Instructor Information

Thomas Anthony
Mark Pestana

Mark Pestana (Colonel, USAF ret.) has served as a reconnaissance pilot, NASA research pilot, aerospace engineer, and project manager. He is currently a research pilot/consultant for Flight Research Associates, Inc. He is assigned to the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards AFB, CA, to support research, test, and evaluation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), and provides subject matter expertise to the FAA, DOD, other agencies, industry, and academia. Mark earned a BS in Natural Sciences from Loyola University, Los Angeles, where he received a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant through the Air Force ROTC Program. He also earned an MS in Systems Management/Research & Development from the University of Southern California. He is a graduate of USAF Air Command & Staff College and Air War College; NASA Systems Engineering, and International Project Management courses. Mark attended the Defense Language Institute Russian language course and Rice University Russian Culture course. He served 28 years in the USAF (14 years active duty, 14 years USAF reserve) as a reconnaissance pilot, test operations safety pilot, NORAD space systems analyst, intelligence analyst, research & development engineer, and operations director of the DOD Space Shuttle Program and the DOD Space Test Program.

His initial NASA assignment was in the Astronaut Office at Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, as a flight crew operations engineer. He developed crew systems and assembly operations for the International Space Station (ISS) and led the technical assessments and negotiations for modification of the Russian Soyuz spacecraft as an ISS "lifeboat". Mark also served as the Earth & Space Science Discipline Manager, developing resource allocation and integration plans for U.S. and foreign partner experiments on the ISS. Mark was subsequently assigned to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB, CA, and served as a NASA Airborne Science Mission Director, Research Pilot, and Flight Test Engineer. He flew extensive worldwide Earth Science missions in the DC-8 "Flying Laboratory", directing expeditions and collecting data on ozone depletion, atmospheric chemistry, tropical rainfall measurement, hurricane development, ice pack moisture content, rain forest health, tectonic activity, and agricultural health. He piloted the B200 (C-12) King Air research aircraft in various aeronautics, avionics, and Earth Science research projects, serving as manager and project pilot for the Hi-rate Wireless Airborne Network Demonstration. He flew the B200 with the Space Integrated Inertial Navigation Global Positioning System experiment, designed for the X-38 prototype Space Station Crew Return Vehicle. Mark also flew F-18 and F-15 supersonic flight research projects as a Co-Pilot and Flight Test Engineer.

Mark led the development of NASA's unmanned aircraft research program in collaboration with the FAA, NTSB, DOD, DHS, and the U.S. Congress. Mark led UAS mission development, crew training, and flight operations for NASA's MQ-9 Predator-B and RQ-4 Global Hawk. He flew NASA's MQ-9 Predator-B "Ikhana" unmanned aircraft on various aeronautics and sensor research projects. For the Western States Fire Missions, he developed unprecedented flight operations plans, clearances, and access to the national airspace. This provided real-time geo-location and movement data on wildfires directly to fire incident commanders throughout the western U.S. With extensive "hands-on" flight operations of UAS in the National Airspace, he was designated by NASA a Subject Matter Expert in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) operations, research, and human factors engineering.

Mark has logged over 5000 hours in various types, from heavy transport to supersonic jet, turboprop, general aviation, sail plane, ultra-light, and remotely piloted aircraft. These include KC-135 (B-707), DC-8, C-12, T-38, T-34, F-18, F-15, F-16, MQ-9, RQ-4, and the RC-135, in which he logged 213 combat reconnaissance sorties. His awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (3), the Air Medal (9), the Armed Forces Expeditionary Service Medal, and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal.

Mark has published several technical papers and presentations on aviation and space research topics for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the International Test & Evaluation Association, USAF, DOD, and NASA. Mark is an award-winning published artist, with membership in the American Society of Aviation Artists and the USAF Art Program. His paintings are in corporate, academic, and private collections, and in the Pentagon collection.

Andrew Thurling
Harrision Wolf

Harrison Wolf, B.A., M.P.P is currently the lead course manager, researcher, and liaison for Unmanned Aircraft Systems for the USC Aviation Safety & Security Program within Viterbi School of Engineering. He sat on the RTCA SC-203 Safety Work group and the Human Factors sub-work group. Currently, he is developing courses for Safety Management Systems for RPAs. He has presented Human Factors for UAS Paper for CASI Aerospace Conference April 2013 in Toronto, Canada, UAS Integration into the NAS papers for IEEE Aerospace, and an analysis of recent FAA Activities through Regulation and Economics. Harrison has published previous work on UAS Integration Regulation Framework, International Trafficking in Arms Regulation Reforms and Safety Management Systems for Aerospace all with IEEE Aerospace. His research interests are government regulations, technology policy framework, and Remotely Piloted Aircraft Integration efforts into the National Airspace.

Adam Cybanski

Adam Cybanski is a tactical helicopter pilot with over 20 years and 2500 hours on fixed and rotary wing aircraft including the CT114 Tutor, CH139 Jet Ranger, CH135 Twin Huey and CH146 Griffon. He completed a tour in Haiti as Night Vision Goggle Specialist and Maintenance Test Pilot, and has managed the CH146 Griffon Full Flight Simulator. He is a graduate of the Aerospace Systems Course and holds a BSc in Computer Mathematics from Carleton University.

An experienced investigator at the Royal Canadian Air Force Directorate of Flight Safety, Adam has been leading the way in video analysis and crash site photogrammetry. He has presented three times at the International Society of Air Safety Investigators seminar, and continues to brief safety professionals around the world. His analysis has been employed by both military and civilian accident investigation boards.

Adam is currently the Canadian Flight Safety representative to NATO. He is also responsible for all helicopter accident investigation in the Royal Canadian Air Force, and oversees the CH146 (Bell 412), CH139 (Jet Ranger), CH124 (Sea King), CH149 (EH101/Cormorant), CH148 (S92), and CH147F (Chinook) fleet investigations, as well as UAVs. He has been received several commendations by the Chief of the Air Force for his work in simulation & visualization, and was recently awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) by the Governor General of Canada for his work in flight safety.

David Royo

David Royo is a Supervisory Air Interdiction Agent for US Customs & Border Protection Mission Commander responsible for both MQ-9 Predator and P-3 aircraft. He is a member of the Office of Air and Marine, Strategic Policy Advisory Committee. He is the acting Chief of Safety and Mission Assurance, Head of Strategic Communications, and Head of Strategic Policy and Planning for the National Air Security Operations Center at Corpus Christi, Texas. David has held the position of Commanding Officer for the 28th Training Squadron (Naval Reserve), and the USC Navy P?3 Mission Commander for the Naval Air Station at Barber's Point, HI. David received his BS in Nuclear Engineering from Iowa State University in 1991 and attended US Navy Aviation School in 1994. He was the Distinguished Graduate from Federal Law Enforcement Training in 2003, and became a National Test Pilot in 2008.