Tactical Flying Tactical Flight Training & Consulting

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Nick Minx


As owner of Tactical Flying , Nick Minx manages day-to-day operations while playing an active role in training and development. A sworn officer for over 17 years with San Diego Police Department, Nick was assigned to SDPD’s Air Support Unit as a Tactical Flight Officer (TFO) in 2012, and has since become certified as a Helicopter Pilot. He has over 3,000 combined hours working both seats in an aircraft, and continues to hone his skills as a tactical operator and a cooperative member of an aircrew.

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Phil Cady

Tactics Instructor

Phil Cady is the primary Tactics Instructor for Tactical Flying, and a 28-year veteran with San Diego Police Department. Following a successful career as a patrol officer, Phil transitioned to SDPD’s Air Support Unit in 1999, and retired 20 years later as a Helicopter Pilot and Lead Tactical Flight Officer Trainer. During that time, Phil clocked over 10,000 hours as an aircrew member, with over half that time spent as Pilot in Command. He is a dually-rated commercial pilot (fixed-wing and helicopter), a helicopter Certified Flight Instructor, and an instrument-rated pilot for fixed-wing flight.

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Derek Ralph

UAS Tactical Instructor

Derek Ralph is the primary UAS Tactics Instructor, a 14-year veteran of the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, and 10-year US Army National Guard Infantry Combat Veteran. Some of Derek’s prior assignments have been Detentions, Patrol, Training Officer, Community Oriented Policing, Emergency Planning Detail, and SWAT. During Derek’s time on the SWAT team, Derek evaluated and purchased his Departments first sUAS systems for use in Search and Rescue and SWAT operations

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Ryan Welch

Tactics Instructor

Ryan Welch has been a San Diego Police Officer for 16 years and a senior Tactical Flight Officer in the SDPD Air Support Unit for over 8 years. He has amassed over 4,000 hours of flight time and specializes in airborne thermal imaging. As a Tactics Instructor for Tactical Flying, he is a subject matter expert on thermography and airborne law enforcement tactics and provides expert witness testimony services.

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Matthew Zdunich

Tactics Instructor

Matthew Zdunich is a 20-year veteran of the San Diego Police Department and currently assigned to the Air Support Unit. He was selected as a TFO in 2011 and became a Unit pilot in 2015. With over 2,500 hours in each seat (pilot and TFO), he has over 5,000 flight hours in the police helicopter. He earned his flight instructor rating (CFI) in 2019 and is now an Instructor Pilot and TFO trainer.

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Christian Smith

Tactics Instructor

Christian Smith has been a San Jose Police Officer for over 20 years and a Tactical Flight Officer in the SJPD Air Support Unit for over 4 years. Christian has worked many different assignments during his career, including street patrol, the SJPD METRO Unit and the SJPD MERGE Unit. Additionally, Christian has provided ongoing training for patrol and special operations Officers on a number of topics including perimeter and containment tactics, surveillance tactics, high risk vehicle stops, vehicle pursuit management, firearms training and active shooter protocol.

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Kris Kubasta

Tactics Instructor

Kris Kubasta has been a San Jose Police Officer for 17 years and assigned to the SJPD Air Support Unit as a pilot and Tactical Flight Officer for 13 years. He has amassed over 4,000 hours of flight time in both Fixed Wing and Rotorcraft. Currently Kris is the lead trainer for the SJPD Tactical Flight Officer’s and Pilots after their selection to the Air Support Unit.

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Nick Byrd

Tactics Instructor

Nick Byrd has been a police officer in San Jose, CA, for over 20-years. Nick is currently assigned to the Air-Support Unit as a commercial pilot/tactical flight officer for both fixed-wing and rotor. He has extensive experience in instructing and developing training for a variety of tactics along with currently being the department’s use of force expert.

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Har Brink

Tactics Instructor

Meet Harald Brink, our esteemed Tactical Flight Officer (TFO) Instructor at the forefront of advanced law enforcement aviation training.

With a robust career spanning over three decades, Harald initially served as a dedicated police officer within the bustling city of The Hague. His path soon transitioned from patrolling the city streets to soaring the skies as part of the Dutch National Police's traffic unit, an opportunity that combined his commitment to public safety with a passion for high-performance vehicles such as the Porsche 911 and Volvo T5.

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Jeff Moring

Tactics Instructor - Fixed Wing Lead

Jeff Moring is a 23-year veteran of the California Highway Patrol, with 17 years in the department’s Golden Gate Division Air Operations unit as a fixed wing Tactical Flight Officer. During his time in Air Ops, Jeff held the position of primary fixed wing TFO trainer, Fixed Wing Associate Chief TFO, Fixed Wing Safety Officer and worked closely with the Fixed Wing Chief Pilot, contributing to the specifications and design of the TFO workspace in all seven of CHP's AirVans. He was also a member of the Golden Gate Division Site Vulnerability Assessment Team and was responsible for programming the aircraft radios which included more than 100 agencies and over 1000 channels.

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Tactics Instructor

Cody Robinson brings to the table a 14-year tenure with the Houston Police Department, where he has not only served as a Police Officer and Sergeant but has also distinguished himself within the HPD Air Support Division. For over nine years, Cody has been a Tactical Flight Officer, pilot, and Instructor Pilot. Accumulating more than 2,500 flight hours, his expertise spans airborne thermal imaging, Tactical Flight Officer (TFO) training, along with comprehensive initial and recurrent pilot instruction.

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Kevin Means


Kevin Means was a helicopter crewman in the U.S. Navy and has been a San Diego police officer since 1982. He has worked as a patrol officer, an undercover narcotics detective and gang detective. Kevin has been assigned to the Air Support Unit as a pilot and tactical flight officer for more than 20 years and has acquired nearly 12,000 hours of flight time, including 1,100 hours of night vision goggle pilot-in-command time. He was the unit’s helicopter training officer and NVG check-airman, and is a FAA certified flight instructor in airplanes and helicopters with a night vision goggle instructor endorsement.

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