Our Instructor Staff

Andrew Danner

Being interested in aviation from a young age, Andrew completed his initial flight training in 2014 and received his instrument rating in 2015.  He went on to earn a degree in Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operations from Kansas State University Polytechnic in Salina, Kansas, in 2018.  While studying there, he worked for the University teaching other students to fly, build, and maintain small unmanned aircraft.  He then completed his commercial pilot, certified flight instructor, and multi-engine training in 2019.  Andrew now works as a flight instructor, with aspirations to fly charter planes while continuing instruction.

Ben Lee

Ben has degrees in Biology and Chemistry and a doctorate in Dentistry (DDS). He has a Master’s degree in Aeronautics from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. He was an adjunct professor at ERAU teaching Flight Physiology. He has had a flying career spanning 32 years during which he earned Comm/ME/Instr ratings. He holds an Advanced Ground Instructor certification and soon to complete the CFI certification. He has experience in Beechcraft, Cessna and Twin Cessna aircraft including turboprop types.

Billy Hodur

Billy joined the US Airforce as an aircraft mechanic on KC135s at 19 years old. After 5 years in the service, he finished a dual Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and Management Information Systems from Newman University and was accepted to Air Force Undergraduate Pilot training. While there, Billy flew the T-37 aircraft and the T-1 and was granted his multi-engine and commercial certificates. After pilot training, he flew the KC-135, upgrading from Co-pilot to Aircraft Commander and eventually Instructor Pilot. After the Air Force, Billy continued to teach KC-135s in a simulator for 7 years and attained an ATP, CFI, CFII and MEI. Billy currently also works as an airline captain at Air Wisconsin Airlines.

Brenda Sanchez

Brenda began her aviation career working with Aeromexico Airlines as a Flight Attendant, who was promoted to Cabin Crew Supervisor and became “the youngest Attendant to ever promoted”.  She was also a Flight Attendant Instructor for new and recurrent flight attendants. She subsequently worked with Azteca Airlines and obtained a Mexican Airline Transport Pilot License, flying a Boeing 737 and, at the time, was the only female pilot in the history Azteca Arlines. During her time working with the Department of Homeland Security, she became certificated in Foundations in Homeland Security.  She went on to received numerous awards, Federal  honors, coins and pins for her participation on Federal projects and volunteer work for nonprofit projects in the protected sector of Sensitive Security Information. Living in Alaska, she gained further flying experience in a very challenging environment where she was the first Mexican female flying in that area. She is currently working with Flight Safety as a Second in Command for the Hawker Program, having recently moved to Wichita from Houston. Brenda is very much looking forward to working with our students!

Charles Lloyd

Charles Lloyd is an ATP CFI-II with 65+ years flying experience who holds the FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award. He has experience in aircraft ranging from Piper J3 Cub numerous piston aircraft, King Air plus Caravan turboprops and Citation and Hawker business jets. His professional flying experience includes crewmember time with Cessna Citation Marketing Used Aircraft Group, Raytheon Aircraft, and NetJets Aviation. He has instructed for the AOPA Flight Safety Foundation in their Pinch Hitter, Mountain Flying and Instrument Procedure Courses. As an instructor for The Cessna Employees Flying Club, he developed and taught the club’s first Mountain Flying Course. At Ortega Aviation He has developed the ForeFlight Workshops for VFR and IFR Pilots. He holds a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from University of Alabama where his research was a mathematical model and simulation describing a sub portion of the Saturn V Fuel System dynamics.

James Oliphant

James “Pepper” Oliphant is a commercial, multi engine instrument rated pilot.  He also holds an Advanced Ground Instructor certificate and flies for a FedEx Feeder Airline as a captain in the Cessna Caravan.  Prior to flying for a day job, he was an aviation risk manager for AOPA Insurance for twelve years.  He had the distinct honor of teaching for nearly twenty years in the public and private schools as a band and orchestra director and holds a Master of Music Education degree from Wichita State University. In his spare time, he is the Music Director for the Delano Wind Ensemble and enjoys spending all his available time with his lovely partner, Marie.

Jim Perry

Jim has a background in both general aviation and airlines. He attended the University of Iowa, majoring in broadcasting and film, but flying ruled the day in the career department. 22,000 hours in a large variety of airplanes, early years spent instructing in almost all Cessna, Piper and Beech airplanes. Commuter work- and it WAS work!- in Embraer Bandierantes, big airline experience in MD 80s for Midway Airlines. But perhaps most satisfying years (25+) spent as a demonstration pilot for Cessna Citation Flight Operations, then as a Citation X+ pilot with Textron Aviation’s Pro Ownership group. Jim has an ATP, with Flight Instructor privileges in single and multiengine land airplanes, and Instrument Airplane authorization. He’s been a CFI since 1975.

Kirby Ortega

Kirby has been an active flight instructor for 44 years. He was 19 when he finished his training at the Ross School of Aviation at, back then, the Riverside airport in Tulsa. Kirby taught primarily at the Cessna Employees Flying Club while attending Wichita State University. At the age of 23 he began a long career at Cessna Aircraft with his primary duties being flight instruction. While at Cessna he gained experience in all models of the Cessna fleet – recips, turboprops and jets. He also flew demonstrations flights globally, traveling to more than 90 different countries. Kirby has been recognized by the FAA as one of their chosen national flight instructor of the year in 2002, inducted into the National Flight instructor Hall Of Fame and Cessna Aircraft recognized top instructor. Along with his wife, Teresa, they opened Ortega Aviation Services to offer top notch ground instruction to many with very experienced instructors. OAS is located at the Eisenhower airport in Wichita, Kansas.