Jeff has over 30 years experience in aviation with more than 15,000 flight hours. He is also a graduate of Southern Illinois University.

Jeff understands the importance of reputable training for pilots and with his extensive background in aviation is personally committed to providing one of the best flight schools to achieve excellent standards of performance in skills and safety awareness through training at Fly America.

Jeff helped launch Fly America and is the primary owner of the company, although he continues to fly a Lear jet for a corporation. As with all our instructors, he is a strong advocate for safety and that safety measures are paramount in every aspect of aviation.

Jeff promotes knowledge of your aircraft and is also Director of Maintenance for Fly America. He keeps our rental and privately owned aircraft in tip-top-shape. Jeff is also actively engaged in the general aviation community.

Fligh Instructor David Gillingham

David Gillingham

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.

David also delights in teaching what he writes about. He added the Certified Flight Instructor rating to his credentials in order to share his commitment to aviation with others. Whether you look forward to a career in aviation or seek a rating for personal enjoyment, David will work with you to accomplish your goals.

David is also a safety officer and search and rescue pilot for the Civil Air Patrol, a U. S. Air Force Auxiliary. But, he would rather teach you to fly safely than have to go out and look for you!

Flight Instructor Colleen La Plata

Colleen La Plata

Colleen has been flying for 15 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.

Colleen has enjoyed flight instructing for numerous flight schools under part 61 and part 141 for Southern Illinois University. She has worked with all different ages, personalities, and genders. She enjoys the challenges and accomplishments that each student brings. Colleen spent 6 years flying for the airlines for various carriers in domestic and international operations.

To say that Colleen is familiar with being a student may be an understatement, completing extended training programs for 5 different large aircraft in those 6 years. However, her most involved training has been as an Inspector for the FAA. Her commitment to safety is paramount along with adhering to standards and regulations.

Fligh Instructor Ron McElroy

Ron McElroy

Ron is a graduate of the USAF Academy and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Ron attended USAF Undergraduate Pilot Training at Williams AFB, AZ (Chandler, AZ) and has flown for over 35 years in over 100 types of aircraft. He has over 10,000 flight hours plus nearly 5,000 hours as a simulator instructor for the military and airlines.

Ron has flown for the elite Special Air Missions wing at Andrews AFB, supporting White House, Congress, and VIP trips, and is also a graduate of the USAF Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB where he was the Chief Test Pilot for the USAF C-17A program.

Ron has accumulated a broad spectrum of experience in military, airline, corporate, and general aviation operations as an instructor pilot, FAA Designee check airman, NASA project pilot, and test pilot consultant and coach to airline candidates.

Ron has published two books and three study guides for pilots and has written articles for two major publications. He has been involved with several flight test projects and continues as an active flight test captain for a major airline, flight test pilot consultant, and as a member of the FAA NextGen WakeNet USA panel for wake turbulence.

Ron has earned an Airline Transport Pilot ASMEL certificate with multiple type ratings and Private Glider privileges and is a CFII, ASMEL and Advanced Instrument Ground Instructor.

Ron’s motto is “Fly Safe & Fly Smart.” He looks forward to helping you become a skilled pilot, and to help you enjoy being a pilot either as a profession or a hobby.

Flight Instructor

Wes Lundsberg

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.

He received his Air Force wings at Laughlin AFB, TX and flew the F-100 and F-4 fighters. He was also Wing Instrument School ground instructor. Wes flew for United Airlines for 29 years and is typed in all Boeings, 727 through 777, as well as the Cessna Citation. He was a check captain on the B-727.

He is an ATP, CFII-MEI. He has flown for 47 years and has 22,000 hours flight experience.

Wes does Flight Reviews, Instrument Proficiency checks, aircraft checkouts, and re-currency checks. “I like to stress safety in all aspects of flying and encourage enjoyment in flying. It should be fun.”

Flight Instructor

Alexander Williams-Hoffman

Alex has been surrounded by aviation his entire life. His father is a commercial pilot and his mother is a flight attendant for a major airline. Aviation is in his blood. He received his private pilot’s license from Schaumburg airport in the spring of 2014 while being a full time student at the College of DuPage. He continued to add ratings and attained his ultimate goal of becoming a certified flight instructor to share his aviation passion with others. He is currently working on a degree in meteorology at Northern Illinois University.

Although Alex is a new instructor, he has plenty of experience teaching others. He is one of the leaders of the College of DuPage storm chasing field studies program. They travel the country chasing some of the world’s most dangerous weather. It is Alex’s job to teach students what they are witnessing while keeping everyone in a safe position. Alex is a professional who is completely dedicated to see his students accomplish their goals in aviation.

Flight Instructor Jordan Miller

Jordan Miller

Jordan has been flying for 8 years, has a family history in aviation, and he is a graduate of Southern Illinois University. He has won many awards in aviation competitions and was Southern Universities - Aviation Ambassadors President. A leader and skilled pilot is what we like at Fly America, and Jordan fits the criteria. When accuracy and skill count, Jordan can help you meet your personal goals and standards.

Jordan has also been a part of Southerns Corporate Charter program and is now a part of our corporate division. Have your own airplane but need a pilot? Jordan can help you out. He has all of the ratings necessary to fly for an airline, but will continue to fly with us a while longer. We hope he stays for a long time, but know someday hundreds of passengers will be relying on his skills, and that is a total thrill to a pilot.

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