When student becomes teacher


Last updated 10/25/2022 at Noon


Max Tintle is a flight instructor, set on his flight path through programs at Sisters High School and Outlaw Aviation.

“Many of the kids who enroll in the flight science classes are curious about flying, but Max is one of the few who are passionate about it, really committed,” Sam Monte of Outlaw Aviation told The Nugget.

He was describing Max Tintle, a 2019 Sisters High School graduate. Tintle completed the academic course work, and “with huge support from my parents” got enough inflight hours to earn his pilot’s license.

Even at reduced rates for students in the school’s Outlaw Aviation Academy, the cost of building enough flight hours is steep. Now, Tintle is himself a CFI — Certified Flight Instructor —with Leading Edge Aviation in Bend. He currently has six students under his tutelage.

Tintle holds a CFII certificate, meaning he can instruct pilots seeking their instrument rating.

Tintle strikes an observer as being just what you’d want in a pilot, or more so a flight instructor — calmness. Think about teaching your teenagers to drive and then multiply that by a factor of 10. Keeping your own anxiety in check is no mean feat.

He speaks evenly, factually, no embellishments. You’d have no trouble trusting him with your life, which at some point his students must do.

The program at Sisters High School, somewhat unique in the country, describes itself this way: “The Outlaw Aviation Academy is a unique experience for high school students to earn credits and gain real- world experience through the lens of aviation. Students participating in the academy can begin building skills and gaining knowledge necessary for a career in aviation while in high school.”

Tintle “can’t imagine being where I am today without the program.” Or without hometown Outlaw Aviation, which has suspended its operations this September pending a reconfiguration.

Monte said: “We’re trying to figure out how to make this sustainable, financially viable.”

That includes the possibility of relaunching as a not-for-profit, perhaps community owned or foundation granted.

Outlaw Aviation is owned and operated by Monte and Walt Lasecki, both military veteran officers with a desire to lead and educate students who share a passion of flight. Outlaw Aviation has partnered with the school, the school’s foundation, and Sisters Eagle Airport, as well as numerous private donors.

Putting airplanes into the air is expensive, fuel being just one of the major coats. Interestingly the day we interviewed Tintle, our community airport was exceptionally busy as pilots from the region dropped in to gas up at $5.80 a gallon, the lowest price in Oregon. It’s well over $7 in Bend and Sun River, and in California some gas prices are approaching $11.

Benny Benson, who with his wife, Julie, owns Eagle Airport, jokes that he hasn’t figured out how to change the price gauge. In fact, they are intentionally keeping the price where it is as a public service.

Tintle’s employer, Leading Edge, has operated for 20 years. Their Flight Academy turns out pilots for, among others, Skywest and Horizon Air. Skywest provides planes and crews for the smaller, regional markets served by Delta and United. Horizon is the regional arm of Alaska Air.

They train for both winged aircraft and helicopters. Tintle is one of 26 instructors for the company.

From Sisters High School, Tintle went to COCC in Redmond and earned an associate’s degree in aeronautics. Continuing his own career advancement, he is a remote student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. U.S. News & World Report named Embry-Riddle No.1 in three separate categories, and in the top 10 overall.

Tintle, in his measured, steadfast manner, doesn’t have a master plan with a defined end goal, such as flying a large commercial jet for a prestigious international carrier. He is incremental in his approach, taking one career step at a time.


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