About middle river aviation
Middle River Aviation is Baltimore's largest and most experienced flight school. Our commitment to excellence in flight training will be apparent to you from the first time you walk through our door. You won't find aircraft maintained to our standards of maintenance and appearance anywhere in Maryland, nor will you find flight instructors with as much experience. All of our flight instructors have a minimum of 1000 hours and most have many more. We hire only seasoned instructors who have spent years as Certified Flight Instructors before they came to us.
At Middle River Aviation, our customer's satisfaction always comes first. We want to make you happy and we want you to be proud that you chose our aviation school for your flight training or helicopter training. We care about our reputation and we build on that reputation every day in the way we serve our customers.
When choosing a Maryland flight school for flying lessons, you should consider many things. How well are the aircraft maintained? How many aircraft are available for training? How well are they equipped and are they all the same? How much experience do the flight instructors have? Are flight instructors new pilots themselves or do they have a history of teaching students to be pilots? Can the flight school work around my schedule or do I have to train around theirs? Are they friendly and nice to work with? And, do they care as much as we do about their students?
At Middle River Aviation, we don't have a patchwork of aircraft thrown together to try and resemble a flight school. We have a fleet of trainer aircraft that are as close to being the same as possible. They are all equipped in a uniform fashion so that no matter which plane you fly during your flying lessons, it will feel familiar. We also have such a large fleet and compliment of flight instructors that we have the ability to fly when you want, not just when we can fit you in, like so many flight schools do.
There is more to "value" than just price. Sure there are flight schools that advertise cheaper rates for their planes. But remember, you get what you pay for. Don't compromise your time or your safety by using a "cheap" flight school who skimps on maintenance to rent an aircraft at a reduced rate.
Learning to fly should be safe, fun and rewarding. Choose a flight training school that will stand behind that for you. Choose the best in the business, choose Middle River Aviation!!
Chief Flight instructor
CFI, CFII, MEI
Brad’s love for flying began at a young age and was nurtured by his father and grandfather, who are both licensed pilots. Brad began his flight training in 2005 and finished in 2007 after receiving his CFI, CFII and MEI ratings from ATP in Phoenix, Arizona. From 2007 to 2010 Brad worked as an instrument and Multi-Engine instructor at ATP and Air Safety in Arizona, where he accumulated over 1000 hours of instruction given to pilots looking to receive an advanced rating. In 2010 Brad came to work at Middle River Aviation as a flight instructor and has quickly become a key member in this growing organization. Brad is available for lessons seven days a week and can work around your schedule.
Brad also enjoys scuba diving, hunting, fishing, and working with his hands. He also loves spending any time he can with his wife Kelly and their young son Bentley.
Assistant Chief Flight Instructor
Bruce turned his lifelong love of aviation into action and has been flying since 2001. He received all his training at Middle River Aviation (formerly) Phoenix Aviation in Middle River. As an instructor he looks-forward to the opportunity to share his passion for aviation with his students. His availability can accommodate almost any student's schedule, and he's willing to take the time to make sure students understand the concepts needed to be a safe, proficient pilot.
In addition to his flying accomplishments, Bruce is also a professional bowler. He enjoys tennis, piano, and his three children.
"Flying is freedom," according to Bruce
"Become a pilot—you'll never regret it." After you become a private pilot, you can hop in a plane and, with few exceptions, at your convenience you can fly anywhere you want to go. If you're thinking about becoming a pilot, give it a try. Almost anyone who wants to can do it! There is nothing like training on your own schedule in an airplane you're piloting. Bruce teaches flight instruction at community college.
Chief Helicopter flight instructor
At age 17, he earned his Eagle Scout award and began his career as a volunteer firefighter and EMT in Baltimore and Howard counties where he has actively served his community for 11 years. During his time in the fire service, he attended Howard Community College and University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) where he obtained his Associate of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in Computer Science. After completing his college degrees, Robert enrolled in helicopter school where he trained to be a commercial helicopter pilot and a flight instructor. He later obtained his ratings to fly airplanes. At age 24, Robert enlisted in the US Army National Guard. For three years, he was assigned to 3-126 Aviation Battalion based in Edgewood, MD at Aberdeen Proving Grounds. He then went on to earn his commission as a Second Lieutenant in the US Army Reserve. He is currently assigned to F Company 1st Battalion 214th Aviation Regiment in Johnstown, PA. He continues to actively flight instruct and fly in his free time. In August 2009, Robert successfully landed a single-engine helicopter on a beach in New Jersey after an engine failure with four passengers on board. The landing resulted in no injuries to anyone on board and no damage to the helicopter. At age 28, he completed a second Bachelor of Science degree from UMBC in Emergency Health Services - Paramedic Track and earned his paramedic certification. He is currently attending UMBC for his Master's of Science degree in Systems Engineering. On October 04, 2011, Robert was interviewed as a subject matter expert in helicopter safety by WJLA (Washington DC's ABC News affiliate). In November 2011, he was featured in IFR Magazine and AvWeb for successfully landing a single-engine airplane after an engine failure while in the clouds. The landing resulted in no injuries to anyone on board and no damage to the airplane. Robert has logged over 2,300 hours in aircraft, over 2,000 of which are in helicopters.
Dave found a bargain book about how to get your pilot's license in a local bookstore. Becoming fascinated, he scheduled a demo flight with Middle River Aviation (formerly Phoenix Aviation). From that point, he was hooked like so many of us and he quickly progressed through his ratings and now, is a flight instructor, he can conduct those demo flights and inspire the next aviator. He sums it up well, "As a pilot, you will have the freedom that only a very small fraction of the world population can enjoy."
In addition to flying, Dave enjoys reading, especially science: astronomy, cosmology, and physics to name a few favorites. He also enjoys camping, hiking, golf, movies, and coffee (he managed a coffee shop for a few years before the flying bug hit).
He has a very flexible schedule, places a strong emphasis on safety, and helps students incorporate safe practices and procedures as second nature. Dave keeps flying fun while adhering to high standards and thoroughness in instruction.
CFI, CFII, MEI
Megan’s love for aviation started at 4 years old watching airplanes at
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) from the top of a parking garage. Two years into business school at Towson University, Megan wasvsurprised with a "demo flight" as her birthday gift. Since her first flight in a Piper Warrior II, Megan has never looked back. She graduated from Towson University with her BA in business administration, got her private pilot's license two months later, and immediately moved to Las Vegas to continue her training. Now a CFI, CFII and MEI, Megan has met her goal of flying as a profession, and loves to teach about her passion for aviation to her students.
In her free time, Megan enjoys simply being outdoors. This includes sports, hiking, camping and being a beach bum. She also spends a great deal of time with her dog, Bella, a German-shepherd/basset hound mix
Mark FischerCFI, CFII
Mark began his aviation as a US Army aviator flying a range of aircraft from the UH-1 Huey, the AH-1 Cobra, and the UH-60 Blackhawk. Mark enjoyed flying so much he acquired his civilian private pilot’s license so his friends and family could share the experience and thrill of flying. Mark chose to continue to further his education and training and acquired his commercial and instructors license so that he can not only share his passion with other like-minded people, but pass forward some of the training and skills he acquired after twenty years of military flight service.
Although he believes in making training fun and enjoyable, Mark follows a structured approach to training so the student will always know where he/she is, and what’s expected next. Mark recognizes that every student learns differently, and tries to tailor the training to the individual. He makes the training challenging while moving forward at a steady but manageable pace. His philosophy is the student that accepts the greater challenges, reaps the greatest reward.
When not instructing, Mark fills his spare time drawing and painting. On nice days (when he’s not flying) you might find him kayaking near his home in Joppatown or biking the NCR.
John "Pete" BurkartCFI Helicopters
CFI, CFII, Tail Wheel
Dr. Carol Christian had a long fascination with flying and, even as a small child, enjoyed her family's vacation trips which always involved a commercial flight to some fun location. When she moved to Hawaii to work at an observatory there, she had an opportunity to take flight lessons with an Alaskan Bush pilot who spent winters in Hawaii. Soon after beginning her lessons she purchased Piper Cherokee in partnership with several friends. Flying around Hawaii is a great experience as well as providing a visually stunning environment. There were frequent flights from the Big Island to Honolulu and a memorable day when she flew to every airport in the Hawaiian Islands with a friend in a Cessna Aerobat.
When she moved to California, she joined a great flying club, continued her training as a flight instructor and an aerobatic pilot, earning her tailwheel endorsement along the way. Today she is a flight and instrument instructor and an experienced tailwheel instructor. She has 29 years of flight experience and 17 years as a flight instructor.
By the way, Carol is also an astronomer with the Hubble Space Telescope project and is involved in science education, outreach, information technology, and astronomical research. She also is co-host of a short astronomy radio program on NPR on Thursday mornings on WYPR called SkyWatch. She also enjoys scuba diving and has quite a few skydives on her
Frank BoberCFI, CFII, Tail Wheel
Sue ShambeaugCFI, CFII, MEI, ATP
Ryan PurcellCFI, CFII, MEI, ATP
Ryan spent most of his early years in Asia, with his family traveling extensively throughout his childhood. Some of his earliest memories include boarding Northwest Orient 747s bound for Hong Kong, and other destinations in the Far East. His early travels sparked a love of flying that never went away! Ryan served in the US Air Force from 2001 – 2003 as an F15 Mechanic, and graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2009. Today, he is a CFI, CFII, and MEI instructor, and is proud to work at Middle River Aviation in Baltimore, MD. Ryan takes pride in creating a professional yet fun learning environment, while providing pilots with a quality education.