Louisville, KY Instructors


Andrew Shively

Andrew pursued his childhood dream of flying in 2017 when he traded in his job for the sky. Leaving his marketing degree behind, after 8 years in local small business Andrew completed flight training. As a flight instructor, Andrew enjoys helping others discover their passion for flying.


Tara Ryan

In 2018, after an inspiring discovery flight, Tara, a Northern Kentucky University graduate with a degree in Communications and English, changed careers. After immersing herself into aviation full-time, she completed her PPL in Louisville and her Instrument training and Commercial Certificate in South Florida. She was accepted into an accelerated program in Raleigh, North Carolina to complete her Multi-Engine Training and CFI Certificates. Tara’s goal is to train safe and competent pilots and to propel their aviation careers.


Don Rodighiero

Don has been flying since high school and brings over 30 years of experience as a flight instructor. In addition to flight instruction, Don is a full time corporate pilot. He is both a Certified Flight Instructor and a Multi Engine Instructor. He holds type-ratings on King Air 300 and L39.


Jim Yonts

A Louisville native and long-time pilot, Jim soloed in 1972 at the old Kentucky Flying Service at Bowman Field. A CFI since 1975, he has trained numerous pilots ranging from first-flight intro lessons to airline jet checkouts on the B-747. In March 2018, Jim retired from UPS as a Captain on the MD11 after more than 30 years of service, flying both domestic and international routes. He holds an ATP with type-ratings on the B747, MD11, & B727, and a Commercial license for Airplane Single-engine Land and Sea. Jim’s passion for aviation and strong attention to detail provide thorough training for his students with an emphasis on safety.


Justin Martinell

Justin considers himself lucky to have the best job on earth or sky. A 2015 graduate for U of L with a history degree, Justin always had a passion for aviation, but wasn’t sure if he wanted to make it a career. He began flight lessons in March 2019 and graduated ATP flight school in January 2020. He has finished training with his CFI, CFII, MEI, and IGI, and is currently working on his AGI. Justin looks forward to training and producing safe pilots while helping them achieve their goals.


Tim Talton

You may remember a variety of occupations or fun pastimes that caught your attention at one time or another as something you wanted to do or at least explore. For Tim, that something has always been flying. Tim began training to be a pilot at the age of sixteen, about the same time as he was learning to drive a car. And ever since that first flight, breaking the bounds of gravity and soaring into the air above is just as exhilarating as that very first time. Tim has been teaching as a flight instructor for over 30 years at Bowman Field, possess a B.S. degree in Aviation Technology and a Masters degree in Aeronautical Science. He is a CFII and possess both an Airframe and Powerplant License and is licensed as an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP). After recently retiring from UPS as an aircraft maintenance supervisor, Tim trained as a First Officer with a regional carrier for a major airline. He has been blessed to have had countless memorable experiences in something he thoroughly enjoys. Regardless of what you might be looking for in an aviation related field, Tim welcomes the opportunity to help you get there through ground school, flight simulation and/or flight training in the aircraft. Let’s move that dream of yours to a rewarding reality.


Cristian Venegas

Cristian is from Logan Utah and took his first discovery flight in 2016. He began his flight training and graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelors degree in Aviation Technology (Fixed Wing). Cristian has a strong passion for aviation and is currently a UPS Flightpath intern. His greatest aspiration is to fly Brown Tails for UPS after he builds the required flight hours and experience at Ameriflight. Cristian wants to help others achieve their goals and dreams of flight while he accomplishes his own.


Mercedes Hartman

Mercedes is from Louisville, KY. She graduated from Georgetown College with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology and Spanish. Soon after college she finished up her ratings and became a Certified Flight Instructor at Bowman Field. She is a member of Women in Aviation and Women in Corporate Aviation. Mercedes has a strong passion for aviation and her goal is to train her students to be professional pilots and to promote safety across the industry.


Chris Dobson

Chris is a Louisville native who flew his first solo as a Senior in the Academy of Shawnee’s new aviation program in 1990. A graduate of Purdue University’s Aero Engineering program, Chris subsequently joined the Navy as a Naval Flight Officer. One of his most memorable duties was assisting new fleet aviators to earn their aircraft carrier qualification in the EA-6B Prowler. After his naval career, Chris settled back in Louisville and began flight training in 2019. As a Certified Flight Instructor and Instrument Instructor, he enjoys helping pilots earn their wings and become safe citizens in the aviation community.


John Meldrum

John is originally from Greenville, IN and now calls New Albany his home. John majored in accounting at the University of Louisville and started flying in April of 2019. His inspiration to become a pilot was motivated after witnessing some incredible aircraft during his deployment to the Middle East in 2018. After securing ratings as a CFI, CFII, and MEI locally at Clark Country Regional, John began instructing in Smyrna, TN. After missing the Louisville area he made his return home and met the KFTC family. After many years as a Structural Engineer in the Kentucky Air National Guard, John was recently selected to fly the C-130H in the Illinois Air National Guard.


Gabriel Berrier

Gabriel is a Louisville native and first generation pilot who began flying in 2017. Since his first flight, he fell in love with everything aviation related and has continued to receive certificates and grow as a pilot. After graduating from the University of Louisville with a degree in Finance, Gabriel knew his true calling was to be a pilot and continued his flight training. Now a CFII, Gabriel looks forward to sharing and expanding his passion for aviation through teaching the next generation of pilots.


Paige Billitz

Paige grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and wanted to start flying after going to the Cleveland air show every year with her dad. She went to Bowling Green state university and graduated with a degree in flight technology and operations in may of 2020. Paige taught private pilot ground school at BGSU and was adjunct faculty. She is a MEII and has been instructing for 1.5 years. Paige is now currently an intern at UPS as a part of their flight path program.


Caitlin Booe

Caitlin started flying her senior year of high school in 2016 with her dad as her flight instructor. Caitlin completed her private pilot checkride just a few days before high school graduation. After graduating she went to Purdue university to pursue her bachelors degree in professional flight. While in college Caitlin flight instructed for Purdue as well as an FBO in Greenwood, IN for 3 years and graduated from Purdue in December of 2019. After Purdue she went to training at republic airways and got her ATP and type rating on the E170/175 as a first officer. Once COVID hit Caitlin decided to take leave from republic to take a year long internship position with UPS as her end goal has always been to fly for UPS.


Al Haider (ATP, CFI & CFII)

Al’s passion for aviation was born at a young age. From making paper airplanes, visiting the airport near his house, and touring aviation museums, he fell in love with anything that flys. He graduated from Vaughn College majoring in Aircraft Operations and minoring in Air Traffic Control as well as Airline Dispatcher. As a flight instructor, he has accumulated and enjoyed over 2 years of part 141 school, followed by 3 years of part 61 flight instructing. Aside from instructing, Al jumped from the right seat to be a Captain at a part 135 charter airlines for sometime then back to the right seat as a First Officer for a regional airline. As soon as he heard about KFTC he didn’t hesitate to join the professional team and help accomplish the school’s mission of guiding the new aviation enthusiasts to achieve their dreams of becoming professional skilled pilots.


Noah Holdaway

Noah’s passion for aviation began later in life than most. He began his training in the summer of 2017 while going to school and working at the local FBO. He received his private, instrument and multi engine commercial ratings in Wichita Kansas and then finished up with his CFI in Louisville with KFTC. In his free time, Noah enjoys being with family and doing most outdoor activities. He aims to share what he has learned with his students while emphasizing safety and continued education throughout their entire aviation careers.


Lauren Jones

Lauren grew up in an airport community in Houston, Texas with a grass runway in her backyard. She decided to become a pilot at 4 years old when her father let her sit in the front seat of his V-Tail Bonanza for the first time. She soloed when she was 16 and completed her private pilot license before going to college at Baylor University. While at Baylor, Lauren majored in Aviation Sciences and flight instructed for a local flight school in Waco, Texas. After graduating from Baylor in two and a half years, Lauren has come to Louisville to be a UPS FlightPath Intern.


Natalie Hill

Natalie learned to fly at the age of 17. She worked as an Air Traffic Controller for over 24 years. Most of her career was spent in the radar room and tower at Louisville International Airport (KSDF). After retirement Natalie earned the ratings required to become a CFII. Natalie is thankful for the privilege to fly and the opportunity to share it with others… including her granddaughter.


Mayra Kodman

Mayra grew up near Cleveland OH and graduated from Bowling Green State University in May of 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree and her CFII and MEI ratings. She is currently an Intern at UPS and will hopefully be moving on to AmeriFlight to start her journey to become a UPS pilot.


Joe Alcido

Joe is a Texas native, who pursued his lifelong dream of becoming a professional pilot at Oklahoma State University. He has been flight instructing since October of 2019 and moved to Louisville to work as an Intern at UPS.


Madison, IN Instructors

Jacob Goering

Jacob Goering has been a CFII and instructing around Madison, IN since 2006. He is a Purdue Aviation graduate and holds FAA aircraft mechanic Airframe and Power Plant (A&P) certificates and the FAA Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate. Jacob is a Captain and instructor for a passenger airline based in Chicago and holds type ratings in Convair, Embraer and Bombardier aircraft.


Jacob Morgan

Jacob has had a passion for aviation since he was young. His family is full of aviation geeks—from mechanics to pilots—and he used to spend a lot of evenings as a kid hanging out at the airport. Jacob started flying in high school and achieved his private pilot certificate while attending college at Indiana University Bloomington. After graduating with a degree in philosophy, he decided to pursue his instrument rating. While training, Jacob became so enthralled with the aviation community that he decided to commit himself to a career in aviation and continued his education and obtained his flight instructor certificate. Jacob is a certified flight instructor, instructor with instrument privileges, and a multi-engine instructor. Jacob is also a part owner of a 1972 Citabria 7GCBC, and enjoys flying that in his free time. Jacob focuses on safety-oriented learning with his students and emphasize strong aeronautical decision making.