Paragon Flight Training has appointed Lt. Col. Dennis Zabka, a member of the United States Air Force, to serve as its Assistant Chief Flight Instructor.
Lt. Col. Zabka, a career military professional, joins Paragon Flight as part of the United States Department of Defense SkillBridge Program, which is designed to assist military veterans in transitioning to civilian careers. Slated to officially retire on August 1, 2023, Lt. Col. Zabka’s most recent position was Chief, Future Operations, Seventh Air Force, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea.
Lt. Col. Zabka’s aviation achievements include twice being recognized as an exceptionally qualified B-52 pilot (top 5%), receiving an air medal for flying combat missions in Operation ENDURING FREEDOM (Afghanistan), obtaining an aerial achievement medal for leading a 36-hour global power formation mission, and garnering the 2nd Operations Group Instructor Pilot of the Year honors in 2010. A 2003 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorodo, Lt. Col. Zabka holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management as well as a Master of Aeronautical Science, with distinction, from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in 2009. He is also an advanced instrument school graduate of the Air Force Flight Standards Agency.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity for Paragon Flight to be able to access the talents of Lt. Col. Zabka through the SkillBridge Program as our assistant chief flight instructor,” Wolf said. “His addition to the team will allow us to expand training capabilities at our new satellite location at the Punta Gorda Airport. This is a milestone in Paragon Flight’s history and comes as we anticipate doubling the number of flight instructors from 30 to 60 in the next 24 months.”
In addition to overseeing flight training activities at Paragon Flight’s Punta Gorda Airport location, Lt. Col. Zabka will work under the direction of Wolf to attain the required regulatory approvals and uphold the critical standardization of flight instructors and training courses for Paragon Flight’s FAA-approved flight training programs.