Sunrise Aviation  
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Our Instructors undergo a unique internship program, and all are required to gain aerobatic experience in the first six months of employment. Our CFI's are employees of the company, not free-lance contractors, and no other institution in Southern California can match our record of successful instructor training: in addition to providing our own staff, we have placed instructors at many other major flight schools. More than 60 of our instructors have gone on to careers with the airlines.

Here are the current (February, 2015) statistics:

  • 18 Instructors, averaging 5500 flight hours and 3400 hours dual instruction given.
  • 12 are aerobatic pilots and have tailwheel endorsements, and 6 have aerobatic competition experience.
  • 9 are instrument instructors, 6 are multi-engine instructors.
  • 3 have glider ratings.
  • 7 now own or have owned at least one airplane.

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Senior Staff

Michael Church--Chief Instructor
Church started in aviation as a sport parachutist and then moved to airplanes and gliders. He has been teaching flying--airplanes, aerobatics and soaring--for over 40 years and has given more than 12,000 hours of flight instruction. He is recognized as a Master Instructor and Master Aerobatic Instructor and was honored by the FAA in 2005 as National Safety Counselor of the Year. Selected articles by Church are published in the Library section.

Lyn Carlson--Director of Training
Lyn earned her Flight Instructor Certificate in 1978 and has since provided more than 5,000 hours flight instruction. Widely known and respected nationally, she earned National Flight Instructor of the Year honors from the FAA in 1995.
In addition to acting as Sunrise Director of Training, Lyn is an FAA Designated Examiner, responsible for providing FAA Pilot Checkrides to hundreds of Southern California pilots every year.

Pam Hengsteler--Assistant Chief Instructor
Pam has worked as a flight instructor since 1992 and has given more than 5000 hours of dual instruction. An assistant Chief Instructor at Sunrise for much of that time, she was honored by the FAA with the 2002 "Exceptional Aviator Award" in recognition of her career flight instructor accomplishments.

Diane Myers--Chief Multi-Engine Instructor
Diane is a Continental Airlines captain (retired), with extensive experience in that airline's training department. She owns and actively flies a cabin-class Cessna 414.

Jon Nash--Senior Aerobatic Instructor
Jon has been with Sunrise for more than a decade He has extensive Unlimited Competition experience and campaigned on the airshow circuit for three years in his Edge 540.


Staff List / Courses Taught

HP Aero






HP Aero=Pitts / Extra

TCI=Cirrus Instructor

G1000=Garmin 1000

Michael Church
Chief Flight Instructor


Lyn Carlson
Director of Training

Pam Hengsteler
Assistant Chief Instructor
Diane Myers
Chief Instructor Multi
Jon Nash      
Daniel Wisehart            

Bill Hill

Kenji Sato        
Caroline Kinsbergen        
Adam Zeeman      
Brodie Vernola
Garry Felker
Kirk Vinings      
Brett Shandra    
Kyle Hauss
Ken Fullmer


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