January 13, 2021: Leading Edge Flight Academy (www.flybend.com) of Bend, Oregon is proud to announce the addition of their new Chief Fixed Wing Instructor, James Presler.  Having flown for both a major air carrier as well as being a retired Navy F/A-18 Fighter Pilot, James brings a vast wealth of both flight experience and leadership to Leading Edge.

James has a long tenure of leading both inside and outside the cockpit.  As an F/A-18 flight instructor, he was charged with teaching brave men and women the skills to execute arduous combat missions to include Air-to-Air combat, Air-to-Ground combat as well as aircraft carrier landings.  In 2009, James was awarded F/A-18 Instructor Pilot of the Year by the Navy.  Additionally, James was the Commanding Officer of Navy Recruiting District Seattle where he led a recruiting team of over 200 team members.

“James brings a true passion for seeing the future of aviation thrive through above-industry standard flight training.  He naturally fits our culture of making safe and professional pilots beginning their very first flight.  We are very excited to support James and his mission to see that each of our Instructors and Students develop the skill sets and professionalism to achieve their aviation goals.”  Jack Walker, Executive Vice President, Leading Edge Flight Academy

Despite a global pandemic, Leading Edge Flight Academy has continued to see immense interest in their flight training programs.  Leading Edge has continued flight training operations under a carefully designed and OSHA approved health and safety protocol and even broke a company flight-hour record in the month of October.  As the school plans to expand and welcome more students in the coming months and years, Leading Edge Flight Academy considers the addition of Presler timely.

“I am very excited to be a part of this elite team of professionals.  Leading Edge Flight Academy offers their students the best combination of safe aircraft in a training environment that challenges the students’ decision making.  During training our students will encounter mountainous terrain, high elevation, density altitude, and icing conditions.  While some students will be taught about these challenges in theory, our students get to put them into practice.  When our students graduate, they will have the confidence to thrive in any aviation environment.” James Presler, Chief Fixed Wing Instructor

For over a decade Leading Edge Flight Academy (www.flybend.com) has specialized in training helicopter pilots, airplane pilots, and launching aviation careers. Leading Edge’s start-to-finish support and above industry standard training prepares students to meet their aviation goals. With a management team of pilots having over 37,000 cumulative hours and 100+ years in the industry Leading Edge knows what it takes to prepare students for a career in aviation.  Our fully integrated operation is entirely focused on Student success.  Located in Bend, Oregon with 300+ days of annual sunshine yields a productive and simultaneously challenging training environment to fully prepare our students to achieve their aviation goals.