique biplane under the tutelage of one of her neighbors, an aircraft she remains involved with flying and maintaining to this day. Currently, she has her Private Pilot’s license with tailwheel and high performance endorsements, is an active Advanced Ground Instructor at CSP, and prefers flying aircraft that are up to 4 times as old as she is! When she is not busy flying anything she can get her hands on, Gretta enjoys restoring historic houses & old planes, biking, exploring, and customizing her diesel truck.

Randy Williams
Randy Williams was born & raised in Maryland. He grew up in Severna Park where he got a love for boating & kayaking.He has been flying for over 40 years.  He has accumulated over 3000 hours with over 1400 hours of right seat time instructing instrument & commercial students. He enjoys taking students past the minimum requirements to earn a certificate and likes to dig deeper into the nuances of the latest GPS units and technically advanced aircraft.


Dan Wroe
Dan’s interest in aviation started with tales told by his dad of flight training and combat missions over Hilter’s Germany in a B-24.  Far too much of his childhood allowance money was spent on plastic models, and, later, far too much paycheck went into R/C models.  In 1994, he finally found his way into the pilot seat of a venerable Piper J-3 Cub, taking private pilot training at a now-closed grass field near Clarksville, MD. A few years later, he added on a seaplane rating, which he exercises every chance he gets. That early shade-tree aviation experience set the tone for much of the flying he has done since. He soon also became involved in ultralight aircraft.  He is the former president and current newsletter editor for Experimental Aircraft Association chapter 571 and the central MD Challenger kitplane dealer.  He has also been the test pilot for the first flight of numerous homebuilts.  After a number of years providing occasional ultralight flight training, Dan got his Sport Pilot Instructor rating in 2010. When he is not instructing, or helping out in the CSP maintenance shop, you will usually still find him wrenching on a variety of homebuilt and ultralight aircraft, or flying them into places without airport identifier codes, or even runways.


Helen Woods
Helen has been a passionate general aviation pilot since 1998. A biologist by training, she spent several years serving as a search and rescue pilot and managing a search and rescue training program prior to accepting a job as a wildlife survey pilot. She earned recognition from the National Association of Flight Instructors as a Master Flight Instructor from 2009 to present and in 2015 was recognized by the FAA as Baltimore District and Eastern Region Flight Instructor of the Year.   Today, as a flight instructor, owner, and manager of Chesapeake Sport Pilot, she is dedicated to sharing her love of aviation with others through affordable, quality flight training.


Adam Zopf
As a child, Adam traveled extensively and lived overseas. With this early exposure to aviation, he long had a dream of becoming a pilot himself. He earned his private pilot license in 2010, and soon followed with his instrument rating in 2011. Being passionate about teaching and wanting to share his love of flying with others, Adam became a Certified Flight Instructor in 2013. Adam believes that learning to fly should be fun, with an emphasis on safety. When not flying or instructing, Adam works as a decorative painter and professional artist. He enjoys hiking, scuba diving and spending time with his family. He speaks French and Spanish.