Student Pilots

24 April 2018 - Josh Stone - Private Pilot

Josh Stone completed his check ride today, Tuesday, April 24, 2018, with Brad Smith. I don't know which one has the best smile. Josh's comment after the check ride, "Smooth as butter ". Not sure what that means but it must be good.

Congratulations Josh, well done. Congratulations to his instructor, Dennis Mathis, for successfully instructing another private pilot.

Last evening, Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at around 1650, Josh Stone unabashed and unafraid, flew the mighty Cessna 150 in the pattern without any assistance. He did remark how the Cessna seemed to climb a lot faster without his instructor on board. Good job, Josh. You have now joined the unique league of AVIATORS !!

01March2018 - Tyler Sanders - Private Pilot

Tyler successfully completed his check ride for his Private Pilot certificate today, Thursday, March 1, 2018, despite the sale of the plane he trained in and postponed check ride dates! Well done Tyler.

Congratulations to Don Reeder for shepherding another one through the private pilot wickets.

On the morning of Friday, June 30, 2017, unbeknownst to other pilots in the pattern at Majors Fields in Greenville, TX, one each Tyler Sanders was let loose at the controls of the Harvest Aviation Cherokee 140 for his FIRST SOLO flight. As you can see from the photos provided by his instructor Don Reeder, Mr. Sanders is sporting the very recognizable and not uncommon "post-solo grin". Tyler was a student in the Majors Flying Club 2016 Ground School class and is taking advantage of the flight training offered through our flying club to qualified club members.

Congratulations Tyler on the singularly unique milestone of every pilot working toward their private pilot certificate.

Well done Mr. Reeder. Two student solo flights in the same week of the same month. That might be a first for the club. Now stop it, I am tired of updating the website!

23 August 2017 - Young Lee - Newest Private Pilot

Mr Young Lee successfully completed his Private Pilot check-ride today (23Aug2017), dazzling the DPE, Mr. Brad Smith, with a superb display of airmanship, skill and cunning. Young said he was glad he passed the check-ride . Note the grin on Young's face!

Young was a member of the 2015 Majors Flying Club Ground School and soloed on November 30, 2016. It is great to watch a club member make their way all the way from Ground School to a certificated Private Pilot.

Great job, Young, welcome to the small world of Private Pilots.

Mr. Young Lee, under the tutelage of Mr. Dennis Mathis, did successfully complete his first SOLO flight in the mighty Cessna on November 30, 2016. Congratulation Young!

29March2017 - Tom Hubert - Private Pilot

On the windy and gusty afternoon of Wednesday, March 29, 2017, Mr. Tom Hubert passed his check ride with FAA Designated Pilot Examiner Brad Smith. Tom's instructor was Don Reeder.

We all recognize that smile! Well done Tom.

Congratulations to Tom Hubert who soloed the Cherokee 140 on May 3, 2016. It was a perfect weather day to solo. Tom is a graduate of the Majors Flying Club 2015 Ground School and yet he came back for more! Tom did a great job and the plane is usable for future flights! According to Tom, "it was a piece of cake". Yeah, maybe, but what about the flight?

Kudos to Tom's instructor, Don Reeder. Don was as nervous as an "expectant father" but his student came through for him and that counts for a lot! It was hard to tell which one had the bigger sigh of relief.

Congratulations to both Tom and Don. Well done.

From left to right: 1st Solo in the Pattern, 1st Solo landing, Post Solo Grin, Post Solo Photo Op

01 February 2017 - New Howard - Private Pilot

Mr. Ned Howard successfully passed his check ride with the Designated Pilot Examiner Mr. Brad Smith on February 1, 2017. Ned's instructor was Mr. Dennis Mathis. Way to go Ned! Congratulations.

25 February 2016 - Erin Mastenbrook - Private Pilot

It's a bird, it's a plane.....

NO ! It's Erin Mastenbrook IN a plane and she is with the Designated PIlot Examiner and she is completing her checkride and she DID complete her checkride Thursday!!

Congratulations are in order to Erin on achieving something not a whole lot of people do - becoming an FAA certified Private Pilot. Erin had a sterling day Thursday and is glad this long, tortuous process is finally over. She could write a book on how she became a Private Pilot!! She would probably start with her last instructor (well maybe not).

Anyway, Erin is now a proud Private Pilot. Good job, Erin.

13 January 2016 - Bryan Hamel - Private Pilot

Bryan Hamel, under Dennis Mathis' tutelage, successfully completed his check ride on January 13, 2016. Congratulations and welcome to Mr. Hamel.

01 July 2014 - Denis Rottler - Private Pilot

Denis receives official paperwork!

"Out of the ashes of despair a pilot is forged !!" Famous quote from somebody I knew and could be applied to Denis Rottler who magnificently displayed aeronautical prowess at a level not seen in recent times ( at least for last the last hour or so ! )

But, as you can see in the accompanying photos, Denis did, in fact, gain the status of PRIVATE PILOT although you could not tell that by the grin on his face :)

Congratulations to the club's newest PRIVATE PILOT! Well done, Denis.


18 December 2012 - BJ Finney - Private Pilot

BJ Finney

Congratulations to BJ Finney on passing his Private Pilot checkride on 18 December 2012. Well done, BJ!

26 August 2010 - Geoffrey Dyke - Private Pilot

Geoffrey Dyke achieved his Private Pilot license on August 26, 2010. His instructor was Dennis Mathis. Geoff is an Australian Air Force officer working as a liaison officer with the USAF at Greenville. He attended the Major Flying Club (MFC) ground school in 2008 and began his flight training shortly after. He accumulated 70 hours of solo and dual time using the GLEIM syllabus.

I have wanted to fly since leaving school but the cost was (and still is) prohibitive in Australia. My deployment to the USA provided a great opportunity to achieve a dream noting that my wife does not work in the USA and could provide great top cover for the children's requirements. This freed my schedule to allow time for flight training.

The MFC Ground School was the impetus to begin flight training. Although I have a long history in aircraft maintenance and engineering, the ground school dusted off cobwebs on general information and taught me a lot of additional information required for flight training. This course was a god send in preparation for the FAA written test. Please follow the wise instructors' advice and complete the FAA exam ASAP after ground school.

Another piece of wise advice from Dennis Mathis and Mike Montefusco (my ground school instructors) was to join AOPA. This is also a high recommendation for potential pilots or for those interested in the aviation industry in general. I use AOPA's resources every week (online) for reference info, flight planning, weather, etc and enjoy the monthly magazines.

Some of the issues I had to address with my flight training was scheduling all required resources. This includes availability of: myself, the aircraft (maintenance and other pilots), my instructor and suitable weather. Between this lot, my training took 24 months and required me to back-track on training severals times due to extended periods of inactivity. This of course ends up costing me more money.....

My personal challenges in flight training (were and still are) communication on the radios and the dreaded "HOOD" for instrument training. I was planning to burn the thing after I passed my final pilot examination, but Dennis held me back and hid it form me. Dennis may also have his own view on my piloting challenges but he is no longer my instructor so I don't have to listen [ I will due to his vast experience and knowledge, but it is good to say I don't have to ;-) ] Early on in training, it was difficult (for me) to take on all the tasks for landing simultaneously, but Dennis was patient and slowly added tasks as he felt I was ready. Multi-tasking is definitely not my strong point! It is definitely a good idea to get into a regular process of setting up the same way every time and ensuring you have a steady approach speed for landing.

The parts of training I enjoyed most were:

Cross country work. It is fun to visit new places, and the night cross country was the first time all the planning and practice really pays off. I can hear Dennis now smirking as he intentionally tried to get me geographically confused to allow me to learn proper lost procedures and resources.
Definitely the first solo. Got to cross off a bucket list task with that one.
Shared time in the cockpit with the discussions, training, shared experiences and occasional disagreements.
Landings. Always a challenge and a great thrill when you get to really nail one. Dennis can always find areas where you can improve, and he always did. However there were a couple of landings I am still proud of.

Now that I am legal, I am looking forward to taking my family, friends and anyone else up flying so I can share the wonderful experience of aviation in light aircraft. My real training has just begun and I will hopefully stay aware of my limitations and in-experience. I hope to catch up with all you fellow pilots now that I can share experiences, jokes, a few beers, and a laugh. If you hear a funny Aussie accent on the radio say G'Day.