When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. ~ Henry Ford

Meet Our Crew

Mark Schmitt

Owner, Flight Instructor, Mechanic

Hi Everyone I’m Mark Schmitt, owner of Sparta Aviation Services. I’ve been a flight instructor for over 30 years and teaching at Sparta airport for over 10 years. In addition to flight instruction, I also work as an A&P mechanic fixing our planes, and as a Designated Pilot examiner doing check rides for new private pilots. When not working at Sparta Airport I am an American Airlines Boeing-787 captain. I look forward to talking with you about learning to Fly.

Jake Miedema

Flight Instructor

Hi my name is Jake Miedema. I’m 29 and I have been an aviation enthusiast since I can remember, but a certified flight instructor for almost 2 years now with Sparta aviation. I was trained as a private pilot at Sparta and continued my aviation education in Nashville Tennessee where I achieved my cfii! When I’m not flying I enjoy fishing and spending time with my wife and two beautiful daughters!

Andy Koopman

Flight Instructor

Andy Koopman is one of our four flight instructors. He is married with two adult “kids”. He has accomplished his CFI, CSEL, CMEL, Instrument Rating, Tailwheel, and High Performance Endorsement. Some of his goals in aviation are to get his seaplane rating, local passenger transport, cargo transport, or executive transport but always staying focused on general aviation and the joy with it!

Gabe Quinn

Flight Instructor

Hey future pilots! My name is Gabe Quinn, and I’m a flight instructor here at Sparta. I took my first discovery flight with Mark when I was 16, and have been hooked ever since. I received my training and education from Florida Institute of Technology. My goals are to have fun, train pilots, and someday fly big and fast airplanes. My favorite flights are when we fly at night, in and out of clouds, and to cool destinations for lunch. Can’t wait to fly with you!