Meet The Instructors

Cyndy Hollman, Chief Flight Instructor and owner of FLIGHT SCHOOL of Greenville  

Cyndy1Cyndy Hollman was born on a farm in the country side of New York.  She has nine brothers and sisters.  She never dreamed of becoming a pilot like some might think but, when one opportunity lead to another, Cyndy jumped at the chance.  While majoring in Biology at the College of Charleston and working at a local restaurant, a customer asked her if she wanted to go for a flight.  That first flight in a C152 changed her life forever.   Upon completion of college, Cyndy worked as a paramedic and continued to work on all of her certificates and ratings.  Once she obtained her Certified Flight Instructor, she had the opportunity to teach at the Charleston AFB Aeroclub.  After teaching students to fly for over 1,200 hours, she accepted a job flying checks with Ram Air Freight.  The job was short lived as she was soon offered a job flying King Airs for private owners back in Charleston, SC.

After building several hundred hours in BE 90s, 200s and 300s, Cyndy was able to obtain her ATP and apply for the regional airlines.  She was immediately offered a First Officer position  on the Dornier 328J with Atlantic Coast Airlines (ACA).  Three years later, ACA became Independence Air, a major carrier.  Seventeen months later, the company fell into bankruptcy. Once Cyndy was furloughed, she thought about all of the aviation opportunities that had been offered to her.  She knew after all of those experiences, her passion was in teaching others the gift of flight.

For the past ten years, Cyndy has followed her heart and helped hundreds of students, old and young, reach their goals from Private Pilot up to Airline Transport Pilot.  Accumulating over 11,000 hours total time and over 8,500 dual given, Cyndy is excited everyday to teach what she has learned to others.  Her students boast about her patience and her ability to simplify even the most difficult subjects.  She believes in teaching a student more than just learning to fly; she believes in teaching a student to become a Pilot who is comfortable flying almost anywhere.  If you ask Cyndy if she ever grows tired of teaching, you will see her light up as she describes a new student's reaction to their first solo experience or the first time they fly through a cloud.  Cyndy plans to continue instructing professionally as long as there are students wanting to learn the amazing gift of becoming a pilot.

Annie Kate Lee, CFI-I

Annie Kate Lee’s passion for aviation began in Laurens, South Carolina, where she grew up.  From planes buzzing overhead, aviation stories, pilot books and magazines, everything aviation caught her attention.  When announcing her desire to become a pilot while in middle school, she found her parents were not quite as enthused. They sent her to aviation camp to convince her that aviation was not the career she wanted. Contrary to their plan, Annie Kate knew immediately that flying was her passion.

To pursue her dream, she decided to study aviation in college.  Annie Kate attended Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana, where she double-majored in Professional Aviation and Aviation Management. After graduating, she joined the university’s instructing staff to teach students in private, instrument, and commercial courses. She loves sharing her enthusiasm  with students and watching as they also become enthralled with leaving the earth and safely returning.

With a special interest in places less traveled, Annie Kate worked as an intern with SIL Aviation in Papua New Guinea for three months. During her stay, she gained experience in the highlands, involving flights, aircraft maintenance, and management. Now, she brings that adventure and precision, necessary for jungle flying, to the FLIGHT SCHOOL of Greenville.

In her free time, Annie Kate enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, reading Agatha Christie mysteries, concocting puns, listening to the Beach Boys, and baking cookies.

Nick Tousey, CFI-I

Nick Tousey, born in Greenbrae, CA moved to the east coast at the age of two.  He grew up with two brothers on a  farm in Westminster SC.  Along with the daily chores, Nick spent his free time riding horses,  swimming and water skiing on Lake Hartwell.   In his youth, he was active in the Boy Scouts of America.  His love for flying began when he earned his Aviation Merit Badge in his neighbor's Piper Cherokee.   Keeping aviation in the back of his mind, he continued to earn an income through sod farming.  Along with farming, he earned his Associates Degree from the Isothermal Community College in Spindale NC.  He furthered studied Business at the University of Alabama.  At the farm, a restructuring of the company allowed Nick to seek new adventures in his life.  His spark for aviation was reignited after his Mother purchased a discovery flight for him.  HIs path was clear to see after that flight.

Nick spent the following three years studying and flying.  After tackling his Private, Instrument and Commercial, he earned his Certified Flight Instructor in the summer of 2019.  Nick is excited to share his love for aviation with all of his students.  He is knowledgeable, patient and full of energy.

When Nick is not at the airport, you may find him on the Ice Hockey rink.  His favorite team is the Carolina Hurricanes.  He also enjoys all water sports to include skiing, surfing, wakeboarding and fishing.

His favorite quote:  "The world belongs to the energetic"  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Riley West, CFI-I, MEI

Riley West was born and raised in Rockford, Illinois. While attending Rockford Lutheran High School, he found his love for aviation. Turns out, there was a United Captain living right down the street who offered to take Riley up in his personal Cessna 172. Needless to say, Riley was hooked. With his new passion, Riley found himself working odd jobs in exchange for flight time.

A year later, after his family moved to Greenville, South Carolina, Riley was able to attend ATP flight school in Lawrenceville, Georgia. In just under 1 year, Riley went from 0 time to Single-Engine and Multi-Engine instructor. He also earned his FAA Basic, Advanced, and Master wings during that time.

In addition to providing excellent flight training with the Flight School of Greenville, Riley is working on his Bachelor’s in Aviation Science. He is excited to share his experiences while training the next generation of future pilots. Along with his fun and energetic teaching style, he places emphasis on proficiency and safety.

When riley is not flying, he enjoys spending time with his family and the great outdoors. His other favorite past times involve snowboarding, water sports and staying fit at the gym.

 

Ian Cowan, CFI-I

Ian Cowan was born and raised in Asheville, NC. Since his first time on an airplane, he has been intrigued by aviation. In the summer of 2016, after visiting an A330 flight deck while on an European vacation, he instantly realized he was destined to become an airline pilot. For years he had no idea what it would take to actually become a pilot, let alone make a career of it. Later that year, he flew his first airplane during an introductory flight, and was immediately hooked on aviation.

Ian grew up playing tennis and participating in Boy Scouts, eventually earning the highest attainable rank of Eagle Scout. He continues to enjoy tennis as a college athlete at Centre College in Danville, KY, where he is studies mathematics and computer science. On his days away from college, he successfully earned every certificate and rating from Private pilot to Certified Flight Instructor with FLIGHT SCHOOL of Greenville.

As Ian was building time for his Commercial certificates, he became a ground instructor and taught aspiring new pilots the information required to pass their Private and Instrument FAA written knowledge exams. While teaching the ground school courses, he developed a true passion for instructing. He continues to find a way to learn something new about aviation to share these experiences with others.

In his free time, Ian still loves to play tennis, tinker around with electronics, and spend time outdoors hiking, camping, and anything in between.

Michael Chang, CFI

Michael Chang was born in Greenville, South Carolina. Ever since he can remember, he has always had a fascination with aviation. From his first travels with his family, he knew there was something special about taking flight.

Michael graduated from Easley High School, with academic honors. After his acceptance into Clemson University to study Health Science, he quickly realized that his true passion lay elsewhere. After much thought, he decided to go in a new direction and pursue aviation; something that had always thrilled him. Upon researching, he found the FLIGHT SCHOOL of Greenville - his first flight lesson was calling.

All of Michael’s flight training has been with the FLIGHT SCHOOL of Greenville, where he truly feels at home. He was quickly able to earn his Certified Flight Instructor. His favorite part of teaching is helping student pilots learn entirely new concepts and watching them apply those concepts to real-world operations. He loves all the major subjects that make up the field of aviation, and nothing satisfies him more than helping others meet their dreams of becoming a pilot.

Michael is currently finishing his Bachelor’s in Mathematics at Clemson. When he’s not flying, you’ll find him spending time with his family and friends, hiking in local state parks, or practicing classical piano music. Michael Chang was born in Greenville, South Carolina. Ever since he can remember, he has always had a fascination with aviation. From his first travels with his family, he knew there was something special about taking flight.

Michael graduated from Easley High School, with academic honors. After his acceptance into Clemson University to study Health Science, he quickly realized that his true passion lay elsewhere. After much thought, he decided to go in a new direction and pursue aviation; something that had always thrilled him. Upon researching, he found the FLIGHT SCHOOL of Greenville - his first flight lesson was calling.

All of Michael’s flight training has been with the FLIGHT SCHOOL of Greenville, where he truly feels at home. He was quickly able to earn his Certified Flight Instructor. His favorite part of teaching is helping student pilots learn entirely new concepts and watching them apply those concepts to real-world operations. He loves all the major subjects that make up the field of aviation, and nothing satisfies him more than helping others meet their dreams of becoming a pilot.

Michael is currently finishing his Bachelor’s in Mathematics at Clemson. When he’s not flying, you’ll find him spending time with his family and friends, hiking in local state parks, or practicing classical piano music.

Benjamin "BJ" Green, CFI

Originally from the coast of North Carolina, BJ moved to Raleigh, North Carolina at the age of 8. Growing up in Raleigh, he found an interest in aviation through family and friends who happen to be pilots, instructors, and check airmen. With this interest in tow, he perused his goal of becoming a pilot at a young age, soloing on his 16th birthday.

After soloing, BJ moved to the mountains of North Carolina to attend Western Carolina University. While at WCU, he received a Bachelor's in Construction Management with a minor in Business Administration. It was also at WCU that BJ met his wife, Annie.

Upon graduation, Asheville became home, starting a career in LTL Trucking as a supervisor. Several years later, BJ joined a large plumbing company, becoming a project manager and estimator. Ten years after college and 16 years after his solo flight, he finally finished his Private Pilot Certificate in the fall of 2019.

After several conversations, and encouraging words from family, friends, wife and daughter, BJ left the plumbing world in January 2020 to complete his flight training at the Flight School of Greenville. Throughout his time at FSOG, he earned his Instrument Rating, Commercial Certificate, Flight Instructor Certificate, and is currently working on his Flight Instructor Instrument on the path to obtain his Airline Transport Pilot Certificate.

Life experiences, including a challenging work history and a growing family, has added to BJ's patience and ability to communicate well with his students. He looks forward to sharing his instructing talents with his students!!

Mike Griffith, CFI-I, ATP

Mike Griffith was born right here in Greenville, SC. As a child, Mike had a fascination with airplanes starting with his ceiling fan resembling an airplane propeller. While attending Pendleton High School, his parents encouraged him to take a Discovery Flight with the local flight school which further sparked his aviation bug. Cyndy happened to provide the instruction for that first flight allowing him to take the controls. Mike was hooked on the concept of becoming a pilot!

While earning a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of South Carolina , Mike continued taking flight lessons as time permitted. Upon graduating, he worked various engineering jobs, but the desire to reach for the airways was still burning within him. After much discussion with loved ones, Mike decided to pursue what he was truly passionate about....flying airplanes!

Since Mike enjoyed the Discovery Flight with Cyndy, he was excited to continue his training under her guidance and now instructs for the Flight School of Greenville & Anderson. Therefore, he has exclusively worked with Flight School of Greenville throughout his training. Mike enjoys helping students overcome challenges within flying and realize their full potential to spread their wings. He wants every flight experience to be a pleasurable, exciting, and rewarding adventure.  Additionally, Mike has become an airline pilot flying the Bombardier CRJ 700 & 900 aircraft and is more than happy to share his experiences within that realm of aviation.

During his time away from the airport, you will most likely find Mike working out at the local gym, watching various sporting events, and spending time outdoors boating or hiking. He enjoys spending time with his wife Joy, who also went to USC. They enjoy cheering on their beloved Gamecocks, however he does accept Clemson students! Mike also has two Golden Retrievers that keep him busy between belly rubs and back scratches.

 

Dale Ellis, CFI-I, MEI, ATP

Dale Ellis spent his early years in Colorado, where he soared through the skies across mountainous terrain and beautiful lakes. Although he says his career in aviation spans more decades then he cares to count, his students are grateful for his vast experience.

Dale's career as flight instructor began in 1972. In addition to instructing, Dale was a charter pilot for Sawyer Aviation in Phoenix, AZ. A short time later, he became Chief Pilot for Air Taxi operators spanning from Colorado to Texas.

As well as charter operations, Dale also professional flew for Piedmont Airlines (formerly Henson Airlines). He flew both Shorts Brothers SD3-30s and Dehavilland Dash-8s for over 20 years. With this experience, he was able to provide new pilots with ground instruction as well as a flight instruction for both models. Later in his airline career, he was a Line-Check Airman on the Dash-8.

Dale is excited to return to the world of flight training and share his wealth of knowledge and experience he has accumulated over the years. Dale has a talent for explaining complex subjects in a simplistic manner. His passion for aviation is highlighted through his enthusiasm and patience while teaching aviation skills to new students.