For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a pilot. I grew up in the right seat of my dad’s Piper Saratoga and spent years learning from him and waiting for my chance to earn my certificate. My interest was furthered exponentially when, while I was away at school, my dad replaced the Saratoga with a new Cirrus SR22T. Having grown up around steam gauges, I was amazed with the technically advanced capabilities of the Cirrus. I couldn’t wait to fly it.
The opportunity to get my license came the summer before my senior year of college at Elon University, where I majored in Business Administration and Finance. I pursued this dream during the summer of 2015 and passed my check ride the day before school restarted. I was ecstatic, but instead of celebrating, I had to drive 12 hours back to North Carolina. Throughout my senior year of college, I rented a plane for short trips to Kitty Hawk, Gilliam McConnell Field (BQ1, great fly-in BBQ) and other places in the area just to keep current. However, I worried that there would be no outlet for me to continue flying once I got a starter job. Luckily for me, an opportunity was brewing.
My dad (the other owner of Mistwood Aviation) had numerous conversations with Cirrus owners in the St. Louis area and found that there was a high demand for an exceptional maintenance and training facility focused on Cirrus Aircraft. After numerous conversations with Cirrus senior management and Jeff Sandusky, the Cirrus Regional Sales Manager, we began the process of standing up a Cirrus-specific Service and Training Center at Spirit of St. Louis Airport. Our goal was and is to provide quality, safety and an exceptional customer experience to owners of the best-selling airplane. Our vision for this purpose-built organization has been achieved. We became a Cirrus Authorized Service Center and Cirrus Training Center in 2016. By the end of 2017, I had the hours and ratings required to become the Chief Flight Instructor and primary CSIP (Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot) for the company. In 2020, I attained the distinction of becoming a Platinum CSIP, one of 88 in the world. Since then, I’ve provided over 4,000 hours of instruction in SR aircraft, as well as grown the training fleet from a single SR20 to a full complement of Generation 6 SR20, SR22 and SR22T aircraft. In 2023 after years of intense and dedicated effort, we attained the distinction of becoming one of 40 Platinum Cirrus Training Centers in the world. When not working at Mistwood, you can find me teaching at COPA Pilot Proficiency Programs (CPPP) as an instructor.
I invite you to call or come by our facility and experience an organization that is focused on you and your airplane. We realize that our success is only achievable when our customers have a truly exceptional experience and are excited to recommend us. We look forward to serving you and helping you achieve your dream of joining the Cirrus Life.