His father instilled the love of aviation in him at a very young age and taught him how to fly at the age of 17. Mark has been flying general aviation aircraft for the past 35 years. After High School he enlisted in the Air Force as an avionics technician working on F-4’s and F-105’s at George AFB, CA. Knowing that an education was the key to his future success in aviation as an Air Force Fighter Pilot, he got out of the Air Force in October 1980 and went to college at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. With the help of his wife, working full time as a manager at McDonald’s and the G.I. Bill, he was able to graduate in 3 years and 4 months from UTC in May 1984. Mark graduated with a Mechanical Engineering degree and reentered the Air Force in October 1984, graduating from Officer Training School (OTS) in January 1985 as a 2LT.
Mark graduated from Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) in January 1985 and went on to learn how to fly the F-16 at MacDill AFB in Tampa, Fla. Upon graduation from F-16 training, he had numerous assignments throughout the world. He was stationed at Shaw AFB, South Carolina, Kunsan AB, Korea, Luke AFB, Arizona as an instructor pilot and his last assignment was at Tyndall AFB, Panama City, Fla., where he retired in August 2000 and promptly returned to the Chattanooga area to be near his parent’s and finish raising his youngest child, his son (Kyle).
Mark has over 2000hrs in the F-16, as well as over 1000hrs instructor time in both the F-16 and OV-10 aircraft. He has flown numerous military aircraft to include the T-37, T-38, OV-10 and F-16. Although he never flew the F-4 or F-15 operationally, he was qualified to give evaluation checkrides in these aircraft from the backseat during his last assignment at Tyndall AFB, Fla. Mark also has flown numerous civilian aircraft over the past 35 years, to numerous to mention. He is also part owner in a 1942 Boeing Stearman Biplane a WW2 primary trainer aircraft. Learn how to fly at his flight school and you will earn a ride in the 1942 Boeing Stearman after you get your license.
Mark married his childhood sweetheart at the age of 18 and has been married to the same woman (Mary Jo) for 33 years. He has 3 adult children (Nicole, Michelle and Kyle) who all live in the Chattanooga area.
Mark’s vast aviation experience cover’s a wide spectrum of aviation, from general aviation to military to commercial airline, making him an extremely valuable knowledge base to tap into if you are looking to pursue a career in aviation. Stop by and meet Mark and his staff of instructor’s. He has some of the most qualified instructor’s in the Chattanooga area working for him at Dallas Bay Skypark.