Meet Our Instructors

Our experienced flight instructors are the best in the business. They are dedicated to providing quality flight training and a great experience as you learn to fly with us. Your safety is our number one priority.
Chad T. Tanner, Assistant Chief

MSgt Chad T. Tanner is retired Air Force. He was previously assigned to Headquarters Air Force Recruiting Service non-commissioned officer in charge of all Aerial Events and National Marketing Events.  His responsibilities included primary liaison between AFRS, Pentagon's Aerial Events Operation Group, Thunderbird and F-22 Aerial Demonstration Squadron; maximizes recruiting and retention efforts with max exposure.  


Chad was born April 30, 1980 in Palm Beach, Florida. He graduated from Palm Beach High School in 1999 and received his B.S. Degree in Aeronautics from Liberty University in 2015. His initial service into the United States Air Force was as a Jet engine specialist. In 2003 he became an Air Force Recruiter and has been ever since. Chad is a gold seal CFI, CFII and MEI. Chad also holds an FAA Airline Transport Pilot certificate with over 2000 flying hours. 

Victor Rodriguiz, Check Pilot 

Victor served six years in the world's greatest Air Force performing law enforcement and nuclear security duties.  After serving he completed his Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland, graduating Magna Cum Laude.  


Upon finishing his degree, Victor successfully completed ATP's pilot training program in December 2018 as an MEI, CFI and CFII, before he started working for Texas Aviation Academy in January 2019.  

Ian Kamp

Ian has been fascinated by flight as long as he can remember. He loved it when the flight attendants would let him see the cockpit on airline flights as a child.  When he did a discovery flight for his Boy Scout Aviation merit badge when he was twelve years old, he instantly knew that it was what he wanted to do for a career.  He did his first solo at 16, and got his private pilot's license at 17 in 2000.  After a long pause in his training, he started again in 2018 to get his instrument rating, commercial single engine and multi-engine rating, and certified flight instructor rating.  He will be pursuing a career in the airlines or cargo in the future.

Ian graduated from Montana State University - Bozeman with a degree in Japan Studies in 2009.  While pursuing that degree, he was able to spend time in Japan learning the language.  He then went to the University of Texas at San Antonio to get his MBA in 2011.  Outside of aviation, he enjoys traveling, costume and prop making, working out, and photography.

Ben Pratt

Ben grew up in an Air Force family; his grandfather served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, and his dad was an F-15 Instructor Pilot. After college, Ben attended Officer Training School and served as a C-130 Navigator for 10 years, supporting Operations IRAQI FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM, and Joint Task Force Horn of Africa. After separating from the Air Force, he enrolled at Texas State Technical College and received his Certified Flight Instructor and Aircraft Dispatch certificates.

In his spare time, Ben enjoys singing, and has performed with the A Cappella Texas barbershop chorus, the Austin Opera chorus, and the Central Texas Choral Society.

Zach Rowley

Zach has spent nearly his entire life in South Central Texas, but was originally born in the Panhandle. He would periodically fly back to visit his father in the wake of his parent"s divorce. Flying high above the land he called home gave him a new perspective and interest in the world from up high, and he decided he wanted to become a professional pilot, and one day fly as a captain for the same airline he flew on every time he ventured to see his father. He graduated from highschool in the top 20% of his class, which secured him a place at TLU in their experimental Airplane Pilot Degree Program. Through the program he began his pilot journey seeking his Private Pilot certification at Texas Aviation Academy. Four years later, he graduated from TLU with a Bachelor's Degree, Instrument-rating, Single-engine Private airplane, Multi-Engine Commercial and Instructor. He returned to TXAA to obtain his Single-Engine Commercial and CFI Add-ons, and now he serves as a flight instructor at the same flight school that trained him.

Owen Smith

Owen joins the Texas Aviation Academy team from Illinois. Born and raised there, his interest in aviation started in elementary school after participating in a Young Eagles flight at the local airport. This experience eventually led him to pursue a career as a pilot. He attended Southern Illinois University Carbondale for his flight training and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2018 with a Bachelor's degree in Aviation Management. Outside of aviation, Owen is an avid fan of Chelsea F.C. and enjoys playing trumpet and electric bass. 

Akshay Sinha

Akshay Sinha is a CFI and CFII with over 1300 hours. This is a career change for Akshay after spending 14 years in management. He completed his Private Pilot Certificate here at TAA, and has seen the school grow leaps and bounds under the Reiley’s!

Lake Tucker
Erick Vasquez Diaz
Alex Guerrero
Part-Time Instructors
Chris “Fats” Vanchure
 Gold Seal CFII, MEI, AGI, IGI
Tailwheel Instructor

Chris is at his core, an aviation enthusiast and passionate instructor, looking to inspire the next generation.  He first started flying at the age of 13 in his hometown of Lakehurst, NJ.  Since then, he went on to earn his BS in mathematics from Seton Hall University, and MS in aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University while serving as an instructor pilot for the United States Air Force.  Following his assignment as a primary instructor in the T-6A, Fats went on to serve in the iconic U-2S Dragon Lady and has deployed numerous times around the globe in support of various operations.  

He has flown military, civilian and warbirds acquiring over 5,000 hours experience in 40+ different aircraft.  He has been teaching aviation professionally since 2008 and has mentored hundreds of students into professional careers both in the military and civilian aviation.  He is a member of AOPA, EAA, and the Commemorative Air Force.  Now, a reserve instructor in the T-38C and a First Officer on the Airbus A220; Chris remains active as a general aviation instructor eager to help you earn your private, commercial, instrument, multiengine, ATP, or instructor rating.

Call us! 

(830) 629-2110

© 2020 by Texas Aviation Academy


Open 6 days a week:

Monday-Friday  8am-6pm

Saturday  9am-6pm

Sundays   By Appointment Only


Our hangar is located at

1642 Entrance Dr.

New Braunfels, TX 78130


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