Ted Miller began his aviation career in the summer of 1965 soloing at the age of 16. Received his Commercial certificate in 1968 at AG Aviation Academy in Reno. After Viet Nam he used the GI bill to obtain his multi engine, instrument, CFI and glider rating at Clinton Aviation in Denver. He has logged 10000+ hours flying charters, flight instruction, fire patrol, wild life survey, and power line patrol. During that time he received his A&P and FAA Inspection Authorization certificates. Sept 1993 he open his own general aviation maintenance facility, Black Hills Aero. He is founder and president of the South Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame.
Tom Broadhurst joined Black Hills Aero in 1993 and did all the fabrication of the fuselage jig. Today he is the “fabric guy”. His workmanship has produced Oshkosh Award winning aircraft. He also holds a Commercial, instrument and multi engine rating.
Butch Oien received his A&P rating at Cheyenne Aerotech in 1985. He had worked on the South Dakota family farm and farm implement business. He has been working in the aviation industry for the last 30 years and is an aircraft owner.
After growing up on a small buffalo ranch south of Aberdeen, SD, Derek attended Black Hills State University where he receive a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. After college, he and his wife Hannah decided they would like to serve overseas someday as missionaries through aviation. Therefore, Derek returned to school and received an Associate’s Degree in Aircraft Maintenance Technology, including an Airframe and Powerplant certificate, from Lake Area Technical University. He was the recipient of the South Dakota Pilots Association Aviation Maintenance Technology Scholarship. Since then, he has been working for Black Hills Aero as an A&P on general aviation aircraft. Through Black Hills Aero, he has helped maintain and rebuild several Cessnas, Pipers, and other small aircraft. He also has his private pilot license and enjoys flying many of the aircraft which they maintain and rebuild. Derek, Hannah, and their son Isaac still plan to work as missionaries someday, but are enjoying living and working in the Black Hills for now.
J.D. grew up in the Northern Black Hills area. Aviation runs in his family, which inspired him to pursue a career in aviation. After attending South Dakota State University pursuing an engineering degree, he transferred to Lake Area Technical Institute. Following his graduation with an Associate’s Degree in Aircraft Maintenance Technology, including Airframe and Powerplant Maintenance certification, J.D. resumed his studies at SDSU and was employed as an aircraft mechanic for their flight training department, including Garmin G1000 equipped aircraft. He completed flight training and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Aviation, specializing in maintenance management. He and his wife Kyli decided to move their growing family to Pierre, SD where J.D. worked as an aircraft mechanic on general aviation aircraft, as well as multiengine and turbine aircraft. Once obtaining his Inspection Authorization, J.D. moved his family home to the Spearfish area, employed by Black Hills Aero. Kyli along with their children Tabor, Tate, and Josie love visits to Black Hills Aero to see the many airplanes. Currently, J.D. is completing training for commercial pilot and flight instructor.
James’s parents owned thirty five acres of property outside of Belle Fourche where he grew up. He was always interested in aviation but was unsure he could ever pursue this as a career. James’s interest in aviation provoked a friend to bring him to Clyde Ice airport where he got to ride in a Piper Super Cub restored and flown by Ted Miller. As learned about piloting he was captivated and looked forward to flying again. On the Christmas break of 2015 he visited Black Hills Aero in search of a part-time job while he finished high school. James asserts that he greatly benefited in character and education from working in the field of aviation. James wants to go to Lake Area Tech to get his A&P and move to Alaska someday. Currently, James is pursuing a private pilot certificate, with the aid of the EAA 806 flight training scholarship.