Leadership Team

The Black Swift leadership team represents over 30 years of collective sUAS systems experience including hundreds of deployments using many different systems. They've worked closely with the FAA, and are familiar with the process required to operate sUAS safely within the national airspace.

Jack Elston

President and CEO

Jack has a M.S. in electrical engineering and a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Colorado. Prior to founding Black Swift, he was an engineering consultant at Forge Aeronautics, a local startup, where he was one of the lead designers of a small, low-cost autopilot. Dr. Elston's research involved the development of four unmanned aircraft systems at the Research and Engineering Center for Unmanned Vehicles. This included co-authoring a software suite for service discovery and subsystem intercommunication in complex aerial networks, and conducting over 500 flights with unmanned aircraft.

Maciej Stachura


Maciej has a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado working on UAS related research and has been involved in over 500 flights with unmanned aircraft. This work also involved working closely with the FAA to secure permission to perform flights legally in the National Airspace System. Maciej is also the principal investigator for a NASA project to map soil moisture from a small UAS utilizing an L-band radiometer.

Bradley Cheetham


Brad has a B.S. in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering from the University at Buffalo, and an M.S. in Aerospace Engineering Sciences from the University of Colorado Boulder. Mr. Cheetham is currently completing his Ph.D. and has experience leading teams and proposals within non-profit organizations, research institutions, and start-up companies. Brad brings experience leading the development of start-ups in space technology and enterprise software as well as experience working with government entities such as NASA and the FAA to the company. At Black Swift he is responsible for strategic planning, business development, and corporate management.

Cory Dixon

Director of Engineering and Operations

Cory Dixon has a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering as well as a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Dr. Dixon has been involved with the design, development, and testing of autonomous robotic systems for over thirteen years ranging from small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) to explosive ordinance disposal ground robotic systems. During his graduate studies, Dr. Dixon was the primary engineer, designer, and pilot for three different successful unmanned aircraft platforms and systems. In total, he has worked with or flown over eleven different unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), with differing autopilot systems, in Colorado, Florida, and Alaska operational areas. He developed the emergency procedures protocol used by RECUV at the University of Colorado in the operations of UAS, which has resulted in more than sixty FAA Certificates of Authorization (COAs). Recently, Dr. Dixon has managed numerous commercial and government contracts and was the Principal Investigator (PI) on a DoD Phase I and two DoD Phase II SBIRs.

Douglas Weibel

Senior Engineer

Douglas Weibel has a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado. His primary research interest is the use of small drone's for environmental research and his recent academic publications address high-accuracy attitude and velocity estimation from small drones flown in wind and using inexpensive drones to collect oceanographic measurements. His experience with drones includes being an early principal developer for the ArduPilot open-source autopilot system, designing drone state-estimation and control-system hardware and algorithms at the University of Colorado, and piloting drones during numerous research campaigns funded by NOAA, NASA and NSF. He has a wide range of competencies and interests. Examples of his diverse skill set include racing a 15-meter sailplane at the national level, holding FINRA Series 7 and 66 registrations, managing multiple private investment firms, and teaching graduate and undergraduate courses.

Jon Vince

General Counsel

Jon holds a B.A. (Hons.) and J.D. from Canadian universities and an LL.M. in Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he completed his thesis on satellite signal interference liability. Prior to joining Black Swift Technologies, Jon worked in numerous positions including as a communications attorney for a large mid-west regional law firm and as a satcom business consultant at an international business consulting firm in the space and satellite sector. Jon's specialized experience revolves around international and federal regulatory law regarding wireless communications and remote sensing technologies, including representation before the FAA and FCC. He has significant experience in legal practice, business consulting and business development.