Bill Macon, Ideal Aviation’s Managing Partner, has a background in manufacturing, but he comes from a family with a long history of aviation in St. Louis. Bill began his flight training when he acquired Ideal Aviation in 2011, and he has since earned his private, instrument, and multi-engine ratings. He uses Ideal's planes for business and for personal trips … it’s been a fantastic opportunity to combine work with pleasure!
Our Leadership Team
Kimberly Nagel was born and raised in the St. Louis metro-east area. Her education has been focused on management and accounting. She was on the Dean’s List and a member of the honor society. Kimberly started at Ideal Aviation in 2012. She was offered a position at FlightSafety International in 2019 which she accepted but returned to Ideal Aviation in 2022 to be closer to home. Although not a pilot, she has had the opportunity to fly many aircraft including Maul, Cessna 150, 172, SR-22 Turbo, Piper Arrow, Pilatus PC-12, Cessna Citation 1SP, and an airship! She also has several simulator hours in Embraer 145, 170, and CRJ 200.
Jim graduated Magna-Cum-Laude from Saint Louis University with a B.S. in Flight Science. He is a CFI and CFII and was awarded the 2018 Flight Instructor of the year In the St. Louis area. He also instructs in Southwestern Illinois College’s Aviation program. Jim has been instructing with Ideal since January 2018 and became Chief CFI of the Fixed-Wing program in the fall of 2021.
Bill Houska comes from a family of aviators. Bill is a Helicopter CFI with over 20 years of experience with over 15,000 hours of flight time. In 1970 his father, Bill Houska, Sr. founded Metropolitan Helicopters, St. Louis’s first helicopter flight school. Growing up around the business his first helicopter ride was when he was 6 months old and then around the age of 12 he got his chance to start “hold the sticks”. After high school he became a Commercial helicopter pilot and a Flight Instructor eventually stepping in to run the family company after the untimely death of his father. In 2002 he was offered the opportunity to become the Newschannel 5 Pilot/Reporter for Chopper 5. During the next 18 years he worked his way through the company holding the different job titles from Line Pilot to Check Airman to Director of Training to Chief Pilot. Bill is excited about getting back to his family roots in the Helicopter Training Industry to help move Ideal Aviation into the future.
Our Maintenance Leadership Team
Max Gieseke, an A&P-IA with 20+ years of solid GA experience. Stay tuned for a bio for Max!
Tad earned his A&P in 1991 and added his IA in 1995. He also attended Jefferson College in 1986 where he received his Associate of Applied Science in Business. He is factory trained from Cessna Aircraft in the 208 series as well as Pratt & Whitney Canada in the PT6A and JT15D series engines.
He was Director of Maintenance for a 135 operator for over 25 years and worked as a mechanic and inspector for a 145 repair station for 5 years.
Tad has worked on everything from J-3 cubs to Warbirds (and everything in between) in his 35 years in aviation!
In the 1930s and ‘40s Macon’s family owned Von Hoffmann Aircraft Corporation and Von Hoffmann Flying School. Major Albert Lambert (for whom Lambert International Airport is named) was president of the company in its early days. Macon’s mother obtained her pilot’s license in 1943, just past her 18th birthday.
She reveled flying her Stinson during her days at Stevens College in Columbia, Missouri, often taking friends on weekend outings to St. Louis and beyond.
Macon’s father (Bill Macon, Sr.) was also a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. “Big Bill” is pictured here after completing his flight training at Cimmaron Army Airfield in Oklahoma in 1943. Macon, Sr. went on to teach radio communications at Scott Field during war, just down the road from where Ideal Aviation is now.
Today, Ideal Aviation is a full-service aircraft rental, flight training, fractional aircraft ownership, aircraft maintenance & avionics facility that has been serving both present and future pilots at St. Louis Downtown Airport (KCPS). Their facilities span over 3 hangars with 8 available aircraft.
I love flying at Ideal and it’s a truly wonderful flight school!
Beautiful facility Help was great. Had some maintenance done on our V Tail and mechanic was amazing.
I did a discovery flight with Steve. He was incredibly welcoming, positive, optimistic, encouraging, all the good stuff. The facilities were great, the aircraft in great shape. I’ve not yet begun formal lessons, but I had a tremendously good time and look forward to continuing my education here.
Amazing planes and service as always at Ideal Aviation