Master Certified Flight Instructor

Corporate, Airline & Charter Experience


John’s aviation career began at Butler Aviation at O’Hare Airport in Chicago, IL. After nine years in Airport Operations at O’Hare Field, he seized the opportunity to take on his first full-time flying job as a Tow-Plane Pilot and Glider Instructor at Hinckley Soaring. In the fall of 1986 John advanced to Britt Airways, initially based in Quincy, Illinois. As First Officer, he flew Swearingen Metro 2, a twin-engine turbo-prop. Flying the Metro throughout the mid-west presented unique challenges in varied weather conditions in and out of airports ranging from busy airline hubs to smaller outlying airports.

Master certified flight instructor, John Mahany flight training with student in cockpit

Eager to advance his aviation career, he advanced to ATR-42 and the EMB-120 at Continental Express, Houston, TX, and further advanced to Continental Airlines (CAL), flying the Boeing 727, Newark, NJ.

John subsequently spent more than four years primarily flying in Alaska. In the spring of 1992, he went to work for SouthCentral Air, a small family owned airline, in Kenai, Alaska. John also worked as an aircraft dispatcher for both SkyWest Airlines (1996 – 1999) and Polar Air Cargo (1999 – 2000). He joined the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) where he flew both floats and snow-ski equipped aircraft into remote Alaskan areas. This introduction to ‘bush flying’ contributed to John’s spirit of adventure and a focus on best-practice safety techniques.

John has long been intrigued with tail-wheel airplanes. Since 2004, he has been a proud owner/ partner/ operator of a 1953 tail-wheel Cessna 180. From the tie-down in Long Beach, California, John makes frequent short flights to meet fellow pilots for a quick breakfast at Chino, Riverside, Big Bear, and other destinations.

  • Founding Member, Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE)
  • FAASTeam Lead Rep KLGB
Pre flight check with MCFI, John Mahany


March 2023: Hired as IFR training specialist at Professional Instrument Courses, LLC aka PIC for their proven accelerated 10-day, one-on-one training course working with clients at their location, in their airplane.

March 2023: Re-joined the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) after letting my Membership lapse.  I will become qualified again as a Mission Pilot and Instructor Pilot, among other things.

August 2022: Elected President, SoCal Pilots Association

July/August 2022: Flew my Cessna 150 from Long Beach (KLGB) to Oshkosh (KOSH) for AirVenture 2022, and back to Long Beach. Low and slow across the country!

September, 2021: DC-3 SIC Type Rating

September, 2021: Renewed Master Certified Flight Instructor (MCFI) Designation, 7th time

August, 2021: N-B25 SIC Type Rating

May, 2020: Learjet SIC Type Rating

January, 2020: Celebrating 40 year anniversary as a CFI

October 2019: Purchased my own airplane, a 1970 Cessna 150! I am sole owner!

August 15, 2018:  Marks 40 years since becoming a pilot and passing the Private Pilot Check Ride

Jan. 2018: Named editor of bi-monthly publication, SoCal Pilots Newsletter

Dec. 2017: Renewed Master Certified Flight Instructor (MCFI) Designation, 6th time

Dec. 2015: Named Director, Safety Advisor for 400+ member SoCal Pilots organization

2016 – 2017: Chapter Officer, V.P. Programs, for EAA Chapter 7, Long Beach, CA, for 2016.

Jul 2015: FlightSafety International Long Beach, CA: Instructor, Cessna Citation Program

Nov 2014: Renewed Master Certified Flight Instructor (MCFI) Designation, 5th time

May 2014: FlightSafety International: Type Rating, Cessna Citation V

Jan 2014: Named to the Board of Directors: Alaskan Aviation Safety Foundation

2010: Teaming with three other pilots, established a record-setting NAA/FAI sanctioned round trip flight from Carlsbad to Phoenix in a Beech 18

2006 –2012: California State University Los Angeles, Adjunct Professor of Aviation

2006: FlightSafety International Long Beach, CA: Instructor, King Air 200/B200 Program

December 2005: Bought into a 4-way aircraft partnership in a 1953 Cessna 180, which is based at Long Beach Airport (KLGB). Still involved with this and fly it when my schedule and the weather permit.

January 2005: Domestic RVSM (Reduced Vertical Separation Minimums) class completed, FlightSafety International, Long Beach, CA.

2004: FlightSafety International Long Beach, CA: Instructor, Cessna 300/400 Program

2003: Designation as (MCFI) Master Certified Flight Instructor (Renewed: 2005, 2007, 2009)

2003 & 2005: FAA recognition as Long Beach Western Pacific Region Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) of the Year

June 2002: Attended the 3 day McCall Mountain/Canyon Flying Seminar, McCall, Idaho. Learned mountain flying techniques for back-country flying in Idaho

1999: Commenced Career as full-time Flight Instructor

January 1999: Attended FAA’s Physiological Training (high altitude chamber) Edwards AFB, Mojave, CA.

1996: Additional Studies: International Flight Planning and ETOPS

1996: Aircraft Dispatchers Certificate, Sheffield School of Aeronautics, Fort Lauderdale, FL

1996: Attended Check Pilot School, Civil Air Patrol, Anchorage, Alaska. Became qualified as ‘CAP Check Airman’ to give CAP Form 5 Check-rides to Civil Air Patrol pilots.

1995: Attended Civil Air Patrol Ski Plane Clinic, Anchorage Alaska: became qualified to fly the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver on snow skis.

June 1987: Attended Business & Commercial Aviation’s Airborne Weather Radar Seminar, taught by Archie Trammell

1986 –1999: Airline Pilot, Flight Engineer, Dispatcher

1980: Earned Certified Flight Instructor (CFI)

1978: Earned Private Pilot Certificate

1977: First Flying Lesson