Brian Gaines // Director of Flight Training
Brian Gaines started flying at age 15 in Apple Valley, California, and made his way to becoming a flight instructor. 30 years later, 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 7,000 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.
Brian has an adaptive teaching style that truly depends on the strengths and weaknesses of his student. He has successfully taught students whose first language is not English, and students living with post-traumatic stress syndrome. He is pragmatic while still focused on people's strengths and joy for flying. Joy helps students learn faster! He wants to know students' goals for themselves; those become Brian's goals, too.
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!
Dale Spindler // Certified Flight Instructor
Dale became a club member in 2012 and earned his Instrument rating and Commercial certificate through the club while finding time to do a little bit of backcountry flying. He came back to Ponderosa after gaining experience instructing at two other aviation schools. Dale also works as a captain of the venerable CRJ for SkyWest Airlines.
Dale takes aviation safety seriously, but himself not as much. He's always excited to play airplanes. Flying for a living is a job (and the best one he's had) but flying for fun is the best fun he knows. He was taught the passion of flying, which is exactly what he wants to pass on to his students. Flying isn't easy, so a person may as well be in love with it!
Reach out to Dale; he will work with you to create a schedule.
- CFI - Certified Flight Instructor
- CFII - Certified Flight Instructor, Instrument
- ATP - Airline Transport Pilot
Evan Hunt // Certified Flight Instructor
“Learning to fly should be outrageously fun.”
Evan was a high school pastor, has three master’s degrees, is almost done with his first doctorate, and has travelled in 100 countries. He believes learning to fly in Idaho needs to include time spent in the backcountry. Evan’s favorite plane is anything that lands on the water. He’s studying for the helicopter ATP and hoping to convince Ponderosa to put at least one plane in the club on skis so backcountry training can happen all winter. He’s always up for intensive training if you want to get a rating out of the way quick and would be happy to teach you to fly in a plane with two engines!
Fun fact about Evan: he was the first student to be signed off by Gene Yu, who was trained by Ponderosa's Director of Flight Training Brian Gaines.
- CFI-Certified Flight Instructor land/sea/helicoper
- CFII-Certified Flight Instructor, Instrument land/sea/helicopter
- MEI-Multi Engine Instructor
Mackey Migel // Certified Flight Instructor
Mackey Migel comes from 'Back East'... Idaho Falls! He got the flying bug at age 7 and knew he HAD to become a pilot. He did just that and the flight instructor certification followed soon after that. His first job in aviation was as a teenage instructor in Pocatello. Mackey has over 1,600+ hours flying time and all but 300 of those has been teaching his clients how to fly. "I'm a career instructor", he says. From teaching zero time to commercial~instrument pilots, Mackey has had a lot of success helping people achieve their aviation goals, and having fun as well. "You've got to have focus on your time & commitment with finances set aside... all three, to accomplish something so great as becoming a pilot"; quips 'Mac'.... "And be humble."Read More
Michael Arthur // Certified Flight Instructor
With 27 years of aviation experience, Mike is a true “freight dog” with lots of knowledge to share. He is pleased to be the owner of his favorite airplane, N222WY, the Ponderosa Aero Club Citabria. Currently employed by an international cargo airline, Mike has flown the Boeing 767, 757, and 727, the Embraer 145 and 175, the Pilatus PC12, the King Air 200, the Metroliner, and various Cessnas, Pipers and Mooneys. He also has experience flying regional jets, air ambulances, gliders, paragliders, helicopters, and hot air balloons.
Mike describes his instruction style as “laid-back, but by the book.” He uses scenario-based learning and implements a systems-over-goals approach to obtaining certificates. He looks forward to helping you make your aviation dreams come true!
Michael Barnard // Certified Flight Instructor
Delta Airlines pilot Michael hails from Jacksonville, FL. He graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a degree in aeronautical science, and 30 months of flight instruction experience. 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.
Michele Kemper // Certified Flight Instructor
Michele comes from the heart of Ohio. If she had had a choice, she would have grown up in the mountains of Idaho! She made the best of her time in the Midwest, including playing Division 1 ice hockey for THE Ohio State University.
Inspired by her family of military aviators, she took her first flight and the stars aligned: she knew she wanted a career in aviation. While earning her private pilot's license in Ohio, she honed her navigation and pilotage skills flying from one farm field to the next. She pursued her instrument rating while getting a taste of density altitude in Colorado, and then found her way to Idaho in 2015 when she became Store Manager for The North Face and joined Ponderosa! She finished her instrument rating at KBOI, followed by her commercial, then her CFI. Michele trained with Tom Mahoney in the backcountry, and enjoys mountain flying with the narrow strips and short approaches!
Michele spends her free time flying, hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, skiing, running, upland hunting or big game hunting with her husband in the mountains. Sometimes they do a combination of these at the same time! Michele is eager to pass on her knowledge and passion for aviation while flying smart and safe.
Noah Goeddertz // Certified Flight Instructor
Noah began his flying career March of 2012 in the frigid tundra of North Dakota, where he was given a free introduction flight courtesy of his Aviation 2 program in high school. He didn't fly much after that until his senior year of high school when he was awarded the North Dakota Pilot's Association flight training scholarship. He then went on to earn his private pilots license at Bismarck Aero Center in North Dakota, two weeks before his high school graduation. After graduation Noah moved to Boise, ID, to continue his flight instruction and went on to earn his instrument rating, commercial single engine, and CFI with Rick Reierson all at Ponderosa Aero Club. Noah has a tailwheel endorsement that he wishes he could use more. The club's tailwheel got sold shortly after he earned his endorsement, and Ponderosa is anxiously awaiting a replacement! Noah holds the FAA Master WINGS Pilot Proficiency Award.Read More
Rose Hager // Certified Flight Instructor
Rose began her flying career in Hamilton, MT. She obtained her ratings in Montana and Wyoming, becoming proficient in mountain flying and operating at high density altitude. She instructed on Maui while also flying tours around volcanoes. She gained experience operating over open water and terrain, in windy and changing weather conditions, and in complex Bravo-class airspace. Rose’s teaching philosophy emphasizes complex airspace proficiency, and being prepared for non-ideal weather conditions.Read More
- CFI - Certified flight instructor
$49/hour primary and commercial
Sam Barrett // Certified Flight Instructor
Growing up outside of Boston, MA, Sam has been interested in and inspired by aviation for as long as he can remember. After studying history and education in college, he relocated to Wyoming where he worked as a white water rafting guide. During this time, Sam took his first discovery flight in Driggs, Idaho and quickly realized aviation was his passion and that he wanted to make a career out of it. Soon after obtaining his private license he moved to Denver, CO where he completed the rest of his ratings. While flying around the highly congested airspace of Denver, Sam quickly developed the skills and proficiency to deal with the unpredictable weather and high density altitude that is associated with the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Following the completion of his ratings, Sam wanted to get back to a quieter, more GA centered community which led him to Ponderosa. When Sam isn’t flying he enjoys hiking, camping, fishing, rafting, and playing hockey. With a professional background as a backcountry and white water trip leader, safety and risk management are a top priority for Sam and he looks forward to incorporating these skills into his time working with students at Ponderosa.Read More
- CFI-Certified Flight Instructor
Steve Bower // Certified Flight Instructor
Steve’s love of flying began on a third-grade field trip to the local airport. It was years later, as an Air Force air traffic controller when he got to take several "familiarization flights" in some very cool airplanes. The first plane Steve actually controlled in flight was a T-33 jet trainer! He also logged some hands on time in a B-57 and a UH-1F helicopter.
It was 1976 at Strawberry Glen airport near the Western Idaho fairgrounds that Steve earned his private license. Over the next couple years, with the aid of the GI Bill, he continued flight training earning commercial and instrument ratings. After that, raising a family and job responsibilities limited his flying for a few years. Eventually, funds and time materialized and Steve earned his CFI rating. With a fresh CFI certificate Steve joined Ponderosa in 1988 as a part-time flight instructor.
In 2004 Steve left the corporate world and began his aviation career. While instructing full time at Ponderosa he began flying as a contract pilot for Conyan Aviation and Hawkins Companies. Eventually, Western Aircraft hired him to fly their awesome fleet of Pilatus PC-12's. Seven years and almost 3000 hours later Steve joined Jackson Jet Center as their Director of Operations.
Currently, Steve serves as a PAC checkout instructor and is available for annual flight reviews.
- CFI - Certified flight instructor
- CFII - Certified flight instructor, instrument
- ATP - Airline transport pilot
Please call for availability,
$54/hr primary and advanced instruction
Tom Mahoney // Certified Flight Instructor
Tom Mahoney started flying gliders at the Air Force Academy at age 18. While flying as a Weapon Systems Officer in the Air Force, Tom worked on his civilian pilot ratings. He is a distinguished graduate of the Air Force Test Pilot School and flew developmental test on F-111, EF-111, F-16, and F-15E aircraft. Tom has participated in the Ponderosa Aero Club for 17 years as a backcountry pilot, CFII, aircraft owner, and board member. He has 3,000 hours of combined civilian and military flight time. He is a part-time flight instructor helping out when needed to make Ponderosa Aero Club the best flight club in Idaho.Read More