Common Questions and Concerns
Many prospective student and customers have questions about flying in Southern California, operating at John Wayne Airport and enrolling at Sunrise Aviation. Use the links below for answers to some of the most common enquiries. If you don't find an answer, you may also find it helpful to use the search feature on our Site Map page.
Because you want training that will last through a lifetime, not just for the first few months following your checkride.
There are many more FAA Certificated pilots in the United States than there are active flyers. This means many individuals have stopped flying after investing the time and effort needed to earn a license.
Some stopped because of reasons beyond their control--finances, family needs, and job pressures--but a greater number are inactive simply because they do not feel comfortable flying and dealing with the minute-to-minute demands of aviation. In these instances, the weak link was the flight school or instructor responsible for initial flight training. By aiming at "minimum standards" and not providing thorough schooling and testing, many training programs set students up for future disappointments and failure.
By contrast, the staff at Sunrise guarantee to provide training well above minimum standards; we assure you of complete and thorough mastery of all the skills necessary to make you a safe pilot. top
What sets Sunrise apart from other flight schools?
Sunrise has been providing flight training in the Los Angeles area for over twenty-five years. Unlike many other established schools, the company continues to be managed by active flight instructors.
Together, Michael Church and Lyn Carlson bring more than 60 years of instruction experience to their management of the school. Both have earned numerous honors for their contributions to flight training. To name two, Lyn Carlson earned one of the two highest National flight instructor awards in 1995: FAA Instructor of the Year; Michael Church earned the other half in 2005: FAA Safety Counselor of the Year.
In addition to teaching their own students, Michael and Lyn author all school curricula and personally oversee each individual training program at Sunrise. They and the other Senior Instructors are ready at every moment to lend their help and expertise to expedite student progress.
This careful attention to your training will help to assure speed and thoroughness as you progress through each course at Sunrise. top
What aircraft do you use?
Sunrise operates over thirty training aircraft. We strive for enough variety and volume to provide precisely the right aircraft for each training need.
For Student Pilots, the three most desirable characteristics of training aircraft are light weight, responsiveness to control inputs, and economy of operation. In general, this makes two-place airplanes the most desirable trainers.
Many students at Sunrise learn in Cessna 152s. We also offer two even more classic choices, both tailwheel airplanes: Citabria 7ECA and Piper J3 Cub. Our final two-place offering is the all new Diamond Eclipse, the best "modern" trainer built.
Students weighing close to 200# may find all four of these options a bit small and choose instead to train in Cessna 172's, a 4-place version. All the aircraft are chosen to be the best possible trainers, helping students to learn rapidly and economically.
Instrument training is done using a combination of Cessna 172's, DiamondStars and state-of-the-art Flight Training Devices ("simulators"). When instrument students are not themselves receiving instruction, they are encouraged to ride along and take advantage of aircraft intercom systems to watch and listen in on the training of others.
Commercial, Flight Instructor, and Multi engine training all form a large part of the student activity at Sunrise, and for these programs we use a combination of higher performance aircraft and simulators, including Cessna Cutlasses and Piper Seminoles.
In every case, a concerted effort is made to provide students with exactly the right aircraft for their training, backed by sufficient quantity to assure availability. top
Many Sunrise students and instructors are active in aerobatics. Will this have any benefit for my training?
One immediate benefit for students is that all the Sunrise instructors are required to become adept in aerobatic flying, adding an extra dimension to their skill and understanding not commonly available at other schools.
Our aerobatic division, Sunrise Aerobatics, is the largest and most active in the country. The ready availability of aerobatic aircraft makes it possible for us to offer spin and advanced maneuver training to all our students; these are valuable skills not commonly offered at most conventional flight schools.
The full range of aerobatic planes offered for training and solo rental at Sunrise makes it possible for our aerobatic pilots to progress easily from Basic to Advanced levels. The Sunrise Aerobatic Club is very active in competition events, and members have brought back dozens of trophies to honor our lobby walls. We offer the following aerobatic models: Citabria, Decathlon, and Extra 300. top
Part 61 or Part 141 training?
Sunrise Aviation offers FAA Approved Flight Training in many of our programs. To understand the significance of this distinction, a brief look at the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) that govern flight training will help.
Part 61 of the FARs establishes the minimum standards used by most flight schools and instructors. Minimum hours for each Certificate, general guidelines for required subject matter, and standards for instructor qualifications are all established. Instructors and the training materials they use under this Part are not subject to official quality checks while training is delivered, and the students themselves do not require flight checks before being sent to the FAA for Certification.
Part 141 (Approved School) training is quite different. The programs are designed to speed student progress toward the Commercial Certificate and other advanced levels. To accomplish these goals, each curriculum step uses a syllabus specifically inspected and approved by the FAA for the individual Approved School. Instructors and aircraft are subject to scheduled and unscheduled quality checks by the FAA, and student progress during training is regularly reviewed by senior instructors approved by the FAA to perform interim quality checks ("Stage Checks").
The benefits to the student taking this training include an organized step-by-step approach, interim quality checks to assure competent mastery of syllabus materials, close supervision by experts, and--perhaps most important--reduced training hours.
Not all Sunrise students choose to pursue the 141 Program. Nevertheless, each lesson and detail of their Part 61 training is performed exactly as if they were so enrolled, and the only details distinguishing them from their 141 counterparts are the required training hours. In this way, we ensure that every one of our students receives the highest quality instruction we are capable of offering. top
Will it take me longer to train at a school that uses a Syllabus Program and Stage Checks?
No. The opposite will be true.
The course curricula are carefully designed to speed progress by organizing materials into sensible "building blocks" of data, each expanding on what has gone before. The Stage Checks continue this theme by ensuring that early materials are thoroughly understood before students attempt to push on to new territory. A few student comments are included at the end to illustrate the success this approach has had in producing satisfied graduates. top
Do I need to attend Ground School?
Although Ground Schools are not mandatory, they are highly recommended as the most economical and thorough approach to learning the theory of each level.
Sunrise offers classroom ground schools for every major course that we teach: Private, Instrument, Commercial, and Flight Instructor. In each case, the goal is to supplement the one-on-one instruction given by your individual flight instructor by providing essential theoretical data.
Graduation from a Sunrise Ground School carries a guarantee of passing the appropriate FAA written examination. If your schedule cannot accommodate attendance, alternate programs of DVD viewing can be arranged. top
Will it help or hurt my progress to train in the busy airspace of the Los Angeles Basin?
The high traffic density in the Los Angeles area makes definite demands on students at all levels of training. Although some of the effects work to slow initial progress, the overall result is beneficial.
Students learning in busy airspace are forced to master radio communication skills early in their training--disciplines that might be deferred when training is done in quieter areas. Since eventual mastery of these skills is essential for all pilots, learning them early has no overall slowing effect on student progress.
The primary benefit of training in busy airspace is that you will learn all the necessary skills under the tutelage of an experienced instructor, giving you a chance to make them second nature by the time you complete your training. By contrast, students who train in areas of light air traffic often find they are uncomfortable at the prospect of flying into busy airspace and either avoid it altogether or go through a lengthy self-instruction program to become competent.
As you progress to Instrument training, the Los Angeles area airspace will continue to work to your benefit: its fast pace and the great variety of training situations consistently help to produce instrument graduates ready for anything the Air Traffic Control system can throw your way. top
Will it help or hurt my progress to train at a busy airport like John Wayne?
A concern that naturally arises in the choice of training airports is the possibility of time spent waiting for others to move out of the way.
While there can be no question that the takeoff lines are sometimes longer at John Wayne than at outlying fields, you will be surprised at the overall efficiency with which the FAA controllers move traffic here. With one runway reserved exclusively for light aircraft, the overall airport design works well to reduce conflicts between large and small aircraft operating together.
Over the years, we have learned how best to make the airport fit the needs of our students. To illustrate our success, it will be useful to realize that Sunrise students fly well over 1000 hours each month and that our annual graduates match or exceed the totals of every other Los Angeles Basin Flight School. top
I have encountered several pilots now that I am training and some dont appear to know the procedures I know or the technical details I am being taught. I look forward to completing my training with my instructor and will recommend him without reservation to anyone who asks.
Ken Campbell, SOLO STUDENT
Just one month--but what a month! On July 7 I arrived from Belgium knowing nothing about flying, and today --August 8--I received my Certificate as Private Pilot. It is an incredible feeling. My instructor was great, and I am really impressed with his qualities.
Carlos Garraldo, PRIVATE PILOT
I want to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to you and your staff for your team effort. The syllabus covered the required material and made the lessons easy to follow. Your instruction was precise and well-directed. In retrospect, of all the ratings I have obtained at other schools, I felt I was most prepared at the conclusion of this course.
Chris Connolly, INSTRUMENT INSTRUCTOR
Two solid weeks with you. I was extremely impressed with Sunrise's professional operation and the exceptional quality of its instructors. 100% total satisfaction. Thanks.
Dana Shute, AIRLINE TRANSPORT PILOT top
19531 Campus Drive, Suite 7
Santa Ana, California 92707 USA
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From Abroad: Voice +1 949-852-8850
Fax (949) 852-1401
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