Academy Overview

The Indianapolis Aviation Career Education (ACE) is a summer aviation program. The academy offers an interactive introduction to the aviation industry and careers to middle and high school students. The purpose of the academy is to introduce youth to the world of aviation by exposing them to the many challenging careers and opportunities the industry has to offer. Students will have the opportunity to interact with active professionals, receive career mentoring, take several field trips, and see how professionals perform in their roles. The academy will conclude with students taking an orientation flight.

The ACE Academy is a nationally recognized program co-sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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The Indianapolis ACE Academy is open to students 10 through 18 years old, who have a desire to learn about aviation. Applicants are ranked based on age, cumulative GPA and recommendations.

  • An interest in the field of aviation
  • An accredited educational institution (homeschooled students are accepted)
  • Have maintained a 2.5 GPA or better
  • Must be physically capable of participating in academy activities


  • To provide insight and hands on experience for students to learn aviation history, fundamentals of aerodynamics, the role of government in aviation, aviation pioneers and the many careers available in the aviation industry.
  • To learn aviation concepts tailored to students education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

Why You Should Be Here

  • Interact with active professionals from the aviation community
  • Receive career mentoring
  • See how professionals achieve their goals
  • Spend several weeks of your summer break at an interactive camp to learn about the aviation industry
  • Fly with an experienced pilot (with parental consent)

Meet The Team

Ryan Lynch

Founder & Board Chairmen, Indianapolis Ace Academy

Captain Ryan Lynch is originally from Indianapolis, Indiana where he currently resides. He began flying at 14 years old. Ryan is a commercial airline pilot for Republic Airways db/a Delta Connection and holds a bachelors degree in Aeronautical Science with minor in Aviation Weather from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He is also pursuing his masters and doctorate degree as well.

Ryan is the founder and director of Indianapolis ACE Academy. He also is founding president of Indianapolis Chapter of Women In Aviation (WAI) and serves on Board Of Directors for The Mind Program Corporation, and Voice Of The Victim Organization. Ryan also devotes his time as a member of Indianapolis Chapter Pilot For Kids, Leaders of Tomorrow (LOT) Program, and Organization Black Aerospace Professional (OBAP).

Ryan is a recipient of various community and outstanding service awards. He is passionate speaker to youth and other community organizations.

Corinna Vonderwell

Corinna M. Vonderwell is the Student Services Coordinator and Adult ELL Teacher for Central Nine Career Center in Greenwood, Indiana. She holds a Master’s Degree in Management and is currently completing her Ed.D. in Education from Oakland City University.

Vonderwell is a founding member of the Indianapolis Chapter of Women in Aviation (WAI) and serves on the Board of Directors for the Indiana PKU and Allied Disorders Association. She is a nationally recognized speaker on the topics of Phenylketonuria and Leadership. As a past member of the Vincennes Civitan Club, Vonderwell was the recipient of Civitan’s 2004 Citizen of the Year award. An accomplished vocalist, she has performed on stage at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Vonderwell resides in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Resheeda Butler

Resheeda was born and raised in Gary, IN where she graduated from West Side High School. She currently lives in Indianapolis and has been married to husband Lee for 12 years, they have 2 beautiful daughters Amani 13 and Laila 6yrs old.

Resheeda has always wanted to travel the world and decided that the position as a Flight Attendant would allow her to travel with her family. She has been with Republic Airways as a flight attendant for 4 years and loves her job. Besides traveling she enjoys cooking, playing basketball, shopping and going to sport events with her family. But her passion is to inspire the youth and be a positive role model. Her life quote is “Be somebody who makes everybody feel like they are somebody”

She states that working with the ACE Academy for the first year was absolutely wonderful, encouraging and the team is 100% dedicated to seeing the younger generation choose a career in aviation and succeed in life period.

Captain John Kirby

John was born and raised in Terre Haute where he attended Indiana State’s aviation program. He eventually became the Chief Pilot at his flight school before being hired by Republic Airways in 1999. Today John is a Captain/Check Airman at Republic on the Embraer 170.

First Officer Benjamin Garrett

Born in northern Indiana. He grew up in Noblesville on the north side of Indianapolis. Ben started flying at age 17. He received his private pilot’s license at age 18. Ben attended Purdue University, class of 2003 where he worked as a flight instructor. He moved to New Jersey to report the New York City traffic from the sky. Ben was hired by Republic Airways in 2004 and promoted to captain in 2006. Ben is currently at United Airlines operating Airbus 319/320 and Boeing 757/767 domestic and international.

Erin Wesslen

Erin was born in Toronto, Canada. She grew up in Rochester, NY area and started taking flight lessons at 12. She received her pilot’s license at 17. Erin went to Purdue University and graduated in 2010 with my B.S. in Professional Flight and 2011 with master’s degree (M.S.) in Technology. She worked as a flight instructor during college and about 6 months after graduation Erin was hired at American Eagle Airlines. Shortly after, she was furloughed Erin begin flying for Republic Airways for several years then moved on to Allegiant Airlines operating the MD-88 aircraft. She is currently at United Airlines operating Airbus 319/320 aircraft.

First Officer Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson, originally from central Kentucky, started flying at age 16. He now lives in Indianapolis where he works as a First Officer for Republic Airline, flying the Embraer 170. Brad graduated from Purdue University in 2012 with a B.S. in Professional Flight; after graduation, he worked in Orlando as an MEII and Assistant Group Manager at Aerosim Flight Academy, with over 1,250 dual-given. He is a current student in the M.S. in Aviation and Aerospace Management program, also from Purdue.


Ages 10-14: June 10 – 16th, 2018
Ages 15-18: July 8 – 21st, 2018

How To Apply


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