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
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!
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!
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.
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 at Silverhawk and does an impeccable job at it!
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!
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
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.
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!
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 helicopter flight training. Richard's favorite part of being a CFI is watching other people chase their dreams and the views while flying!
Mike is a helicopter CFI from Laramie, Wyoming. He is married, has two dogs, and has lived in the Boise area for over ten years. Before becoming a helicopter pilot, he was working behind a computer as a Program Manager and felt he needed a change. During a rafting trip he saw a helicopter drop off a group of hotshot firefighters and was super inspired. After his discovery flight, he was hooked! He loves the outdoors, holds the 800 meter indoor track and field record for BSU, proposed to his wife after a helicopter tour, and got married in Ireland!
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.
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 his helicopter students. Darrell is from long lost Italian royalty and he knows how to surf and scuba dive!
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.
Garyn is a helicopter CFI. He 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!
Sitara is a helicopter CFI.
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!
Kyle is a helicopter CFI.
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!
Garrett was raised on his family's farm in Wiggins, Mississippi. He joined the Army as a Chinook Helicopter Mechanic where he discovered his love for aviation. He followed his dreams, with his family encouraging him along way, and began helicopter training at Silverhawk in 2019. Garrett can be found flying, exploring the Idaho outdoors, or meeting new people!
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!
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 fixed wing 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!
Darren is a fixed wing CFI.
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!
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 fixed wing 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!"
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 fixed wing 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!
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!
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 an airplane, 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!
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 fixed wing CFI. He has found he loves teaching and showing students the life as a pilot.
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.
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."
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!
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!
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!
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.
Matt is an apprentice on the Silverhawk maintenance team.
Ethan is an apprentice on the Silverhawk maintenance team.
David is an A&P mechanic.
Tara is the parts manager.
Seth was born in Boise and is the youngest of four boys in his family. He is an A&P mechanic who loves aviation! When he isn't working on an aircraft, he is outside, riding dirt bikes, camping, fishing, or boating. Or, perhaps studying, as he is a full-time engineering student!