Our School & Programs >> Providence Staff
Jon Meyers

Jon was introduced to aviation by his grandfather who took him flying for the first time when he was only two years old. He spent some time in airplanes growing up, but earning a pilot’s license seemed like an impossible dream and he never had the opportunity to pursue formal flight training. He rekindled his love for flying in February of 2016 when he came to Horizon for an Airman’s Flight and was immediately hooked. 

The passion and professionalism displayed by the Horizon Aviation staff and instructors resonated strongly with him and he was thrilled when given an opportunity to join the team in July 2016. Prior to coming to Horizon, Jon spent several years as manager at a non-profit organization in the sailing industry.

Jon is a graduate of Hobart & William Smith Colleges and currently lives in Newport, Rhode Island.

Vicky Kuo
Chief Flight Instructor

Vicky is a mother of four and a former researcher at Rhode Island Hospital. For Christmas 2005, she received a gift certificate to fly at Horizon. She had been up in the air in a GA aircraft once 20 years ago, but hadn't been up since. She finally used her certificate in October 2006. Little did she know she was going to have a life changing experience...the day after her first lesson, she went in for her second. By her third lesson she was completely hooked. 

When Vicky asked Zeke how she could fly more she learned that as a career student she could fly the most. Vicky was at a point in her life where she needed a change and flying was exactly what she was looking for. She has being flying about 30 hours a month - as often as she can. 

What hooked her? "It was just the incredible feeling of taking off; it's hard to describe in words."

On Horizon: "the staff are wonderful, they treat you really well, they treat you like family, I feel like it is a cohesive group [at Horizon]. If you have any questions you can turn to any instructor, and at any moment they will drop what they are doing and answer your questions."

"What does being a pilot mean to me? It means learning to fly new airplanes and to new places. It mean flying into the Washington DC SFRA or the New York City Corridor. It means flying to Oshkosh and landing on the orange dot one year and the green one the next or taking the warbird arrival. But most importantly, it means sharing these experiences with other pilots. So what is the newest adventure? This month it is learning to fly acro in an open cockpit biplane and the high performance Marchetti. This is what it means to be a pilot."

Bill Burke
Flight Instructor

Bill was 6 years old when his parents took him to White Plains, NY airport. They watched the planes take off and land. He wouldn’t leave the airport without touching a plane. Once he touched the plane, he was hooked…Bill wanted to fly! When he was 14 years old, he had his first airplane ride from Providence to Bradley International on Allegheny Airlines. He was hooked! Years later, while running a successful business and raising his family, Bill took flying lessons. In 1986, he got his private pilot license. Since then, he has received his instrument rating, commercial pilot license and is a certified flight instructor with an instrument rating. Bill is now helping others achieve their dream to fly!

Scott McCoy
Flight Instructor

As a child, Scott’s favorite toy was his Tonka airplane. Looking back, Scott guesses he always knew he wanted to be a pilot. It wasn’t until Scott experienced an introductory flight at Providence airport that he was hooked and began to move towards his childhood dream. As many people experience after their introductory flight, he wanted to and pursued training for his private pilot licenses. It wasn’t enough for Scott to just have a private pilot license; he knew he had to attain the rest of the pilot certificates that would help him get closer to his dream. This led to a flight school in Oklahoma, and not long after Scott completed his training, he had the opportunity of being a flight instructor at Horizon Aviation. Scott has had many experiences in the airline industry from first becoming a first officer then captain of a regional airline –eventually leading to an On Demand Charter company. Ironically, after 8 years of experience, Scott is back here at New Horizon Aviation – the place where his dreams began to come to fruition. This alone should be an indication of what a great company Horizon is!

Seth Griffin 
Flight Instructor

Seth’s passion for aviation started when he was little.  Growing up right next to KPVD had him around aircraft all his childhood and attending a local airshow had him hooked for life.  He knew for sure that flying is what he wanted to do.  From then on, Seth was building model kits of aircraft and finding out everything he could about flying.  Seth attended Daniel Webster College in 2006 and majored in Aviation Flight Operations and Aviation Management with a focus in corporate aviation, graduating in 2011.  During that time he had worked for Horizon Aviation as a ramp agent while the company was still at KPVD Hangar 1.  During college, he earned his PPL, Instrument Rating, and started his CPL. After college Seth moved back home to finish his Commercial with Horizon Aviation.  At the same time, he was hired by FedEx Express as a material handler working on the Boeing 727, 757, and Cessna 208B Cargomaster.  Seth’s long-term goal is to become a pilot for FedEx flying international long-haul routes in the Boeing 777F. After finishing his CPL, Seth started training for his CFI with Horizon and that brings his story up to the present. 

Seth has found that being a CFI is both rewarding and a ton of fun.  Being a CFI has it’s challenges, but overall it is a very gratifying experience.  Not only does he have the best office view in the world, but Seth gets to have fun while training, and shows his students the potential they have for doing great things in aviation.  His background in flight, ground ops, and aviation management allows his passion for aviation to be easily translated through his instruction and acts as encouragement and motivation to students.

Heather Thibedeau
Flight Instructor

Heather grew up watching WWII dogfights on the History Channel with her father. Something about the way the planes appeared to dance against the clouds fascinated her. Years later on a vacation in Upper State New York, Heather had the opportunity to fly a small Cessna. The feeling of taking off for the first time was indescribable and I couldn’t stop smiling. Aviation became her obsession. She found Horizon through a local college program and after years of hard work, her once seemingly unreachable dream became reality. Words cannot express how much Heather loves flying with these instructors, whom over the cause of a few summers, have become her second family. Heather hopes to share her passion of flying with her students and make their every lesson enjoyable, just like her first time in an airplane.

Riki Kataoka
Flight Instructor

Riki grew up in Tokyo, Japan, where he used to race around the neighborhood on his bicycle against his friends. As long as he can remember, he had a fascination towards fast moving vehicles like cars, motorcycles, and airplanes. He used to enjoy the family vacation overseas, part of the reason being the airplane ride, for which he always claimed the window seat.

Flying airplanes became his dream after a long flight from Japan to the United States when the captain of the airplane invited him to the cockpit. He sat on the captain’s seat, looked around at all the the instruments, and decided he wanted to be like the captain right behind him.

He attended Bridgewater State University for his flight training, and now as a CFI he plans to inspire and spread the love of flight to the next generation of pilots.


Zeke Valtz

Zeke has owned and operated Horizon Aviation since 2002. He is an experienced pilot and instructor, with seven FAA licenses and qualifications including all CFI licenses and has  the Airline Transport Pilot License. Unsatisfied with the corporate world where he was an executive, Zeke decided to pursue his passion of flying and dreamt of operating a flight school. He has brought his diverse business knowledge to bear at Horizon. The student's customer service experience is his foremost consideration. Under his watchful eye, the quality of instruction is consistent and top-notch.

You are always welcome to contact Zeke and ask him how you can start flying with Horizon Aviation. Zeke flies a Twin Comanche and lives in Providence, Rhode Island.