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.”.
James Patterson // Certified Flight Instructor
James Patterson admits to growing up and living all over, but made Idaho his home 20 years ago after being introduced to the beauty and challenge of flying in the Idaho backcountry - a discovery he admits owing to good friends that exposed him at just the right time. Since then he has considered it a privilege to share both flying and the backcountry with many friends - even native Idahoans - that had never experienced the excitement of flying in the Idaho mountains. When not flying, James indulges his little rescue puppy, Charlie - a "chiapoo," and enjoys pursuing other interests including electric guitar, motorcycle touring, and road cycling.Read More
- CFI - Certified Flight Instructor
- CFII - Certified Flight Instructor, Instrument
- AGI - Advanced Ground Instructor
- IGI - Instrument Ground Instructor
- Tailwheel Instruction, Backcountry Instruction, High Performance / Complex
$59/hr primary and advanced instruction
Dale Spindler // Chief Flight Instructor
Dale is honored to serve as Chief Instructor for Ponderosa Aero Club. He 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 141 aviation schools. Dale also works as a captain of the venerable CRJ for SkyWest airlines.
Dale worked his way through training while struggling to pay his bills and is deeply familiar with the economics of flight training. He wants to ease that burden for his students, and so he is happy to keep lessons tight and dense to make them as valuable as possible, along with encouraging plenty of home study. He knows, however, that doesn't work for everyone and is happy to slow things down and work as thoroughly through ground training as any student wants or needs.
Dale's other responsibilities keep him from being the most available instructor, but is happy to fly in bad weather as long as it's safe. Dale feels that smooth seas do not make good sailors, so will always be comfortable to take students up in dynamic weather, and happy to fly in intermittent conditions as long as the student is gaining from the experience and not overwhelmed.
Dale endeavors to keep lessons relaxing and calming and feels that aviation tends to be stressful enough without additional stress coming from the instructor. Dale tries to keep the lessons in the light-hearted attitude of "playing airplane." His initial instructor instilled the passion, joy and art of flying while maintaining the respect for safety and procedures, and he endeavors to do the same for his students.
Please don't hesitate to reach out to him. He'll always be happy to fly, or figure out new ways to make the club better and better!
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
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!
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
Michael Barnard // Certified 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.
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. 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.
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
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