Craig Thighe

Craig is a lifelong aviation educator whose experience includes corporate and turbine aircraft. He is a Gold Seal Instructor, past NAFI Master Instructor and FAA Designated Pilot Examiner. He works full time as a Captain for a Fortune 500 company flying domestically and internationally. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Utah Valley University and an MBA from Colorado State University. He is a recognized expert in technologically advanced aircraft and has assisted many pilots in achieving their flying goals and aspirations.


Masten Hamlin

Masten has been an Instructor since the early 1990s. He brings to the classroom significant turbine and charter experience garnered from his time with one of the leading jet charter operations in the Rocky Mountain region. His teaching skills and in-depth knowledge of all aspects of aviation are widely respected throughout the Centennial Airport community, as well as by the fortunate IA students he mentors.


Craig Nutting

I was bitten by the flying bug flying with my dad in 1967. There is just something special about being overhead looking down on this wonderful creation. I pursued general aviation flying thru college, then the USAF as a fighter pilot in Vietnam and Germany. In the early 1980’s I worked as a flight instructor in California and also as a bush pilot/A&P mechanic in southern Africa. In 1985 my dream of flying for the airlines was realized at American Airlines. After thousands of hours of heavy jet time I retired back to the fabulous job of lighting the fire in others here at Independence Aviation.


Ken Fukayama

Graduating from Embry Riddle in 2006, Ken currently stands as a three-time Master Flight Instructor, was awarded the 2013 Flight Instructor of the Year for the State of Arizona by the FAA, and was acting Head Coach for the University’s National Champion Flight Team before joining IA. His passion for teaching stems from his strong desire to build relationships with folks who are excited to learn the art of flight. His heart extends first to his family where he loves the time spent with his wife and three young children. He also plays bass guitar regularly for Red Rocks Church.