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World class and razor focused. Meet your faculty.

Instructors at the Institute of Aviation—with decades of combined flight mastery—provide rigorous, hands-on training to give you the critical experience and knowledge to succeed.

Director
To be announced.

Chief Pilot
Don Talleur
217/353-2171
dtalleur@parkland.edu
Donald is our assistant chief flight instructor, a team leader, and a check pilot who’s been flying for over 30 years—and instructing at the Institute for 24 years. Along with his role as flight instructor, Don holds an airline transport pilot certificate with commercial sea-plane privileges. He graduated from UIUC with a bachelor’s degree in business and a master’s in engineering psychology. Over the last 26 years, Don’s worked on numerous research projects with the University of Illinois, specializing in aviation training and flight simulation research. Don also worked for five years as an aircraft ferry pilot, which helped him gain experience in over 50 types of aircraft (that’s right—50!). In his spare time, Don enjoys walking, bicycling, playing the piano, and woodworking.

Flight Instructors:

Aaron Applebee
217/353-2171

Mandy Briggs
217/353-2171
abriggs@parkland.edu
Mandy started flying in August 2001 at the Institute of Aviation, and graduated from UIUC in December 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in general engineering. Mandy’s worked in several areas of aviation including flight instruction, flight department, and even aerial photography! She began instructing at the Institute in August 2014. In her spare time, she enjoys boating, traveling, and keeping up with her two daughters. Fun fact: Our fearless Mandy has also climbed the Sydney Harbor Bridge.
 
Henry Fineberg
217/353-2171
hfineberg@parkland.edu
Henry earned his Private Pilot license in 2009 from UIUC. He graduated in 2010 with a degree in Earth Systems, Environment, and Society. After College he worked as a glacial geologist before deciding to finish his flight training and become a flight instructor. His hobbies include: flying his kite, backpacking, rock climbing, and trying to keep up with Bill Jones in running. His goal is to become an airline pilot and is trying to find a way to combine it with his love of the natural sciences and teaching. 

Bill Jones
217/353-2171
wjones@parkland.edu
Bill’s been a full-time flight instructor at the Institute since August 1993. He joined after his retirement from the Marine Corps, where he spent 21 years on active duty, served in Desert Storm, and retired as a Lt. Col. His Marine Corps specialty was Bombardier/Navigator in the A6E Intruder, but early in his career he served as an artillery officer. Bill’s accumulated 12,000 flight hours in 45 different types of aircraft—ranging from gliders through tactical Marine Corps jets. He holds a multi-engine airline transport pilot rating, plus commercial privileges in singe engine aircraft and gliders. He also holds flight instructor ratings for single-engine, multi-engine, instrument airplanes, and gliders in addition to advanced and instrument ground instructor certificates (whew!). Bill is an avid runner and enjoys playing his banjo—he’s known as “Banjo Bill, The Almost Pretty Good.”

Shanita Polk
217/353-2171
spolk@parkland.edu
Shanita took her very first flight at the Institute of Aviation in August of 2008. While at the Institute, she received all of her certificates and ratings including private, commercial, instrument, multi engine, flight instructor and flight instructor with instrument. In 2013, she graduated with a Bachelor's in Aviation Human Factors and left to instruct in Maryland. Later, she flight instructed in Chicago and most recently in Rantoul. She picked up a job as an aerial photography pilot where she had the opportunity of flying into Canada and Puerto Rico! Eventually, she made her way back to the Institute of Aviation as a full time instructor in 2017. When she isn't instructing, she loves spending time with her family, kicking butt in video games, and educating the youth about the joys of aviation.

Don Talleur
217/353-2171
dtalleur@parkland.edu

Ed Tirpack
217/353-2171 



Staff:
Dave Adkisson
Technical Support Specialist
217/244-8608
dadkisson@parkland.edu
 
Wendy Evans
Aviation Recruiter
217/244-8616
wevans@parkland.edu
 
Clark Sorensen
Administrative Assistant
217/353-2171
csorensen@parkland.edu

Parkland College