Paraphrasing an old aviation adage “…. if you find yourself flying along and encountering a situation that you are not able to deal with – maybe you had inadequate instruction.

Ponderosa Aero Club certified flight instructors (CFI’s) will provide you with personal one-on-one training that instills confidence and the skill set to safely operate your aircraft.  But, never forget another sage piece of aviation wisdom — “Your private pilot license is just a license to learn.”.

Rick Reierson // Chief Flight Instructor

Rick Reierson is a full-time flight instructor who has been instructing since 1977 and has provided over 10,000 hours of various types of flight instruction and 17,000 hours of ground school instruction.

He is an FAA designated Gold Seal Flight Instructor and has earned the FAA Master WINGS Pilot Proficiency Award. Rick is also a member of the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI), Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA) and Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA).

Rick has been a flight instructor with Ponderosa Aero Club since 1984 and is our most senior instructor.

Rick focuses on training Private, Instrument, Commercial, CFI and CFII students, single & multi-engine, as well as instrument proficiency checks, flight reviews, aircraft make and model checkouts, and tail wheel training. Additionally, Rick has an intense appreciation for mountain/backcountry flying—he has flown and instructed in Idaho backcountry airstrips for over 30 years.

Over the past 38+ years, Rick has instructed in a wide variety of aircraft and enjoys the many different ages and personalities of students he has the opportunity to instruct. Rick looks forward to sharing his love of flying and teaching every newcomer to be a safe, solid and fully trained new pilot.

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Total Flight Hours: 11,000
Certifications:
  • ATP - Airline Transport Pilot
  • CFI - Certified Flight Instructor
  • CFII - Certified Flight Instrument Instructor
  • MEI - Multi-Engine Instructor
  • AGI - Advanced Ground & Instrument Instructor

$42/hr primary instruction, $45/hr advanced instruction, $55 multi/backcountry instruction

Steve Bower // Assistant Chief Flight Instructor

Steve Bower has provided more than 3500 hours of flight instruction to members of Ponderosa Aero Club since 1989. He delights in helping people reach their flying goals and seeing them continue to enjoy safe and fun flying for many years.
After seven years as a charter pilot for one local aviation business and about two years as director of operations for another, he briefly tried retirement in 2014, but has returned to share his love of flying and encourage the next generation of pilots in 2017, at least part time.

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Total Flight Hours: 7,900
Certifications:
  • CFI - Certified Flight Instructor
  • CFII - Certified Flight Instructor, Instrument
  • ATP - Airline Transport Pilot

$42/hr primary instruction, $45/hr advanced instruction

Adam Troutman // Certified Flight Instructor

After fifteen years of playing music professionally in the Treasure Valley, Adam realized deep down he had other things he wished to achieve and dreams to live. For his birthday, a loved one purchased Adam a Discovery Flight with Ponderosa Aero Club. That 60 minute flight was a watershed moment in his life.

Shortly, after the Discovery Flight, Adam was in the left seat learning to fly. Upon obtaining his Private license, the next several months were spent flying all over the western US gaining invaluable experience and racking up the hours. Then it was time to add an instrument rating to his certificate. Now the fire was really burning. Shortly after the IFR upgrade, Adam went on to add Commercial, CFI, CFII and Commercial Multi-Engine ratings. Eventually, after some more IFR experience flying King Air 90s for a local cloud seeding operation, an opportunity came up in sunny San Diego, California. Adam packed his life in his car and moved to SoCal and commenced teaching others how to fly. Fortunately, for Ponderosa, circumstances brought him back home to Boise where he joined the PAC instructor staff - back to his roots. Adam now flies for SkyWest airlines, and instructs at Ponderosa part time.

As jovial and relaxed as Adam is in person, there is a lion of a goal setter underneath. Adam hopes to pass on both his love of aviation and the discipline it takes to do it safely to all his students, no matter what level they are and how many hours they possess. Through discipline and passion we better ourselves and can become the best pilots we can be!

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Total Flight Hours: 2,000
Certifications:
  • CFI - Certified Flight Instructor
  • CFII - Certified Flight Instrument Instructor
  • AGI - Advanced Ground & Instrument Instructor
  • ATP - Airline Transport Pilot

$42/hr primary instruction, $45/hr advanced instruction

Michael Barnard // Flight Instructor

Michael comes to us from Jacksonville, Florida. He was introduced to aviation through family and friends, eventually earning his private pilot license in 2009. Michael graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a degree in aeronautical science. During his time at Embry-Riddle he gained invaluable experience while flight instructing for 30 months. He currently flys for Delta Airlines.

Since arriving in Boise in 2014, Michael has been discovering the abundant opportunities Boise has to offer for outdoor activities like fishing, hiking, camping and dirt biking.



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Total Flight Hours: 4,000
Certifications:
  • CFI - Certified Flight Instructor
  • CFII - Certified Flight Instrument Instructor
  • MEI - Multi-engine Instructor
  • ATP - Airline Transport Pilot

$42/hr primary instruction

Brian Gaines // Certified Flight Instructor

Brian Gaines started flying at age 15 in Apple Valley, California, slowly making his way to becoming a flight instructor. Fast forward 30 years, he has a CFI, CFII, and MEI rating as a Gold Seal instructor for 20 of those years, with commercial flight experience as PC12, DHC-6, and BE1900 Captain, as well as B-737 and B-767 night cargo experience. With just over 6,700 hours of flight experience in over 50 different types of aircraft, former Aviation Safety Counselor at the Long Beach California FSDO, NTSB intern, and former Chief Pilot for The University of Hawaii Pacific Aerospace Training Center, Brian brings a well rounded contribution to Ponderosa.

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Total Flight Hours: 6,300
Certifications:
  • CFI - Certified Flight Instructor
  • CFII - Certified Flight Instructor, Instrument
  • MEI - Multi Engine Instructor
  • ATP - Airline Transport Pilot

$42/hr primary instruction