Meet Our Exceptional Staff


Meet Our Flight Instructors

Sure, we have great airplanes, a superb flight training syllabus and a training environment that is second-to-none, but it is our flight instructors that really make the difference. The best in the industry! No joke!

An All-Star cast, SunState Aviation Flight Instructors are mature, experienced professionals with an array of impressive credentials! Listed below are our instructors with their respective ratings.

Sean-Michael Kemp – Flight Instructor

CFI, CFI-I, MEI, Gold Seal Flight Instructor

A native to Florida, Sean received his Bachelors in Logistics Management at the Florida Institute of Technology. His goal as a flight instructor is to educate the next generation of pilots and help everyone reach their aviation goals. Sean is also a former elementary school teacher and currently helps out as a soccer referee in youth, high school, college, & professional games. 

Olexiy Shutko – Flight Instructor

CFI, CFI-I

Originally from the Ukraine, Olexiy has always had a passion for the sky since he was child. He completed his Masters in Economics at Tavria State Agrotechnological University. Olexiy’s goal as a flight instructor is to make a great contribution into the future of aviation by teaching students and sharing his knowledge and experience. Olexiy speaks three languages – English, Ukranian, & Russian – and knows how to find an individual approach to each student in order to make their learning process successful.

Habib Hussain – Flight Instructor

CFI

Originally from Nigeria, Habib grew up in Canada where he received his Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from Carleton University. His goal as a flight instructor is to pass his knowledge of aviation and life to future pilots. On his spare time, he enjoys playing semi-pro soccer on a local team.

Paul Anthony Sabatini – Flight Instructor

CFI, CFI-I

Originally from New Jersey, Paul started flying at the age of 14 and worked his way up to CFI by the age of 19. He is currently finishing up his Bachelors in Aeronautics with a Minor in Engineering Studies at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. His goal as a flight instructor is to build up his experience as a pilot, while working towards his goal of becoming an airline pilot. Eventually, he would like to fly aircraft in the United States Air National Guard and ultimately, become a Test Pilot. Outside of flying, Paul is a guitar enthusiast and an avid Disney theme park fan.

Edison Hernandez – Flight Instructor

CFI, CFI-I

Born in New York, Edison completed his Automotive Technician certifications at the Universal Technical Institute. He then went on to do active duty in the US Army for 6 years, where he served as an Airframe & Powerplant Mechanic & Blackhawk Crewchief. His goal as a flight instructor is to continue building his experience as an instructor, with the endgame of becoming an airline pilot. Edison is currently in the Army Reserves, but on his free time, he enjoys going to the shooting range & is a car enthusiast.

Alfred Vasquez – Flight Instructor

CFI, CFI-I

Alfred is finishing up his Bachelors in Aviation at Liberty University in May; prior to pursuing becoming a pilot, he served active duty in the US Army for a few years. His goal as a flight instructor is to accumulate the hours needed so that, eventually, he can accomplish his dream of flying for the airlines.

Michael McDonald – Flight Instructor

CFI

In his prior life, Michael received his Masters in Business Administration from the University of Florida, leading him to spend half of his career as an advisor to municipal bond issuers before following his lifelong aspiration of becoming a pilot. Michael strives to develop the next generation of pilots by leveraging his passion for aviation and stressing continual learning and improvement throughout their flight careers. Most of his free time is spent with his wife and dog, as well as fitting in the occasional Ironman Triathlon.

Meet Our Support Staff

SunState Aviation is not composed only of flight instructors though, we also have our lovely support staff that you can generally find behind the front counter, ready to help you whenever you need it!

Steve Graham

Founder, CEO – Airline Transport Pilot, Certified Flight Instructor-Instrument, FITS Trained for Garmin G1000, More than 15 years experience providing Accelerated Flight Training.

Steve is the founder and CEO of SunState Aviation. Steve had been providing accelerated flight training as an independent flight instructor for many years and then served as the Chief Flight Instructor for a very large flight school prior to opening SunState Aviation in 2002. Steve hails from Cullman, Alabama.

Gold Seal Flight Instructor

What is a Gold Seal Flight Instructor?

The FAA issues the coveted Gold Seal Flight Instructor certificate only to those instructors who give a lot of flight instruction and whose students have an 80% success rate of passing their checkride on their first attempt! This means you can have a high degree of confidence that the training you are paying for is up to date, accurate, and efficient. Inefficient training is expensive, and having to retake a flight test can cost hundreds of dollars more. At SunState Aviation, you can expect to be given top quality flight training and to pass your check-ride on the first attempt. A Gold Seal CFI certificate is the seal of approval the FAA gives to exceptional instructors.