In 2015, the owners and pilots of Atlanta Air Charter founded Atlanta Air Academy in Kennesaw, GA. Our passion for aviation and promoting careers for professional pilots inspired us to form this flight academy to train, mentor, and provide a pathway for providing desperately needed, well-trained pilots for the airline and charter industry.
Atlanta Air Charter currently owns and operates a fleet of four King Air 200 aircraft and an Astra Jet to meet the needs of the growing on-demand private aircraft charter market. The company is owned and operated by a tight group of airline and military pilots dedicated to safety and professional pilot standards. We have a continuous need for qualified pilots in our charter department and will help any deserving candidate reach their goals. For more information, contact us.
Our Fleet & Team
N8596U, aka "The Unicorn"
This is one of our flight school aircraft. The instructors and students have begun purchasing and wearing unicorn-clad attire to show their love for "The Unicorn!"
Jim Cook, CEO
Mr. Cook’s previous aviation experience includes 40 years of service with Delta Airlines. At Delta, Mr. Cook served as a Captain on a 737-NG aircraft and 18 years in the training department as a flight instructor. Mr. Cook has also served in varying capacities with the United States Navy, including Commanding Officer of Patrol Squadron 60 located at the Glenview Naval Air Station, Illinois. Soloing at the age of sixteen, Mr. Cook’s aviation career literally spans the globe and fifty years.
Jim Caliendo, President
Jim began flying at age 15 and it quickly became his passion. He earned his CFI, CFII & MEI right here at RYY. He has had the privilege of being a corporate pilot, Director of Operations of Atl. Air Charter, instructor for KingAir 200 new hires, regional airline pilot, & now a First Officer flying a Boeing 737NG. With a background in Mechanical Engineering & Aviation Science, Jim brings well-rounded experience to oversee training of the next generation of professional & recreational pilots.
Jon Bottoms, Chief Instructor
Jonathan is a Marietta native and obtained his private pilots license in high school. He graduated from University of Mississippi and pursued his dream of flying, graduating from The Delta Connection Academy in FL. Jonathan became a flight instructor and then became a FAA-approved examiner. Jonathan was hired by the airlines and received his ATP license & CRJ200/700/900 jet type rating. Now Jon flies for AAC and is helping Atlanta Air Academy become a premium part 141 flight school.
Monica Ahlen, CFI
Monica Ahlen was born near the city of Barcelona, Spain, and has lived in several countries. She has always enjoyed learning and as a new CFI, she finds teaching even more rewarding. She started flying in 2010 and over the years has trained in a variety of airplanes.
Monica is an advanced ground instructor, flight instructor, and instrument-rated commercial pilot. She also has a seaplane rating, tailwheel endorsement, and a remote pilot certificate. She is also a NAFI, EAA, and CAP member.
Andrew Woeber, CFI
Andrew started flying as a hobby while working as a logistics manager. After deciding to turn that hobby into a job Andrew is a professional pilot who flies for a local company doing air ambulance and cargo flights as well as electronics testing for commercial and government clients. Andrew gives primary, instrument, and commercial instruction for single and multi-engine aircraft. He enjoys sharing his enthusiasm for flying with new students.
Crystal Johnson, CFI
Crystal became a Flight Attendant for Delta in 2011. In 2017, Crystal obtained her Private Pilot Certificate. In 2018, Crystal became Instrument rated, Single & Multi Engine Commercial rated and obtained her CFI/CFII and MEI. Crystal is currently a volunteer instructor at Aviation Career Enrichment, Inc, and member of Sisters of the Skies, Inc. Her goal is to inspire anyone who thinks becoming a Pilot is unobtainable, by influencing one person at a time.
Scott Scherbing, CFI
Scott is an Army Veteran and was a Blackhawk crew chief, assisting in air assault and MEDEVAC capacities and hurricane Katrina and Rita relief efforts. He graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a B.S. in Aviation Maintenance Management. He has his CFI, CFII, MEI, Gold Seal, and has given over 1,000 hours of instruction. He has his Multi Engine ATP with CRJ 200/700/900 & Beechjet type ratings. He has about 2,000 hours total time and is an A&P certified mechanic.
Pinky Patel, CFI
Pinky is a CFI, CFII (Instrument), and MEI (Multi-Engine Instructor). She started flying in December of 2016, while working as a full-time flight attendant for Delta Airlines and while completing her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Mercer University. She absolutely loves being a flight instructor and deeply cares for all her students! She believes every day is a wonderful experience, and there’s no better place to get it than in an airplane!
Richard Wood, CFI
Richard got his start in aviation at a young age when flying with his dad. His flying career began while in school at the University of Georgia as the Aviation Club President. His goal is to reach as many people as possible to share the world of aviation and the many opportunities that can be found within it. Richard is commercial single engine land, instrument-rated pilot and CFI. He is always striving for his students' success and wants to elevate his students to meet their aviation goals.