Matthew Miller was born in Salem, Oregon, on March 5, 1973. After graduating high school, Matt attended Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana, where he obtained a bachelor’s of aeronautical science degree, with a minor in business administration specializing in mathematics. He was a flight team captain with the National Intercollegiate Flying Association during his college years. He moved to Mesa, Arizona, in October 1996 to be a flight instructor with Superstition Air Service (SAS), which later became Falcon Executive Aviation Inc. in June 1999.
Matt’s personal and work family were very important to him. He was very dedicated and cared deeply for his wife, Jacqy, aunts, cousins, and stepchildren. He would always rise to the occasion when asked for help. Matt loved to hike the Salt River area on the Tonto National Forest. Matt had many gifts, one being that he could make you feel calm and at ease.
Matt loved teaching students and held multiple positions in the flight school as well as within the 135 charter operations, including chief flight instructor (gold seal), advanced ground instructor, flight school manager, 135-line pilot, company check airman, safety officer, USFS air attack pilot, USFS air attack pilot instructor, and FAA designated pilot examiner. He holds a master CFI through the National Association of Flight Instructors.
Matt has trained hundreds, as well as issued licenses to hundreds as an FAA designated pilot examiner. He has natural talent for flying that he pursued with all his heart. He truly loved every aspect of the industry. His students and coworkers reiterated the sentiment that his knowledge, skill, and overall presence was one that made flight something they could love. He was always available 24/7 to answer questions, texts, and calls from students and professionals alike.
His love of flying USFS air attack missions was evident whenever you saw him on duty. His knowledge of Forest Service policies and procedures, tactics, fire behavior, and aircraft was at the highest levels. He was a walking aviation encyclopedia.
Matt is survived by his wife, Jacqy, and his two stepchildren, Ammon and Verity. Matt will be sorely missed by these loved ones and countless others whose lives he touched.