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About CRAFT Flight Training

We love aviation and want to share our passion with you!

CRAFT Flight Training and Simulation is a veteran-owned flight training center located on the General Aviation ramp of Charleston International Airport (KCHS) with a satellite office at Summerville Airport (KDYB).

CRAFT is committed to providing unparalleled customer service and access to modern training aircraft and simulator technology. Our passionate and knowledgeable Certified Flight Instructors (CFIs), and cost-effective training programs will help you achieve your aviation goals.

Flight schools are great at helping students to achieve ratings, but they sometimes fall short in providing opportunities to regularly use those ratings in their daily lives. At CRAFT, using those hard-earned ratings to enhance your lifestyle is the goal. CRAFT’s expanding modern aircraft fleet, centered around the superior Diamond Aircraft platform, provides you opportunities to rent and use aircraft your family would be proud to fly. Elevate your lifestyle!

Beginning your aviation journey is easy – just call, email or submit your training inquiry on our Contact Us page and we will work with you to find the right training path to meet your schedule and goals.

Meet the CRAFT owners

Jay Aldea

Jay Aldea

Owner, CFI

A lifelong aviation enthusiast, Jay graduated from Summerville High School and the College of Charleston. Following a successful 21-year career as a Naval Officer, Jay returned to Charleston to pursue his flying passion and hopes to inspire those in the Charleston community to achieve their own aviation dreams. Jay is our lead of operations at Summerville and a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI).

AMANDA ALDEA

AMANDA ALDEA

Owner

Amanda is Jay’s other (better?) half and our Flight School Administrator. She graduated from Ole Miss and George Washington University, and has been a Senior Software Engineer for over 19 years.

BARRY EMERSON

BARRY EMERSON

Owner, CFI/CFII/MEI

Barry has had a fascination with aviation from a young age. He obtained his CFII while attending The College of The Ozarks in the 1980’s. Barry worked as an executive in the automotive industry for most 30 years. Over these years, Barry kept in touch with his love for flying through instructing and acting as a contract pilot. He is now our Director of Flight Operations and Senior Flight Instructor with over 2000 hours. Barry is the lead CFII for our Accelerated IFR program, and one of our MEI’s for our Multi-Engine programs.

Meet the Craft Flight team

JACK O’NEIL

JACK O’NEIL

CFI/CFII/MEI

Jack is a fun-loving, happy-go-lucky kinda guy and an exceptional instructor. Before becoming a CFI, Jack was a golf pro. He’s been flying for years and loves seeing the success his students achieve. Jack has been with CRAFT for a year and has over 1400 hours of dual given.

STEPHEN BUTT

STEPHEN BUTT

CFI/CFII/MEI

Stephen grew up in Virginia Beach seeing fighter jets flying overhead and going to air shows with his father. After playing baseball in college, his hopes of playing professionally did not pan out. He took a discovery flight, realized aviation was what he wanted to do all along and has been flying ever since! Stephen has been with CRAFT for a year and has over 900 hours of dual given.

 KEM FRONABARGER

KEM FRONABARGER

AGI

Kem comes from a flying family, having taken his first flight at the tender age of 2. He has over 30 years of academic and sports instruction. He has managed flight schools in the past, and is an FAA certified Advanced Ground Instructor.  Kem has over 500 hours in flight simulators. Kem loves seeing students achieve their dreams of flying and watching student’s skill improve through his efforts!

BRIAN TRAVERS

BRIAN TRAVERS

CFI

Brian has always had a passion for flying and from childhood, he knew that he wanted to be a pilot.  He attended Liberty University School of Aeronautics to pursue that goal. In addition to flying, he loves fishing, and at Liberty University, helped to begin their Bass Fishing Team with which he qualified for two national championships. Brian is primarily working out of the Summerville location and is looking forward to sharing his passion for aeronautics with his students!

MATTHEW NEWMAN

MATTHEW NEWMAN

CFI

Matthew has always had a love of flying and adventure! When he finished his time in the Marines as an aircraft mechanic, he enrolled in the Aviation Science program at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana. Matt completed the CRAFT Accelerated CFI Course before returning to Montana to graduate college in the Fall of 2019. 

JOHN DE VALLETTE

JOHN DE VALLETTE

CFI

John has been around Aviation since birth, coming from a family of aviators and aviation enthusiasts. Soloing at 16 to later becoming an Instructor, John found his niche, and his passion for teaching shows. With over 1,400 hours of instruction given, John’s priority is to make sure his students are always learning, gaining confidence in their abilities and enjoying their path on becoming on Pilot. 

TYLER JERNIGAN

TYLER JERNIGAN

CFI/CFII

Tyler found his love of aviation during his time as flight medic in the Army. After leaving the Army and continuing work in the medical field he realized his passion was in aviation instead. He completed his Private Pilot’s License at CRAFT in 2016 then continued training at American Aviation Academy in San Diego, California while completing an Associate’s Degree in Commercial Aviation at Charter College. Tyler is currently enrolled at the College of Charleston where he is completing his Bachelor’s.

SAMMY Bledsoe

SAMMY Bledsoe

CFI/AGI

Sammy Bledsoe enjoys sharing her enthusiasm for flight with her CRAFT students, both on the ground and in the cockpit.  She inherited passion for aviation from her father, an American Airlines pilot.  She grew up around airplanes and pilots, and after many shared flights and airshows attended she was hooked!  

Sammy was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois.  She graduated from College of Charleston in 2019, where she rode for their NCAA Equestrian Team.  Upon graduation, she was hired by the Air Force Reserve and will soon begin training to fly C-17s out of Joint Base Charleston. 

ADRIENNE WIESNER

ADRIENNE WIESNER

TRAINING ADVISOR LEAD

Adrienne helps students achieve their aviation goals as CRAFT’s Training Advisor Lead, conducting outreach with potential new students customers while ensuring the optimal flight training experience for CRAFT’s current customers.

Adrienne graduated from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in Aviation Management and Flight. She is a Commercial Pilot, Instrument rated, single and multi engine, with over 600 hours to include 350 hours CFI time. A military spouse of active duty Air Force C17 pilot with years of volunteer service as a Key Spouse providing vital communications role with unit leadership/families and provided peer-to-peer support.

Anthony bello

Anthony bello

CFI/CFII

Anthony has always had his eyes to the skies and a love for aviation since he was a boy. For 10 years he was an avionics tech on the MV-22 Osprey and the CH-46 helicopters in the Marine Corps. After leaving the military, he worked off-shore on oil rigs and realized his need to get back into Aviation and love for flying. Anthony came to CRAFT with his private Pilot Certificate and has been training with CRAFT all the way through CFI-I. He is extremely motivated and loves sharing his passion with people new to aviation.

HOlly Blackmon

HOlly Blackmon

Customer Service Rep

Holly was born and raised here in Charleston SC. She is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Science at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University with the hopes to graduate this summer. She has been training at CRAFT for over a year now and is currently working towards her commercial license. 

Do you have a question for the CRAFT team?

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CRAFT Flight Training & Simulation, Flight School, North Charleston, SC

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Training Hours

Monday - Saturday
9am - 5pm

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