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We deliver the highest quality content for aviation enthusiasts across the skies. Whether it is informational or opinion-based, what is shared by ReviewBeforeFlight is written to be original, creative and thought-provoking
Matthew T. Elia, MBA, CFI – Managing Editor & Writer
Matt has been actively involved in the aviation community since he was a young teenager. He started taking flight lessons at 13 and made his first solo flight on his 16th birthday! Matt then worked as a “line kid” at the local airport during his first three years of college and as a flight instructor during his senior year. Presently, Matt works as the Aviation Manager for “America’s Seaplane City,” Tavares, Florida. He holds an Associate Master Flight Instructor accreditation from the National Association of Flight Instructors. Prior to moving to Florida in November of 2015, Matt was one of two master-level instructors in Massachusetts.
Prior to joining the team at the FA1 seaplane base, Matt served as the Assistant Airport Manager at the New Bedford Regional Airport. During his time at EWB, Matt spent a great deal of time working with based tenants, overseeing large-scale capital projects and developing the airport’s marketing efforts. Before going to New Bedford, Matt worked as the Assistant Airport Manager, Operations Manager and Lead Flight Instructor for KING Aviation-Mansfield at the Mansfield Municipal Airport. Additionally, Mr. Elia taught aviation management courses at both Bridgewater State University and Daniel Webster College.
Matt holds a Bachelor’s degree in aviation from Bridgewater State (then College) University and an MBA degree from UMass Dartmouth. Matt tries to give back to the aviation community whenever possible. Mr. Elia enjoys volunteering as an FAA Safety Team Representative as well as a competition judge for the National Intercollegiate Flying Association. Matt is also a member of the Bridgewater State University Aviation Advisory Board, a volunteer group that helps shape the future of the aviation program at BSU by providing industry insight. When he is not at the seaplane base he is likely taking pictures, golfing or fishing!
Follow Matt on Twitter: @MTElia1B9
Find Matt on LinkedIn: MTElia
Tanya Estes, CFII
Tom is an instrument-rated private pilot and long-time aircraft owner. Tom works in the “tech” industry during the week and flies primarily after work for dinner and on the weekends, in addition to various long-distance trips throughout the year. During 2013, Tom flew his Cherokee 180 all the way from Massachusetts to California, completing a true cross country flight!
Tom keeps his Cherokee 180 at the Mansfield Airport (1B9), where he learned to fly in the early 2000’s. In addition to being an aviation enthusiast, Tom is a proud MG owner. Previously, Tom brought us the PilotGEEK weather briefer, which he offered for over 7 years. In fact Tom’s blog is where Matt got his start writing, doing monthly aviation-themed boor reviews!
Jim Quinn, CFI
Jim is a flight instructor and commercial pilot in fixed wing aircraft; he also has private pilot helicopter privileges. During the week Jim is an Administration VP in the banking industry and on the weekends he enjoys flying his Archer and doing some flight instruction. For many years Jim taught Private Pilot ground schools and provided flight instruction at two flight schools at Norwood Memorial Airport, then at Mansfield Municipal Airport.
Jim has owned three airplanes, including his current aircraft a beautiful Piper Archer, based at the Mansfield Municipal Airport (1B9). Jim’s teaching experience goes far beyond the airport, he has taught undergraduate and graduate level courses for the University of Phoenix (online) and Emmanuel College (in person).
Mitchell Roberts is a commercial pilot, working for an air charter operator at the Norwood Memorial Airport. Previously, got his start in aviation as a line representative at the Mansfield Airport (1B9) for KING Aviation-Mansfield doing everything from cutting the grass runway to fueling aircraft. Additionally, Mitch is an aviation management student at Bridgewater State University.
Mitch also served as an intern for the Massachusetts Airport Management Association. Through his work and studies Mitch has gained a great deal of knowledge on aviation. Similarly, Mitch is an expert “eater,” which makes him perfect to write monthly Northeast US airport (or close by to an airport) restaurant reviews!
Brian Roman grew up in Texas during the first half of his life, and then moved to Ellington, Connecticut where he graduated high school. His first taste of flying came on his 15th birthday when his parents got him flying lessons. After the first lesson, and like with everyone who has their first lesson, he was forever hooked. After high school, he attended Bridgewater State University and graduated with a degree in political science and a minor in aviation, obtaining his private pilot’s license and instrument rating.
While in college, Brian joined the Air Force Reserve and became a crew chief on the mighty C-5B Galaxy, where he continued working for 2 years after graduating from BSU. He applied to the Air Force’s Officer Training School to become a pilot, and left in May 2013 for officer school. After commissioning from OTS, he arrived at Laughlin AFB, TX for undergraduate pilot training and received his wings in February 2015 with an assignment to fly the MC-130J for Air Force Special Operations Command. Brian currently resides in Little Rock, AR and is awaiting his follow-on assignment to New Mexico to finish his flying training.
Billy Smith, CFI
Billy Smith is first officer for Cape Air Airlines. prior to being hired by Cape Air, Billy was a flight instructor for Bridgewater State University. He has completed the University’s Aviation Management & Flight programs. While attending Bridgewater State, Billy was a bus driver, trainer, and manager at the University’s transportation department. Along with working on campus, Mr. Smith held a summer job working at Logan Intl. Airport as a cross-trained ramp agent for Cape Air/Nantucket Airlines. Mr. Smith is passionately obsessed with aviation, and can’t get his hands on enough of it. In his spare time, Billy is an avid gear head. He loves to tear things apart with his hands to learn how different mechanical parts operate. He also loves the outdoors, and traveling as much as he can. Billy is a participant in the FAASTeam Wings program illustrating his desire to always be better,
Matt Wetherbee grew up in Franklin, Massachusetts and started flying with his dad when he was a toddler. He grew up loving aviation and started working towards a private pilot certificate at King Aviation in Mansfield during his senior year of high school. He got his ticket a week before his first class at Worcester Polytechnic Institute but managed to keep flying regularly while working at 1B9 over the summers during college. While at WPI, Matt participated in the Air Force ROTC program and went to Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas after graduation for USAF undergraduate pilot training. Matt graduated pilot training in 2012 and was selected to fly the F-16. He attended the F-16 basic course at Luke AFB in Arizona, then went to Kunsan AB, Korea for his first assignment out of training. There he was assigned to the 35FS. He is currently stationed at Aviano AB, Italy, flying the F-16 for the 510FS.