199 Airport Road

Sanford, Maine 04073

Open 7 days a week from 7 AM to 5 PM

Open until 7 PM from Memorial Day through Labor Day



Instructors at Southern Maine Aviation


Our Flight Instructors have decades of experience and the patience to help you learn to fly, whether your goal is an aviation career or a hobby.


Andrew Button
Chief Flight Instructor

Andrew began flying in 1997 and received his instructors rating in 2002. He has flown a variety of light aircraft and twin engine turbo props.

Andrew recently relocated back to Maine and enjoys many outdoor activities.

John Gary
Flight Instructor

John has nearly 30 years of experience as a flight instructor and is also an FAA designated pilot examiner. He holds an ATP certificate and ratings for single and multi engine land, tailwheel, instrument, and single engine sea. He is also an FAA Safety Team representative and was 2009 CFI of the year for the region. His favorite movie is Top Gun.

Sue Tholen
Flight Instructor

Sue has been a flight instructor for 9 years, and holds ratings for single engine land and sea, tailwheel, multi-engine and instrument. She has to work at a 'real' job during the week but can be found just about any weekend at the airport. Sue is an FAA Safety Team Representative and was the 2010 CFI of the year for the region.

Rich Whicker
Flight Instructor

Rich has been a flight instructor for over 30 years and learned to fly before he could drive. He holds an ATP certificate with ratings for single and multi-engine land and sea, tailwheel, instrument, and even has a Lear type rating!

Roberto Brandao
Flight Instructor

Roberto works in IT during the week and flies with Southern Maine on the weekends. He recently completed both his instrument instructor rating (CFII) as well as his multi-engine instructor ratings, a tailwheel endorsement, and helicopter certificate. Roberto was honored as the Portland FSDO District CFI of the Year 2016!


Mike Sasche

Flight Instructor

Mike recieved his pilots license October 1971 at a grass field and received his tail wheel endorsement in 2011.

Mike flew during his military career in the Air Force, flying 02's, C123's and C130's.


Paul Hodak

Flight Instructor