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Testimonials continued…

“My son decided after his freshman year at Bradley to pursue a career in aviation.  To switch majors and transfer to EKU’s Professional Flight degree as a sophomore required completing his private pilot license over the summer in 3 months.  After interviewing several flight schools/instructors, it was apparent this timeline was aggressive and unrealistic without the right combination of committed student and instructor.

Being a commercial pilot myself for the past 22 years, I wanted someone with the right experience, temperament, and most importantly the necessary commitment to get this done in 3 months.  Because of the current pilot shortage it is extremely difficult to find instructors dedicated to instructing, and not just building time for the next better paying job. Without any reservations, we selected Joe.
The best example I can provide of what you can expect from Joe came in early August.  After consecutive cancellations for weather and a poor forecast for the remainder of the week, Joe called wanting to fly after normal business hours because there was an unforecasted break in the weather.  That was typical of the commitment he had during the entire 3 months of training.  Thank you!”


Rob Barkocy

“I met Joe through my Private Pilot training when he gave me my mock checkride. Before that all I knew was his reputation for being tough and if you can handle his prep you knew you were ready to go. So going into my instrument training I knew who the only choice was. When I started my training with Joe I had already made sure I had prepped and my skills and requirements were ahead of the curve so we decided the accelerated course was the best choice. My schedule wasn’t open enough for the 10 day course so instead we spread the 10 day course over the next few weeks. Fast forward a couple weeks later and I was ready to go.

The course design was perfect and everyday flowed right into the next one so there was no backtracking and time lost jumping around. Luck have it the airport closed for nearly a month just as I was getting ready to take the checkride. Even with the curve ball we stayed right on track and when the airport was open all it took was a couple flights and I was ready to go. I took my checkride in Janesville and Joe flew up there to make sure everything was just the way the examiner wanted it and of course it already was. But that is what Joe does, he goes above and beyond to make sure you are getting the best instruction out there.

Whenever I had a question that we were unsure of he came back the next day with a thesis on the subject that you know he spent hours looking up after the lesson. He’s going to give you the right information and he is going to teach you the right way to fly. It may seem tough sometimes but being a safe pilot takes work and if you are willing to put it in there is no better instructor than Joe. He’s not going to accept mediocrity he is going to train you at the high level you deserve and I guarantee you will come out the other side better than you could’ve ever thought.

Want to pass a checkride? Want to become a better pilot? Want to develop and hone your skills?
Joe is the way to go
Plus he always shares the snacks he brings along on flights (that’s what sold me)”


Jon Pounds

“I was introduced to Joe Standley by multiple references from former and current students. The statement that convinced me to select Joe as my instructor was “if you want your check ride to go smoothly learn from Joe.” After completing my desired rating, I have to agree completely.

In addition to a mastery of the skills and knowledge required for the rating you are seeking instruction for, Joe has the experience of many years of instruction. He knows where students are likely to struggle, and what skills are difficult to master. He has several approaches to teaching the same concepts and skills. When I was struggling he was always able to present the concept in another way.

Joe instructed, and expected me to strive for a set performance goal, (such as maintaining altitude, touchdown location or holding banks). He pushes you to develop your skills beyond the tolerance allowed for a check ride. It is hard not to hear his coaching in my ear, encouraging me to improve, when I am up for an enjoyable flight alone.   Now I find that the challenges he presented continue to make me a better pilot. As we all know we are constantly improving and learning with each flight. Joe’s instruction taught me to value those experiences and continue to grow in skill.”

Lindy Rucks

“Having Joe Standley as my CFI/CFII was an immensely positive and rewarding learning experience. He continually surprised me with the depth of his knowledge and patience. From day one I knew that I was with the right instructor, not just someone who is building time before moving off to an airline. Always supportive and never condescending he took me step by step through the ABCs of flying and then on to my instrument rating in my own Cessna 172.

Joe was certainly committed to my success from the very beginning. He is always passionate about teaching and about my success rate at every milestone: written, solo and checkrides. He always went an extra mile for me when I needed help rescheduling or had to deal with my old airplane. As I make my own decisions with about a 1000 hours now, I still sometimes can’t help asking myself “what would Joe do?”. So even when I fly alone my right seat is never empty.”

Sam Rozenfeld
DLS Internet Services

“I interviewed a few instructors before deciding to have Joe be my instructor for my instrument rating.  I appreciated the fact that this is Joe’s full time career and he is clearly passionate about flight instruction.  When flying airplanes, you never want to short cut anything.  Joe is completely thorough when it comes to instruction.  Every facet is top priority.  My experience with Joe was completely opposite of my private pilot training, where I was forced to use a variety of instructors because someone got a job with an airline, etc.  Joe is consistent in his pre-flight, flying, and post flight instruction.  I am fortunate enough to keep my Instrument rating “wet” and I probably fly in IMC conditions more than the average GA pilot.  I still hear Joe’s instruction in my head setting up for an approach.  Joe prepares, instructs, then challenges you to do better.  I fly with confidence that is very real.  It comes from a solid foundation set by Joe.”

Gene Woods
Treasurer, Schaumburg Flying Club

“When I first met Joe Standley, I was a PPL with 200 hours in my logbook.  I should correct that, I was a private pilot with the proverbial 1 hour 200x in my logbook.  I had trained at a small untowered airport with a lot of restrictions on their rentals (as in no solo flight, even for PPL, if the winds were in excess of 15 knots and no night flight without an IR).  I was a very nervous pilot.  I only flew on CAVU days with light winds during the day.

After moving to a new area, I went to get checked out at the local flight school (because I still did enjoy my same hour over and over, how can you beat the view?).  Joe was my instructor at the new school, and he took the time to not only understand my flying background, but what my aspirations were.  He asked me how I wanted to use my license in real life.  That was a checkout, but it started a relationship.  Joe worked with me to build my confidence as a PPL, and eventually in my training towards an instrument rating.  I haven’t worked with many instructors who are as organized and knowledgeable as Joe, and I haven’t worked with anyone that was more dedicated to helping me achieve my goals.  Joe was available to answer my questions always (even before a VFR flight with questionable weather (for me) – we walked through the weather, options and go/no-go decision on the phone).

Unfortunately, due to a medical issue, I didn’t complete my IR checkride, but I made great headway.  Joe’s lessons were focused and organized, with the next lesson and homework clearly laid out and discuss after each flight.  The other thing I loved about flying with Joe was, you were going to fly.  If there wasn’t icing or T-storms, you were going up.  During my training, I got approximately 8 hours of actual IMC.  In addition, while training with Joe, he helped build my confidence so that I was comfortable flying myself to a business meeting at MKE as well as a trip to pick up colleagues at MDW.  The radio communications and high density airspace were commonplace at that point.  I’ve also made several trips into class D and smaller C airspace around the Midwest and actually enjoyed flying again.

If you are looking to truly know how to fly in the system, understand weather and decision making, and above all else, to remain safe, Joe is excellent.  If i regain my medical, I will finish up my instrument with Joe, there is no question.”

Terry McKenna
PPL in the Chicago Area

Joe is a fantastic instructor!  He is very dedicated to his role and his students.  I’m convinced his success is largely based on his love of the job, and it shows in the results. 

I found his instruction to be both fun and challenging.  He is patient with students and is capable of helping students get through challenging topics by presenting the material in several different ways.  Joe also has some unique ways to teach & simplify subjects, and present them in a logical manner.  After I completed training with Joe, the check ride was a breeze.  I also felt well prepared to go out and use my rating.”

Dale Randol

“Most any instructor can get you through the practical standards to achieve your goal.  Only the good ones present the information in a manner that allows you to fully understand the topics and feel confident that you will retain them after your training is complete.  Joe is one of those instructors.  Don’t waste time and money struggling through your training.  Grasp and understand the topics that seem hard the first time and come away a confident and safe pilot.  As a pilot, your training never stops and I continue to come back for more.  Be it a BFR, IPC, or just a confidence building flight in the clouds, I always know I will come away from it as a better pilot.”

Sean Stephens

While on the ground or in the air, Joe is a true professional.  His experience, knowledge and understanding of aviation is incredible.  I was fortunate to have such a thorough, thoughtful and challenging instructor.  I remember days where as a pilot, flying in certain weather conditions made me nervous.  Joe  encouraged me and took me up in conditions I would not have otherwise flown on my own,  as a result, my situational awareness and confidence has gone up…20 knot crosswind, no problem!   It’s times like that when you know you had the right instructor and training!.  As I meet new instructor’s to check aircraft at different airports, I am often complimented on my thoroughness and airmanship.  This was made possible by the good foundation I got from Joe

Joe Barabas
Prosper Texas

“Joe is an extremely dedicated flight instructor with a real interest in making you the best pilot you can be. His emphasis on flight safety along with a thorough understanding of all aspects of the flight are unparalleled. With his ability to tailor instruction to individual needs, breaking down complex concepts into chewable chunks, Joe accelerates the learning process to expedite training without cutting corners”

Jeff Duszynski

“I worked with Joe Standley to complete my latest certification and recommend him highly.  The FAA examiner complimented my performance on the oral and practical test.  Since my goal is to become an outstanding pilot, Joe’s knowledge and experience, combined with his intensity and insistence on good flying help make that possible.  There are two areas where I found Joe to be especially valuable.  First, Joe will allow me to make mistakes, where it is safe to do so, and use the experience to drive home important lessons.  Second, Joe is absolutely dependable for scheduling ground and flight sessions, and very flexible in working around weather or other schedule challenges.  Joe has made it possible to create a schedule that works with my complex business and travel schedule.”

Jim Albers

If you are looking for a flight instructor that has years of actual experience and does not waste a minute of yours or his time then Joe is the instructor for you. I seeked out an instructor that was more than just a fresh CFI with a few hundred hours, I needed someone who had real world experience teaching and knew what they were talking about. After a lot of hard work and training with Joe I felt I was well prepared and confident for my check ride. When it was all done I knew Joe had taught me everything I needed to know. I highly recommend Joe for anything Instrument related.

Dustin Rose

“After working with different flight instructors off and on for three years, Joe was able to help me finally finish my instrument rating. He is able to tailor his instruction to fit many different learning styles and personalities. I found him to be available and encouraging with just enough tough-love to keep you motivated and on-track. If you listen and put forth the effort, he’ll make you a better pilot.”

Cheri Walter

“Joe’s training curriculum are tried-and-true from several years of experience. And yet he was able to make adjustments that better fit the speed of my learning. While our goal was to get me to pass my check ride, his overall objective was to make me a better pilot..”

Steve Duitsman

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