Wayne Foss began flying helicopters in the Army in 1970, deploying to Vietnam and later obtaining his civilian ratings in helicopters and airplanes. He attended the University of Houston while flying charter and flight instructing. After college, Wayne worked as a CPA for one of the world's largest firms and flew corporate on the side. In 1999, he semi-retired and went back to flying as his primary pursuit, including instructing, contract flying for the State of Texas, and then flying EMS helicopters in the mountains of Arizona. In 2001, Wayne began working for Evergreen International Helicopters, Inc, flying both helicopters and airplanes in the Gulf of Mexico. In 2010, he became the Program Manager/Lead Pilot/Instructor for the first major civilian search and rescue/EMS operation for Era in the Gulf of Mexico, setting up a 24/7/365 operation covering the entire Gulf Coast. He also flew and instructed in Brazil and Argentina teaching SAR/EMS operations. He became an instructor for Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in 2016. Wayne is now the general manager and chief flight instructor for Knoxville Flight Training Academy. He has accumulated over 13,000 accident-free flight hours in helicopters and airplanes and over 3,000 hours instructing.
Tyler Latham was born and raised in South Knoxville. He became interested in flying at a young
age and has been hooked ever since. During high school, Tyler worked with a local A&P mechanic trading working hours for flying hours. After graduating from South-Doyle High School in 2016, he attended Middle Tennessee State University and enrolled in their professional pilot program. During his time at MTSU, Tyler received his private, instrument, and commercial pilot certifications and instructed at the university’s flight school from 2018 until he graduated in 2020.
Wes came to Knoxville from Charlotte North Carolina. He found his passion for aviation while pursuing the aviation merit badge as an Eagle Scout. While attending a Young Eagles event, Wes knew that this was the calling of a lifetime. He obtained his degree from Mars Hill University and completed his private pilot training under the class Bravo airspace of Charlotte. Wanting something more challenging for his instrument training, he went to the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina for a true Appalachia experience. After returning home, he obtained his Tailwheel endorsement, Commercial Single and Multi-Engine ratings, Flight Instructor both Land and Sea, and Advanced Ground Instructor certificates. He brings professionalism, skill, and enthusiasm to his instruction and will tailor that instruction to each student to ensure that they also fulfill their aviation dreams.
PJ Vlok is a native of South Africa and has lived in the USA for several years. He holds a Ph.D. in industrial engineering and is an adjunct professor at UT. He obtained his private, instrument, multi-engine and commercial certificates in South Africa and then converted them to FAA. He earned his flight instructor certificates here at Knoxville Flight Training Academy and has been teaching here since 2017. He is also qualified as a Mission Pilot with the Civil Air Patrol Squadron in Knoxville.
Aaron Atkins was born in Florida but grew up all his life in Knoxville and more specifically Corryton, TN. His father was in the Air Force for 31 years and was Aaron’s biggest inspiration to get into aviation. Aaron is in the Tennessee Air National Guard and works on the Avionics on the KC-135 air-refueling tankers. Aaron got his Private Pilot’s License with us and then went to the ATP Flight School in Nashville, TN. He received his Instrument Rating, Commercial Multiengine License, CFI, CFII and Multiengine Instructor Licenses! Aaron dreams to be an Airline Pilot for Allegiant one day and hopes to be there by Age 25! Aaron is very involved in his local Church and loves to help others. Aaron brings knowledge, skill, and wisdom to the table when it comes to flying so he’d love to help you learn to fly yourself!
Allison Cripps is from middle Tennessee and grew up with a passion for aviation. She received her private pilot license in Smyrna, TN. Shortly after her checkride, she joined the Tennessee Air National Guard as an Avionics technician. Allison is now an engineering major at the University of Tennessee and plans to continue pursuing aviation.