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Our Leaders

Jack Shelton

Business Owner and Manager, Flight Instructor

Jack has been flying since 1983 and has been a flight instructor since 1993.  An Oklahoma native, upon moving to the Twin Cities area in 2005 he noted a need for a well-organized flying club with outstanding aircraft and talented instructors, and North Star Flyers was born.  He holds Airline Transport Pilot certification and is licensed to instruct in single- and multi-engine airplanes with an emphasis on instrument instruction, and also enjoys teaching in gliders on warm summer weekends with Red Wing Soaring Association.  Besides operating the business aspects of North Star Flyers, he is a pathologist in private practice with a large specialty group in Minneapolis and directs a number of small hospital laboratories in greater Minnesota.  He and his wife Wanda own a Beechcraft Baron 58 and are caretakers of the Cessna Skylane previously owned by his father.  Jack most enjoys seeing club members of all experience levels and ages achieve their aviation goals while having fun in a friendly pilot community.


Mike Miller

Club President and Flight Instructor

Mike is a Minnesota native and has lived here for his entire life. He is the first pilot in his family, so had to develop his deep passion for aviation all on his own.  He began flying in 2010, became a licensed flight instructor in single-engine airplanes in 2018 under the tutelage of Dave Autio, and recently joined the ranks of aircraft owners with his own Cessna Skylane.  He loves aviation more each year, especially the challenge to go farther, to be better, and to learn more. Next to that is the aviation community:  It is small, close and always eager to welcome new faces and share experiences. With regard to instructing, he most enjoys sharing his knowledge and helping others develop their skills: “If you really want to learn something - teach something.”

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Cheryl Daml

Chief Flight Instructor

Cheryl is a retired first grade teacher (34 years).  She began flying in 1992 as a part time hobby, which led to a second career! She began flight instructing in 2000 and in her retirement, Cheryl instructs full time at Anoka County Airport.  In addition to her time at North Star Flyers and in her own Beechcraft Sundowner, she instructs at several other local flying clubs and has a large clientele of private aircraft owners.  She teaches ground school part time at a regional airline. Active in the 99s Women Pilots organization since 2013, she currently serves as Minnesota Chapter Chair.  She enjoys mentoring and encouraging other women to get involved in aviation. Cheryl developed a Companion Pilot Course for non-flying partners of pilots.  Cheryl holds Commercial Pilot certification and is licensed to instruct in single-engine airplanes including instrument flight.  She has also developed and presented seminars and ground school courses for many organizations and venues. Helping people achieve their aviation dreams is very rewarding and Cheryl feels very fortunate to be able to use her teaching skills for this purpose.


Dave Autio

Flight Instructor

Dave began flying in 1972 and became a certificated flight instructor in 1978. That same year he became an air traffic control specialist at the Duluth Air Traffic Control Tower, where he served until 1981. After a hiatus from flying he reinstated his instructor certificate in 2008 with North Star Flyers and became an instrument instructor in 2010. He has approximately 5,100 hours of flying time with more than 4,500 hours of dual given. He volunteers his time for Pilots ‘n Paws as a pilot in command. Dave brings to our club a well-rounded knowledge base and a perspective from both sides of the pilot-controller relationship that serves his students very well.


Mark Jaeger

Flight Instructor

Mark has been flying since 1987; he achieved licensure as a flight instructor in 2016 and is highly capable of teaching in single-engine airplanes, including instrument flight.  He retired from a 34-year career as an engineer at Honeywell Aerospace,  supporting the manufacture of inertial navigation systems.  He has since taught full-time at North Star Flyers and at other clubs  and organizations in the area.  Mark enjoys working with his clients to help them achieve their dreams of flying, all while having fun along the way.


Kurt Olson

Flight Instructor

A Minnesota native, Kurt returned to Minnesota after a stint in the Air Force. He took up flying in 2006. After several years of recreational flying, he pursued and achieved flight instructor licensure in 2012, focusing on his main passion in tailwheel airplanes.  “There is no such thing as too much flying,” he says, and lives this fully through his instructing and frequent Pilots ’n Paws rescue flights across the Upper Midwest.  His favorite experience instructing is when a student has that “eureka!” moment and everything comes together as it should.


Ellen Quist

Flight Instructor

Ellen finished college in 2017 and promptly decided to make a career pivot to aviation. She got a job working at the Anoka FBO and started flying in 2018. Ellen became a flight instructor in 2020 under the excellent tutelage of North Star’s own Cheryl Daml and now holds instructional privileges in single-engine airplanes, including seaplanes, and instrument flight. She participates with several different volunteer pilot organizations, is an active member of the 99’s, the local EAA chapter, Civil Air Patrol, and sits on the board of directors for the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE). Since 2021, Ellen has been a full-time instructor and contract commercial pilot, and she now manages and flies a handful of corporate aircraft out of the Minneapolis area. Ellen more or less eats, sleeps, and breathes airplanes, relishes the challenge of learning something new, and loves to share her joy of flight with others.

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Jim Reed

Flight Instructor

Jim started flight lessons as a high schooler at a small grass strip in central North Carolina. After earning his private pilot’s license in a Cessna 150 with a LORAN he continued his training at SCSU earning the rest of his ratings. In between his full time aviation job, Jim enjoys sharing his flying experience as a single- and multi-engine and instrument flight instructor teaching all levels of pilots from zero hours through ATP. When Jim isn’t flying, he also enjoys gardening, playing piano, and traveling.


Jeremy Schwartz

Flight Instructor

Jeremy started flying with Civil Air Patrol, an Air Force Auxiliary, in 1991.  He attended the University of North Dakota in the Aviation Professional Flight program in 1994.  From there, he went on to become a Purser Flight Attendant for American Airlines in 1998.  He obtained his commercial multi-engine pilot certification  in 2002, became a flight instructor in 2021 and holds an instrument instructor rating.  He has a Citation 500 second-in-command type rating where he flies missions for Wings of Mercy, has flown a multitude of aircraft and has had years of training.  He is very passionate about aviation, helping others learn to become proficient and professional pilots.  His hobbies include almost 5000 hours in flight simulation, traveling the globe, and coffee time with friends. 


Rob Young

Flight Instructor

Rob earned his private pilot certificate in 2012 and went on to become a flight instructor in 2019.  He is a member of two local flying clubs and enjoys flying a wide variety of airplanes.  Rob enjoys long cross country flights as well as short hops for a $100 hamburger.  His favorite aviation experiences have been flying out to Oshkosh, Wisconsin for AirVenture and camping at the plane.  Rob is passionate about learning everything about aviation and making flying safer for all pilots.  He plans to continue with his aviation dreams by earning more ratings and flying other types of aircraft.  He enjoys flying with friends and family and teaching others to fly.

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