Meet The Instructors
Michael Chang, Owner of FLIGHT SCHOOL of Greenville (CFI-I, MEI)
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.
When he was in high school, Michael’s parents paid for an airplane ride benefitting a charity event. The second the engine started, he knew he wanted to learn to fly.
It wasn’t Michael’s initial plan to become a pilot for a living. After graduating high school, he attended Clemson University with the goal of becoming a medical doctor. A few months later, he changed to a math major; he had no idea what he wanted to do. After speaking with his parents at length about his future, they agreed to sign him up for flight lessons at the FLIGHT SCHOOL of Greenville. Little did they know that Michael had found his calling the moment he took his first lesson.
Thanks to enormous support from his entire family, Michael obtained all his pilot certifications to become a flight instructor while finishing his degree at Clemson. In under two years, he went from learning to teaching at his flight school alma mater. As he continued building hours, he knew the airlines were just around the corner. He started to ask himself if he really wanted to leave his school behind.
One day, as Michael was searching for other aviation jobs, his boss and mentor Cyndy Hollman pulled him aside. She asked if he would consider continuing her school legacy. It only took a few minutes for Michael to make up his mind: Owning and running the flight school was meant for him, and him alone. He took her up on the offer the very next day and acquired the business the same year.
Ever since Michael took over the flight school, he feels his dreams have come true. He gets to stay close to family and friends, make a living in his home state, and share the gift of flight with those who want to make their dreams a reality. Michael tells everyone who walks in the door that they should pursue every interest they have, especially flying—when passionate enough, that interest can take them anywhere in life.
Jack Nelson, Chief Instructor (CFI-I)
Jack Nelson was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina, near the Donaldson Airport. While attending Greenville Tech Charter High School, he enjoyed being a member of the baseball and golf teams.
Jack, growing up near an airport, was drawn to airplanes at an early age. His interest in aviation began to peak from the constant buzzing of airplanes overhead. His love was elevated in the 5th grade with his first trip to Space Camp’s Aviation Challenge at the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL. To further his aviation excitement, he received a discovery flight for his birthday as a young teenager. This reassured his decision to become a pilot.
After high school, Jack continued his love for aviation and earned a BS in Aviation Management from Averett University in Danville, VA. While attending Averett, he earned his Private Certificate through Commercial Single and Multi-engine Certificate. Furthering his piloting skills, Jack enjoyed receiving his tailwheel endorsement. To advance his career, Jack earned his Certified Flight Instructor (CFI). Since Jack earned his CFI with Flight School of Greenville, he is proficient with their successful program and excited to be one of their top-quality instructors.
In his free time, Jack enjoys playing golf, fresh/saltwater fishing, hunting, sports, and computer gaming.
Max Mittelstaedt, CFI
In 2006, Max Mittelstaedt’s family moved from Charleston to Greenville, South Carolina, where he would grow up and later attend Greenville High. While in high school Max enjoyed being a part of the school’s swim team.
After high school, Max attended Wofford College where he majored in biology. During his time in college Max had the opportunity to study abroad in Australia and take part in conservation research in the Cayman Islands.
With both grandparents having their private pilot licenses, flying had always been in the background of his life, but it wasn’t until after college that Max decided to pursue a career in aviation. A neighbor down the street had built a small plane in his garage and offered to take Max on a flight. This flight is what cemented his love for flying and started him on the aviation career path. He earned his Private through Commercial Single and Multi-Engine Certificates as well as his CFI Certificate at the Greenville Downtown Airport.
If he is not at the airport, Max is probably spending time with his dog. Some of his other interests include hiking, fishing, video games and target shooting.
Cyndy Hollman, Designated Pilot Examiner and Founder of FLIGHT SCHOOL of Greenville
Cyndy Hollman was born on a farm in the countryside of New York. She has nine brothers and sisters. She never dreamed of becoming a pilot like some might think but, when one opportunity led 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 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), a Delta regional carrier. She later flew the ERJ145 for Commutair Airlines, a United regional carrier, where she upgraded to Captain. After gaining experience as a Captain, Cyndy was hired at Allegiant Air and flew the A319 and A320.
Cyndy was given the honor of becoming a Designated Pilot Examiner in 2017. She enjoys the important role of administering checkrides throughout the southeastern USA. Considering all the aviation opportunities that had been offered to Cyndy. She continues to find her passion in teaching and giving checkrides.
For the past 15 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 12,000 hours total time and over 8,500 dual given, Cyndy is excited every day 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.