Rod Machado traded his motorcycle for flying lessons at the age of 16. His parents were delighted he gave up riding with the vegetarian motorcycle gang known as the sprouts. Captured by the romance and adventure of flight in a Taylorcraft L-2 at Amelia Reid Aviation in San Jose, Rod has remained hooked ever since. In fact, he is one of the few Airline-Transport-Rated pilots who still gets excited by a Cessna 150 fly-by (which he claims he likes because it lasts so much longer that the Mooney, Bonanza and Malibu fly-by). Rod is a professional speaker who travels across the United States and Europe delighting his listeners with upbeat and lively presentations. Machado truly loves mixing it up with the audience. His unusual talent for simplifying the difficult and adding humor to make the lessons stick has made him a popular lecturer both in and out of aviation. Rod’s presentations include topics as diverse as Risk Assessment, Defensive Flying and Handling In-flight Emergencies. His non-aviation topics include: Safety Awareness programs, Humor as a Communication Tool and The Lost Art of Thinking. Additionally, he is known for his rapid fire, humorous banquet presentations.
Flying since 1970 and instructing since 1973, Rod has over 10,000 hours of flight time earned the hard way—one CFI hour at a time. Since 1977 he has taught hundreds of flight instructor revalidation clinics and safety seminars and he was named the 1991 Western Region Flight Instructor of the Year. Rod holds all fixed-wing (powered) flight instructor ratings as well as an airline transport pilot license. He also owns a Cessna P210. For six years, Rod wrote and coanchored ABC’s Wide World of Flying. He is AOPA’s National CFI spokesman and a National Accident Prevention Counselor appointed by the FAA in Washington D. C. Rod is the flight instructor voice on Microsoft's Flight Simulator starting with the 2000 version through the X version and he wrote the flight lesson tutorials for the textbook that accompanies the software. He is also an instructor on Cessna's Computer-Based Private Pilot CD-ROM and the author of seven aviation books, four video DVDs, three audiobooks and a CFI image DVD. You can read his monthly column in AOPA Pilot magazine as well as in Flight Training Magazine.
Rod’s eclectic interests are reflected by his equally varied academic credentials. He holds degrees in Aviation Science and Psychology. Rod believes you must take time to exercise or you’ll have to take time to be sick. Holding black belts in the Korean disciplines of Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido as well over two decades of experience in Gracie Jujitsu, he gets his exercise from practicing and teaching martial arts. He also runs 20 miles a week and claims it’s uphill both ways. Someone once said that he's so excited about flying it takes two glideslopes to bring him down.