Our Instructors


Hayden Vardaman – Chief Pilot

Hayden is our in house DPE and our Chief Pilot. He received his pilots license in 2008, and has since then worked through all his other certificates and ratings here in Bend. He holds CFI, CFII, and MEI ratings and is our most experienced flight instructor with over 3,000 hours of instruction given. When not flying with his students, Hayden enjoys spending time in the outdoors with his wife and three kids.


Keeton Nance – Assistant Chief Pilot

Keeton grew up in Virginia next to a local airport, and was captivated by the planes passing overhead. He moved to Bend 14 years ago and graduated from Willamette University in 2019 with a degree in biochemistry. Despite his interest in science, he had a change of heart during his senior year and decided to jump right into flight training during his last semester of college. Since then he has earned his Commercial single and multi-engine licenses, as well as CFI, CFII, and MEI instructor certificates. He also holds tailwheel, high performance and complex endorsements. Keeton is a diligent worker and highly emphasizes studying hard outside of the cockpit to ensure success. If he’s not flying he’s probably skiing, floating the river, cooking, or watching soccer.


Derek McGinnis

Derek grew up in Alaska and moved to Bend in order to complete his CFI training in the ideal weather conditions that Central Oregon has to offer. Derek comes from a family of Marines that includes his father who flew KC-130’s for 20 years. After high school, Derek went on to attend Big Bend Community College’s aviation program in Moses Lake, WA. Derek currently holds Commercial Single and Multi-Engine ratings, CFI, CFII, along with both complex and high-performance endorsements. Along with flying, Derek has a passion for anything involving the outdoors and enjoys spending time with his friends, family, and his dog.


Josh Fisher

Josh is one of our senior instructors and has been flying since 2015.  He currently holds CFI, CFII, and MEI ratings, along with complex, high performance, high altitude, and tailwheel endorsements. Josh‘s aviation background includes ferrying, skydiving pilot, local scenic flight operator, and he is currently a part time pilot for a local drilling company. Presently he has over 2,000 hours in 19 different aircraft. When not behind a yoke, Josh enjoys hunting, fishing, and camping with his wife and daughter.


Come fly with us and experience the joys of aviation! At Bend Aircraft we believe that safety comes first, which is why we pride ourselves on providing well maintained aircraft to our students and instructors.

(541) 241-7371

63330 Powell Butte Hwy
Bend, OR 97701

8am to 5pm
Monday thru Friday