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.
Joe Banks, Chief
Joe Banks retired from the Air Force with over 29 years of service driving F-15s and B-1 Bombers for the United States Air Force. With over 15,000 hours, Joe is ready to ensure that your flight training experience is conducted under the highest standards of safety, compliance, and fun!
Chad T. Tanner, Assistant Chief
CFI/II, MEI/II, ATP
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.
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.
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.
Brett Davies comes from a heritage of pilots both Air Force and Airliner. His dad and older brothers have careers in aviation..their love for flying left him little escape from attending air shows and getting back stage access to flying operations while growing up. Raised in the countryside of North Texas he enjoyed piloting all manner of vehicles; from go karts and 4-wheelers to boats and seadoos then finally on to cars, motorcycles, and airplanes. Shortly after graduating highschool, Brett found work at an aircraft maintenance shop where he started acquiring his own personal experiences with general aviation. He left the aviation world from 2016 to 2018 for a church service mission in Brazil. Upon returning home, he resumed work fixing airplanes and started training towards his PPL at the Gainesville Municipal Airport. He passed his checkride in spring of 2019, and was shortly after accepted into the American Airlines Cadet Academy. There he completed all ratings through CMEL and CFI. While attending the academy he also accrued flight experience in Dusty, the family-owned Cherokee 140, flying him to Idaho, Tennessee, and many airports in between. He now enjoys every moment from the right seat, shouting “right rudder” while teaching students how to fly.
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!
At the age of 12, Austin remembers his first time boarding an airliner. He departed my hometown of Billings, Montana to visit his grandparents in San Antonio, Texas. The entire flight, from takeoff to landing, he was in awe. That is where his passion for aviation was born. After completing his Bachelors of Business at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, he went on to complete flight training in Orlando, Florida and began flight instructing in order to build his hours at L3 Airline Academy. Upon completion of his1500 hours, he went on to be a first officer at regional carrier, Envoy. Unfortunely, during his airline training, the pandemic began to emerge and airline travel was drastically reduced. Thus, he went back to sharing his knowledge and experience in aviation with pilots in training. His pursuit is still to make a career with the airlines, but one day he dreams of being able to give back as a humanitarian/ missionary pilot in order share the blessings Christ has given to him.
Chris “Fats” Vanchure
Gold Seal CFII, MEI, AGI, IGI
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.