VAUGHN AND JEAN CARLSTON

OWNERS

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Entrepreneurs of over 20 years and aviation enthusiasts, Vaughn and Jean are the reason Mountain Ridge Helicopters exists. Vaughn built his first helicopter over 10 years ago, and has had a passion for the industry ever since. Purchasing the school became a way for the Carlstons to combine their business savvy with their love of helicopters. You could not ask for more brilliant, hard-working people to run this school. They have both gone to great lengths to care for their employees and students.

Megan

School Director

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Megan is constantly finding innovative ways to improve training without raising costs. She is an advocate for those with a dream to become a helicopter pilot. She’ll fight for ways to fund tuition and see that students move through the program as efficiently as possible. Megan knows better than anyone the sacrifices and rewards this industry can bring. Her husband is a pilot and flight instructor at Mountain Ridge as well as an alumni of the Professional Pilot Program. Thanks to her, all Mountain Ridge students enter the program with a full understanding of what they are getting into. Megan has been with Mountain Ridge since the beginning and she has a genuine interest to help all students stay focused and motivated.

Steve

Director of Maintenance

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Steve is always willing to take the time to explain the inner workings of a helicopter to students. A graduate of Utah State University’s aviation maintenance program, he holds an Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) license with an Inspection Authorization (IA) and has over 18 years experience in maintaining aircraft from helicopters to corporate jets. In addition to working on aircraft, he enjoys working on classic cars, hunting, fishing and riding atv’s.

Matt

Chief Flight Instructor

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An incredible asset to Mountain Ridge Helicopters, Matt has over 3,000 hours as a pilot and over seven years of experience as an instructor. He does the majority of CFI and CFII Training. The majority of Matt’s flight time is in Robbie’s but he also flies turbine helicopters part time in the Grand Canyon. As a father of five, Matt has developed the ability to teach with patience that comes through in his training. His humble confidence in the helicopter has earned him respect amongst students and professional pilots.

Nate

Assistant Chief Flight Instructor

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A Native of Cache Valley, Nate has spent his whole life in Wellsville, Utah. Nate has always dreamed of flying helicopters and finally did an Introductory Flight. He started training at Mountain Ridge Helicopters shortly after. He has a unique way to teach and help his students understand their training all while making it enjoyable and fun.

When not flying Nate can be found racing dirt bikes, hunting, snowmobiling and spending time with his wife Jessica. With a baby on the way Nate knows how important it is to balance work, school, and family time.

Kaci

Flight Instructor

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As an avid hunter and outdoor enthusiast, Kaci chose Cache Valley because of the impeccable mountain views. Her focus and dedication are noticed and emulated by her students. She also provides a fun personality that creates a positive learning environment. Her advice to new incoming students is to never stop learning and to stay current on both book and flight knowledge.

Chad

Marketing and Recruiting

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Chad loves to be involved in promoting and marketing the school. If there is an event that can benefit the school he most likely will be attending it or will be hosting it. He has an extensive background in marketing, event management, and advertising. He has been the Director of both newspapers and magazines. When not looking for new ways to promote and recruit new students to Mountain Ridge Chad enjoys spending time with his family, attending USU Aggie games, and watching Monday night Football with his wife and 3 daughters.

Mike

Flight Instructor

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Mike has been around aviation his entire life. From his first job as a Line Service Technician in Arizona, he knew he wanted to fly for a career. Mike expects a lot from his students and hopes that they will achieve the same standards he sets for himself. He encourages students to become involved and to make learning and flying their true passion.

Jace

Flight Instructor

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Jace is the most recent graduate of Mountain Ridge Helicopters, and we are excited to welcome him as the newest Flight Instructor on our team. Jace is a military veteran and knows of the discipline and hard work it takes to succeed as a helicopter pilot. Jace implements this discipline in his instruction and will do whatever it takes to help his students achieve their goals.

Taylor

Flight Instructor

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Taylor was raised here in Cache Valley and loves the activities that the area can provide. Retreating to the surrounding mountains for camping, hiking or mountain biking with his family is a cherished
time for him. He worked as a Machinist for nearly ten years before pursuing his dream of piloting helicopters. When not in the machine shop or at Mountain Ridge, he can usually be found participating in and watching a variety of sports.

Chase

Flight Instructor

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Chase gives his all in everything he does. He is an avid wake board enthusiast and is involved in many competitions. He credits his family and his Flight Instructors for getting him to where he is today. If there is one piece of advice Chase would give to future pilots it would be, “always seek more knowledge, and never stop learning.”

Tanya

Admissions and Compliance

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With over a decade of experience in writing and office administration, Tanya is here to help students stay on track. She is a Cache Valley native and recently returned from six years living in a canvas tent in the Southern Utah deserts. This combination of an adventurous spirit and practical skills makes her the perfect advocate for Mountain Ridge students. In her free time she enjoys exploring the mountains with her dog and rambunctious two-year-old son.