To the delight of his parents, Rod Machado gave up riding with a vegetarian motorcycle gang known as The Sprouts, when he traded his motorcycle for flying lessons at age 16. Captivated by the romance and adventure of flight in a Taylorcraft L–2 at Amelia Reid Aviation in San Jose, California, Machado has remained hooked ever since. A friend once said that Machado's so excited about flying that it takes two glide slopes to bring him down. In fact, he claims to be one of the few Airline Transport-rated pilots who still gets a kick out of a Cessna 150 fly-by (which he claims he likes because it lasts so much longer than Mooney, Bonanza and Malibu fly-bys).
Machado 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 difficult topics and adding humor to make lessons memorable has made him a popular lecturer both within and outside of the aviation community. Machado's presentations include topics as diverse as Risk Assessment, Defensive Flying, and Handling In-Flight Emergencies. His non-aviation topics include Safety Awareness, Humor as a Communication Tool, and The Lost Art of Thinking, He is also known for his humorous, rapid-fire banquet presentations.
Machado boasts more than 30 years experience in aviation and has logged 8,000 hours of flight time the hard way: one CFI hour at a time. Since 1977, he has taught hundreds of flight instructor revalidation clinics and safety seminars, and in 1991 he was named the Western Region Flight Instructor of the Year. Machado holds all fixed-wing (powered) flight instructor ratings, as well as an airline transport pilot license. He's flown as a corporate pilot and has been a flight instructor since 1973.
For six years, Machado 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. Machado is the flight instructor voice on Microsoft's Flight Simulator. He is the author of three books (Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook, Rod Machado's Private Pilot Workbook, and Rod Machado's Instrument Pilot's Survival Manual), four videos, and two audio cassette albums. You can read his monthly columns in AOPA Pilot magazine as well as in AOPA Flight Training magazine.
Machado's eclectic interests reflected his equally varied academic credentials. He holds a degree in Aviation Science and degrees in Psychology. A firm believer that those who don't take time to exercise have to take time to be sick., Machado gets his exercise from practicing and teaching martial arts. He holds black belts in the Korean disciplines of Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido, and has studied Gracie Jujitsu for 10 years. He also runs 20 miles a week (and claims it's uphill both ways).
Be sure to visit Rod Machado's partner page in the Learning Center.