OUR TEAM

Catherine Weber, Owner/Operator

Al Rice, Chief Flight Instructor

 

Chris O'Donnell, Assistant Chief Fixed Wing Instructor

Alisha Sweeney, Director of Sales and Marketing

Timothy Elroy, Director of Operations and Maintenance

Mad Peters, Accountant

Kayla DeRuyter, Student Billing and DOT Manager

Nicole Huntington, Director of Admissions

Mollie Ingram Petty, Admin Assistant

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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 children, and four grandkids. They are very involved in their community and church... needless to say, she is busy!

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ALISHA SWEENEY

Alisha is Silverhawk's Director of Sales and Marketing. 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 husband exploring Idaho or planning their next big trip.

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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. Timothy is the Director of Operations and Maintenance.

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KAYLA DE RUYTER

Kayla is Silverhawk Aviation Academy's Student Billing and DOT 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 had their first child Eloise in July 2021!

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MOLLIE INGRAM PETTY

Mollie is the Silverhawk Admin Assistant. After earning a Master’s Degree in Theater Arts from Northwestern University, she taught middle school and high school drama for 12 years. She has sung in over 35 musical stage performances and narrates audiobooks! Fun facts about Mollie: Her favorite place she has traveled to is the Spice Island of Grenada with her husband and their two teenage daughters. They live with a one-eyed rescue terrier named Charlie and Indiana Jones, a striped tabby cat. She loves Trivia Nights at 2C Family Brewing, “Aloha” tacos at Mesa Tacos, the automatic car wash, music by Sia, jumping on the trampoline, and hiking. From age six, Mollie knew she would be a pilot. Flying is "sheer bliss to me because of the mental challenge, humbling personal responsibility required, and the breathtaking views"!

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NICOLE HUNTINGTON

Nicole is the Director of Admissions. She is a California native, but has lived all over: Utah, Texas, Arkansas, Wisconsin, and Virginia. She wasn't in the military herself, however she is the only daughter of a Navy Captain. Fun fact about Nicole, Barbie bought her first car!

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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.

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MAD PETERS

Mad is the accountant for Silverhawk. She loves animals, especially our office fluff Beau, and spending time with her husband!

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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CHRIS O'DONNELL

Chris is the Assistant Chief Fixed Wing Instructor. 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.

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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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JOHN GAMPEL

John is Long Island, New York, native, who moved to Missoula, Montana to become a wildland firefighter after the military. While in the military he was a US Navy Corpsman with 2D Battalion 2D Marines. He fell in love with flying helicopters immediately and knew he wanted a career in aviation. He said, "it’s one of the most interesting things I've ever done." John is a huge music fan! His friend, who played bass for the Ramones, invited him to tour South America with the band! Someday, he hopes to learn how to play the guitar.

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TYLER EBERHARDT

Tyler is a helicopter CFI.

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SITARA MOHR

Sitara was raised in Kauai, Hawaii, yet spent a lot of time back and forth between Boise and Kauai, she considers both home. Travelling is her passion, but she loves the outdoors, house plants, and cooking, as well! Sitara's dad is a helicopter pilot, so she was able to tag along throughout her life and loved being in the air. After college, she did a discovery flight and fell in love. She love the views from above and watching others reach their aviation goals. Fun fact, she's been to 12 countries and her pup's name is Pickles!

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BRYANT BILLET

Bryant, a helicopter CFI, graduated from Boise State in 2013 with a bachelors in Criminal Justice; you can find him on his off time reading books, pack rafting rivers, or running trails. In the military, he was an Officer/ Captain and an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technician (Bomb Squad) for six years. He decided to learn to fly because he loves the freedom. Fun fact, Bryant has met and protected a few US Presidents, they might even be friends.

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ALEX SNYDER

Alex is a helicopter CFI from Stromsburg, Nebraska. He grew up playing any sport possible, competing with his brother, and now is an avid river rafter and fisher. He joined the Marine Corps to be a helicopter crew chief, but became a diesel mechanic instead. Alex has always been fascinated with flying, so he jumped at the opportunity to use his VA benefits at Silverhawk. Now he gets to share his passion with his students! Fun fact, Alex's dog Rigby is a police academy dropout. 

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TONY FRITSCHE

Tony is a helicopter CFI.

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KYLE WAGENAAR

Kyle is a helicopter CFI born in Walla Walla and raised in a rural farming community Athena, OR. He joined the Air Force in 1999 as a munitions specialist and spent 20 years going where they sent him. Kyle and his high school sweetheart stay very busy with their two daughters, sports, and the cherished motorcycle rides. Once he found he could use his veterans benefits toward flight training, he jumped at the opportunity. Fun fact, Kyle was his high school mascot and won best mascot in 1998 at cheer camp!

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TANNER LYMAN

Tanner was raised on a family owned and operated ranch on the southern Arizona border. He received a BA from the University of Arizona in Agriculture Technology and Management. Tanner was able to ride in a helicopter used to gather cattle and discovered his love for aviation! His dad always said find something you like to do, then find someone to pay you to do it and you will never work a day in your life. Currently, Tanner is in flight school working toward a career he can be proud of and enjoy. Fun fact, Tanner competed on the U of A rodeo team!

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QUINN HILYARD

Quinn was born in Elko and raised in Spring Creek, NV. He became a Certified PADI Jr Open Water Scuba diver at the age of 10 and lived in Africa with his dad for two months while in high school. Growing up, his dad told aviation stories, many about the kit helicopter he built. Eighteen days after high school, Quinn left for basic training. He was a Culinary Arts Specialist (only partially by choice). During this time, he went on two combat deployments to Ghazni Provence, Afghanistan. The remaining eight years were spent in the National Guard with the 2/211 Global Support Aviation Battalion based out of West Jordan, Utah. Quinn loves powersports; he owns a snowmobile, dirt bike, street bike, rock crawler, and an airplane!

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JORDAN SEAMAN

Jordan is a helicopter CFI from Eureka, California. Before becoming the Air Force as a C-130 Crew Chief, he attended a local community college. He has 18 years of football experience, playing and officiating, he "enjoys cooking and mostly eating" and plays the guitar. Currently, Jordan is an A-10 Crew Chief at Gowen Field.

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EMMA BRISTOW

Emma is a helicopter CFI.

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JIMMY HOWARD

Jimmy was raised in Redding, CA, by parents who imparted a love of adventure. There wasn't a year they didn't visit the Redwood Forrest or go hunting in the mountains. He joined the Air Force and became an Aircrew Egress Systems Mechanic. During his 20 years of service, Jimmy worked on seven different airframes, spent three years in Japan, two years in England, and a year in South Korea. After retirement, he began flight training at Silverhawk and became a helicopter CFI! Fun fact, because he was only 17 years old when he joined the Air Force he needed parental approval, so he tricked his mom into signing and three months later he was off to basic training.

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GARETH ANDERSON

Raised in Grantsville, Utah, Gareth grew up snowboarding, fishing and doing anything outdoors. He loves live music and flying helicopters! While in the military, he was in the infantry that carried the M249 SAW, then went on to become a sniper team leader. Interesting fact about Gareth, he has never seen the movie Titanic... 

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JACKSON NEGRI

Jackson is a helicopter CFI.

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DARREN TROUDT

Darren is a fixed wing CFI. He and his wife, and high school sweetheart, became new parents October 2021!

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BRENDEN HUBELE

Brenden is a FW CFI in Ontario, OR. He was born in Moscow, Idaho, and raised in Weiser. He likes to run, ski, hike, make/listen to music, and cook. He learned how to fly because his father and grandfather are both pilots. It can also be very thrilling (and challenging) at times. Brenden is a bugler in the military and his first job was trapping gophers. Fun fact, his dad was a former Silverhawk helicopter instructor!

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NEIL MERCER

Fixed wing CFI Neil is a father of two children, a veteran, and an Idaho enthusiast. He moved to Boise for the first time when the Air Force gave him his first assignment as a jet mechanic, then again, a decade later, when he was stationed in Boise to fly the F-15E Stike Eagle. Neil loves being involved in the community and he is overjoyed to be able to retire in an area like the Treasure Valley.

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DAWSON KENNON

Dawson is a fixed wing CFI from Union, OR. He grew up an outdoorsman and was involved in athletics all the way through college. Dawson wanted a rewarding career, so he learned how to fly! He feels the best part is helping students feel the same sense of accomplishment he felt while going through training! In 2017, Dawson was a State Champion Javelin Thrower and a two time national qualifier at the collegiate level. He will possibly compete in the outdoor 2022 season. His older brother Johnny, who Dawson said "is an excellent role model in his life" is a former Silverhawk helicopter CFI. Now we have met the entire Kennon family!

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AUSTIN CORY

Austin is a fixed wing CFI at our Ontario campus. He grew up in Northern Idaho in Coeur d'Alene, spending most of his time outdoors or participating in sports. He joined the U.S. army in 2012 as a Combat Medic, then he became a UH-60M helicopter pilot. Austin enjoys flying helicopters but he is passionate about flying and instructing fixed wing in the long term. Austin continues to work with the Idaho Army National Guard to continue his training and he has recently found a fondness for backcountry flying!

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NOLAN M. HASH

Nolan is a fixed wing CFI. 

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ZACH MUNDS

Zach grew up in Caldwell, Idaho, learning to explore the outdoors. He loves camping, capturing the perfect sunset with his drone, and snowboarding in the winters. In high-school he had the opportunity to take flight and his eyes have been skyward ever since. Prior to instructing, he worked as a carpenter building cedar products for homes in the valley. When Zach is not flying you can find him restoring his classic car or vintage camper trailers. He was a competitive swimmer for 12 years and competed at State Championships all 4 years of high-school. Zach wanted to be a CFI to have the same impact on his students his instructors had on him!

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HERB SWEENEY

Herb was born in Nampa and he grew up in Pocatello. He had always thought about flying but never took the leap until he "got old" and had a mid-life crisis! He hopes to be a good role model for his kids and provide a good life for his family. In the military, Herb was an LVS operator. The great outdoors is where Herb feels he belongs...

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TAYLOR SHERMAN

Taylor is a fixed wing CFI from Redding, California. He enjoys mountain biking, snowboarding, fishing, and is always looking for the next adventure! Taylor had never been in an airplane before he was 22 years old when he went skydiving. "The flight up was equally cool as jumping out." The second time he was in a plane he had the opportunity to fly it with a friend... he signed up for the ground school the minute wheels touched down. Fun fact, Taylor played competitive soccer growing up.

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TYLER SCHLADOR

Tyler is a fixed wing instructor with a passion for traveling, backpacking, and exploring the world. Some of his hobbies include snowboarding, soccer, and dirt biking. Growing up around helicopters caused him to dream of seeing the world from a new perspective. His goals are to bring joy to others through flight and to travel as much as possible!

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KATIE KIRKPATRICK

Katie is a fixed wing CFI from our lovely neighbor Boise. She loves to workout, ski and go hiking with her dog! After one discovery flight, she fell in love and didn’t want do anything else! Katie graduated from Boise State and managed a gym where she was a personal trainer and taught yoga classes. She lived and studied abroad in France and speaks French! She aspired to be a CFI to share her passion with other people!

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BEN CRIPPS

Ben, a fixed wing instructor, moved to Boise in August 2020. Ben and his wife like to get out and explore all the Treasure Valley has to offer. They enjoy skiing, traveling, and flying! He grew up around aviation in Tacoma, WA. Both of his parents worked for Alaska Airlines, and he has been a flight attendant for Alaska since 2016. "There is no other feeling like being behind the controls in the air. Everything else melts away! The lifestyle and benefits are an added perk!" Fun fact, Ben took his first non-rev (standby) trip to Chicago when he was 10! 

MAINTENANCE CREW

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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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DAVID ASH

David is an A&P mechanic.

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JOSH SIMON

Josh is a former helicopter CFI who continues to fly and work full-time in maintenance!

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TARA CHAMBERLAIN

Tara, our meticulous Parts Manager, is from Challis, Idaho. She grew up playing multiple sports and riding horses on her family ranch. Tara went to TVCC and played basketball for two years while getting her associate's degree in business management. She is excited to see where this career takes her. Sweet tidbit, Tara has a 3-year-old lab mix puppy named Creed.

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SETH BERKENMEIER

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!

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BLAKE OLSON

Blake was born and raised in Idaho. He works as an apprentice A&P and aircraft fueler for Silverhawk Ontario, and he is a fixed wing student at TVCC. He loves anything and everything to do with aircraft and flying. His end goal is to be a Med-evac, Life flight pilot, or firefighting pilot. Love anything outdoors and in nature. Blake is a Blackhawk Helicopter mechanic and crew chief for the Idaho Army National Guard.
He truly loves aviation and can't see myself doing anything else. Fun fact,
he has a twin sister named Adison.

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JOE FOSS

Joe is a helicopter student and hangar assistant at Silverhawk.

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MATT PERKINS

Matt is an apprentice on the Silverhawk maintenance team. He is from Paradise, California, and worked as a fisheries tech before joining the Silverhawk team. Interesting fact, Matt's grandfather was competitive aerobatic pilot!

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PARKER ROBINSON

Parker grew up in Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico. He moved to Arizona to attend college, where he met his wife. Parker always dreamt of becoming a pilot, but was told it was impossible. After working an office job, he knew he had to make it possible. After his wife finished school they moved to Idaho with their two dogs to begin flight training. Parker loves the outdoors and cooking over an open fire or the smoker. 

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AUSTIN SHAW

Austin works at Silverhawk Ontario.

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NOLAN MCQUEEN

Nolan is an A&P on the Silverhawk maintenance team. 

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CONOR CLARKE

Conor is a mechanic at Silverhawk.

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IAN SIENKIEL

Ian works in the Silverhawk maintenance department.