The OAS Crew

At OAS, we have gathered a team of experts who share our passion for aviation. Our “crew” is committed to assisting those who are just getting started in aviation or want to build upon what they have already accomplished.

Flight Instructors

Alex Wang
Flight Instructor

Alex Wang’s aviation journey took flight at the age of 17 in Augusta, where he earned his private pilot, instrument, and commercial certificates. In 2022, Alex’s passion for comprehensive learning led him to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for a brief yet impactful stint. He was honored with a full-ride scholarship and selected as one of 13 for Embry Riddle’s Inaugural EDGE class. After a semester, he decided to return to Wichita. Now a CFII experienced in both Part 61 and 141 training, Alex is currently pursuing a Business Administration degree at Wichita State University, adding a business dimension to his aviation skills. Alex’s experience learning and working under a 2x NAFI Master CFI and Embry- Riddle reflects a background in flight training and a keen understanding of both Part 61 and 141 training environments. His commitment to excellence and adaptability in the ever-evolving field of aviation allows him to tailor a dynamic experience for each student.

Nick DiGiacomo
Flight Instructor

Nick, an instructor hailing from Nashville, TN, developed his love and passion for aviation from an early age, starting with flying RC planes and his grandad’s Cessna 172. His journey towards a career in aviation led him to obtain all his ratings at Middle Tennessee State University. He holds a CFII; Commercial Pilot, Instrument & AMEL. Nick is thrilled to play a role in helping students achieve their aviation dreams. Outside the cockpit, Nick finds joy in cheering on the Tennessee Titans and the Nashville Predators. His enthusiasm for aviation and commitment to guiding aspiring pilots make Nick a valuable asset to the aviation community.

Cooper Buessing
Flight Instructor

Cooper was raised in the Wichita area, where he tended to animals on a small farm. He studied at Bishop Carroll High School and earned his private pilot license during his senior year. Following graduation, Cooper continued to enhance his pilot skills at OAS, obtaining his instrument, Commercial, and CFI ratings. When he’s not flying, he enjoys working out, woodworking, and playing sports.

Nick Heiland
Flight Instructor

Nick began flying in 2017 while attending Kansas State University and earning a degree in Construction Science and Management through the College of Engineering. After 5 years in construction, Nick pursued his dream of aviation and became CSEL, CMEL and CFII. Filled with adventure, he can’t wait to pass on the excitement of flying to others and teach about all the amazing things the aviation world offers.

Max Knorp
Flight Instructor

Max attended the University of Kansas where he earned a degree in Information Systems. His passion for flying stems from his family’s deep roots in the aviation industry. Senior year of college, Max decided to follow his dream to become a Commercial pilot and Flight Instructor. His goal is to share with you his love for aviation and help you take the steps to get to the sky!

Justin Brown
Flight Instructor

Justin began his aviation career back in 2013 when he joined the United States Air Force as a meteorologist. He supported Air Force and Army operations eventually finding himself at Ft. Riley here in Kansas. In 2018, as he was transitioning off of active duty to the Air National Guard, he decided to attend Kansas State University, and received his private pilot license. Following that, he went to ATP Flight school to complete his certificates all the way up through his CFI, CFII, and MEI. He found himself back at Kansas State University as an Assistant Chief, and check airman before joining Ortega Aviation. When he is not flying he enjoys spending time with his wife Maggie and son Rhodes. Justin’s favorite part of flying is teaching students and seeing their hard work result in a checkride pass!

Brad Christopher
Flight Instructor

Brad Christopher has been a member of the OAS flight instructing team since 2021. Brad has been a licensed pilot since 1982. He has previously worked as a corporate pilot for a national restaurant chain and a production test pilot for Textron Aircraft Company in turbine models. He has logged over 6,200 flight hours, 4,600 in multi-engine aircraft including 4,200 in turbine aircraft. Brad holds an ATP, and CFII and MEI. He holds five (5) turbine model aircraft type ratings. Brad likes telling people he “is passionate about providing high quality flight training; the success of my student client is also my success!” Brad has logged over 900 hours of dual given in single and multi-engine aircraft.

Charles Lloyd
Flight Instructor

Charles Lloyd is an ATP CFII with over 70 years flying experience. He holds the FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award and has experience in aircraft ranging from Piper J3 Cub, numerous piston aircraft, King Airs plus Caravan turboprop 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 also instructed 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. He holds a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alabama where his research was a mathematical model and simulation describing a sub portion of the Saturn V Fuel System dynamics. As a member of the OAS Crew, he focuses on instruction in the OAS Frasca RTD Advanced Aviation Training Device configured for ce172 Garmin G1000 NXi, Seminole Twin Garmin G1000 NXi and ce172S Classic Six Pack Garmin GNS430W configurations., He also developed and teaches ForeFlight Workshops for VFR and IFR Pilots where he will take you where you have never gone before in ForeFlight.

Jim Perry
Flight Instructor

Jim has a background in both general and commercial aviation. He attended the University of Iowa, with a major in broadcasting and film. While film remains a hobby for Jim, his career choice was aviation. With over 22,000 hours flying a variety of aircraft, his early years were 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 has been a CFI since 1975.

John F. Morgan, Sr
Flight Instructor

I teach flying for Fun! I convinced the FAA that I could teach flying in 1994. They granted me my CFI. I achieved my CFII a few years later. Once you have experience controlling an aircraft in flight, you will look to the skies differently. I am here at Ortega Aviation as a Private Pilot ground instructor to start you on that journey. To learn it safely and make your learning experience enjoyable with just a touch of “FUN”!

James Oliphant
Flight Instructor

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.

Ground Support

Cindy Todd
Executive Administrator

Cindy greets you with a warm smile as the receptionist at the OAS building. With extensive front desk and customer service experience before joining OAS, she aims to ensure every interaction is positive and pleasant.

Cindy values teamwork, positive vibes, and gaining knowledge about aviation at OAS. Outside of work, she is happily married to her high school sweetheart, has two sons, a delightful grandson, and two rescue dogs. Cindy finds joy in acrylic painting and embracing the beauty of nature.

Holly Chambers
Accounting Manager

With 30+ years experience in accounting and commercial insurance, Holly is a tremendous asset to the team. She attended Oklahoma City Community College while working as a licensed property and casualty agent with an insurance brokerage firm. In 1998 she joined her husband in their family-owned construction company as a general contractor, building many churches and schools in Oklahoma. Over the years, they focused on building, owning and managing multiple apartment complexes and shopping centers around five cities. After a brief retirement, Holly decided to rejoin the workforce and joined Ortega Aviation Services.

Holly is no stranger to aviation. Her father was a decorated Air Force Colonel and pilot and her mother a private pilot and former Braniff Airlines flight attendant.

Holly’s goal is to help Ortega Aviation with growing needs and proficient accounting. She also loves watching the instructors and students experience their dreams come true in the air.

Brandi Ricke
Manager of Contract Administration

Brandi brings 23 years of aviation experience to her role at Ortega Aviation. She has supported customers for all Textron Aviation product lines including pistons, turboprops, and jets in a variety of roles within the Aftermarket and Customer Experience organizations. She has managed the 24/7 AOG support and parts teams, and was most recently Director of Interior Design and Customer Spec. This gave her the opportunity to work directly with the Customer Advisory Boards on product refreshes and new programs introduced by Textron Aviation. Receiving first-hand customer feedback helped her understand what the aviation community wants and needs from their products for everything from performance, pricing, aesthetics, amenities, and field support.

Brandi and her husband Chad are both long-time aviation employees and enthusiasts. She is extremely excited to be part of the Ortega Aviation team and is the proud parent of an OAS private pilot in training.

Lori Lucion
Director of Marketing

Lori became the Director of Marketing at OAS in March 2021. Her career began at Cessna Aircraft Company in 1996 as a marketing specialist. During her 16 years with the company, Lori progressed through various roles, culminating in the Director of Marketing.

In 2012, she transitioned to Bendix/King by Honeywell as a Senior Manager in Channel Marketing. Following a two-year stint at Bendix/King, Lori moved to Honda Aircraft Company as a Marketing Lead. After leaving Honda in 2020, she has been independently working in aviation marketing.

Living in Greensboro, North Carolina, Lori shares her home with her Australian Shepherd, Dutch. She loves exploring the local mountains and outdoor activities in her leisure time. She holds an Aviation Business Administration degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.


Teresa Ortega
Managing Partner

Teresa Ortega boasts close to three decades of experience in the aviation sector. Her journey commenced in 1995 at Cessna Aircraft company, where she supported the international sales department in various administrative capacities. Following the completion of her degree in Organizational Management and Leadership from Friends University, Teresa advanced to the role of Regional Sales Director for ProAdvantage programs in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Russia. This position remained hers until her retirement from Cessna in 2018.

Having roots in Wichita, aviation runs deep in Teresa’s family. Both her father and grandfather were involved in aviation, instilling a passion for the industry in her from a young age. Teresa currently holds a Citation Mustang type rating, along with a commercial certificate featuring multi and instrument ratings.

Post her tenure at Cessna, Teresa and her husband, Kirby, fused their aviation expertise and enthusiasm to establish Ortega Aviation Services, a venture aimed at assisting others in achieving their aviation aspirations.

While aviation remains a significant interest for Teresa, she also finds joy in traveling, family activities, cooking, volunteering, and spending quality time with her grandson, Daichi.
Teresa’s zeal and broad experience in general and business aviation render her an invaluable consultant. Her mission is to ensure a stress-free and pleasurable aircraft ownership experience for you, backed by her wealth of knowledge and resources.

Kirby Ortega

Kirby Ortega embodies the essence of a seasoned pilot. With over five decades of experience flying various aircraft from the Cessna lineup and other manufacturers, Kirby’s expertise is unparalleled. Beginning his career at Cessna Aircraft Company in 1980, he initially worked as a flight instructor in the Air Transportation Department. Later, he transitioned to conducting aircraft demonstrations worldwide for potential customers and media personnel. Kirby concluded his flying career as the Chief Pilot for piston engine operations at Cessna Flight Operations.

Following his retirement from Cessna in 2013, Kirby assumed the role of Chief Pilot for Jet Management programs at Yingling Aviation, a position he continues to hold. Kirby’s impressive credentials include an ATP certificate, flight instructor certification, and multiple type ratings in Citation aircraft. He is recognized as an FAA Gold Seal Flight Instructor, a two-term NAFI Master Flight Instructor, and a member of the FAA FAAST Team. Kirby has been honored with various accolades such as induction into the National Flight Instructor Hall of Fame, being named the 2002 FAA National Flight Instructor of the Year, receiving the Master CFI designation and the FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award. He has logged over 28,000 incident-free flight hours and provided more than 16,500 hours of dual instruction.

While aviation remains his foremost passion, Kirby also finds joy in travel, cycling, and college basketball, particularly supporting the Wichita State Shockers. A family man, Kirby has two sons and a grandson.

Driven by a desire to share his extensive aviation knowledge with aspiring pilots, Kirby, alongside his wife Teresa, established Ortega Aviation Services. In this venture, he focuses on delivering exceptional flight instruction and consulting services, specializing in pilot coaching and check rides in the CJ Series and Citation Mustang.