Meet the RBF Team



What we do:

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

During my annual Christmas Eve flight with Ted E. Bear & Rudolph!

During my annual Christmas Eve flight with Ted E. Bear & Rudolph!

Matt has been actively involved in the aviation community since he started taking flight lessons as a 13 year old. On his 16th birthday Matt made his first solo flight before going to get his driver’s permit! 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 Assistant Airport Manager at the Barnstable Municipal Airport (HYA) in Hyannis, Massachusetts. In 2013, Matt earned Associate Master Flight Instructor accreditation from the National Association of Flight Instructors and at that time he was one of two master-level instructors in Massachusetts until moving to Florida in 2015.

Prior to joining the team in Hyannis, Matt served as the first-ever Aviation Manager for the City of Tavares in Florida, “America’s Seaplane City” and also spent time as the Assistant Airport Manager at the New Bedford Regional Airport. Before going to New Bedford, Matt worked for many years as the Assistant Airport Manager, Operations Manager and Lead Flight Instructor for KING Aviation-Mansfield at the Mansfield Municipal Airport. During these years Mr. Elia also 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 from UMass Dartmouth. Matt remains active in the general aviation community as an FAA Safety Team Representative, and a member of the board of directors for the Massachusetts Airport Management Association. Matt has also had the honor of serving as a regional chief judge for the National Intercollegiate Flying Association three times. During 2018-19 Matt contributed to standing up a new EAA chapter at HYA, Chapter 51, of which he now serves as President. When he is not at the airport he is likely fishing at the Cape Cod Canal!

Follow Matt on Twitter: @MTElia1B9

Find Matt on LinkedIn: MTElia

Contributing Writers:

Tanya Estes, CFII


Tanya (right) flying in a DA-40 with her husband Ray.

Tanya has been flying for 30 years, having taken her first lesson in 1987.  She completed her first solo flight when she was 16 and earned her Private Pilot’s License a few months after her 17th birthday .  She attended Embry-Riddle in Daytona Beach for a year before being accepted to the United States Military Academy.  After graduating from West Point, she served as an AH-64A Apache pilot and was designated as an instructor pilot in 2001.  She has deployed in support of Operation Joint Forge to Bosnia and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Kuwait and Iraq.

Tanya earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (Aero) from the United States Military Academy in 1995, Master of Science in Computer Science from North Carolina State University in 2004, and a Ph.D. in Human-Centered Computing from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2012.  She has been on active duty in the US Army since 1995, and currently serves as the Information Technology Program Director at the United States Military Academy.  She is also the Officer-in-Charge of the West Point Flying Team, which competes in NIFA and non-NIFA events.

Tanya is an instrument rated commercial pilot, multi-engine land, single-engine land, and rotorcraft.  She is also a certified flight instructor (airplane and instrument), single-engine land, as well as an AH-64A instructor pilot for the US Army.  When she isn’t flying, she enjoys skiing, climbing, hiking and skydiving.

 Tom Nery


Tom with Pippa (his Cherokee 180) after flying from Mansfield, MA all the way to Catalina Island off the coast of California!

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 with his Archer at the Martha’s Vineyard airport!

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 Norwood Airport (OWD). 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


Mitch and his girlfriend Audra (both New England Patriots fans) flying on a chilly day!

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 a graduate of Bridgewater State University, fliers for a Part 135 jet operator and is the co-owner of a Part 135 air charter provider.

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

Pic 1

Brian Roman in the pilot seat of his MC-130J

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

Billy Smith, full time 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

Matt with his two little sisters after finishing an F-16 training course in Arizona.

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.

4 thoughts on “Meet the RBF Team

  1. Hey guys,

    I love the blog. This is a great resource for new pilots and I love that you guys are telling the truth without shading it.

    I have been flying for years and it is nice to re-connect to GA again. Thanks for what your doing, best wishes.

    • Hi Rob,

      Thank you for your comments! It is always great to hear from fellow aviation enthusiasts. I’m hoping that we will be delivering a steady stream of real content about real flying! Let me know if there are any topics you think we should mention in the future.


      Matt (@MTElia1B9)

      • I am less enthusiast and more participant in the aviation community. But I have very enthusiastic about those who are starting out in the aviation world.

        I would encourage you to check out this lady. She is a fellow blogger, published author, passionate advocate for general aviation as well as her day job of United Airbus FO. If you like what she does and cares to contact her, tell her I sent you to her.

      • Great to hear you’re a fellow active participant in the aviation community! I have been following Karlene’s blog and following her on Twitter for some time, I agree- she’s very passionate about aviation! An inspiration for us all!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s