Sunrise Aviation  
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Flight Training • Aircraft Rental • Aerobatic Instruction
Southern California

"One century of powered flight, one third of a century at Sunrise Aviation" 

Take a trip artound Sunrise: click and slide to rotate image. Use a scrolling mouse or two fingers on a mouse pad to zoom in and out. Click arrowheads at the bottom of the image to move from one room to the next.                                 

Sunrise is a Flight Training Academy in Orange County, Southern California, committed to providing a full range of conventional and aerobatic flight instruction. We have been in business at John Wayne Airport for over thirty-five years and have gained a national reputation for excellence.

Cirrus • Cessna • Piper • Diamond • Evektor
Decathlon • Extra

Redbird • Frasca (simulators)



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Why Choose Sunrise Aviation?
Sunrise was founded and is personally supervised by Michael Church, He is a nationally respected flight training authority, honored by the FAA as Safety Counselor of the Year and recognized as a Master Flight Instructor and Master Aerobatic Flight Instructor. Church has logged more than 11,000 hours of in-flight instruction.
Our Instruction Philosophy
Quality flight training demands a complex mix: stick and rudder skills, effective teaching methods, risk management, and above all, love of flying. Our Director of Training, Lyn Carlson, was honored by the FAA as Flight Instructor of the year and has logged over 8,000 hours of in-flight instruction. She is an FAA Designated Flight Examiner. Carlson heads a remarkable team of instructors: all have aerobatic experience and all love to teach.
Our Training Aircraft Philosophy
Primary flight training is best done in airplanes built for the role: two-place, light, and maneuverable. By happy coincidence, such aircraft are naturally less expensive to operate than larger models.
Sunrise is committed to operating planes designed for flight training: we offer three different models of Two-Place Trainers: SportStar, Citabria and Decathlon. No other California flight school can make a similar claim.

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Near & Far:
Airport Favorite


 Photo by Garry Felker

News & Links

"The Impossible Turn"

New training materials from Sunrise

Aerobatic Club

IAC Chapter 120




Local Weather
UTC (Z):
Reported Weather at John Wayne Airport (KSNA).
Local time: subtract 8 hours.
KSNA 271753Z VRB03KT 10SM CLR 15/M14 A3023 RMK AO2 SLP236 T01501144 10150 20044 53001
Forecast weather at John Wayne Airport (KSNA).
Local time: subtract 8 hours
KSNA 271723Z 2718/2818 VRB05KT P6SM SKC FM280100 VRB03KT P6SM SKC FM280700 VRB03KT P6SM SCT035 FM281600 16007KT P6SM BKN025

BlockHouse WebCam

View the practice area weather with one click

ATIS: 714.546.2279
ASOS: 714.424.0590



Newest Arrivals!--Sunrise is an Evector dealer, and we now offer the fastest selling trainers in the US--the SportStar Max and the Harmony--for training and rental.

  • Great value for the price!
  • Glass panel displays
  • Garmin technology with weather, traffic and terrain awareness
  • Ballistic parachute

Sunrise offers two annual training scholarships: the Jeffrey Cheng Scholarship and the Reinaldo Beyer Aerobatic Scholarship. Contact Dispatch for more details.

Sunrise offers the newest technology:

  • DiamondStar: Two DA 40's, with Garmin 1000 technology
  • Evektor:FIVE on line! Our continued committment to offer airplanes specifically built for flight training.
  • Aviation Training Devices (flight simulators): Two ATDs, a Redbird FMX (motion, 210° visual), and a Frasca 131.

Southern California Aerobatic Club!--The Club mission is to advance aerobatic flight through seminars, instructional videos, training camps and contest team support. Visit our companion website, for aerobatic news, a calendar of scheduled events and spectacular training videos.

NEW--Seminar Webcasts!
We are now offering a new series: streaming webcasts of Sunrise Training Seminars.

Listed below are some of the more visible awards that have come our way.
Staff Honors
  • July, 2018--The FAA recognizes Michael Church as a Master Aviator in appreciation of "many outstanding contributions to further the cause of aviation safety."
  • September, 2008--Present: The USAF awards a training contract to Sunrise for Michael Church to serve as instructor at the USAF Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California.
  • May, 2008: The National Association of Flight Instructors honors Michael Church, Sunrise Chief Instructor, with renewal of the prestigious "Master Instructor" and "Master Aerobatic Instructor" designations.
  • August, 2007: Sunrise Senior Aerobatic Instructor Bill Hill is honored by the National Association of Flight Instructors as a "Master Aerobatic Instructor."
  • November, 2004: Sunrise Chief Instructor, Michael Church, named National Safety Counselor of the Year for 2005. This marks the second time in a decade that a Sunrise Instructor has been singled out to receive one of our nation's four top General Aviation awards
    (see Lyn Carlson, below).
  • December, 2002: Pam Hengsteler, Sunrise Assistant Chief Instructor, is presented with the "Exceptional Aviator Award" by the FAA in recognition of her career flight instructor accomplishments.
  • November, 1995: Lyn Carlson, Sunrise Director of Training, is honored by the FAA as "National Flight Instructor of the Year for 1995."

Sunrise Aviation
19531 Campus Drive, Suite 7
Santa Ana, California 92707 USA
Sunrise Aviation BBB Business Review
Voice (800) 717-4200  •  (949)-852-8850
Fax (949) 852-8866

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© Copyright 2020 Sunrise Aviation. All rights reserved.

In-Flight VIDEO--The Sunrise Extra 300 is equipped with 3 cameras and a state-of-the-art digital recording system. Whether for vanity (we all have that) or training, the resulting DVDs are spectacular. Click the image below for a sample: "Tumbling the Extra"

Sunrise is proud to offer sales and service for the following manufacturers:

EXTRA Service Center

ROTAX Service




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