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FBO NAME: Sierra Academy of Aeronautics RATING: 1 (worst)

AIRPORT: Castle Airport (KMER)
CITY: Atwater, CA
VISITED: 5/15/12
COMMENTS: Scary Airplanes! Owners only care about profit not safety. FAA grounded whole fleet this spring for non-compliance of ADs. 1 plane totaled so far this year, average 1 totaled annually since 2008. Housing is infested with pests and campus is run down and ugly. Recruiter will lie to you about conditions, ask hard questions.
REVIEWER: Julie; jutibbs85@gmail.com

FBO NAME: Vista Aviation RATING: 3 (ok)

AIRPORT: Whiteman Airport (WHP)
CITY: Pacoima, CA
VISITED: Various
COMMENTS: Has qualified instructors with attractive rates for both aircraft and instruction but some of the instructors don't dispense enough information during the lesson. This seems to make the training process last longer than it needs to.
REVIEWER: Mike; mike@hotmail.com

FBO NAME: Universal Air Academy RATING: 1 (worst)

AIRPORT: El Monte Airport (EMT)
CITY: El Monte, CA
VISITED: 5/20/09
COMMENTS: Universal USED to be the best, but they're going downhill fast. The owners achieved Part 141 status in 2008...and it went to their head. They became greedy, and it shows is everything they do. They cut costs everywhere possible in order to maximize profit. Sure, the nature of business is to do just that, but great and successful companies don't compromise Customer Service in the process. Universal has made those mistakes. The momeny you express discontent, they will use "the fine print" to take everything possible from you. The owners are not trustworthy, are greedy, and are dishonest. Avoid this Flight School like the plague. If you need a Part 141 Flight School in the LA area, American Flyers is pretty much it. If Part 61 works for you, check out Ballard Aviation (KPOC), LA Flight Center (KEMT), and Beach Cities Aviation (KHHR).
REVIEWER: Peter; bigkris34@yahoo.com

FBO NAME: Golden State Flying Club RATING: 5 (best)

AIRPORT: Gillespie Field (SEE)
CITY: El Cajon, CA
VISITED: 10/1/08
COMMENTS: Golden State staff are very friendly. The ground school instructor answers every question and a video of the class are posted online. Flight instruction is great, makes learning to fly easy and fun like I was hoping for.
REVIEWER: gscott@officezilla.com

FBO NAME: Diamond Aviation RATING: 5 (best)

CITY: San Carlos, CA
VISITED: 3/17/07
COMMENTS: I completed my private pilot training at Diamond Aviation at KSQL in July 2005 and have been renting and training there since. The instructors are top notch and the desk staff are always friendly and helpful with schedule changes. The online scheduler is great. The aircraft are all new (2001 and later, and many with class cockpits). In addition to the simulator, the thirteen aircraft range from Katanas and a Diamond Star to 172SPs, 182s, and a Cirrus SR20. The tower is very helpful in busy airspace and will happily get you a squawk for getting into SFO Class Bravo. Sky Kitchen is a great place to grab a bite to eat while watching the runway. Diamond also hosts FAA safety classes through SPANS. Nothing but good things to say about Diamond.

FBO NAME: Rolling Hills RATING: 5 (best)

AIRPORT: Torrance Zamperini Field (TOA)
VISITED: 1/23/07
COMMENTS: Nice place for training. Tower people very friendly.
REVIEWER: Geovanni A Lopez; geovanni6@sbcglobal.net

FBO NAME: CP Aviation RATING: 5 (best)

AIRPORT: Santa Paula (SZP)
VISITED: Various
COMMENTS: CP Aviation is headquartered on the historic Santa Paula Airport, in the equally historic small town of Santa Paula. They offer one of the best flight schools in the region, with a dozen excellent instructors, including world famous Rich Stowell, Master CFI-Acrobatic, who has authored several books on spin training and avoidance, as well as numerous articles on the subject. CP aviation is an authorized Cessna Pilot Center. My experience with the flight school, which includes all my initial training toward my private license, has been excellent. As a student, I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for flight instruction. CP Aviation also offers an excellent maintenance and repair shop headed up by Clay Phelps (the CP of CP Aviation), where they specialize in Cessna 180's and 185's, as well as Citabiras and Decathlons. I've seen numerous other makes and models in the shop as well. While Clay heads up the maintenance and repair facility, his wife Judy manages the office/pilot shop, as well as spending considerable time in the air, instructing pilots. All in all, their very congenial, family like attitude and atmosphere has a strong and inviting personal touch which truly makes one feel comfortable and "at home", whether its sitting around the office talking about your most recent cross-wind, in one ot the classrooms studying or preparing for your next lesson or cross-country flight. By the way, CP Aviation recently opened up another "duplicate" facility at the nearby Oxnard Airport (OXR). It was initially to keep the flight school open and airplane rentals available while floods closed the runway at Santa Paula. Even after Santa Paula repopened with its repaired runway, the Oxnard facility is doing well and just as friendly. I highly recommend CP Aviation at either Santa Paula or Oxnard!
REVIEWER: Lee Danforth; Ld4th@QuixNet.net

FBO NAME: Diamond Aviation RATING: 5 (best)

CITY: San Carlos, CA
VISITED: 1/20/06
COMMENTS: This is one of the best flight schools that I've ever visited for several reasons. The staff is friendly and efficient. The instructors are top notch. The planes are all fairly new and plentiful. And the recently redecorated waiting area is a comfortable place to plan your next flight. Their hourly costs are bit higher than other places, but you definitely pay for what you get.
REVIEWER: ABA Host; admin@archerbravo.com

FBO NAME: Rison Aviation RATING: 5 (best)

AIRPORT: Gillespie Field(SEE)
VISITED: Various
COMMENTS: Kenny is an excellent instructor.
REVIEWER: Name not given; llbcsbiggs@yahoo.com

FBO NAME: Rison Aviation RATING: 5 (best)

AIRPORT: Gillespie Field(SEE)
VISITED: 1/1/04
COMMENTS: Thorough, understanding, intelligent instruction.
REVIEWER: James Wellnitz; 160jimbo@cox.net

FBO NAME: APR Aviation RATING: 4 (very good)

VISITED: 9/24/05
COMMENTS: If you're not coming to Monterey in a jet, then you'll probaby end up parking at APR Aviation. It's a very straightforward FBO offering tie-down, weather services, and fuel. No rentals here. If you're just there to eat at the airport or at the famous wharf, pull-up and park for free for a couple of hours. No need to call ahead. The people are nice. The service is good. It's my go-to in Monterey every time.
REVIEWER: ABA Host; admin@archerbravo.com

FBO NAME: California Flight Solutions RATING: 4 (very good)

AIRPORT: Cameron Park (O61)
VISITED: March 6, 2006
COMMENTS: Located in Cameron Park (between Sacramento and Tahoe), California Flight Sulutions offers two well maintained Cessna 172's and one Piper 140. Their friendly staff, low prices and location are ideal for anyone who wishes to rent light aircraft in El Dorado County area (view the breathtaking Sierra Crystal Range from aloft!). Certified Flight Instructors are available. Cameron Park Airport offers two brands of fuel to keep prices competetive and a car rental business and a restaurant all within easy walking distance from the tie-downs adds to the conveniences. Incidentally, the West side of the field features a unique airport residential community where the taxiways are shared by motorists and most homes include hangars.
REVIEWER: Rick Gaylord; sales@telefix.net

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