Flight Instructors


Deanna McAlister 517-851-7047 or email at zirconmoon@hotmail.com

Deanna is the one of the founding members of Spartan Wings, Inc. She started flying at age 15 and soloed 6 days after her 16th birthday. She flew freight commercially in MU-2s, BE-8Ts and Learjets, and even worked as a powerplant mechanic, mainly on Learjet CJ610 engines. Deanna came back to her passion for instructing in 1999, and subsequently founded Zircon Aviation Services, LLC in 2001. She received her training above her private certificate at Lansing Community College. She is also a member of EAA Chapter 55 at KTEW, and owns a 1960 Cessna 172A (aka “Tula”).

FAA Certificates/Ratings:

  • Commercial Single Engine Land (SEL), Single Engine Sea (SES) and Multiengine Land (MEL)
  • Certified Flight Instructor, CFI Instrument, and Advanced Ground Instructor (AGI)
  • Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic

Hourly Rate: $45/Hobbs-hour

Keith Byrd CFI (Basic), CFII (Instrument), CFI-ME (Multi Engine), ATP (Airline Transport Pilot), Advanced Ground Instructor, Flight Engineer Turbojet.

“Retirement Day Dec 2019”

Keith Byrd, who started at TWA, recently retired as captain from American Airlines after 31 years and is now the chief pilot for a commercial construction company in western Michigan managing and flying twin Cessnas. During his airline career, Keith accumulated 3 jet type ratings and served as a training flight manager in the New York base. Managing instructors on three fleets allowed him to be part of the team that ferried Boeing 727’s across the Atlantic for the international bases.

Never being far away from general aviation during the entire time, Keith flew Part 135 single pilot IFR on days off as well as continued to flight instruct from 1986 to present. He has owned an aerial advertising company flying banners around the country and gave many tail wheel checkouts to the pilots working there. Over the years, he has also taught Private, Instrument and Multi-Engine ground schools.

After the 9/11 attacks, Keith taught full time in Archers during an airline furlough in 2003-2004 which lead to a corporate job in 2005-2006 until recalled to American Airlines in 2007. As a former Spartan Wings member himself, we welcome Keith as one of our club instructors. Call or Text: (248) 842-7664

Matt Weddon Certificates/Ratings: Commercial Multi-Engine Land, CFI, CFII

Matt is an active flight instructor teaching at the primary, instrument, and commercial levels. He’s a 2017 graduate of Michigan State University, and looks forward to flying with you!

Call or text: (269) 364-4764

Email: mweddon@gmail.com