Skill is committed to structured, disciplined, and standardized flight training. Our instructors are professional aviators and educators who go through regular, rigorous, recurrent training. Our equipment is top-notch and impeccably maintained. We employ training methods embraced by airline, corporate, and military training organizations. We have first class facilities and 21st century technology using state-of-the-art training tools. We have quality control in our training. Our customer service is second to none. We want you to evolve into a safe, competent, and well rounded pilot capable of handling any situation with sound judgment and excellent decision making skills. We care!
Jim started flying while he was in college at the University of Illinois, earning his Private Pilot certificate in 1986 and becoming a Certified Flight Instructor in 1987. In college Jim competed on, and coached for, the University’s flight team in both regional and national competitions.
After graduating from the U of I and getting his MBA from Indiana University, he moved East and started a successful career in business. He worked for Conrail, buying and selling locomotives and freight cars and arranging complex financial deals, and for Capital One, where he drove information based decision making and financial governance in operational, staff, and business line roles. During this time Jim’s flying took a decade long hiatus. As Capital One became less entrepreneurial, it became less enjoyable, so in 2006, Jim resigned and started focusing on getting back into two areas of passion, flying and photography. He also moved back to the Chicago area and re-started his Flight Instructing career, with Skill Aviation.
There isn’t a day that goes by where Jim regrets switching from a desk to a cockpit. The experience of returning to flying after a long hiatus, gives him a unique perspective on those undertaking the same effort.
Jim served as Chief Flight Instructor at Skill Aviation from 2009 through March 2016. In 2015 he was named one of 11 outstanding flight instructors in the country in the AOPA Flight Training Excellence Awards, named to the Honor Roll in 2016, and a Distinguished Flight Instructor in 2017. Jim is a certified airline transport pilot, flight instructor, instrument instructor, and multi-engine instructor with over 4,000 hours dual given and 5,000 hours total time.
Kilian Bartsch is a flight instructor with 18 years of flying experience. Kilian learned to fly at Chicago Executive Airport (KPWK) while attending university and has been involved in aviation ever since. One of his favorite destinations is at 46°32'25"N, 9°53'31"E.
Kilian earned a degree in Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences from Northwestern University, and holds FAA airline transport pilot, flight instructor, instrument instructor, and multi-engine instructor certificates. He also speaks fluent German.
Growing up, Sandy Eanes spent many hours looking up at the sky, wondering what it would be like to fly a plane. It wasn’t until her sophomore year in college that she decided to take an introductory flight and find out for herself. She immediately fell in love with aviation and began flight training after graduating from college in 1992. Like many pilots, she would occasionally stop training in order to meet the responsibilities of family, work and finances, but never gave up her dream of becoming an instructor. After several years, she completed her training and has been teaching ever since.
Sandy has a degree in psychology from Loyola University in Chicago, and has been instructing at Skill Aviation for the last nine years. She enjoys passing on her love for flying to new students in the hopes of helping them fulfill their dream of becoming a pilot.
Harrison Ganem started flying when he was 17 years old and finished his private pilot's license before he graduated High School. He then went on to attend Embry Riddle Aeronautical University to pursue his career in aviation. There, he finished his Instrument through Multi Commercial ratings, interned at United Airlines, and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Aeronautical Science. After graduation he moved to Chicago and completed his CFI rating with Skill Aviation. While working towards his Certificate, he became the Maintenance Coordinator at Skill, and in April 2016 he started as a full time flight instructor at Skill Aviation.
Skip Goss is an aviation industry professional adept in the operations and management of aircraft services including maintenance, sales, charter, and flight training. With nearly three decades of general aviation experience, Skip has a unique combination of organizational, technical, sales, and managerial talents.
Skip earned his private pilot certificate while in college in 1986 and has been an active flight instructor since 1988. After a successful career in the aerospace industry as a sales engineer and product manager, Skip followed his passions of business and aviation and launched his own flight training and aircraft services business in 2005. He is responsible for the company’s successful culture and steady growth. Because of his commitment to his employees, customer service, professionalism, and value, Skill Aviation is recognized as the leading flight training institution in the region.
Skip earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Western Michigan University and a Master of Science Degree from Illinois Institute of Technology. He is an FAA certificated airline transport pilot and flight instructor. As a testament to his character, experience, and integrity, Skip was selected and authorized as an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner in 2007.
Carol Karp began flying in 2005 and earned her pilot's license the following year. She went on to graduate from the University of North Dakota with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics degree in Flight Education. Since she first started instructing in 2009 she has enjoyed flying and teaching all around the country. Her favorite trip was delivering a Cessna 182 from Miami to Long Island with her airline pilot husband, Keegan. She enjoys spending time with him and their daughter Audrey.
Matt Koschak has been a pilot for over a decade. His love for aviation and desire to share it with others led to him to earning a certified flight instructor certificate in 2007. With nearly 1000 hours of flight time that includes aerobatic and tailwheel experience, Matt is a part-time instructor for Skill Aviation and holds instrument and multi-engine instructor certificates. A graduate of Northern Illinois University with a degree in physics, he works as an acoustical engineer for Shure, Inc. His latest challenge is building a Vans RV-7 kit plane, which provides him the opportunity to combine his engineering interests with his passion for flying. Matt became a father in April 2014 and he cannot wait for his son to be old enough for his first flying lesson!
Nancy Lemke joined Skill Aviation in Jan 2010 as a dispatcher. Prior to joining Skill Aviation, Nancy proudly served 8 years in the United States Navy, as a Hospital Corpsman. Her distinguished Naval career included being stationed on the now retired aircraft carrier, USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67). Nancy earned a Bachelor’s Degree, with honors, from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Technical Operations, Minoring in Aviation Safety. She also earned her Private Pilot Certificate in Jacksonville, FL.
Patrick Lutker started instructing at Skill Aviation in June of 2013 as a full time instructor and fleet technician after graduating from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He left SIUC with his CFI and A&P. Currently Patrick works for the Baxter International Corp. flight department as an Flight Mechanic, where he has been traveling the world on Gulfstream G450. He works part-time at Skill either flying or helping maintain the fleet. He is currently working on obtain his CFII and MEI. In his free time he enjoys mountain biking, dirt biking and restoring his 1972 Triumph Trophy.
Greg began his aviation career at the age of 16 while flying gliders in the Civil Air Patrol as a cadet. Flying gliders taught him to be thorough, disciplined, and safe (you only get one chance to land a glider). Since then he has gone on to volunteer as a check pilot for the Civil Air Patrol. In addition to providing instruction, he ensures that their pilots meet C.A.P. and F.A.A. standards. Greg was an instructor at a local college training professional career pilots for advanced certificates and ratings. In addition to Greg’s aviation experience, he also has a professional background in design and engineering. Greg’s passion is flying and he is eager to share that passion with others.
Greg has over 1500 hours of experience working with students from ages 14 to 67 in both single and multi-engine aircraft. Some of his previous students have distinguished careers with the U.S. Air Force, airlines, and corporate flight departments.
Since the age of two, Stephanie has been flying in gliders. She grew up with aviation in her life since both of her parents are avid glider pilots. She served as Chief Master Sergeant during her 4 years in the U.S. Civil Air Patrol. Stephanie is currently training for her Private Pilot Certificate in a glider, after which she will earn her airplane category rating and hopes to have a future in the military as either a fighter pilot or a surgeon. She has rich life experiences and seeks new adventures and challenges throughout her life.
Vivienne has been flying ever since she was 2 years old. Her Dad is training her for her Private Pilot - Glider and hopes to take her checkride before she graduates high school. Vivienne has been working at Skill Aviation since August 2014 as a Crew Chief and Dispatcher where she has learned about time-management and attention to detail. In the future, she plans on entering into the medical field alongside and continuing her aspirations in aviation. Her favorite time to fly is right before a sunset as as it dips under the horizon with an explosion of color.
Ed has worked at Skill Aviation since he was 14 years old (2008) cleaning airplanes and sweeping the floors. He has grown to be an invaluable asset to the organization capable of handling many important tasks including detailing/servicing aircraft, and keeping the flight line safe, organized, and operational. Ed has been serving our country since 2012 as a reservist Sargent in the 1-105th Cavalry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team. He is currently enrolled in the professional pilot program at Gateway Community College in Kenosha, WI.
Joe fell in love with aviation after his first commercial airline flight at age six. He began flying in 2007 before he could drive a car. He earned his private pilot license in 2009. Joe recently graduated from the University of North Dakota where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in both Aviation and Supply Chain Management. Joe spends any time he can surrounding himself with aviation as he aspires for a career flying business aircraft. He currently has his CFI and CFII and is working on his MEI. Joe will seize any opportunity he can to get in the air and fly.