Meet the Soar Aviation Team.

Neel Khokhani

Chief Executive Officer

Total Time: 4,000+
CEO and founder of Soar Aviation, Neel Khokhani has combined his love of flying and his professional business experience to create one of the world’s most popular flight training schools.

Neel’s vision had humble beginnings; starting on the tarmac alone with nothing more than $7000 in capital, he has single-handedly shaped Soar Aviation into an international business with bases in Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong and Bendigo.

Through his entrepreneurial approach, coupled with a helpful serving of drive and determination, Neel has guided the company’s growth from 1 employee, to now more than 24. He knows that a positive leader, is an inspiring leader.

His professional approach to training and instruction has attracted the industry’s top flying instructors and created one of the most innovative and enjoyable flying schools in Australia.

Of course, any man needs some downtime. When he’s not encouraging employees with his passionate spirit, he’s keeping fit in the gym, dating supermodels and taking selfies that would put Ellen DeGeneres to shame.

Chris Gobel

Head of Flight Operations

Total time: 21,000+
Ratings and Endorsements: CPL(A), ATPL, ATO, MECIR, G1 FIR.
With over 25 years experience in aviation and more flight experience than the Wright brothers, Chris is affectionately known as ‘The Godfather of the Skies.’ Taking a Mr Miyagi approach to instruction, Chris is fond of cryptic answers to help his students discover the secrets of aviation for themselves.

At home in a Tiger Moth as much as a Boeing airliner, Chris’ ideal day involves a spot of gardening and a nice sunset flight over his neighbourhood; sometimes at the same time!


Koushik Panchangam

G1 Flight Instructor GA/RA

Total time: 4,000+
Ratings and Endorsements: NVFR Grade 1 Flight Instructor, Cert 4 In TAA, Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering
A Senior GA/RA-AUS instructor with over 4000 hours in the air, Koushik has managed to achieve the Holy Grail of aviation: Take his love of teaching and work from an office in the sky. If the world of aviation were a university, he’d be ‘Professor Koushik.’

With a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Koushik can literally tell you the nuts and bolts of flying, ensuring your lessons are more informed than an episode of National Geographic. This means he can also dismantle and reassemble aircraft while blindfolded; stripping and reassembling a Piper Warrior is 67 minutes.


Nish Singh

Operations Manager Sydney

Total time: 1,000+
Ratings: MECIR, GRADE 2 FIR, Senior RAA Instructor
A trendsetter from a young age, Nish has been flying since long before flying became cool. When he’s not training eagles to fly or raptors to hunt, Nish can be found stepping into the cockpit of a single-engine aircraft to teach another aspiring young pilot the art of manned flight.

The simple things in life give Nish as much pleasure as the view from the cockpit; be it drinks by the ocean or astrophysics. You can recognise him by the NASA flight suit he wears.


Peter Kestle

Chief Flight Instructor Sydney

Total time: 7,900+
Ratings and Endorsements: CPL(A), ATPL, Multiple Engine Aircraft
There’s a reason why Peter is known as ‘Wings.’ A commercial and airline transport pilot with more than 7900 hours on the clock, they say there’s a little magic in the cockpit whenever Peter gets behind the stick; along with a hefty dose of Peter’s own aftershave, Eau De Aviation.

Having flown throughout most of Australia, it’s easy to see why he’s considered an aeronautical explorer without peer. His proudest moment was turning his private Saab 340 into the ultimate Man Cave/woodworking den.


Owen Castle

Business Development Manager

Better known by his British Secret Service codename, ‘O’, Owen is our very own second-generation pilot. More at home in the air than on the earth, the thrill of flying runs through his veins with a white hot passion usually reserved for salsa dancing.

A man of simple pleasures, Owen will often be found runway side at air shows, encouraging the aerobatic pilots to perform his own self-devised sky-high manoeuvres. Take a stroll through our hangar and see if you can spot O’s favourite ride. Just look for the airplane with The Blue Boy Scout painted on the side.

Deepak Kohli

G3 Flight Instructor GA/RA

Total time: 600+
Ratings and Endorsements:  CPL(A), GA Grade3 Instructor Rating, RA Aus Instructor Rating, Multi Engine Command Instrument Rating, Masters in Business Administration (MBA), Diploma in Aviation.
One of Soar Aviation’s favourite commercial pilots, Deepak is the Great Gatsby of the air. Every sunset, you’ll find him in the air, socialising with a plane full of friends and showing off all the beauty nature has to offer.

 A true MacGyver fan, Deepak keeps his skills honed on his homemade flight simulator, which he fashioned from salvaged scrap metal, retired computers from Australia’s short-lived space program and ordinary household bleach.


Jose Filipe Soares

Flight Instructor RA/ GA

Total time: 750+
Ratings and Endorsements: Flight Instructor Rating, Instrument Rating, Night VFR Rating/Grade 3 Instructor (soon to be grade 2)
The Tony Stark of Soar Aviation, Jose holds the record for most number of planes flown by mind control. Some call it witchcraft; others call it talent. Jose calls it simply being his best.

Called upon to deliver motivational speeches to AFL premiership teams, local parliament and Richard Branson, Jose takes a ‘sui generis’ approach to achieving his goals, believing nothing in life can be accomplished without a little elbow grease, or hair grease.


Michael Aslan

G2 Flight Instructor RA/GA

Total time: 700+
Ratings: CPL MECIR Grade 2 FIR
Call him the Tony Stark of Soar Aviation. There’s nothing Michael loves more than jumping in an awesomely named aircraft – like a Tomahawk, a Warrior or a Twin Comanche – pumping up the stereo (AC/DC, of course) and teaching students how to fly.

The joy he gets from watching a newbie’s face light up as they take the stick for the first time is matched only by his wit and charm. And don’t worry if he calls you Jarvis; he does that to everybody.