Owner, Chief Flight Instructor
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.