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, Chief Pilot
CFI/II, MEI/II, ATP
MSgt Chad T. Tanner is currently on Active Duty Air Force and assigned as the Headquarters Air Force Recruiting Service non-commissioned officer in charge of all Aerial Events and National Marketing Events. His responsibilities include 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.
Chad is currently the Texas Aviation Academy 141 Chief Pilot.
Victor Rodriguiz, Assistant Chief
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.
Blake Gillespie, CFI/II, MEI/II
Blake began his aviation career right out of high school. After graduating in 2011 from Ronald Reagan, he attended Palo Alto College for their Aviation Program where he acquired his Private Pilot, instrument rating, Single-Engine Commercial, and Professional Pilot Associate's degree. Blake then transferred to Texas Lutheran University to complete his Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Science.
During his time at TLU, Blake was president of Campus Crusades for Christ (Cru) and received the Transfer Academic Distinction Scholarship. Training at Texas Aviation Academy, he completed his Multi-Engine Commercial, Multi-Engine Flight Instructor, and Certified Flight Instructor ratings. He graduated magna cum laude in 2015 and currently works as a corporate pilot.
Blake was married in 2017 to his beautiful wife Shelby. With over 1,500 hours of instruction, teaching has always been a passion of Blake’s and he enjoys passing on the love of flying to future generations.
Mike developed a love for flying while he earned the Aviation Merit Badge for Boy Scouts. His flying career began soon after in 1995, where he learned on a Piper 180 in his hometown of Beloit, Ohio. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2001, Mike followed his dream of becoming an Air Force A-10 fighter pilot and has deployed multiple times, in support of operations across the globe. In 2010, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor for combat action in Afghanistan, and was also awarded the Anthony C. Shine Award for top fighter pilot. Mike has been both a military and civilian flight instructor since 2004, and has amassed more than 3,000 hours in the A-10, AT-38, T-38, T-6, T-37, and numerous general aviation aircraft. Besides his love for aviation and passion to teach, he takes great pride in being a dad, husband and Scoutmaster of a local scout troop. He looks forward to flying with you soon!
Mike “Balz” Stock, CFI/II-MEI/II
Don Hall, CFI/II
Don Hall is a Certified Flight Instructor with 39 years of aviation experience, over 4900 flight hours and over 3500 hours as a flight instructor.
Don retired from the USAF with 26 years of service. He was qualified as an Air Force Instructor Pilot, Flight Examiner, and an AETC Inspector General Flight Safety Action Officer. He flew several military aircraft, including the T-37, T-38, T-41, T-34, T-1 and T-6 Texan II. Don has also flown several civilian aircraft including the C-150, C-172, DA-20, C-162, M20R, and Grumman Tiger.
Don earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the Air Force Academy and a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Development from Webster University. He served as an Assistant Professor and Course Director of Military Studies at the USAF Academy. He taught T-6 Texan II ground school at the Iraqi Air Force Academy in Tikrit as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Recently he has been supporting the Liberty University Aviation Program