Meet the Crew...
We staff experienced pilots and professionals to meet your aviation and flight training needs from all walks of life. Below, you will find some background about our instructors and staff, including their aviation training and experience.
Tim Epperhart
Chief Flight Instructor & Owner

Tim started flying as a hobby in 1994 here in Cincinnati, never dreaming it would turn into a career. In 2001, he completed his tail wheel endorsement, instrument rating, commercial certificate and his initial CFI certificate. He started teaching part time with Pro Aero at Butler County Regional Airport (KHAO) and remained there when Empower Aviation purchased the school in 2007. During his time at BCRA, he added his instrument instructors rating, multi-engine commercial and multi-engine instructors ratings. In early 2008, he was promoted to Flight School Coordinator, and eventually was given the Chief Instructors position later that year. In Feb 2010, he accepted the opportunity to purchase the school after it had moved up to Middletown Regional Airport (KMWO), where it currently operates.

When asked how he felt after the purchase, he stated, "I've been given a great opportunity. We are located on a great airport. I have a great staff and we have a great program that can help people achieve their dreams of flying. I have been given a number of breaks and lots of help from my friends over the years to get me here. I haven't forgotten it. This is my chance to pay some of that forward."
Frances Mead
Assistant Chief Flight Instructor

Frances is a home grown pilot. All of her training was done in the southwest Ohio area at Butler County Regional Airport (KHAO). She started flying in January 2003 and earned her Instrument Rating, Commercial Pilot Certificate and her initial Certificated Flight Instructor Certificate (and CFII) by 2006. In 2008, she added her Multi-Engine Commercial Rating and Multi-Engine Instructors Rating. Much of her training was given by our current Chief Instructor, Tim Epperhart, and she has been part of the MRFTI family since it's founding--offering knowledge and fascination of flying to our students.

Says Mead, "I am an instructor because I love to fly and I love to teach. My desire to fly came later in life. I caught the bug after an air combat experience in September 2002. I finally knew what I wanted to be when I grew up."
Calvin Johnson
Flight Instructor

Calvin started receiving his flight training when he was in high school in 2003 at Butler County Regional Airport with Tim Epperhart as his instructor. In 2007, he began attending The University of Cincinnati where he recieved his Private Pilot Certificate, Instrument Rating, and Commercial Pilot Certificate. After graduation, he went to MRFTI and, with Tim Epperhart as his instructor once again, he recieved his Multi-Engine Rating. After being offered a job with MRFTI as a customer service representative, he continued his training with MRFTI to earn his Flight Instructor Certificate in 2011. In 2012, he continued further in his training and earned his Instrument Instructor Certificate.

When asked why he chose Aviation, he said, "I have always been fascinated with Aviation since I was a kid. I took an airplane ride once in high school... and that same day I decided to start my training. I enjoy seeing people achieve their goals, and I always encourage people to pursue their dreams. For me, being a flight instructor is all about providing a safe and fun environment for my students."
Joel Lansford
Flight Instructor

In May 2007, Joel began his flight instruction in the TH-67 Helicopter with the US Army--including the Basic Warfighter Skill course, learning to fly a few feet above the trees while navigating to assigned coordinates and evading enemy fire. Between 2009 and 2011, after earning many Rotorcraft Certificates and Ratings, he began his Fixed-Wing training and earned his Airplane (Single-Engine Land) Private Private Pilot Certificate, Instrument Rating, as well as his Commercial Pilot, CFI, and CFII Certificates for ASEL. Going even further, he also earned his Multi-Engine Rating and Multi-Engine Instructor Certificates. He also earned his High Performance, Complex, and Tail Wheel endorsements, just before rounding out his Rotorcraft skills with his Instrument Instructor Rating in that category.

According to Lansford: "Every time my Dad went to work flying for Delta, I wished I could go up with him. My Aviation opportunity came when I earned an ROTC scholarship. Most of my Aviation experience is from the military. I'm not sure if they know they are actually paying me to fly. I would prefer to keep this a secret, so I can continue to enjoy turning jet fuel into noise. My favorite part of instructing is the ability to introduce someone to the excitement of being in command of an aircraft."
Dennis Epperhart
Administrator & College Program Advisor

Dennis first went wheels-up when he was 8 years old, right after his father earned his Private Pilot's Certificate at Clermont County Airport. Since then, he has had a fascination with flying and hoped to one day earn his private license for fun. He never thought that Aviation would become a career. In 2011, he began working for our company after volunteering at the Warbird Museum at Middletown, Ohio. Later that year, he was sent to Springfield, Ohio (KSGH) to bring the school's location there up and running. Today, he manages our KSGH location and serves as our on-staff College Program Advisor. He is an honor student at Clark State, and is majoring in Aviation Technology (right here with us). Dennis earned his Private Pilot Certificate in July 2012, and is currently working on his Instrument Rating.

His outlook: "When I learned that I could earn my wings through college, I was excited. Learning to fly has been one of the greatest accomplishments in my life, and it is still getting better. Working with other students and pilots has given me a great sense of purpose and I look forward to earning my Instructor's Certificate. I believe I'll do well, since I'll be teaching what I love."
  Online Scheduling Copyright MRFTI, LLC 2013