Our Pilots


Shannon Samarasekera

Chief Pilot (Charter) / Multi Engine Instrument Instructor (Grade 3)

Shannon has been in the aviation industry for over 7 years and is our dedicated Charter Pilot as well as a Flight Instructor holding Multi-Engine and Instrument Training approvals. Shannon has passes in all ATPL theory subjects. During Shannon’s aviation career he has worked as an Instructor, Skydive Pilot and before joining us he gained valuable experience as a Multi-Engine Charter Pilot out west. Shannon previously worked in the Financial Services industry for several years (holding a Bachelor of Business degree) before following his dream of a career in
aviation.

Shannon has experience flying the following aircraft:

Multi-Engine Aircraft:

  • Piper Chieftain/Navajo (PA31)
  • Beechcraft Baron (BE55)
  • Cessna 310 (C310)
  • Piper Seneca (PA34)
  • Partanavia (P68B)

Single Engine:

  • Cessna 208 (Caravan)
  • Cessna 172, 182, 210
  • Mooney M20J
  • Piper PA28, PA38

Dean Tierney

Charter Pilot / Chief Flying Instructor (Grade 1)

Dean is a highly experienced instructor who was born and bred in Melbourne with a healthy obsession for flying and teaching.  Starting flying in high school, Dean has worked full time in the aviation industry since 2014. Qualified to teach anything from your first lesson up to your instructor rating, multi engine instrument rating or commercial pilot licence, he looks forward to sharing his passion with you. Dean is a mature professional and is well respected as our head of flight training. When not working, Dean is usually found cooking more than he can eat or trying to learn a new riff on guitar.

Dean has experience flying the following aircraft:

Multi-Engine Aircraft:

  • Piper PA44
  • Piper Navajo (PA31) 
  • Piper Seneca (PA34)
  • Diamond DA42

Single Engine:

  • Cessna C150, C172, C182, C210 
  • American Champion 8KCAB
  • Piper PA28 

Trace Palmer

Grade 2 Instructor / Charter Pilot

Trace is our Senior CPL instructor, he previously worked for 5 years as a flight instructor just south of Christchurch, and 2 years as a skydive pilot. Trace is exceptional at preparing students in their final hours of training for their Commercial Pilot Licence test.

Trace and his wife moved to Townsville to enjoy the lifestyle our city has to offer. He has a Design Feature training endorsement, and holds Multi-Engine, Instrument and Tail wheel ratings. Trace will also soon be flying Charter flights in the multi-engine aircraft.

Trace has experience flying the following aircraft:

Multi-Engine Aircraft:

  • Partenavia P68
  • Piper Seneca (PA34)
  • Piper Navajo (PA31)

Single Engine:

  • Cessna 152, 172, 182, 180, 185
  • Piper PA 18, PA 140, PA 161, PA 181
  • Alpha 160
Brendan Gair 
Grade 3 Instructor / Charter Pilot

Brendan started flying 6 years ago as a hobby and continued on to do CPL(A) with Grade 3 instructor rating. Brendan has worked across two different flight schools over the last two and a half years where he has gained multi engine instrument rating, multi engine, instrument and flight instructor training endorsements. Brendan’s multi-engine instrument (MEIR) training is of a very high standard, as a result, students completing their MEIR leave Townsville Flight Training being highly proficient and confident in using this rating. Brendan is also a Charter Pilot with ZephAir Australia flying passengers across regional Queensland.

Brendan has experience flying the following aircraft: 

Multi-Engine Aircraft:

  • Beechcraft Baron (BE55)
  • Cessna 310H
  • Piper PA68B, PA34, PA31

Single Engine:

  • Cessna 140, 150, 172, 182, 182RG

Tim Ledden

Theory Instructor / Flight Instructor (Grade 3) / Charter Pilot 

Originally from Sydney, Tim started his flight training at the age of 15. He completed both his RPL and PPL at Bankstown Airport before moving to Townsville in 2019 to finish his CPL training with us right here at Townsville Flight Training. Because of Tim’s excellent performance during his course of training at TFT he was offered a position in our team as the CPL Theory Instructor. His continued dedication and hard work have seen him progress even further to a Flight Instructor. Tim has also been able to conduct several flights in the region transporting company staff and freight.

Tim has experience flying the following aircraft:

Single Engine Aircraft:

  • Cessna 152, 172, 182
  • Piper PA 28

Lachlan Burke

Grade 2 Instructor / Charter Pilot 

Lachie is a Grade 2 flight instructor and holds Night and Instrument training approvals. Lachie completing a Bachelor of Aviation during his flight training at Moorabbin airport where he received his Multi Engine Instrument Rating and Commercial Pilot's licence in 2019. Lachie is exceptional at providing students with technical advice regarding their flight exercises. In 2021, Lachie has shown excellent flying skill and ability and as a result has been promoted to a Charter Pilot and has flown passengers across regional Queensland in our Piper Navajo and Seneca. Lachie holds a pass in ATPL theory subjects.

Lachie has experience flying the following aircraft: 

Multi-Engine Aircraft:

  • Piper Seminole (PA44)
  • Piper seneca (PA34)
  • Piper Navajo (PA31)

Single Engine:

  • Cessna 172, 182 
  • American Champion Decathlon (8KCAB)

Jordon Ward

IREX Theory Instructor / Grade 3 Instructor / Charter Pilot

Jordon began flight training at TFT in January 2020, receiving his Diploma qualification and Commercial Pilot Licence in under 6 months! He then completed a flight instructor rating in Brisbane by late 2020. Because of Jordon’s exceptional performance as a student at TFT, he was hired as a Flight Instructor and also dedicated IREX theory instructor. Jordon’s work ethic and passion for flying rubs off on students as he sets a good example of the behaviours required to succeed in this industry.

 Jordan has experience flying the following aircraft: 

Single-Engine Aircraft:

  • Cessna 152, 172, 182
  • Decathlon (8KCAB)