Above and Beyond’s highly qualified, diverse, and passionate instructors are our greatest strength. Our instructors take great pride in ensuring your personal success as an aviator. Whether it’s your first lesson or you’re adding additional ratings to your pilot’s license, our experienced instructors craft a training program that suits your individual goals and thoroughly prepares you for your FAA practical exam. You receive individual, one-on-one attention to ensure that you are meeting your aviation objectives. Our unique training method saves you money by focusing on you, your individual learning style and getting the most out of every flight hour!


Flight Instructor Bios

George Farris

About George

More than the owner of Above & Beyond George is one of our most active instructors. George has been flying almost daily for the last twenty years. He has over 10,000 total flight time and 8,000 hours of dual instruction. He has his CFII and has taught the UT ground school for the past ten years.





Phone: 512-766-8359 (UFLY)




About John

John is a Gold Seal Flight Instructor who has been flying since 1977, and instructing since 1985. John holds Commercial and Instructor certificates for Airplane Single and Multi Engine Land, and Instrument Airplane, as well as an Advanced Ground Instructor certificate. He is a member of the FAAST (FAA Safety) Team, and is building an RV7-A in his garage. In addition to his flying activities, John plays in the Hill Country Community Band and teaches Sunday School in his church.





About Don

Don has been flying for 40 years. He has been an active Flight Instructor for 30 of those years with a Total Flight Time of 5200 Hours. Certified in both Single and Multi-Engine Airplanes with an Airline Transport License, Don is authorized to teach from the Private Pilot Certificate, Instrument, Commercial, Certified Flight Instructor, Multi-Engine, as well as Airline Transport Pilot. Don is experienced in over 37 different makes and models of aircraft and is an experienced King Air Pilot. As a former Band Director with emphasis on Low Brass and a Specialty on Trombone, Don teaches Private Band Lessons in Round Rock ISD when he is not Flight Instructing. Teaching has been Don’s lifelong passion.





About David

David has taught flight instruction since 2003, as a CFI and CFII. He also holds AGI and IGI ratings, and recently began exploring the world of drones with the RPC certificate. His 11,000+ hours were earned in Cessnas, Pipers and Cirrus aircraft, during which time he taught Private, Instrument, Commercial, CFI and CFII candidates.

He also logged a fair amount of time teaching in simulators (Redbid FMX) and has conducted ground seminars on a variety of topics. When he’s not flying, David enjoys playing music (multi-instrumentalist), writing fiction and non-fiction, and exploring the Texas hill country.



About Edgar

Edgar has had his eyes to the sky since he was a boy. He grew up just outside of Randolph Airforce Base and watched all the planes and helicopters coming and going, and dreamed he too could enjoy the skies one day. He graduated from Tivy High School and went on to graduate from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a Public Relations degree, but flying was where his passion was. He finally bit the bullet and started flying, and now he lives his dream, you probably won’t find anyone else that loves flying as much as Edgar. His ultimate goal is to get others to their very own dream, to instill passion and purpose in those who need a place to start, making every lesson enjoyable and FUN! Fishing, hunting, kayaking, swimming, hiking and traveling the world are the small few that are on the hobbies list. He has visited Spain, Amsterdam, Columbia, Mexico, and Peru, has hiked the Incan Trail and visited Machu Picchu, and will be on his way to Greece soon.






About Nick

Nick grew up in Cleveland Ohio but attended school in Athens, Ohio at Ohio University. He became passionate about aviation when a family friend took him to an airshow and has been hooked ever since. Nick majored in Aviation Flight but got curious about the business side of how things are run, so he got another degree in Aviation Management, and two minors, one in business, and another in communication. Prior to working at Above and Beyond, Nick worked for Ohio University as a Flight instructor, he loved it but decided to head south to escape the snow. Nick loves passing on his passion, and knowledge of aviation to his students. When not flying Nick likes to hunt, golf (slowly learning), watch Cleveland sports, and explore this new city/state of Austin, Texas.







Varun Shekar

About Varun

Varun is originally from Raleigh, NC and started flying when he was 13 years old. He received his private pilot certificate before his driver’s license at age 17 and became a CFI, CFII and MEI when he was 18 years old. Varun is an air ambulance pilot in Austin and is available part-time to teach primary and advanced courses. In his free time, he enjoys traveling and sightseeing in Austin.




About John

John grew up in the co-pilot’s seat of airplanes and flew solo before he learned to drive. (Hint: The right rudder pedal in cars doesn’t work like it’s supposed to.)  He got his Private Pilot certificate in Houston, and his Instrument rating, Commercial Pilot, Flight Instructor (including Instrument Instructor), and Ground Instructor certificates in the Dallas area. He’s done most of his flying in Texas, but also some in the Northern Virginia and Los Angeles areas.

In addition to flying with Above & Beyond, John is finishing his Ph.D. in computer science at UT Austin.  At UT, he performs research on programming languages. Also at UT, he has taught computer science, which he enjoys teaching almost as much as flight instruction.  Prior to UT, John was an information technology (IT) engineer, consultant, and program manager.




About Jeff

Jeff is a Colorado native who can trace his love for aviation all the way back to Denver, CO where his Dad would take him to watch airliners land at Stapleton Airport (the old Denver International) almost every weekend starting at age 5. Jeff began flying at age 12 when a family friend who was a pilot started taking him up once a month. Jeff got his Private Pilot Certificate at age 19. He went to college and earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering but never lost the passion. Jeff worked in the Energy, Construction, and Technology industries but ultimately decided that he wasn’t really an engineer after all…he is a pilot and was made to fly! He actually did most of his training through Instrument rating, Commercial Certificate and CFI right here at Above and Beyond. It was a natural fit for Jeff to transition from student to CFI and work here as full-time Instructor passing on his passion, knowledge, and experience to others interested in flying. In Jeff’s downtime, he enjoys traveling, hiking the greenbelt, wakeboarding on lake Austin, and swimming.



Ross Dubois, CFI

About Ross

A native Texan, Ross moved to Austin in 2003 to pursue a career in music in the “Live Music Capitol of the World.” He spent a decade in vans and tour buses, crisscrossing America and Canada, pausing only to earn his bachelors degree in journalism and English. After a life-changing flight in the Alaskan bush in 2015, Ross knew he wanted to spend his future in the sky instead of on the asphalt. He holds Commercial ratings for ASEL and AMEL, as well as CFI, CFII, and MEI certificates. Ross loves cooking, camping, hiking, swimming, and traveling the world with his fiancée and their dog Jack





About Shawn

Shawn has had a passion for aviation since childhood, and he carried this passion into college. After his first aviation class, he was sure he never wanted to work an average desk job. He received his Bachelor of Science in Aviation Sciences from Baylor University. Upon graduation, he continued his education at Texas State Technical College, where he completed the remainder of his flight training. Shawn currently holds an ASEL CFI, and he intends to receive his CFII as well. Shawn enjoys sharing his passion for aviation, and he hopes to help train the next generation of pilots. In his free time, Shawn enjoys watching football and baseball, playing golf, traveling, and, of course, flying.





About Nicole

Nicole was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. Her passion for aviation started in high school when her mom became a flight attendant for United Airlines. While attending the University of Alabama, she obtained her Private pilot license. Nicole graduated with a Major in International Studies and a minor in French. After graduating a year early, she obtained the rest of her ratings, (which include CFI, CFII and MEI) in San Diego, CA. She is excited to begin this new chapter in Austin, TX. When she is not flying, Nicole enjoys being outdoors, cooking and traveling.





About Caleb

Caleb is originally from Northern California, but has lived in the Dallas area for as long as he can remember. His earliest memories are going to Air Force academy football games in Colorado Springs with his dad and older brother, both of whom are pilots (Caleb maintains he is the best pilot in the family). He earned his certificates in San Diego, CA including CFI, CFII, MEI. When he is not flying his hobbies include collecting vinyl records, playing the piano (badly), and hiking.




Barb MacLeod, CFI

About Barb

Barb has been teaching people to fly since 1998, with some 8500 flight hours of instruction given and forty-plus candidates signed off for the Private Pilot Practical Test. She most enjoys teaching beginners, but additionally specializes in spin training and the CFI spin endorsement. She co-instructs the Private Pilot ground school class offered by UT Informal Classes. She has a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin, and when she is not flying, she does research on the frontier of ancient Maya hieroglyphic decipherment. She has lived and traveled extensively in Mexico and Central America as an archaeologist, linguist and speleologist.