Real Students with Classic Air Aviation
Hello, just to give you my feedback about my Introductory Flight that I had this past Friday 10/04 with the instructor Jon and your Cessna 172P. The flight was great, the instructor was very nice to let me “have fun” flying part of the climb, the whole cruise and descent phase with safety, and giving me the right advices to fly better. Of course I felt very quiet and safe. The weather was beautiful, just some turbulence which made the flight more funny! Of course I’ll see you next time for more flights.
Marco Calcagno, Milan, Italy
So, my family bought me a Groupon for flight lessons from Classic Air. I was extremely excited about going. I finally called and spoke with John about making my flight reservation for a Saturday morning. If you are unfamiliar with the way hangers work, it can be a little weird when you first drive up to one. Even though they open the gate for you to drive through, you still can feel a little out of place as you drive up to the open hanger. Like you’re walking into a highly restricted area, but no one is stopping you.
I finally parked and walked over to where some people were working on a couple planes. For as much attention anyone paid me I could have popped a beer, had a seat and propped my feet up. I got the feeling that once everyone knew you, it was a pretty cool place to work, until then…
Fast-forwarding, John introduced me to Will my instructor for the morning. Will was very knowledgeable and very nice. He talked to me about air flow and all the sweet ass cool things that make planes, well, sweet ass. After we ran through the preflight check ( I touched the Cessna 172i as much as I could without looking obsessed because…I like planes.) Will had me get in the pilots seat. I begrudgingly need to say that I am a rather plump individual. The realization that the dated seat belt barely kissed as I tried to put it on came quickly. This is a fact that I would rather have overlooked in this review, but, I wanted to mention it because of the way Will and the gentleman he got to fix the belt was IMPECCABLE. Like a typical butterball, I knee-jerked an apology for the belt not being able to fit around me. They were totally cool! They just switched out the belt for a different one like it was no big thing. THANK YOU!!
We finally got on our way and Will was awesome at explaining what all the dials and switches were for as we took an amazing ride over Saguaro Lake. Being able to actually FLY and feel the plane in my hands was FREAKING AMAZING!!!!! After we landed and taxied back to the hanger, I met a super cool lady named Cassandra. She used to do allot of aerial acrobatics. Sweeet.
All in all….It was a great experience and I definitely recommend Classic Air.
Oh… and Duncan was CUTE!!!!!!!
LISA H, PHOENIX, ARIZONA
I’ve been flying with classic air for over two years now! Jon was my flight instructor and he shared his love for flying with me! I bought a flight experience from Groupon for both of my parents and my sisters boyfriend! The loved it! I’m always pleased with their online scheduling and the quality of the airplanes that I fly! If you’re looking into getting your license or just taking a joy ride don’t hesitate to contact Classic Air!
JAMES K., MESA, ARIZONA
I’ve flown planes with Classic Air for the last few years. They have a great maintenance record and are very knowledgeable instructors. Jon and his staff run a solid operation in the Valley of the Sun.
I can’t tell you how many folks I’ve sent their way for their initial flight lesson. They take the time to introduce you to the entire experience.
Highly recommended – I’d take my mom flying here any day of the week!
GABRIELLE P., GILBERT, ARIZONA
Great place to fly! Highly recommended!
I wanted to rent a plane to fly from Mesa, AZ to Durango, CO for New Year’s (2013) and Classic Air Aviation got my business! Couldn’t have been happier with them! Every other aircraft rental company and flight school I called wanted to bill me two to three hrs for EACH DAY that I didn’t fly the plane. Given that we’d be skiing for three full days, the extra “fees” would have added $600-$900 to the final bill…for NOTHING! Apparently, CAA is the only flight school in the valley that knows that their customers aren’t made of money and Jon (the owner) agreed to waive any sort of daily fee as long as we were back by our planned arrival date (weather permitting, of course)!
The staff topped the fuel off and placed the charts, keys, and dispatch paperwork in the plane the night before so everything would be ready to go for us when we arrived! We didn’t have to talk to anybody…just loaded the plane and left! When we landed back in Mesa, we just parked the plane, noted the time, and went home. They called to settle the bill later that week. EASY! Renting from CAA is the next best thing to owning your own plane!
Can’t wait for New Year’s 2014!! Maybe we’ll rent the Mooney this year…
JIM R., MESA, ARIZONA
Jon and the staff at CAA are very good at building a program that works best for you. Planes are always clean and ready to go….can’t imagine if I didn’t go to this school!!!!!
I would like to thank Classic Air’s team in helping me reach my goal of obtaining a PPL. Overall, I believe your self-paced program did a good job. There were several times during the course of my earlier training I feel could have been more useful by receiving more in-depth training. It felt as though the training did not seem to be based on the syllabus with earlier instruction and there was not a lot of follow through by the instructors. It was not until November when I started training with Dylan Tobias that I realized what I truly was lacking to be able to move forward in obtaining my PPL. Dylan provided in-depth knowledge and did not come across as someone just wanting to accrue hours, as previous instructors had. He took the time to explain items in detail that had never been discussed in earlier training sessions by other instructors. Dylan by far the best instructor I had during the course of my training and should be considered an asset to your organization in my opinion. I would recommend Classic Air, and specifically Dylan, to anyone seeking to obtain a PPL or for further ratings.
Secondly, I would like to comment on the actual checkride I had on May 21, 2020. I have nothing negative to say about the checkride itself, except I was extremely nervous about this process. Prits Tailor did a great job in testing my knowledge and skills that made me much more comfortable about the entire day. Prits used a scenario-based exam that allowed me to use my skills in a manner that was a more realistic way of doing an exam, rather than rote type learning/exam methods.
Overall, my experience with Classic Air, Dylan and Prits was favorable and I would recommend this program to others. I look forward to the use of your services in the future for aircraft rental and/or future training.
I wanted to send you guys an email to say thank you for helping me achieve my private pilots certificate! I really enjoyed coming to Classic Air and thanks to Dylan for providing me great instruction. You guys had great facilities and aircraft and were always accommodating in case of any issues. I would recommend you guys to anyone who is trying to get any sort of rating. I also want to thank Classic Air and Mr. Tailor for providing me and very nice and comfortable environment to take my checkride in. Mr. Tailor was a very friendly and knowledgeable guy.
My parents and I thank you guys for your awesome service and friendliness. I plan to continue to use you guys for aircraft rental in the future as well as CFI training when I reach that point. Again, thank you all for your help I appreciate it.
CARSON C. MILLER
Jon at Classic air is a top notch instructor, brought me from zero to Private Pilot in just over three months! Great rental rates, I would highly recommend both Jon and Classic Air for aircraft rental and flight instruction
As far as using Prits as the DPE for the checkride, I don’t think you could do any better. You can tell he honestly cares about making sure that he sends a better generation of CFI into the workforce. He was extremely patient with me and stayed as long as he needed to make sure that he didnt leave without giving me the tools to succeed. Even after the checkride was completed he had me go over a concept with him to make sure we were on the same page.
Rick was an extremely knowledgeable guy and very friendly. He helped set my mind at ease while we were flying. Communication was very easy with him outside of school and he provided me with a lot of good resources.
As far as the school as a whole, I was very impressed with being able to have one on one time for the duration of the program. The care that went into setting up for my checkride was amazing from the banner to the cake to the framed photo and certificate. Carol was a godsend! She was very accommodating and checked in with me frequently.
The only issue I had was with Brady telling me the checkride was only 700$. I even told him that another school told me 1400, and he insinuated that school was taking a cut. I spoke to Carol about it and she said she addressed it.
Thank you for having me as a student. I truly enjoyed my time there for as stressful as CFI check rides are. This was a night and day difference to the 141 school I studied at previously. I plan on coming back soon to renew my instrument rating and renewing my CFI cert in the distant future.
The office is a very nice environment to learn in. Each classroom was well equipped with books and props. The program is structured very clearly and I had a good idea on what I needed to do on day one of my training. The CFIs I worked with, Bob and Rick, are very knowledgeable and helped me greatly throughout my time there. The procedures manual was very well put together and was easy to read. It is easily accessible on the website after getting the simple password and I would only suggest e-mailing it to students when they enroll in the program so they have multiple places they can download it from if they need it. The fleet of aircraft was a nice change from the homogeneous fleet we have at Lewis. While each aircraft is the same model they all had a few things different about them that I enjoyed learning and having to keep in mind. The checklist inside the aircraft was very convenient and was very consistent with the procedures manual. One thing I noticed was missing from the checklist after Prits had mentioned it was the hot magneto check in the shutdown procedures.
The check ride was also a great experience. It was convenient not having to schedule the ride with the examiner myself, but I do think it is a good experience for students to schedule a check ride themselves at least once. The ground portion of the ride was great. Again, the rooms in the office are nice and were all furnished with books and props that are very helpful for teaching. Prits is a great examiner and I am very happy with the check ride I received from him. Prits is very easy to talk to and is very good at relieving tension in the air that check rides often incur on students. Prits was great at playing the role of the student and listening to the presentations. He also gave me very valuable feedback that helped me improve my presentations. The flying portion was mostly the same experience. Prits was great at being the student and making common mistakes students may do during maneuvers. I thought his advice of performing the post-flight debrief in the aircraft after we parked but before heading back inside was a great idea. It definitely helps the student retain more knowledge of the flight instead of going inside and getting distracted before debriefing.
All in all my experience at Classic Air Aviation was a great one. I don’t really have any complaints about the program and think it was fantastic. I was able to do everything in my time frame and didn’t have any problem with scheduling with an instructor or aircraft. I hope to fly with Classic Air when I’m in Phoenix again. I also hope the virus isn’t affecting your business as much as it is affecting businesses here and for everyone there to stay safe.
Thank you for the wonderful flying experience.
I just completed the CFI fast track program. I would first like to say that your entire team at Classic Air really did an amazing job at making me feel comfortable and ready to learn each day. Coming into a completely new environment I had no idea what to expect and that gave me some nerves coming into it.
Things I would say could be better:
- This is just a quick little thing. So on your website it says your Examiner fee is $800. Since most of the flight fees are handled through our individual accounts I assumed that’s how the examiner fee would have been handled as well (Also given that is how the flight school I went to at Western Michigan University handled that)
- It was never brought up until I asked the day of the checkride how the examiner fee would be handled, and I found out I was expected to have $1400 cash.
- It was just a little upsetting that this information wasn’t brought up before hand and that it was also so much more than was expected based on the information given on your website
Tutorials on Lesson Plans
- I would say one big thing that I would have found really beneficial coming into the program is maybe some tutorials (video/written) from your instructor staff on how to make lesson plans before coming in on day one.
- I went online and purchased ‘The Back Seat Pilot’ and printed out 530 pages of pre-made lesson plans because I had no idea what was expected of me
- Ultimately that got me through the first couple days because in addition to not knowing how to make lesson plans, I also didn’t know we would be expected to start teaching day one
- Over time I ended up making my own lesson plans (for the lessons I assumed would be on the check ride) that I was more comfortable teaching from
- So in terms of saving time and money, and being more comfortable teaching day one, making a tutorial or some sort of guide to how you should approach making lesson plans before coming to the program would be really helpful for future students
- So in the training there were some points that became obvious during the checkride that was not really covered on the ground.
- For all of the maneuvers, I suggest that the student practices/makes a lesson plan that you will use on the ground before the flight to talk about what you’ll be doing in the maneuver (5 min max) (for traffic patterns and landings make sure you talk about aiming point vs touchdown point)
- Prits was not happy with how we were taught to do eights on pylons. That came up with both myself and Jeff. I will attach a lesson plan of more of what Prits was looking for with this Maneuver lesson. And also what he was looking for on the flight.
- Emergency approach and landing, actually practice teaching this on the ground first and use the FAA materials. How to pick a suitable field (trees vs tough terrain- which is better?) make sure you run through every step in the checklist (in the plane) in order. When do you recover? What does the AFH say? What do the FARS say? Include this in the lesson plan.
- Also, actually practice teaching post flight procedures. When you are pushing back a plane never push on the prop, always make sure to check to make sure the mags are off. If you don’t tell your students this information how are they supposed to know that.
- Also want to make sure you inform them on how to properly push back the plane specific to the POH. Actually read what it says to do in the POH. For the Archer it says to use the tow bar and thats it. If you need help it is best to have a student push as far out on the leading edge (force= weight x arm) and put one hand where the rivets are on each side. This is what prits was looking for.
Ground session with Prits
- I have nothing but great things to say about Prits. The 5-6 hour ground, and miscellaneous conversations/discussions we had with Prits was truly the most valuable part of the entire process.
- Something that should really be stressed to students is getting out of the ‘well thats what my instructor said’ habit and start asking ‘where did that information come from’, especially as a soon to be instructor. This was something Prits drilled into us and it really changed everything I’ve learned in aviation so far.
- Prits relies heavily on the FAA materials and I really believe thats how all examiners and instructors should teach-straight from the materials given to us from the FAA and stop trying to memorize all of this information
- So a big suggestion is to either bring or buy the newest copy of the Airplane Flying Handbook and the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. Also printing out some of the AC’s that aren’t too long and reading them all the way through to be extremely helpful as well (and incorporate these in your lesson plans)
Overall, if we were not given the opportunities and time with Prits before the checkride, it would have been a very different outcome. I learned so much from him and I really hope that this information was helpful.
I was a student at Classic Air for my CFI training and I wanted to send an email with some feedback. I want to start off by saying how great of an instructor Bob Feugate was. I came from ATP to get my CFI here and the difference in training was crucial to me passing my checkride, if it wasn’t for that, I would have been very discouraged after taking a checkride. As someone who started my training straight out of high school, I learned a lot about how one is supposed to teach students. I now have a lot more respect for teaching and the importance of students learning.
I took my checkride with Prits Tailor, but I ended up not passing my first try. While it definitely isn’t something I am proud to say, I can say that it might have been one of the best learning experiences of my life. I had never failed a checkride before so it was a big reality check to me and it got me more invested in really learning the material. After the bust, Prits and I sat and talked for hours, something I wouldn’t expect any DPE to do, and he went in-depth on what I did wrong and suggestions on what to do better for the next time. When I did finally pass my checkride he gave me helpful hints and tips on what to do to become the best and safest instructor for my students. I truly walked away from the experience feeling that he did really care for not only me but the future students I was going to teach.
I want to thank Classic Air Aviation and everyone involved for helping me through the hardest part of my training, I have become a better Instructor and overall person because of it.
I am writing to thank you for the service I received at Classic Air Aviation. I am very impressed with everyone there and the great friendships I have from only a few weeks in Mesa completing my CFI rating.
Flight training is an expensive undertaking similar to any degree program, and I appreciate having a flight school invested in my success. More importantly, I appreciate a flight school and the staff taking initiative to make it happen. Having experienced several flight schools and CFIs, I quickly realized service often falls short with unanswered phone calls, no follow-up, and CFIs only invested in their own goals. I hope to take the example set by all at CAA to be the best CFI I can for my students and as I further my career.
Brady set the pace early from the first call to set expectations and then quickly sent confirmation emails scheduling my training from day one to check ride. Once I arrived, he was there on a near daily basis tweaking and adjusting training to make it all happen and come together. He had a positive attitude and went out of his way to make the process enjoyable and easier for me. I am grateful for his help and he is just an overall great guy
Carol became an instant friend and was incredibly kind helping to bring it all together. Each time I saw her she brightened my day and worked to make the process “special.” Okay that sounds weird, but I cannot think of another way to say it. She was such a genuinely kind person that she nearly brought tears to my eyes just out of shock for her compassion and kindness. Those are rare qualities in todays world and she really enhanced the training experience with CAA. In just a few weeks I came to consider her a good friend.
Rick was focused and dedicated to building my training program and help me pass. He suffered through some awful approaches as I learned to fly from the right seat. He worked through my strengths and weaknesses to make me a better pilot and prepare me for the check ride. He had widsom and insight from years of flying and training that helped me learn how to refine my style of teching as a CFI in ways that no other instructor could. He was a true asset to my training, and I am grateful to have been able to fly with him and learn from him. I also appreciated his dry sense of humor.
Even though Prits is not employed by CAA, I think a comment on his style as a DPE is warranted here since his work largely comes from those at CAA scheduling him. Prits has a passion for instruction and certification that I have never seen in other DPEs. He has a passion for working toward a more objective training and certification model than most others in the industry has. I appreciated his focus to always look to FAA sources and not rely on hangar talk or unsubstantiated training methods. This focus played a strong role in my training while at CAA and has already carried over into my instruction methods as a CFI. I am excited that I don’t have to memorize random rules, but I can simply focus on FAA methods and approved publications to teach clear and objective flying methods.
During my time with CAA I met with several other CFIs, students, and maintenance crew. I also had the chance to meet you and Jon at Prits’ sponsored barbecue on my final day. Everyone was kind and seemed focused on making CAA great. The airplanes were well maintained, and discrepancies were quickly addressed and taken seriously. The focus on safety was clear by everyone there. The focus and passion of aviation was shared by all. I will forever be a better pilot after my experience with all of you.
As a pilot myself it’s nice to be able to go somewhere with people who love aviation and flying almost as much as I do. I rent aircraft from Classic Air Aviation on a regular basis and even brought them my personal aircraft to manage and fly. Jon has helped me sell both of my aircraft and is always willing to go the extra mile to take care of me. I now rent their SR-22 on a semi regular basis and can always trust that the aircraft is safe to fly and always clean. I enjoy the fact that they are small enough to have a personal relationship with me. Other flight schools tend to get so large that they don’t care about you, not the case here.
TYLER H., PHOENIX, ARIZONA