We wanna welcome Jeff to the AvZ family in a different role. Jeff is our newest flight instructor and ready to go to work. He graduated from AvZ Flight Academy with his Instrument Rating, Commercial License and Flight Instructor Certificate as the first recipient of the AvZ Flight Academy Career Pilot Program Sponsorship. Jeff and his instructor Richard worked hard and we are all very proud of these two. 


Special Offer:

If you purchase a 20 hour block of time for our Cessna 150 will receive it at a rate of $100/hr  **ONLY AVAILABLE FOR SOLO RENTALS, NOT FLIGHT INSTRUCTION**

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Welcome to AvZ Flight Academy

East Tennessee's Premier Flight Academy

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About Us

Ever since opening our doors, we’ve helped countless individuals achieve their career and life dreams, and we would like to help you reach them too! We are committed to providing excellent education, training, and resources so that our students will thrive in today’s competitive world. We are a Part 61 flight school teaching a well-structured FAA approved Part 141 curriculum. Located at Mcghee Tyson Airport, we provide the crucial experience of operating within a Class C airspace. Along with our flexible program options and great instructors, we’re sure you’ll be satisfied with your education at AvZ Flight Academy.

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Discovery Flight

Soar alongside the picturesque Great Smoky Mountains and experience what it means to be a pilot on the first day. At the end of the one hour affair, the accompanying certified pilot will sign off on your first hour of flight.

Contact us today to set up your Discovery Flight.

Weight restrictions will apply.


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Committed to Education

Providing our students with a well-rounded education is the core of AvZ Flight Academy. To ensure that the depth of knowledge expected is available to all, we designed an online session with Air Traffic Controller, Kevin Brehmer. This is a one-on-one online session detailing everything you need to know about the tower, the controllers that operate it, and how you, as a pilot, interact with them.

To further this experience we are also offering scheduled in-class group sessions. Although the core content is the same, at the end of the class, there will be a guided-tour of McGhee Tyson's very own control tower!

Due to COVID-19, we will not be facilitating the in-class sessions and tour until it is safe to do so. 



Available Programs

By offering several programs, AvZ Flight Academy can give you the tools to gain an advantage in aviation through specialized training. Taken all together, we can help you achieve the dream of becoming a Commerical Pilot. Learn more about your options below.

Career Pilot Program

This Professional Pilot Course is designed to be a self-paced, well supervised, quality, career-oriented flight training program. The program will reinforce and instill the set of comprehensive aeronautical knowledge and skills necessary for you to become a safe, proficient, and fully competent Commercial Pilot.

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Private Pilot

Whether you’re considering a career change or simply looking to gain a new skillset, our Private Pilot Course offers everything you need to get started in aviation and more.

Instrument Rating

The Instrument Course is prepared to take you from start to finish or wrap-up your instruction to get you ready for the check-ride. We’ll customize the best instrument rating program to meet your needs.

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Certified Flight Instructor

To be able to translate the knowledge and experience of flight to another is the real test for any pilot. Our Certified Flight Instructor Course will prepare you for all of the responsibilities of being in the right seat and, after completion, you can begin to have students of your own!

Certified Flight Instructor Instrument Rating

Expand your opportunities as an instructor by adding the instrument rating to your CFI arsenal.

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Multi-Engine Rating

The multi-engine rating applies your current knowledge in a more complex environment and prepares you for a successful checkride.



Diamond DA40




Cessna 172




Cessna 172




Cessna 172




Cessna 150




Piper Warrior




ELITE PI-135 Simulator




An Instructor Fee of $65/hr is added to sessions requiring ground/instruction.

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Our Team

Guidance, Inspiration, and Support


Adrian van Zyl

Company CEO

Adrian is a decorated, retired fighter pilot and holds multiple type ratings and has experience ranging from combat operations to airline Captain.

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Alex Smuk

Director of Operations

Alex is with AvZ Flight Academy since they opened in 2017. He is a Commercial Pilot with Multi Engine Land and Instrument Raiting and CFI. Alex has a background of military and law enforcement.

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Tony Pape

Chief Flight Instructor

Tony is a seasoned professional pilot having been a CFI for over 20 years and Captain at an airline for 11 years. Tony currently flies corporate jets and is based in Knoxville.


Jeff Coffey

Certified Flight Instructor

Jeff Coffey grew up in Knoxville, went to the University of Tennessee. First started flying 1987. Became an air traffic controller in 1991. Have been a controller at TYS for over 30  years. Former local controllers union president for 8 years. Worked Sun-n-Fun since 2008. SNF controller of the year 2014. Worked Oshkosh since 2014. Team leader for both events. Instrument rating earned in 2002. Commercial rating October 2021.
ATC Instructor 25 + years. Air traffic children everywhere.

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Ken Cable

Office Assistant

Loved by students and staff alike, Ken brings enthusiasm and joy to AvZ Flight Academy. Ken is an invaluable member of the team.


Mimi Bury

Director of Communications

Mimi is a reading and tutorial specialist for grades since 1982. She is a graduate of Southern Seminary Junior College, Buena Vista, VA and University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

Hall of Fame

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First Solo


Drew with company CEO: Adrian van Zyl


2323 West General Aviation Drive
Suite 209
Alcoa, TN 37701

(865) 233-5226

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