Our Instructors

Nick Pratt

Chief Pilot / Chief Flying Instructor

Nick is the Chief Flying Instructor and Fixed-Wing Type Specialist of Townsville Flight Training. He has been in the aviation industry for 12 years. He is a CASA CPL Licenced Grade 1 Multi-Engine Flight Instructor with passes in all of his ATPL theory subjects. He is the holder of Multi-Engine Instrument and Multi-Engine Class ratings. Nick also holds a NZ CPL(A) as he operated a C310R in New Zealand for aerial survey operations. Nick ferried the C310 from Brisbane to New Zealand - that's a lot of water!

During his time in the aviation industry, Nick has worked in positions ranging from baggage handling, check-in agent, airport duty manager, flight attendant, safety manager, contract manager, HAAMC and pilot. He is experienced and has experience flying a variety of aircraft including the following;

Single Engine:

  • Cessna 150, 152, 172, 177RG, 182, 182RG, 206, 210

  • Piper PA 22, PA28, PA28R, PA32, PA32R

  • Beechcraft A36 (Bonanza)
  • Rockwell AC11 (Commander 114)


  • Cessna 310R, 310H

  • Beechcraft Baron BE55
  • Partenavia PN68

  • Vulcanair PN68C

  • Piper PA 34/34(T)

  • Piper PA31 Navajo

His career has included working at two different flying schools, one being an RTO specialising in Aviation Diplomas. Over this period he has also flown several other single and multi-engine airwork and charter operations including:

  • Flight Instruction

  • Charter

  • Aerial Survey

  • Aerial Photography

  • Tourism

Outside of aviation Nick enjoys scuba diving, "riding" his bike (it's electric - that's cheating), playing soccer, most things to do with technology and spending time with his family.

Nick is very excited to join TFT and to be working along side the great team of instructors. 

Trace Palmer

Grade 2 Instructor

Joining us from New Zealand, Trace previously worked for 5 years as a flight instructor just south of Christchurch, and 2 years as a skydive pilot. 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.

He has experience flying the following aircraft:

Single Engine:

  • Cessna 152, 172, 182, 180, 185
  • Piper PA 18, PA 140, PA 161, PA 181
  • Alpha 160

Multi Engine:

  • Partenavia P68

Shannon Samarasekera

Charter Pilot & Grade 3 Instructor

Shannon has been in the aviation industry for over 7 years and is our dedicated Charter Pilot as well as a Grade 3 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 flown 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

Lachlan Burke

Grade 3 Instructor

Lachie is our Grade 3 flight instructor. He recently moved to Townsville from Melbourne. Whilst completing a Bachelor of Aviation Lachie conducted his flight training at Moorabbin airport where he received his Multi Engine Instrument Rating and Commercial Pilot's licence in 2019. Lachie gained his Flight Instructor rating and Night VFR Training Endorsement in early 2020. 

Lachie is currently working towards completing his ATPL subjects. 

Single Engine:

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

Multi Engine:

  • Piper Seminole (PA44)

Brendan Gair 

Grade 3 Instructor, Charter Pilot & IREX Theory Instructor

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.

Single Engine:

  • Cessna 140, 150, 172, 182, 182RG

Multi engine:

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

When he's not working, he enjoys spending time at the beach fishing or relaxing with friends and family.

Tim Ledden

Theory Instructor

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. Tim joined the team in 2020 as our new fixed-wing Theory Instructor and we'd be lost without him!

Tim has flown the following aircraft:

Single Engine:

  • Cessna 152, 172, 182
  • Piper PA 28