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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.

Chief Pilot
Don Talleur
Donald is our Chief Pilot/Chief Flight Instructor, who’s been flying for over 30 years—and instructing at the Institute for 26 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 with his wife, playing the piano, and woodworking.

Flight Instructors:

Mandy Briggs
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.

Jon Moore
Jon took his first flying lesson at age 37—finally taking the first step toward fulfilling a lifelong dream to learn to fly.  By the time he retired from the US Navy five years later, he had earned his flight instructor certificate and was eager to begin a career as a pilot.  Today he has given over 2500 hours of flight instruction and has over three years’ experience as a regional airline captain and first officer.  He holds an Airline Transport Pilot certificate with CRJ and ERJ-170/190 type ratings as well as a flight instructor certificate with all the usual ratings.  He has earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Washington and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate school.  In his spare time Jon enjoys spending time with his family, reading history and biographies, and cooking.  His future aviation goals are learning to fly a seaplane and glider, and teaching his teenage daughter to fly! 

Kyle Lyons

Cullen Brucker

Bryson Chancellor
Bryson started as a full-time instructor for the institute in the Spring of 2020. He dreams of flying as an airline pilot around the world. When he’s not flying Bryson enjoys going to the gym, hanging out with friends, fishing, and playing basketball. Bryson is currently working on earning his bachelor degree from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

Moises Diaz

David Ford

Jake Fredericks
Ever since I was young I always wanted to be a pilot, I never knew the correct route to ensure id become a pilot. Once I  graduated college at Illinois State University I decided to chase my aviation dream. I packed up and moved to Nashville. After a year and a half I had achieved my lifelong dream of becoming a commercial pilot along with being a flight instructor. Since becoming a pilot I have traveled/lived in 4 different states including Tennessee, Texas, Florida, and Ohio. After spending a year of traveling and living in different locations flying airplanes I decided to come back home and instruct at Parkland. In my free time outside of work I enjoy hanging out with friends and attending local outdoor events such as live bands and concerts throughout central Illinois.

Ivan Guan

Kyle Schum
Kyle took his first flight at the Institute in the Spring of 2017, and joined the Institute as an Instructor in Summer 2019. He fell in love with aviation at airshows he visited as a child with his Dad. Now he enjoys helping students achieve their goals of taking to the sky. Kyle graduated from Mahomet-Seymour High School in December 2016, where he played Football, Basketball, and Baseball. When he isn’t flying, Kyle is normally working on finishing his Bachelor's Degree or spending time with his girlfriend Sydney, an interior design major at Illinois State University. The most unique plane Kyle has ever ridden is a B-25 Mitchell Bomber. Future aviation goals include: earning his gliders certificate, and flying to destinations outside the United States.

Jacob Walwer
Jacob started as a full-time instructor for the institute in Spring of 2019 and has loved aviation since he was a small child. He dreamed of becoming an airline pilot but it felt out of reach through his early years of school. After finally taking the leap into aviation after having done three years of nursing school at UIC, he knows that this was the best choice he could have made for the future. When he's not flying, Jacob usually working on finishing up a Bachelors degree at EIU or spending time with family and friend. Jacob loves visiting the local restaurants and bars in the CU area and is a huge fan of breweries. He hopes to one day establish his o wn brewery. Jacob also loves traveling and when he can, likes to take trips to random places with not much planning just to explore with spontaneity.


Spencer Deer
Technical Support Specialist

Wendy Evans
Aviation Program Manager & Recruiter
Clark Sorensen
Administrative Assistant

Parkland College