A lifelong love of flying has led Brandon Montrey to spend a lot of time in the skies over west-central Illinois.
Montrey, a December graduate of Quincy University with a degree in aviation flight, is now the flight instructor at Jacksonville Municipal Airport.
Montrey’s interest in flying goes back to childhood, when he spent time with his maternal grandfather, Vince Jaskowiak.
“He never became a pilot, but he had a strong interest in aviation and shared that with me,” said 22-year-old Montrey, a Quincy resident who grew up in Chatham. “I guess that kinda rubbed off on me. I’ve had an interest in flying for as long as I can remember.”
He said he chose to attend Quincy University because it allowed him to play football and to study aviation.
“It was a small class setting, where I had one-on-one attention from flight instructors,” Montrey said.
His first piloting experience came in August 2012 in a flight from Quincy’s Regional Baldwin Field.
“I was hooked right away,” he said. “The freedom of flight is exhilarating.”
“The [Quincy University] program’s instructors did a really good job of preparing me to become a flight instructor,” Montrey said. “I think the biggest thing that prepared me to become a flight instructor was with the one-on-one instruction. I was able to mimic my flight instructors, and that helped me choose my own method of instruction.”
As flight instructor at Jacksonville Municipal Airport, Montrey gives ground lesson plans, instruction in the air, develops advertising for flight instruction, and promotes the flight school and the airport.
“We had been without a full-time flight instructor for about two years, and I think we’re fortunate to have a knowledgeable and enthusiastic flight instructor like Brandon as our flight instructor at our airport,” airport manager Shastin Saxer said.
“I’m looking forward to getting people out here and getting them involved in the aviation community,” Montrey said.
Saxer said one of the goals of the Airport Authority in having a flight school and a full-time flight instructor is to provide quality and affordable flight instruction.
“We want any individual interested in aviation to know that the Jacksonville Municipal Airport is here to meet their aviation interest,” Saxer said.
Montrey is offering “Discovery Flights,” a 30-minute, hands-on introductory flight.
“Discovery Flights are designed for those who have no piloting experience and are interested in starting lessons,” Montrey said. “There are no prerequisites.”
Greg Olson can be reached at 217-245-6121, ext. 1224, or on Twitter @JCNews_Greg.