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.”.
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!
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.
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
Rick Reierson // Certified Flight Instructor
Rick Reierson is a full-time flight instructor who has been instructing since 1977 and has provided over 11,800 hours of various types of flight instruction and over 20,000+ hours of ground school instruction.
Rick focuses on training Private, Instrument, Commercial, ATP, 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 43+ years.
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).
Over the past 43+ 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.
Rick has been a flight instructor with Ponderosa Aero Club since 1984 and is our most senior instructor.
- ATP - Airline Transport Pilot
- CFI - Certified Flight Instructor
- CFII - Certified Flight Instrument Instructor
- MEI - Multi-Engine Instructor
- AGI - Advanced Ground & Instrument Instructor
- UAS - Unmanned Aircraft Systems
- FAA Gold Seal Flight Instructor
- FAA Master Pilot Proficiency Award
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
Glenn Hollreiser // Certified Flight Instructor
Glenn Hollreiser came to Idaho about 5 years ago to work the F-15 Radar Modernizing Program with Boeing. Working out of Mountain Home at the Air Force base the team modified all the aircraft on the base and several others from around the country. While working on the F-15 project, he continued his flight training eventually getting his instrument rating, commercial, and CFI. It was hard having to commute, work, study, and fly. It did take longer than I had planned, a lot longer. However, sticking to it, maintaining a positive attitude, and always looking forward to the completion of the plan made the ratings achievable. Glenn encourage all to always maintain a positive attitude and stick to their goals. As long as you do, you will eventually have success. Glenn has flown from Japan to Idaho and is currently working on an RV-4 project. “I believe that family and friends are important and that it is our job to help them whenever possible. Therefore, as a CFI, it is my job to help you achieve your goals.”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.
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
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
$59/hr primary and advanced instruction