Learning to fly is a humbling experience. Over the course of my PPL I
ran the rollercoaster of feeling like I had the hang of it, and on other
days I felt as though there was so much to learn I’d never get on top
of it. Throughout my lessons, my instructor Sayre Stowell provided
steady re-assurance, helpful encouragement, and a near constant stream
of “more right rudder.” His professionalism and confidence are
infectious, and I found myself becoming a better pilot the more I
trusted in my stick and rudder skills. I am thoroughly grateful Sayre
and Aviation Adventures were my gateway into aviation; I cannot believe
how much I still have to learn and experience, but knowing the folks at
AvAd are always around to provide me with guidance is a welcoming
thought. -Adam Goldberg
Our instructor Jeff was outstanding. He was fficient and effective. Jeff not only demonstrated excellent skills as a pilot, but he also showed himself to be an outstanding teacher. As a headmaster and educator for nearly 35 years, I notice and value pedagogical skills. Jeff explained and demonstrated operating the aircraft clearly and simply to my seventh grade student. He also encouraged and praised him a number of times when my student was doing things worthy of praise. I am grateful to Jeff and thankful to Sam for his patience and for calling me this morning. -Randy Hollister
I cannot thank Dan Miller of Aviaiton Adventures enough for being so open and willing to assist my niece with one of her items on a Boy Scout merit badge requirement which included performing a preflight inspection of a light airplane. After we arrived at the terminal, Dan gave us a safety brief. Then he took us to a plane and handed my niece the checklist. Rather than just saying "this is what you do", he had her go line by line to complete the checklist. It was really neat to watch her run through the actual checklist of items. He even took the time to explain things as we went through the steps. We both walked away from this experience with a greater knowledge of a plane and seeing Dan show his love for aviaiton, not to mention safety. I highly recommend that anyone that is interested in aviation to talk to Dan and his team as they will treat you right. -Chris Hawkins
I'd like to convey my thanks to Stacey, Bob and the rest of the crew at AvAd. I thoroughly enjoyed my training experience over the last couple months. The crew at RMN was fantastic. It was my goal to train as often as possible, in order to get done in 3-4 months, and they made it happen. They were flexible, reliable, and regularly went above and beyond to help coordinate aircraft, make themselves available for last-minute requests--often to help me fight the battle with mother nature's attempts to hold us back. It was truly a team effort on their part, and for that I am truly thankful. I can't imagine there are many non-university 141 programs out there that run such a tight ship, with the resources, experience and professionalism of AvAd. -Seth
Aviation Adventures is a very professional school set on creating safe and competent aviators in a fun and challenging environment. I have spent many hours at the airport, and all of the instructors create a welcoming and friendly atmosphere. They are always willing to answer my abundance of questions, and have gone out of their way to accommodate my training. I cannot recommend this school more highly. Flying is a big investment, and Aviation Adventures will certainly not let you down. -Carl Baumann
After some confusion today about whether I would be able to fly the plane I booked tomorrow, Kevin took it upon himself to give me a call to reconfirm the status of my reservation.
This level of customer service does not go unnoticed, and it counts a lot in my decision to continue renting planes and seeking instruction from Aviation Adventures.
I would also like to take this opportunity to mention Dan Miller, who regularly made himself available to me beyond regularly scheduled hours or on very short notice in order to ensure that I could progress as his student.
Thank you for running such a solid flight school. -Nicholas Lizop
A few months ago, my employer suggested that I obtain my MEI rating to
help support ongoing and future projects within the company. Aviation
Adventures located at Leesburg, VA airport (KJYO) was the flight school
of our choice. As a pilot with 28 years of experience in several aspects
of aviation, I have attended many flight schools throughout my career
and definitively now hold Aviation Adventures among the best. The high
level of standard throughout the flight school is evident. I found all
the facilities, aircraft and equipment to be clean, well maintained and
safe as well as the entire staff to be friendly, polite and helpful. My
instructor, Ray de Haan, was very professional, highly experienced,
possessed a wealth of knowledge and a great attitude. Ray flawlessly
directed me through the training process from precourse study material
to successful first time pass on the checkride. I positively enjoyed the
training and found it very rewarding; so much that I now want to obtain
my CFII also. I will undoubtedly use Aviation Adventures for all my
future training events.-Jeff Romantic, ATP, CFI, MEI
It was the last few minutes of my checkride. "Wind 310@15, gusting of 22..." 45, left downwind, base, final, flap-20, I made my final landing on runway 35, taxied over to the ramp, and shut off the engine. Next to me, my designated pilot examiner Christopher Frasse let out a sharp breath and leaned back on his headrest. He turned his head around to me and smiled. "Very good job, James". And with that, I became a licensed private pilot.
Being a pilot had been my dream since my childhood. Aviation Adventures has fulfilled the dream that I have put off for over forty years. With such outstanding instructor as my instructor Raymond de Haan, it is little wonder that I passed my checkride on the first try. I will forever be grateful for his phenomenal piloting skills, his long teaching experience, and his overwhelming patience. Throughout the course of my training, he helped me develop good safety and flight skills with enthusiasm and confidence. And perhaps more importantly, my experience with Aviation Adventures has reaffirmed just how fun and exciting it is to soar through the skies.-James Qu
Seldom does an Examiner get the opportunity to fly with a highly experienced fellow aviator in a testing environment. Some weeks ago Ray DeHann asked about adding Airplane Single Engine Land to his certificate in view of the coming rule changes. We discussed it but made no plans. Last Monday he asked if we could possible fly on Friday evening. On top of a very busy schedule with his other two jobs, he promised he would be ready. The week flew by and on Friday night, Ray said "Let's go fly the Corvalis!" At 20:00 we launched off to OKV for the first of 4 Instrument approaches, steep-turns and stalls, and my first time in that magnificent machine! Ray flew flawlessly, the airplane flew flawlessly, and I got to sit and learn! A refreshing change! The final approach was the KJYO RNAV 17 with the step-downs ending in an uneventful landing. Ray is a consummate professional and I am honored to be the one to welcome him into a very small and unique club, ATP/ASEL. I never thought I would be the one to say this but... Another First Time PASS for Aviation Adventures!! -Mark Lowdermilk, Designated Pilot Examiner
Completing this survey reminded me just how much Aviation Adventures has meant to me, beginning at Potomac Airfield on June 9, 2000, when you checked me out in N9302N. Since then, I've flown just under 300 hours with AvAd, not a lot of time for a full-time career pilot, but for me, every hour was well spent. Besides enjoying access to consistently well-equipped and well-maintained aircraft, I have AvAd to thank for productive BFRs (especially the last one, where I landed the Archer on the grass strip at Stafford) and the Rusty Pilot seminars. Most of all, though, I have the greatest admiration for how you have grown Aviation Adventures into a top-notch operation with an enviable fleet of aircraft at four regional airports. And yet as successful as Aviation Adventures has become, I always feel as welcome as pilots with the highest ratings and as I did when you first greeted
me at Potomac 14 years ago. Thanks for making flying as much fun and as safe as I hope it will always be for me. -Roland Sweet
Aviation Adventures is a wonderful flight school with a range of well-maintained aircraft. Every flight instructor at this school is genuinely motivated by the desire to produce good pilots. An infectious passion for aviation and considerable knowledge of all the wonderful nuances of flying makes every flight a great learning experience. A quality and consistent standard of instruction ensures a first time pass, but flying here gets you a lot more than just a rating. I have learnt much in my pursuit of a private pilot license, respect for rules, weather and limitations, to flying an aircraft at near-zero ground speed. But it's the teaching of not just the "how" but also the "why" of flying that sets Aviation Adventures apart."I want to take this opportunity to thank your instructors and your staff for helping me attain a life-long goal; learning how to fly. -Arvind Iyer
Several months ago, at age 50, I arrived at Aviation Adventures for a discovery flight. After an initial interview with one of your instructors, Brent Tuchler, during which time he asked me what I wanted to accomplish and answered all questions I had, we walked across the ramp to an Aviation Adventures Cessna 172. After a thorough pre-flight inspection, we took to the air. We flew to Culpeper, over the beautiful wine and horse country of Northern Virginia, did a landing there, and then returned to Manassas. Brent had me take the controls during several stages of the flight, and I was hooked. The experience left me wanting more.
Fast forward to three days ago when I passed the FAA private pilot checkride and thus became an FAA certified private pilot. When I walked into the Aviation Adventures office after the checkride, your staff already knew from the examiner that I had passed and they had huge smiles for me. It was one of the best days of my life.
I feel very fortunate to have received flying lessons at Aviation Adventures. The reason why I want to thank all of your staff and instructors is this: everyone I met at Aviation Adventures was supportive and helped me reach my goal. It is true that I had an exceptional instructor in Brent. However, all of your instructors at one time or another helped me along the way by offering advice and answering my many questions. It was the same with your non-instructor staff. Anytime I had a question, or needed assistance, Stacey, Samer and Erik were there for me. You have a winning team.
There is one other aspect of my training that I want to acknowledge and for which I am very appreciative. Aviation Adventures always held me to very high standards. I didn't merely want to get a license. I wanted to become a safe, competent, confident pilot. And that's exactly how the flight training program at Aviation Adventures is run. My instructor trained me to standards far beyond the minimum and always placed an emphasis on safety and good aeronautical decision making skills. Flying is both an art and a science, and your instructors get that.
As you know, there are several big events for students in the course of training to become a private pilot, e.g., the first time the student does a landing with zero assistance from the instructor, the student's first solo, the first solo cross-country flight and, of course, the FAA private pilot checkride. At every one fo these stages I was confident and ready. I attribute this directly to the superb training I received at Aviation Adventures. -Charles Hester
I earned my private pilot certificate and instrument rating with Aviation Adventures. Thanks to the flight instructors and the Cessna Pilot Center (CPC) curriculum, I passed both of my checkrides with the FAA on the first attempt. The CPC curriculum kept my training on a predictable schedule where I knew the expectations for every training flight and the instructors ensured I demonstrated required proficiency and provided critical guidance. The modern, well maintained and competitively priced aircraft that I flew during training are also available to rent after training is complete. If you are considering flight training, I would highly recommend taking a training flight with Aviation Adventures. -Joe Feaga
I recently completed my IFR training at Aviation Adventures and I had the privilege to fly with Conor Dancy, Raymond de Haan and Richard King. Each of the instructors was professional, efficient and focused on safety. The instruction was outstanding and paid off with a first-time pass on the check ride. The personnel and aircraft at the flight school are world class and I am excited to begin my multi-engine training with Aviation Adventures.-Jeffrey Zures
Since November 2010, I have engaged the fine folks at Aviation Adventures at KJYO for my Private Pilot and Instrument training. As an Aerospace Engineer with 27 years in the aircraft industry, I was looking for the best in equipment, training methods, experience, safety and attitude. You will not find any higher standards than at AvAd in Leesburg. Chief Flight Instructor Ray de Haan and his capable staff run an exemplary flight school that efficiently paced me through my training. The atmosphere of a real flight community, coupled with the resources to pursue the highest level of flight proficiency proves to be a winning combiniation. I look forward to more training and fun flying with the great people at AvAd! -Joe Barta
Aviation Adventures is one of two flight schools at Leesburg's airport, so I called both schools to get a feel for their private pilot training programs. The first school I called put me on hold twice and when I finally got the attentionof the representative, he was not particularly helpful. My next call was to Aviation Adventures. On the other end of the phone that day was Tiernan Reidy. Ms. Reidy walked me through the program offered by Aviation Adventures, patiently answering all my questions and doing so with a quiet enthusiasm. I visited the Aviation Adventures Leesburg office a few days after talking with Tiernan and found all the instructors there that day to share her enthusiasm for flying. I chose Aviation Adventures and am glad I did.
From my first day of flight instruction to the day I earned my private pilot's certificate, the entire staff of Aviation Adventures was supportive, helpful, patient, knowledgeable, enthusiastic about flying and sharing their love of flying with their student pilots. The Chief Instructor, Raymond de Haan, has set a standard of excellence and safety at the school that permeates the entire organization. It is obvious to even the most casual observer, that Ray and his fellow instructors enjoy what they do and take great pride in sharing the art and science of flying with their students.
My instructor, Conor Dancy, is a remarkable young pilot whose natural flying ability and impressive knowledge of flying combine with a quiet pedagogical style. As a 53 year old student pilot with an incredibly busy law practice, I presented Conor with a number of challenges. From work-related delays in my training program, to what must have seemed like endless (and repeated) questions about flying, to practicing maneuvers, he never once gave up on our goal of making me a pilot. He knew when I was ready to solo before I knew it and he calibrated my training program to challenge, but not overwhelm me. I have been fortunate in my years of legal training to have had the opportunity to learn from many outstanding professors of law. Conor proved to be their equal for flight training. Simply put, Conor is the embodiment of "The Right Stuff" and he knows how to effectively share his knowledge and love of flying with his students. If you are a clasical music fan, think Mozart; baseball and film aficionados, think Robert Redford in "The Natural." Conor is an exceptional instructor and one I recommend you schedule for training, except when I'm flying with him to earn additional ratings and transitiion to new aircraft!
To all who are contemplating becoming a pilot or adding a rating to their existing portfolio of flying credentials, I strongly recommend y ou choose Aviation Adventures. This school has earned its slogan: "The Flight School Pilots Love."...>Jim Archibald
I've flown at a few flight schools and with a number of instructors, but when I started training at Aviation Adventures earlier this fall, I quickly appreciated the quality of the CFIs and the availability and choice of aircraft. The scenario-based training really helped hone my skills. By the time of my check ride, I felt well prepared for the oral and practical, given the great instruction provided throughout my training. Best of all, they made flying fun. I highly recommend Aviation Adventures...>Stacy Reyan
Since July 2010 we have the pleasure to fly with and enjoy the perfect service of Aviation Adventures. We are two commercial pilots from Switzerland, one retired, one active and have rented several airplanes from different places all over the US (also owned a Mooney for several years).
From all our previous experience we can undoubtedly say that Aviation Adventures is the best partner we've worked with so far. The airplanes, especially the Cessna 400 we fly, are in very good condition, well above the average that you'd find elsewhere in the US. The office and all the infrastructure is sophisticated, the people are friendly and helpful and the maintenance does an excellent job.
Bob Hepp gave us a challenging, but fair introduction during our checkout on the Cessna 400. Even with quite a lot of experience he taught us with very helpful hints and tips operation wise, also concerning the greater Washing area airspace.
The two of us are looking forward to many pleasant and fascinating trips throughout the United States starting out of the Aviation Adventures' home bases in the near and far future...>Martin and Ruedi Pauli and all thier happy passengers
Aviation Adventures is the best place to learn to fly in the Washington, DC area, bar none. The flight instructors are highly qualified, attentive and have your best interest in mind. Aviation Adventures also has an excellent variety of training aircraft to choose from depending on your preference. Throughout your training, attention to safety is paramount. Flying is a fun endeavor and when you earn your certificate, you can be assured you will be a safe, competent pilot...>Barry Graham
I did it! Once again! Well folks today (14 Jan 2010), on a beautiful sunny day in Virginia I had my checkride for my FAA Commercial Pilot License with David Pearce and successfully passed the test! Yes, I am officially a Commercial Pilot and have already used the license once on a short x-country trip to "Front Royal" (KFRR) airport from Leesburg (KJYO)! BIG thank you to my Master Monk--Raymond de Haan--who believed in me and worked hard to drill every moment and kept reminding me that much is expected from a Commercial pilot. Every bit of detail such as "After landing checklist--Complete" was honed into my often-tired brain. But Raymond demands the best. Despite a less-than-perfect performance the day before due to lack of sleep and jet-lag, he did not lose his cool and encouraged me to get a good night sleep and come back fresh. Thank you, Raymond, for your trust! And that's how professionals are created...>Shane Tedjarati
WOW! Aviation Adventures is a first-class operation; the people, the instruction, the planes, the care to help you take the next step in your flying goals. I have recently gotten back into flying after 15 years of being away, and it is impossible to count the things that have changed with technology, navigation, air space, yet the great folks at Aviation Adventures helped me return with a bang and earn a new rating in th process (a Multi-Engine/Instrument in the DA-42 Twin Star). I love the DA-42 and would recommend it to anyone wanting to explore light twins or considering a rating or refresher. Raymond de Haan is an excellent, knowledgable and patient instructor--thanks Ray for getting me there!!...>Jim Watson
Aviation Adventures is a great organization to work with--friendly, professional staff, high-quality student pilot tuition, fantastic attention to safety, a super record of "first time" passes for new pilots and a wide range of planes to fly--the complete offering makes learning to fly with Aviaiton Adventures a truly fun experience...one I would highly recommend to anyone. When you earn your private pilot certificate, the Aviation Adventures experience is one you will want to continue as you move on to get your instrument rating. Aviation Adventures is "first class" in the arena of pilot training...>Chris Wilson
I wanted to thank everyone at Aviation Adventures for working with me on my multi-engine add-on. The expertise and care you take in ensuring the safety and high maintenance of the aircraft and instruction is outstanding. The Twinstar is an outstanding aircraft and it is well cared for. Ray's expert knowledge of the Twinstar gave me great confidence that I would be flying a top-notch aircraft with top-notch instruction. The instruction taught me everything I need to know about the aircraft and to be as safe and efficient as possible in flying it. I completely enjoyed every second of flying the Twinstar and I will recommend it to anyone that wants to fly multi-engine or even if they are just looking to try it out.
My overall experience was outstanding. Ray's instruction meshed perfectly with my learning style and meant all the difference in the world. I found all of the staff to be safety-oriented and very professional. I would have no worries at all flying with any of the Aviation Adventures Instructors...>Chuck Perry
You want to choose a first-class school and a first-class program. This is not the place to cut corners. The Temple - Choosing the right school is a sacred first step--hence the analogy of the Temple. It goes without saying that they have to be accredited and professional, but choose a school that is excited and passionate about IFR training. You don't want just any neighborhood club that also has a token CFII who occassionally teaches instruments. "Getting wet" is also critical. Many schools do not get up in the air in IMC conditions even for IFR training. As a result, you'll learn the theories and could get your license without ever having flown in the clouds or in IMC conditions. That kind of "virginity" will get you into trouble. If you get your ticket without ever being in real IFR weather, I highly recommend you go up with an instructor in real weather before ever attempting it for the first time on your own. The Monks - If you've been or heard of the legendary Shaolin Temple of the Kong Fu Masters of China, you'll know that a Temple has no spirit without its Monks. As good as a club or a school may be in its choice of planes and syllabus, without a team of world-class instructors, they will disappoint. Everyone has their story of the relationship they built with their flight instructor on the way to the PPL. Well, this is like getting married all over again for your IFR. The flight instructor (or in my case the two of them!) is key to you getting a complete picture of the complex world of IFR. You want experience, passion, flexibility, humor, serious dedication and uncanny ability to transfer knowledge. I consider myself lucky on both fronts--the Temple and the Monks were just perfect for my Sacred Journey. For all the reasons stated above, I chose, without hesitation Aviation Adventures at Leesburg, Virginia as my Temple and Masters Ray and Mike as my dedicated Monks. The combination was just PERFECT! With their very different, but complimentary styles, Mike Schwartz and Raymond de Haan worked hard to ensure no stone is left unturned and even with my demanding schedule and at times impatient enthusiasm to plunge into and ahead of the game, Mike and Ray built a great parogram, handed over lessons perfectly and brought me to where I feel confident. Mike is your typical "stick and rudder" pilot who wants to hone your basics and ensure you are on top of your game and can get out of trouble when you need it most. Raymond is the "systems" Master who teaches you "the way". Working everything from automation, resource management, the weather system, ATC sparring and becoming a "whole" pilot. Together, they are unbeatable. Thank you guys for a great experience...>Shane Tedjarati
From beginning to end it was extremely professional. Each instructor I flew with added important ingredients to my training. I flew with Dave York, Bob Garity, and Ray de Haan. Bob and I really hit it off and he took a sincere interest in my achievement. We had a lot of fun flying together in addition to getting what I believe was some first-rate training. I also have tremendous respect for Ray. I think he sets a great example and he is committed to consistent and perpetual learning. Dave was very patient with me as I worked through my mistakes and inexperience. Additionally, the entire staff speaks in unison with regard to safety. There was never any nodding and winking at the rules or procedures. They prepared me well for the exam and checkride, both of which I passed with ease, and I am extremely happy with my training there. The time I spent with these great pilots and instructors has made me a capable and confident pilot...>Ken Mikeman
Aviation Adventures made a dream come true for me. I sampled various flight schools at different airports. From the first step into the flight club, Ray de Haan made Aviation Adventures feel like home. Without paying a dime, Ray took over an hour explaining the process and showing off the planes to me. After my training began with experienced flight instructor Bob Garity, I instantly felt I was in good hands. Bob had more flight experience than any instructor I spoke with at other schools, and boy did it show in the air. Having two Air Force two star Generals as parents, including one with uncountable F-4 time, I felt that Bob and Aviation Adventures was a perfect fit for me. Despite my hiatus in training because of work, Bob kept me on a parth set for success. He stressed PTS standards and beyond, and his USAF experience rubbed off on me in the best way. Bob literally has gone above and beyond from what I expected from any instructor. His students are lucky to have him. Before my check ride, I was nervous as any potential private pilot would be. However, as I went thorough the check ride, I began to realize that Aviation Adventures had more than prepared me. I feel that the training I received was unmatched to any flight club in the area. I have visited many flight schools, airports, and instructors in the DC/VA/MD area. It is clear to me that Aviation Adventures provides the best flight training, safety and maintenance of aircraft available in the area. Not only did I receive training in superbly maintained aircraft, but my training included state of the art avionics for reasonable prices in comparison. After my move of over sixty miles from the Leesburg Airport, I continued my training with Aviation Adventures because the trek, when compared to the quality and value received, was more than worth it. Yours will be, too. I hope to join the Air National Guard to pursue my career in aviation. Whether it works out or not, I feel that my training and passion for aviation has been greatly advanced due to my time with Aviation Adventures...>Dave Fick
My first actual flight was in N46135 many years ago in 2004 when I was a sophomore in high school. I have flown with your company for about 4 years and it will always be the place where I learned to fly and the place that taught me how to fly something as amazing as an airplane. I now go to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, and I don't mind saying that the instruction I received with you all is much better than it ever was here in Daytona. I have since earned my instrument rating in Jacksonville, where my parents live, but no matter what or where I fly, I will always remember this place and N9089C as the first plan that I ever soloed... ›Michael O'Grady
Having used at least eight flight schools in six countries Aviation Adventures stands out for the professionalism of its instructors, the quality of its equipment and the genuine care they demonstrate for their customers. It is the standard I use for comparison whenever I visit other flight schools... › Jay Dehmlow
Learning to fly with Aviation Adventures was a great experience. The professionalism and experience of the owner, office staff and Instructors made learning to fly fun and stress-free. The company's training and safety record, combined with the various types of well equipped aircraft available, made this the perfect place to earn my private pilot certificate and now continue towards my instrument rating... › Larry Sooby
I always wanted to learn to fly but was very nervous about it. Right from my first lesson, the emphasis that Aviation Adventures places on safety helped put me at ease. I was relieved to discover that teaching me to fly safely was as important to my instructor as teaching maneuvers. Now that I have my certificate, that same dedication to safety keeps bringing me back. When I rent a plane from Aviation Adventures I'm confident that it has been maintained properly and is as ready to fly as I am... › Ruth Ann Sooby
For my Foreign Pilot's license conversion I searched many places and finally found Aviation Adventures at Leesburg airport in Virginia, not far from Washington Dulles airport. And they were just fantastic. They were responsive, offered to help with any of my conversion process and helped me do the Washington Area Flight Restricted course and get certified so I can fly in the area. This is both mandatory and a great idea...>Shane Tedjarati
In my 30 years of GA flying I've been exposed to a lot of flight instruction - none has been as much fun or the quality as consistently high as what I've experienced at Aviation Adventures at Leesburg. Instructors teach for quality, competency, safety and fun. Critiques are given in ways that increase learning and confidence rather than heighten doubt. AA is a great place for flying, whether for instruction or rental... › Rob Vaughn
When I moved to the northern Virginia, I surveyed local aviation clubs. Aviation Adventures impressed me with their fleet size and selection of aircraft. I've now been flying with them for seven years and continue to be impressed with the club, the instructors and staff. I'm happy to report that they've helped me earn two ratings (instrument and commercial, both first time passes) as well as my complex and high performance endorsements... › Keith Baldwin