Meet Our Team

Gus the Dog

Connoisseur of Dog Treats, Belly Rub Enthusiast

Gus the Dog

Connoisseur of Dog Treats, Belly Rub Enthusiast

Gus is the designated school dog for ATD Flight Systems. His very important duties include demanding belly rubs and treats from students in between flights. In his free time, he enjoys chasing squirrels, naps, and trips to the North Kansas City dog park.

Bill Hays

Owner, CFI, CFII, MEI

Bill Hays

Owner, CFI, CFII, MEI
RATE
$61.00/hr

A Flight Instructor since 1973, Bill Hays has spent his entire adult life mastering his craft in Aviation. At the age of 18, Bill joined the United States Air Force where he served in Southeast Asia as Crew Chief aboard a KC-135 (Boeing 707) in direct support of the Vietnam War.

After leaving active duty, he joined the Air Force Reserves as a Flight Engineer on a C-130 Hercules. After his service in the military, Bill served as an Air Traffic Controller before joining the team at Braniff Airlines as a Boeing 727 Flight Engineer, First Officer and Flight Engineer Check Airman.

After his stint with the airlines, Bill began a twenty-year career in corporate aviation, flying Kansas City-based business executives for Payless Cashways, Farm and Home Saving and Loan and Commerce Bank.

After a fulfilling career in corporate aviation, Bill began pursuing his dream of opening a flight school. He opened ATD in 1996 with the goal of creating a productive, collaborative flight school where students could further their flying career. The company began small with Bill as the only instructor in his own Piper Cherokee 140. His first move toward growth came when he purchased a PCATD flight simulator and began specializing in instrument training.

In March of 2002, ATD went through a major expansion, which included a larger office, a pilot briefing room, a CATS written testing center, a larger staff and a larger fleet. In 2005, Bill was named Flight Instructor of the Year by the FAA’s Kansas City Flight Standards District Office. From there, ATD continued to grow, with 2006 marking the biggest addition yet: the ATD charter business, where Bill serves as Captain. In 2011, Bill received the prestigious Excellence in Pilot Training, Safety and Leadership Award from the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) in Washington, D.C. He continues to embrace his passion for aviation every day, and looks forward to continued years in the industry he’s loved for over 50 years.

Jim Rainen

Assistant Chief Flight Instructor, CFI, CFII, MEI, DPE

Jim Rainen

Assistant Chief Flight Instructor, CFI, CFII, MEI, DPE

Jim began flying in 1987 after a group of friends pitched in and bought him an introductory flight as a birthday gift. That introductory flight had Jim hooked. He immediately moved forward in earning his pilot’s license, and, subsequently, went directly into instrument training. It was the challenge of the learning process that held Jim’s interest, so he decided to earn his Commercial certification and, ultimately, his Instructor certification.

Jim has been a key player in ATD’s lineup of flight instructors for over ten years. He is a Gold Seal Instructor with an exceptionally high success rate in training pilots to become Certified Flight Instructors—one of the most difficult certifications to obtain. While the thrill of aviation remains unwavering from Jim, he also relishes the opportunity to communicate his passion with others. He finds satisfaction in transferring vital information and learning activities into useful skills and knowledge, and looks forward to years of continued success at ATD.

Andrew Waterland

Chief Flight Instructor, CFI, CFII, MEI, DPE

Andrew Waterland

Chief Flight Instructor, CFI, CFII, MEI, DPE

Andrew became hooked on aviation after taking his very first flight in a small airplane with the Young Eagles Association at the age of ten. He began working towards his career in aviation with ground school courses during his senior year of high school before heading off to K-State at Salina for his college education in Aviation. At K-State, Andrew obtained his CFI, CFII and MEI, along with his AGI and IGI certificates, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Technology.

Andrew was thrilled to be given the opportunity to instruct for the university during his last semester, and continued instructing at ATD after moving back to Kanas City post graduation. Andrew’s enthusiasm and dedication was quickly evident, and in 2009, Andrew was named Chief Pilot for ATD, making him the youngest Captain in ATD charter history. In 2012, Andrew became a pilot for Wolfe Automotive Group, where his passion for aviation continues to grow. He looks forward to a fulfilling career in aviation in the decades to come.

Carl Carlson

CFI, CFII, MEI

Carl Carlson

CFI, CFII, MEI

Adam Milliken

CFI, CFII, MEI

Adam Milliken

CFI, CFII, MEI

Adam began flying in 2005. After doing non-flying related work in the United States Army for four years, he transferred to aviation. Flying the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter has been how he’s earned his living since. Adam quickly learned to love flying and expanded that love to the civilian world. In 2009, he started flying airplanes and has enjoyed every second after. When not flying Adam loves spending time with his daughter.

He also enjoys many activities outdoors.

Chelsey Willetts

CFI, CFII, MEI

Chelsey Willetts

CFI, CFII, MEI

Originally from North Carolina, Chelsey moved to the Kansas City area to begin her career as a professional pilot. She is a CFI/CFII/MEI instructor at ATD with aspirations to fly an Air Ambulance and, eventually, a Gulfstream 800. Her father, an A300 Captain for UPS, has been her inspiration, role model, and biggest supporter throughout her journey. In her free time, she loves to stay physically fit, read, paint, and practice speaking foreign languages.

Contact Chelsey today at chelsey@atdflightsystems.com

Neal Sobba

CFI, CFII

Neal Sobba

CFI, CFII

Neal has been flying for over ten years. He has an A&P license and worked as a technician for Textron Aviation for 7 years. He received a Masters of Science in Aeronautics with a focus on Aviation Safety from Embry-Riddle in 2016. Neal is passionate about aviation and ensuring that his students receive the highest level of training.

Contact Neal today at 316-680-9423.

Lane Youngs

CFI, CFII

Lane Youngs

CFI, CFII

George Bechthold

CFI, CFII

George Bechthold

CFI, CFII

Blake Knight

CFI, CFII

Blake Knight

CFI, CFII

Megan Meyer

CFI, CFII

Megan Meyer

CFI, CFII

Todd Lanham

CFI, CFII

Todd Lanham

CFI, CFII

Corey Windham

CFI, CFII

Corey Windham

CFI, CFII

Daniel Schrader

CFI, CFII

Daniel Schrader

CFI, CFII

Aaron Frick

CFI, CFII

Aaron Frick

CFI, CFII
Contact Info
aaron@gmail.com

Aaron became interested in aviation after his first flight on Southwest Airlines when he was a young child. He attended Kansas State University and got a degree as a professional pilot. He returned home to Kansas City after college and began instructing. His dream is to fly corporate or cargo, and to own his own airplane. During his free time, Aaron enjoys running, model airplane collecting, and playing video games with his friends.

David Costello

CFI, A&P, IA

David Costello

CFI, A&P, IA

Both a flyer and a maintainer, David has been with ATD since 2016.  Born and raised in St. Louis, David often watched the sky in wonderment of both the airplanes & what skill it must take to fly them.  A pilot for over 20 years, and an Airframe/Powerplant Mechanic with Inspection Authorization for 15 years, David has a uniquely-diverse background in the field and a true passion for mentorship in General Aviation.  While much of David’s career stems from aviation maintenance, and still does to this day as one of ATD’s maintenance supervisors, he has furthered his flying career at ATD after earning his CFI in 2022.  David has a Bachelors degree in Aviation Technology from UCM, class of 2009, and a Masters degree in Aviation Safety, also from UCM, class of 2017.  His favorite airplane is the Boeing 757.

David has been married to his wife, Kyndal, since 2010 and has three awesome children.  While aviation is a long-time passion of his, David has a love of playing guitar that goes back even farther.  Sometimes you might even catch him practicing around the airport to prepare for his next gig with his band.  David hopes to have many more years with ATD and to continue to grow as an aviator.

Julie Kelly

CFI

Julie Kelly

CFI

Julie grew up spending a lot of time in airports while traveling internationally with an orchestra, and moving over 25 times. While aviation might not have been on her mind as she earned her two bachelor degrees in marketing research, once she got behind the controls of an airplane, there was no turning back. She went on to complete her instrument, commercial, multi-engine, and instructor ratings. Aside from flying, Julie loves competitive swimming, woodworking, and composing music.

Robbie Caldwell

CFI, CFII, MEI

Robbie Caldwell

CFI, CFII, MEI

Robbie has always been into aviation. Ever since he was a child, he knew he wanted to fly. Not having any family in aviation, it took him a while to find his wings, but when he did, he has been nonstop flying. Robbie’s goal in aviation is to be the best CFI he can and join the Air Force Gaurd/Reserve as a pilot. He enjoys skiing, hiking, and loves his Kansas City Chiefs.

Julia Rew

CFI, CFII

Julia Rew

CFI, CFII

Julia grew up flying with her father and grandfather. She always loved flying but wasn’t particularly interested in getting her license. However, in her twenties, she developed a fear of flying and started taking lessons to get over her fear. She never thought she would get her license, but with a lot of time and hard work, she did. Eager to learn more, Julia started working her way through the ratings. To her own surprise, she achieved her CFI in 2020 and her CFII in 2021. Julia has a degree in photography from the Art Institute of Philadelphia.

She loves to travel and hopes to someday combine her two passions of photography and flying.

Matt Clark

CFI, CFII

Matt Clark

CFI, CFII

Matt got his love of aviation from his uncle, a retired Air Force test pilot. He started flying when he was nine years old here at downtown airport, using two couch cushions to see over the dashboard of a Cessna 150. At sixteen he soloed an airplane before he could drive a car by himself. He attended CMSU where he earned his private and instrument ratings. After leaving CMSU Matt started flying at ATD where he earned his commercial, flight instructor and instrument instructor ratings.

Aside from flying, Matt is an avid martial artist having achieved his 5th degree black belt in Kenpo Karate and participates in endurance events.

Mark Witt

CFI, CFII

Mark Witt

CFI, CFII
Contact Info
Aerowitt@gmail.com

At 14 I had a job before and after school, working on a dairy farm in southern Colorado where I grew up. My boss had a friend that worked at the local airport as a crop duster and flight instructor. Having watched his handiwork in our fields, I was fascinated by all of it. Knowing this, my boss gave me a “flight lesson” for my 15th birthday. The airplane was a Grumman Tiger.  As we settled into the canopy cockpit, my instructor nudged me and said, we don’t normally give lessons in this plane, but it’s just a whole lot more fun…He was right.  The experience planted the seed that became a lifelong love of aviation.

After earning my private’s pilots license at 17 I went on to earn a degree in Aviation tech from UCM and continue to be an active member of the Aviation Alumni. I have had a multitude of aviation experiences from working the flight line at MKC, to ferry pilot, to grid mapping pilot, to flight instructor.

Teaching is an opportunity to give back to aviation and hopefully help others find the joy in aviation that I found as a 15-year-old boy flying in a Grumman Tiger for the first time.

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