Instructors

Colleen La Plata
Cheif Flight Instructor

Colleen has been flying for over 20 years and has touched many areas in the aviation field throughout her professional career. She has gained valuable experience through years of real world flight training scenarios, airline flying: both passenger and cargo, and employment as a FAA Inspector.

Grace Kohlert
Flight Instructor

Grace grew up in an aviation family and is a 4th generation pilot. She became interested in aviation at an early age and quickly became well-known for helping at the airport during the summertime. Grace had her first solo at 16 in a Cessna 152 and soloed her family's taildragger at 17 the following summer. At Fly America, she earned her private pilot certificate at 18 and went on to complete her instrument rating and commercial pilot license at 20. Additionally, at 20, she travelled to Colorado and became a flight instructor, fulfilling a goal she's had for a lifetime. Grace is sure to emphasize safety in all factors of flight with her students, and holds special interests in weather, emergencies, and human factors in accordance with this. Grace is pursuing a bachelor's degree in Aviation Administration from Lewis University and desires to make aviation her career. During the rare occasions she is not at school or at the airport, Grace can be found studying at a nearby library, cooking at home, or working out locally.

Delaney Johnston
Flight Instructor

Delaney grew up looking at photos of her grandpa, who was a pilot in the Canadian Air Force during WWII, and thought flying would be super cool. While growing up in Geneva, IL Delaney's older sister started flying in High School, then her dad started flying, then Delaney started flying and it became a family hobby!

David Gillingham
Flight Instructor

David was hooked on flying from his first flight at the age of six and logged his first flying lesson in a Piper J-3 Cub at the age of fourteen. Combining a life-long enthusiasm for flying, training as a historian, experience as a writer, and many years study of and research in aviation history, David has developed plans and exhibits for military and civil aviation museums throughout the nation.

Wes Lundsberg
Flight Instructor

Wes received his private license at the University of Illinois Institute of Aviation and his commercial from Greater Kankakee School of Aeronautics before graduating with a degree in education.

Matt Kulma
Flight Instructor

Matt grew up and currently resides in Dekalb Illinois. After graduating high school, he studied business management for 2 years at Elmhurst College. The thought of having an office job for the rest of my career shied him away from the field. Correspondingly, he transferred to Kishwaukee community college earning his associate's degree. Meanwhile, he pursued his lifelong dream of becoming a pilot and began flight training at Dekalb airport.

Jeff Kohlert
Flight Instructor

Jeff has over 40 years experience in aviation with more than 17,000 flight hours. He is also a graduate of Southern Illinois University.