Eric "Spinner" Smith

Eric “Spinner” Smith – CFI, CFII, MEI Director of Instrument Training

3700 fighter jet flight hours

Eric Smith graduated from Sam Houston State University with a bachelor’s degree in business. He is a certified SCUBA diver and experienced skydiver. Eric is also a very accomplished golfer having gone to college on a golf scholarship and currently has a 1 handicap.

He earned his private pilot license his senior year at Sam Houston State. After graduation in 1976, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the US Marine Corps and competed initial pilot training at Pensacola Naval Air Station. His first operational flying assignment was with VMA-214, the famous Black Sheep Squadron, flying a-4s.

His next assignment was to T-2 Buckeye as an advanced jet instructor for three years. From there, Eric transitioned to the AV-8B Harrier with the VMA-542 Tigers flying operational missions in the Pacific theater. He was then returned to training as an advanced AV-8B instructor at Cherry Point, MCAS.

Eric’s last assignment was as Officer –In-Charge of Marine Aircraft Support Detachment at New Orleans, Louisiana. He flew administrative missions an instructed in the T-39 and C-12 aircraft.

In 2000, Eric retired with 3700 flight hours, having served 23 years. He has an FAA Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) certificate with Single Engine, Multi-Engine (MEI), and Instrument (CFII) privileges. He is a full-time instructor with GCFTA and Director of Instrument Training.