Jon WellsJon is one of the original founders of the Club, serving as its first president for three years as well as a stint as Chief Flight Instructor.
Jon has accumulated over 5,000 hours in gliders and powered aircraft, and has been instructing since 1996 to include over 2,000 hours instructing. He holds an ATP (Airline Transport Pilot – AMEL) certificate as well as Commercial ratings for ASEL, ASES, and Glider. Jon has been recognized as a FAA Gold Seal Instructor, certified to instruct as a (CFI) for Airplane Single Engine Land and Sea, Multi-Engine Land (MEI), Instrument Instructor (CFII), Glider Instructor (CFI-G), as well as an Advanced Ground Instructor (AGI) and Instrument Ground Instructor (IGI).
He is a proud owner of a Cessna 182, which he flies regularly from the Piedmont Triad Airport in Greensboro (GSO) and flies often with his family, or providing rides or charity support to include missions for Pilots-n-Paws (Animal Rescue Charity- and serves on the National Board of Directors), Angel Flight, Veterans Airlift Command, or other charitable organizations.
He is also a FAAST Team Representative for the Greensboro Region/North Carolina, which promotes Aviation Safety and Awareness.
Jon has a strong passion for aviation and invites many to fly with him, either for fun, rescuing four legged friends or helping others in need that he can use his gift of flight to help. He is an active member of the EAA, AOPA and RAF, all aimed at growing General Aviation.
Masa HirvonenMasa Hirvonen started flying gliders in his native Finland in 1987 and proceeded to motor gliders as soon as he met the age requirements. In addition to his European licenses (glider, motor glider and private pilot), he has had the opportunity to fly some unusual “contraptions” such as an experimental motor glider on skis while landing on frozen lakes in Finland and even a brief moment at the controls of an Antonov AN-2. He has flown basic aerobatics in both gliders and piston aircraft. During his mandatory military service in Finland, Masa went through aircraft mechanic training and officer training in the Finnish Air Force; serving as a line mechanic for jet trainers at the end of his service.
Masa received his FAA pilot licenses at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL while finishing up some extra studies in Avionics for a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from Helsinki University of Technology; completing commercial certification and multi-engine and instrument ratings. He currently holds CFI, CFII, MEI and Advanced Ground Instructor certificates.
In his day job, Masa “teaches the machines how to fly” (electronic flight control engineering) and has gotten the opportunity to fly significant number of hours in both Gulfstream and HondaJet simulators, including extensive testing of his designs for a single engine compensation and stall warning/protection (stick pusher) systems designs for the HondaJet. He is working as the Technical Director of Advanced Research for Honda Aircraft Company.