At Race City Flight Operations, we have full and part time flight instructors, highly experienced and well versed in the regulations and safety needed to ensure there is no question your training will be unparalleled in quality and satisfaction. Our instructors work as a team, so you may have one instructor for a portion of your flying and may finish with another instructor, or you may get to fly with another instructor for just a few flights at various “stage” checks.


At our Charlotte area locations:

CLINT WATKINS, Flight Instructor (CFI/I)

It all started with Top Gun for me, yes cliché, but as a young boy that and flying in smaller aircraft with my dad set me up for the passion I have today.  I am from Southern CA and moved to the Charlotte area in the summer of 2021.  I graduated from California Aeronautical University with High Honors with a degree in Aviation Science.  Having children has helped me gain a better understanding of the value of patience.  I love instructing other pilots but my ultimate goal is to be at the airlines.  I am excited to meet you and look forward to accomplishing your goal to become a pilot.

BRIANNA PALMER, Flight Instructor (CFI/I/MEI)

Aviation has always been a big part of my life. As a kid I used to go to EAA Air Venture at Oshkosh every summer with my dad and he would drag me tent to tent looking at all of the new gadgets and gizmos. It was not until after college I really started thinking about aviation (something that we had always done for fun on weekends) as a career. During the fall of 2019, I began working towards my private license in Indianapolis. I quickly realized that if I wanted to get to where I wanted I would definitely need some better weather. In 2020 I moved back home to Orlando, Florida and joined a fast track program which allowed me to obtain my ratings quickly. I knew upon finishing that program I wanted to come back to the Carolinas, so I did just that. I moved to the Charlotte area in April of 2021. Ultimately my goal is to be a pilot at a major airline. However, I am really enjoying spreading my knowledge and experience to students and helping them achieve whatever goals they set!

ANDERSON DOWLING, Flight Instructor (CFI/I)

Like many others, my career in aviation has stemmed from a childhood passion. As I approached my 30th birthday, I knew it was either now or never and decided to follow this lifelong dream of becoming a pilot. I started flight training in October 2019, and 9 months later I was a Certified Flight Instructor. I then instructed out of Orlando Executive Airport for over a year and then moved my family to Charlotte, where we hope to make our permanent home.

As an instructor, besides safety, my highest priority is the students’ investment in their training. I bring value to each lesson through experience, patience, and adaptability to various learning styles. I love sharing my knowledge of aviation with others and take great pride in the success of my students.
Prior to my life as a pilot, I was the Director of Development for a real estate investment group in New Orleans, where I lived with my wife Sabrina and daughter Penelope. I hold degrees from both Tulane University and LSU. In 2021 our son Pierce was born, and he counts the days until his 17th birthday when he can get his private pilot’s certificate.

WAYNE COOK, Flight Instructor (CFI/I/MEI)

I started in aviation as a USAF Rescue helicopter pilot. After 13 years, I transferred to the United States Army National Guard and retired 15 years later as a Master Aviator. While in the USAF, I became a helicopter test pilot and continued in the National Guard. After retirement, I added fixed wing certifications. My goal is to impart my experience for those wanting to either make a career or just learn to fly for fun, SAFELY. Come join our team at Race City Flight Operations.

BRETT MILLER, Flight Instructor (CFI/I)

Unlike most aviation actually came to me on a whim. Fall 2019 I was hearing about a pilot shortage and big money job in aviation. Knowing I had a cousin in aviation I figured I might as well give it a shot. So I booked a discovery flight at a fast track part 61 program and the rest is history. What started out as an impulse decision has turned into a full blown lifestyle. I would say it’s a passion of mine that I never knew I had. I’ve been full speed ahead ever since. Ultimately I want to fly for a major career commercial or cargo I’m not sure but for now I’m loving the ride of teaching and sharing my love of aviation with students and other pilots alike.

MORGAN McFARLAND, Flight Instructor (CFI/I)

Adventure has always been a passion of mine, and when aviation presented itself as my next big step, I was hooked. I am originally from the rolling hills of East Tennessee, and I completed my flight training at a Part 141 flight school in Virginia. After graduating Summa Cum Laude, I instructed for two years before beginning teaching at Race City Flight Operations. I love getting to explore the skies with new students and teaching them how to discover their wings in their own adventure. Looking forward to flying with you soon!


At our Martinsville location:

BRANDON SHIVLEY, Flight Instructor (CFI/I)

My interest in aviation started when I was about 12.  I developed an interest in remote control airplanes and started to build one.  That led to an interest in becoming an A&P mechanic.  In 1988, I attended a private pilot ground school with the intention of learning more about aircraft.  Barbara Baron was teaching the ground school and she managed to convince me to take a flight with her even though I had a fear of heights. Eventually, I overcame my fear of heights and fell in love with flight. I worked at the airport for flight time and earned my private pilots license in 1990.  While attending Comair Aviation Academy, I earned my instrument, commercial and multi-engine ratings.  My CFI rating was earned in 1994 in Corvallis Oregon.  In addition to instructing, I have flown Aerial survey, fire spotting and corporate missions.  I love to teach primary students,  giving them a solid foundation to build their aviation experience on.