Our Team

A team of wisely selected professionals who love nothing more than to share their knowledge of flying and help grow the aviation community.

Flight Instructors

John M Levy

(310) 916 8693

John M Levy has been flying forever. Born and raised in California, John has spent his career flying in different roles. From flight instruction in the 80s to flying delivery to corporate pilot, John has done it all. John is a people person and believes what really makes the pilot industry great are the people. An avid surfer, boater, and fisher, John is always ready for a good time. After being with ActivePILOT for a year now, John says “I’m back at my roots teaching and loving every minute”. When you fly with John you will love every minute too!

Ryan Sharp

(805) 223 0763

Ryan is a Southern California native who is passionate about flying. Having achieved many certifications such as Commercial Pilot Multi-Engine (CMEL), Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), and Complex Endorsement, Ryan excels at all aspects of pilot training. In his free time, Ryan likes to go out with friends, build engines and race cars, and do computer-aided design. Ryan has been flying for over 10 years and is ready to give you world-class pilot instruction.

Joseph Ferrer

(808) 779 0604

Joseph is an experienced flight instructor looking to teach others the joy of flying while advancing his own knowledge. His love for flying is visible through his unique teaching style and continuous positive reviews received from his students.

Sevak Sarkissian

(818) 421 8098

Sevak started his pilot career at an early age and soloed by the time he was 16. He graduated from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Aviation Maintenance Technology, became an Airline Transport Pilot, and earned his certificate as an Airframe & Powerplant (A&P) mechanic before starting his career as a flight instructor. Sevak has been a Certified Flight Instructor, Instrument rated, and Multi-Engine Instructor for the past 25 years and has a lot of knowledge and experience under his name. When asked, he claims his passion is to spread the love of aviation to the future generation.

Amanda Makris

(630) 715 7528

Amanda is a real aviation enthusiast with a special love for general aviation. She started her flying career in Chicago, fine-tuned her aeronautical skills in the backcountry of Montana, and is now enjoying the beautiful skies of Southern California. She has extensive experience with many aircraft models and has an inspiring passion for teaching others to become professional pilots.

Luke Ferrene

(310) 406 5161

Luke Ferrene is a SoCal native with an absolute love for aviation. He received a bachelor of science in Aviation Flight at California Baptist University and has been very involved in all aspects of what aviation has to offer. Luke has had extensive experience not only as a pilot but as an aviation tutor, Horizon Airlines cadet, and National Intercollegiate Flying Association competitor. He is passionate about instructing and wants to inspire every one of his students to enjoy and experience the amazing world of aviation and all it has to offer.


Experience Matters!

Active PILOT has some of the finest instructors in the world. Ari & Leo, both highly distinguished airline pilots, established ActivePILOT to train students the same way airlines train. They incorporated FAA approved simulator utilization into their syllabus, making flight training far more intuitive and cost efficient. The team established a systemic approach to flight training by following an airline style training syllabus with online videos, study courses and progress tracking. This allows all their certified flight instructors to follow a standardized flight training program with each student. Their aircraft fleet is standardized, incorporating the latest in aviation technology and maintained to the highest FAA standards. They have been successful in creating an “Aviation Community” feel to their flight school where everyone feels like they are part of the family.


Ari Hovnanyan

Chief Operating Officer, CFI, CFII, ATP
(818) 378 0416

Ari has been flying for over 25 years and has experience with flying various aircraft. As Director of Operations, Ari oversees multiple aspects of the organization. Some of his tasks include aircraft management, student relations, program development, and recruitment. However, what gives him the most enjoyment is flying with students and conducting stage checks throughout their flight training.

Leonardo Aristizabal

Chief Training Officer, CFI, CFII, ATP
(210) 314 0409

Leo was born in Cali, Colombia, and was accepted to the Colombian Naval Academy where he graduated as an officer and earned a bachelor’s degree in Naval Science. After 11 years of service in the Navy, he moved to California in 2009 and served in the US military.

Amin Siavush

Chief Marketing Officer, IA, CFI, CPL
(424) 469 7900

Amin is a certified flight instructor with two bachelor’s degrees in Business Communication and Organizational Political Science from the University of California Santa Barbara and a certificate in Business Leadership from the UC Santa Barbara Extension. His immersion in the field of communication arts has enhanced his capabilities and strengths in marketing and has featured extensive experience in venture capital projects. Additionally, his experiences in the aviation sector have given him great insights and passion as to where he intends to devote his strength.

Jean Carlo Diaz

Assistant Manager, Student Pilot

Jean is the muscle of operation at ActivePILOT. While being a student pilot, Jean oversees the day-to-day operations of the school, and nothing gets passed him unchecked. His love for flight training and bright thinking has made him a valuable asset to our team and his generosity to help newcomers into the flight training programs has made him a devoted resource to his fellow students.

Geny Haase

Office Manager, Commercial Student Pilot

Geny is a commercial pilot student from Guatemala and a member of the Ninety-Nines Women Pilots at the VNY chapter. She has an Associate in Science degree in Aviation and Transportation and a Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautics with a Minor in Aviation Safety. In her free time, she volunteers for the Aviation Explorer’s Post at Whiteman airport as a treasurer where they provide scholarships for young adults between the ages of 14-21 to help them obtain their Pilot Certificate and Advanced Training.

Kate Ahlberg

Office Manager, Commercial Student Pilot

Kate is an instrument-rated private pilot seeking her commercial pilot license. Born and raised in Southern California, Kate is now flying over the beautiful skylines of her hometown with passion. She values positivity, communication, and hard work, which she hopes to use to transition into aviation management and flight instruction. She enjoys socializing, hiking, drinking coffee, and playing the ukulele, guitar, or piano. She enjoys swimming and hiking and enjoys flying by the coastline. As the office manager and student liaison at ActivePILOT, Kate enjoys her time helping other students navigate their journey by sharing her experiences and knowledge of the previously earned wings.

Thea Kassabian

Secretary, Student Resource Manager

Thea is the youngest member of our administration team and works closely with the students and clients to direct them to the right resources on campus. She brilliantly speaks 4 languages including English, Arabic, French, and Armenian, and single-handedly bright up the room by just walking into it with her smile.