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, California, 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.
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 speaks on both aviation and non-aviation topics, including risk assessment, IFR charts, aviation weather, in-flight emergencies, and safety awareness. He is also known for his rapid fire, humorous banquet presentations.
A pilot since 1970 and an active flight instructor since 1973, Rod is also a National Aviation Safety Counselor. You might recognize Rod as the instructor on Microsoft Flight Simulator or as the author of seven aviation books. He has over 10,000 hours of flight experience earned the hard way—one CFI hour at a time. Since 1978, Rod has taught hundreds and hundreds of flight instructor revalidation clinics and safety seminars across the United States and Europe. He was named the 1991 Western Region Flight Instructor of the Year. You can read his monthly column, “License to Learn,” in AOPA Pilot magazine as well as his monthly columns 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 and ranking 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.
Visit Rod’s web site at