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.
Norm started growing up in the piedmont region of North Carolina before his family moved to Montana where he still has family ties. He's really a Southern Boy so when he retired from his second career he came back home and nailed his feet to the ground (credit to Lewis Grizzard). He's proud to be a part of a first rate flight training school.
Norm is a retired US Army pilot and a retired Ex-Con United Airlines Captain with more than 24,000 hours total time including about 2,000 hours in helicopters. He holds an ATP with type ratings in B-737, B-757 and B-767. He has commercial privileges in single engine airplanes and helicopters with a helicopter instrument rating. He is a single and multi-engine airplane instrument instructor and is currently working on his helicopter instructor rating.
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!
Dawson Biddle is an East Tennessee native who grew up in Seymour, Tennessee. His passion for flying began when he enlisted in the Air National Guard as an avionics technician. Dawson completed his flight training in Murfreesboro, Tennessee with Middle Tennessee State University. At MTSU, he earned his private pilot’s license, instrument rating, commercial pilot’s license, multi-engine rating, and certified flight instructor license along with a Professional Pilot bachelor’s degree. Outside of flying, Dawson’s passions include following Jesus and being involved with his local church, graphic designing for his aviation apparel side-business, playing acoustic guitar, and hiking. Dawson is dedicated to his students’ success. He seeks to grow his students’ passion for aviation while helping them achieve their aviation dreams in a safe, professional, and timely manner.
Jake Todd grew up north of Knoxville in the town of Helenwood, TN. Jake attended college at Middle Tennessee State University where he obtained a bachelor’s in aerospace along with his private pilot’s certificate, instrument rating, commercial pilot’s certificate, multi-engine rating, and certified flight instructor certificate. Jake’s goal is to one day fly cargo operations for FedEx. Aside from flying, Jake is very active in his local church, enjoys dirt bike riding, and spending time with his family. Jake strives to help his students become safe, proficient pilots and help lead them on to a lifelong love for aviation.
Thomas Bean was born and grew up in the United Kingdom. Thomas attained his Private Pilot License whilst at University in the UK before achieving his Instrument Rating, Commercial and Flight Instructor Certificates in Florida. Thomas hopes to one day fly for American Airlines. Outside of flying Thomas enjoys shooting as he once worked in a firearm retailer, supporting his favorite soccer team Manchester United and spending time with his wife and friends. Thomas aims to share his enthusiasm for aviation with all his students in helping them become safe and professional pilots.
Will Templeton was born and raised in the Knoxville area. He graduated from Liberty University with a degree in Aeronautics and received his Private, Instrument, Commercial, Flight Instructing, Multi-Engine Instructing, and Instrument Instructing Pilot Certifications. He began flight instructing in Liberty's Aeronautics program in 2017 and returned to Knoxville two years later. Will is excited for the opportunity to teach at Knoxville Flight Training Academy, at the airport where his mother trained for and received her private pilot certificate. He makes it his aim to leave a lasting impact on his students, in both their lives and flight training.
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.
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 check-ride, she joined the Tennessee Air National Guard as an Avionics technician. Allison is now an engineering major at the University of Tennessee and continues to pursue aviation.