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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.
Brook Van Gundy

Bill Jones
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.”

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! 

Matthew Wener

Kyle Lyons

Hui Wang
Hui started as a full-time flight instructor for the institute in the fall of 2017.  She fell in love with aviation during her time as a sophomore at the University of Illinois, where she completed a bachelors degree in statistics and actuarial science, and a master's degree in statistics.  There are few things in life that excite her as much as being a pilot does, and she's very happy to call KCMI her home. In her free time, you can find Hui enjoying the Champaign-Urbana area, traveling, or spending time with her friends and family. 

David Ford

Justin Jacobson

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 own 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.

Dave Adkisson
Technical Support Specialist
Wendy Evans
Aviation Program Manager & Recruiter
Clark Sorensen
Administrative Assistant

Parkland College