OUR TEAM

Catherine Weber, Owner/Operator

Al Rice, Chief Flight Instructor

 

Chad Morris, Assistant Chief Flight Instructor

 

Kayla DeRuyter, Office Manager

Alisha Sweeney, Director of Student Services

Anna Grachanin, Administrative Assistant

Rachel Espil, Office Assistant 

ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF

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CATHERINE WEBER

Catherine is the owner and operator of Silverhawk. She was born and raised in Cottonwood, Idaho, and lived in a few different states before calling the Treasure Valley home. Catherine and her former partner founded the company in 1998 and, although she is in the office nearly daily, she has many hobbies. She and her husband Nick have horses, chickens, dogs, cats, four human children, and two grandbabies. They are very involved in their community and church... needless to say, they are busy!

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KAYLA DE RUYTER

Kayla is Silverhawk Aviation Academy's Office Manager. A Boise native, Kayla is a lover of rescue animals, traveling, and food... specifically cake! Previously Kayla worked for a law office in San Diego after completing her bachelor's degree at Point Loma Nazarene University. Her favorite part about her job is working with local charities to provide donations on Silverhawk's behalf. Fun fact, Kayla and her husband are expecting their first child in July 2021!

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ALISHA SWEENEY

Alisha is Silverhawk's Director of Student Services. She attended three universities, Seattle Pacific, Arizona State and the University of Idaho, where she received her BS in Advertising and Business. After a year of working in Spain, Alisha moved back to Boise to work at Silverhawk. During her free time you can find Alisha with her fiancé (and sometimes their fur fam) visiting hot springs, wineries, or traveling. 

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ANNA GRACHANIN

A commercial rated pilot from Cleveland, OH, Anna has a hard time keeping her feet on the ground! She enjoys the feeling of an office setting, but her true love is in aviation and scuba diving. She previously worked at the Red Cross in Biomedical Services which fulfilled her desire to be in a humanitarian field. Anna is the Administrative Assistant and manages the front desk at Silverhawk! 

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RACHEL ESPIL

Not only is Rachel the Office Assistant at Silverhawk, she is a full-time fixed wing student working toward her CFII. Rachel grew up ranching sheep and cattle in Reno, NV, and Northern California. She has a Bachelor's in Music, Opera, was a competitive swimmer for 13 years, and she is an avid antique and vintage clothing collector. After a career in corporate retail, Rachel found the sky was where she is meant to be. Fun fact, she had to sing songs in French, German, and Italian for her collegiate senior recital!

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BEAU

Certified Office Fluff. Beau has been meandering the Silverhawk hallways begging for food and looking for the perfect nap spot for years. He typically eats one kibble at a time, runs like a bunny, and leaves tastefully-placed "accidents" when his owners are away from home for too long. Recently, Beau attended a seminar on the future of digital media and aviation operations. Be sure to give him your card to talk strategy or to taste test treats.

CERTIFIED FLIGHT INSTRUCTORS

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AL RICE

Born in Winnemucca, Nevada, Al earned his private pilot certificate in 1969, and graduated from the US Army Flight School in 1972. Both his father and uncle were pilots, so naturally he followed in their footsteps, and was a US Army Aviator in the military. Al has years and years of experience flying both airplanes and helicopters along with 18 years in US Department of Interior Aviation Program. He is Silverhawk Aviation Academy's Chief Flight Instructor. 

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CHAD MORRIS

Born and raised in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Chad is a father of two. He served in the Navy for 10 years as an Electronics Technician. He decided to learn how to fly after a Silverhawk  Christmas light tour and has found that his favorite part about his job are the sunsets and long cross countries through the mountains. Chad is Silverhawk Aviation Academy's Assistant Chief Flight Instructor. Fun fact about Chad-he's dual rated and he's vegan!

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RICHARD FARNSWORTH

Richard was born in Twin Falls and raised in Burley, ID. After high school he joined the Air Force to get involved in the aviation world, and eventually to have VA benefits to finance flight training. He and his wife travelled all over the world and lived in Germany before moving to Caldwell to start flight training. Richard's favorite part of being a CFI is watching other people chase their dreams and the views while flying!

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WARREN FOSTER

Warren was born and raised in Potter Valley, California. He grew up working on ranches and soon graduated to seasonal firefighting while going to college. Warren knew he wanted to be in aviation when he began working on a helitack crew with California Fire. After three years with the California Fire team, Warren was hooked. After graduating from Silverhawk Aviation Academy, he became a CFI and now guides helicopter students towards their career goals.

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JASON SPICKELMIRE

Jason bounced between small town Riggins, Idaho, and big city life in Denver, Colorado. He felt well equipped to live anywhere, so he joined the US Navy and traveled the world for 20 years. He was a Gas Turbine Systems Technician Mechanic and retired as a Senior Chief Petty Officer. After working in the Landing Craft Air Cushion community his dream of flying led him to Silverhawk. Jason is a helicopter CFI, "helping others attain their goals and dreams", enjoys the outdoors, and spending time with his wife and three kids. 

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DARRELL CEREGHINO

Darrell and his father moved to Homedale, Idaho, about ten years ago. He played varsity football and ran track at Greenleaf Friends Academy. Darrell joined the US Air Force for five years; three of those years were spend in Guam where he worked with helicopters. He feels there is nothing better than teaching and seeing the lightbulb moment with students. Darrell is from long lost Italian royalty and he knows how to surf and scuba dive!

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RICKEY CULP

Originally from Sheridan, WY, Rickey, alongside his wife and their daughter, is a self proclaimed fan of Southwest Idaho and everything it has to offer. As an aircrew member on the CH-46 and the MV-22 in the Marine Corps, he was regularly exposed to the thrills of flying. When he left the military this fire drove him to Silverhawk to begin flight training. As a helicopter CFI, he loves taking passengers and students flying for the first time and seeing that blissful smile! Fun facts, Rickey was a personal trainer and enjoys playing the acoustic guitar.

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GARYN CANCIO

Garyn was born and raised in Twain Harte, CA, near Yosemite. In his own words, "there's nothing better than being outside and traveling the world" and he has done just that. He's been to 16 different countries, was a part of the army, 1st Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment and loves to be face to face with the sky. Next adventure: Peru or Colombia!

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CODY BRYANT

Born and raised in Evergreen, Colorado, Cody loves the outdoors, mountain biking, backpacking, skiing, hunting, and cooking! Before working at Silverhawk, he worked in wildland fire, a helicopter company in Hawaii, and as a biologist and project field engineer before realizing he wanting wanted more excitement and diversity. Currently Cody is a CFI and working on his A&P.

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REGIS DEGLANS

Regis was born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Regis has always been interested in aviation - he began fixed wing training at 16 but was unable to finish. After many years he decided to complete his training, move from Florida to Idaho, and set his career in motion. Regis is now a CFI for Silverhawk Aviation Academy where he guides students through the intricacies of flight training.

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HANNA LONG

Born in Hampton, Virginia, and raised in Okinawa, Japan, Hanna is a self proclaimed "military brat" who loves to travel! She competed in Track and Field for seven years, enjoys true crime documentaries, chocolate, makeup, and flying helicopters. She has a German Shepherd, has been to three countries and 25 states, and cannot wait to travel all over Europe one day. Ciao Europa!

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TUCKER TOLLIVER

Tucker was born in Caldwell and raised in Fruitland, ID. He grew up farming and in the great outdoors! He loves hunting, camping, snowboarding, and flying in airplanes and helicopters- he's dual rated! After four years as a combat engineer in the Marine's he decided he wanted to go where the Ch-53 pilots were going... the air. Tucker claims this to be the best decision he has ever made. His favorite part about instructing is the "ah ha" moments students experience!

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GARRETT LADNIER

Garrett is a helicopter CFI.

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ROSS FORTKAMP

A Santa Rosa, California, native, Ross played baseball and basketball throughout his life, and worked as a firefighter for eight years. Ross feels this is the first time he has felt a sense of purpose and direction in his life since being a firefighter. He loves helping others succeed and seeing that "light bulb" moment as a helicopter flight instructor. Fun fact, Ross play's the guitar! 

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KYLE BRANSCOMBE

Kyle is a helicopter CFI.

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CODY BRAAKSMA

Cody is a dual rated pilot from Murrieta, CA. When asked about himself he said, "I have a cat that likes to go on walks on a leash and a dog that chases a laser pointer to no end. I like to mow my lawn while making sun brewed tea. And flying makes me happy!" Cody grew up watching helicopters fly over his home and he knew he would turn his dreams of flying into a reality when he separated from the Air Force. Cody is a FW CFI, has lived on four different continents, and he has visited 15 countries!

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JOSH SLOWIK

Josh is an outdoor enthusiast and Redding, CA, native. He was working an office job when he decided he wanted more adventure, so he started with his private rating and the rest is history! Before he became a CFI he had was a regional manager for Dutch Bros and an insurance producer. Josh loves being able to fly (almost daily) and sharing his passion with students. Fun fact, he has dual citizenship - United States and Switzerland!

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GABE MEREDITH

Although Gabe grew up on a vineyard in Weaverville, California, he'll tell you that he's Silverhawk born and raised. 

As one of Silverhawk Aviation's Fixed Wing Certified Flight instructors, Gabe explores the skies above the Treasure Valley, showing students the ropes while cracking a few jokes along the way.

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DALLAS PYNCHON

Contrary to what you may believe, Dallas was not born in Texas. He was born in Honolulu, Hawai'i, and raised in Boise, ID mountain biking as often as possible. "I’ve always loved to live life by my passions and share those with others. Being outside doing the things I love keeps me excited and curious about what's around the corner for me in life." He worked in the biking industry for eight years before becoming a fixed wing flight instructor. Dallas has always loved airplanes and admired the lifestyle. He felt aviation was his future and has loved the journey since!

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KALEB MAY

A Dubois, ID, native, Kaleb grew up in a town of 600 people and loved football, basketball... "anything with competition"! Kaleb loves business and specialized in marketing. He has started three businesses and continues running one of those. After selling a company, his cousin convinced him to fly and he was hooked. As a CFI, he loves the daily interaction and helping others work toward their goals. Fun fact about Kaleb, "I have the world's cutest two year old boy!"

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TREY ROGERS

A proud Idahoan, American, and Christian, Trey grew up around aviation and found he was drawn to the lifestyle. When asked to tell us about himself Trey said, "Life isn’t always the way you picture it but I try to find the joy in the little things. I love evening walks with my wife, hiking, fishing, flying, good coffee, and trail mix with extra chocolate." As a CFI he loves the excitement that comes when a student understands the "how" and "why. Fun fact about Trey, he is a classically trained pianist!

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RYAN LOUDEN

Ryan is an avid motorcycle rider, drummer, electronics enthusiast, gym rat, and world traveler from Albuquerque, New Mexico. His lifelong passion for flight and the unique lifestyle of aviation is what led him to becoming a fixed wing pilot. He was in the Air Force, C-130-J Aircrew, then he went on to fly UAVs assisting overseas military peacekeeping operations. Ryan has lived and worked in every country bordering the Mediterranean and Caspian Seas!

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BEN WINN

Born and raised in Weston, OR, Benjamin's passion for flying began in childhood. Before flight school he worked as an RN in medical/surgical care and post anesthesia care for over 12 years. When Ben isn't flying you can find him with his wife, golden retriever and cat, or outside skiing, whitewater kayaking and rafting - he's even kayaked off a 30' waterfall!

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CHRIS O'DONNELL

In 1986 Chris watched Top Gun for the first time. Since then he's been hooked on the idea of flying. A Southern California native, Chris retired from the police department and soon thereafter became a CFI. He has found he loves teaching and showing students the life as a poilot.

MAINTENANCE CREW

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TIMOTHY ELROY

Raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, Timothy grew up around aviation helping his father fly from the many villages of interior Alaska delivering food, mail, and even sled dogs for the Iditarod! Timothy started his career in aviation at a young age and has worked on everything from tube and fabric bush planes to multi-engine turboprop aircraft. Shortly after high school, he served in the Alaska Army National Guard as a military police officer. He enjoys camping, snowmobiling, snowboarding, and fly fishing. 

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JACK KNUTSON

Jack was born in Columbia, Missouri. He currently serves in the Idaho Army National Guard as a '15T' UH-60 Crew Chief. Jack is passionate about aviation and worked for a FBO in Northern Idaho as a line service technician before training and working at Silverhawk. He loves flying and his favorite drink is milk! When asked what he enjoys most about Silverhawk he said, "The people. Being apart of Silverhawk really makes me feel like I have another family." 

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AUSTIN COBISKEY

A recent high school graduate from Notus, Austin started out as an intern at Silverhawk Aviation. After finding he enjoyed working with helicopter engines, he joined the maintenance team full-time. When he is not in the hangar, Austin enjoys hunting, fishing, hiking, rock climbing and riding motorcycle. Austin loves country music and named his Honda Nighthawk motorcycle Rhonda!

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SHELBY TRITTHART

Shelby is the Head Mechanic and a helicopter CFI at Silverhawk Aviation Academy. Shelby used to fight forest fires on a helitack crew, and the helicopters were her favorite part of the job. She worked in group sales after college at a ski resort, but after two years of sitting at a desk, she wanted a change, and pursued a career with helicopters! 

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ZACH BANNER

Born and raised in Star, Idaho, Zach and his wife are proud parents to their two kids. When he's not working on aircraft, Zach likes to fish, golf, hunt, and fly helicopters! Before Silverhawk, he was an Avionics Electrical Technician for seven years in the US Coast Guard. Zach flew as a crew member on USCG aircrafts conducting law enforcement, counter drug operations, and search and rescue. Zach loves the challenge his job presents and he is left handed!

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TOM SPILLNER

Tom is a retired police officer from Danville, California. He and his wife have "two awesome kiddos and somehow keep collecting animals"! He has many hobbies, but his favorites are golf, baseball, and fabricating. Tom was interested in aviation and he enjoys learning and continuous  problem solving, so once he retired he knew it was time for something new. 

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CODY DOST

Cody was a HH-60 Pavehawk Crew Chief in the Air Force for six years. Born and raised in Bay City, MI, Cody knew he wanted to do something that was challenging, interesting, and made a difference in people's daily lives. He is married, has three pups, and loves to fly, but has a fear of heights!

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JANELL HOEPPNER

Janell is the Silverhawk Fuel and Parts Manager. She has been on the team since May 2019 after moving here with her husband and daughter from Minnesota.