Become a Pilot

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Training Programs

Cirrus Private Pilot Course

CalAir’s Private Pilot training will have you ready to take on Los Angeles’s airspace, or any for that matter, with the confidence that only comes from highly standardized curriculum and the most experienced flight instructors available. All instructors are specialized and placed through a standardized program prior to taking to the skies with you in our Cirrus Design aircraft. While training on your Private Pilot’s license you’ll have the pleasure to visit multiple Southern California destinations and our structured training will guide you through every step from begging to completion.

The freedom and accomplishment of a pilot’s license is incomparable. With a Private Pilot certificate completed, you’ll be able to fly any aircraft within the US, day or night, with passengers, all weather permitting. There are too many Southern California destinations, let alone in Los Angeles, to mention that all become easily accessible within an hour’s flight. Our structured training, scenario based syllabi, and up-dated instructional techniques ensure your acquiring all the skills and tools that even the airline pilots have access from to ensure your the most capable and well-rounded pilot in the general aviation environment.

Cirrus Instrument Rating Course

With the addition of an instrument rating to your Private Pilot license, you’ll be able to take to the skies during periods of inclement weather, clouds, rain, or even the Southern California fog that likes to plague the coast from time to time. Again, through our scenario based and highly structured training program, you’re ensured to have all the skills and tools to execute an IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) flight anytime the elements deem necessary. An IFR rated pilot is statistically safer, even in clear weather conditions, and you’ll now have the foundation to move forward and work toward a Commercial Pilot’s license if that’s what your aviation goals may be. Completing an Instrument rating in a Cirrus will ensure you’re always ahead of the game with the on-board advancements that come loaded in all of our Cirrus aircraft.

Cirrus Transition/Currency Courses

As a Cirrus Certified Training Center and with a fleet that represents every model available of Cirrus to fly, we offer transition and training courses from Initial Transition certification to Avionics differences training. Using factory designed training syllabi and SOP’s, or Standard Operating Procedures, our transition course will have you as safe and proficient as possible to fly in state of the art Cirrus aircraft. We also provide the required 90-day, 6-month, 12-month recurrent training, and the landing currency course recommend and designed exclusively by Cirrus and can train you for any and all insurance requirements.

Cirrus Aircraft Sales and Management

Ready for hassle free ownership? Well then let CalAir’s aircraft management team help. With over 6 years experience and after managing over 10,000 fleet hours successfully and accident free, we’re the team to ensure your ownership is as pleasant as possible. Our management team will ensure your logbooks are always up to date with all the latest revisions, your aircraft is superbly cleaned and detailed, and that all your databases and avionics are up-to-date with latest revisions and software downloads. You’ll also have the pleasure of one-on-one support should the unexpected maintenance issue arise while en-route or on a trip, all with one low monthly fee.

If you’re in the market for Cirrus Aircraft acquisition or sales, let one of our sales team members help out. We’ve got the help and support form all the leaders in the industry to help you purchase your dream aircraft, or if it’s time, aide in the sale of your current airplane. We’ve got all the tools necessary to make sure the process is as smooth and seamless as possible. In the market for a new Cirrus? We can help with that too. Let us schedule you an appointment with our local sales representative at a time that’s most convenient for you and get you the chance to test fly and demo the latest from Cirrus.


  • Finance Your Flight Training Through AOPA!

    With all the new aircraft CalAir keeps brining to Los Angeles Cirrus pilots, and now having a Cirrus Perspective equipped model of all Cirrus’s available, those no reason to put your flight training on hold. Especially now, with financing available, through AOPA! We’ve come across several company’s offering, or appearing to, financing for student pilots; but this is the real deal. After speaking with referrals who’ve used it, and have read through their terms, it seems like a great option for any who require a little assistance. So email or call us today and we’ll be happy to help direct you where we can!


  • N312AP
  • 2015 Cirrus SR-20 Perspective
  • Equipment: Garmin Perspective, Air-Conditioning, Weather, Traffic, Infrared
  • Vis-X camera, Dual AHARS, Bluetooth Capable
  • Rate: $235/Hr. (Wet)
  • N21ZE
  • 2003 Cirrus SR-20 Avidyne
  • Equipment: Avidyne Avionics, PFD/MFD, Traffic, XM Weather, Traffic, CMax
  • approach charts, iPod Capable
  • Rate: $195/Hr. (Wet)
  • N61GT
  • 2011 Cirrus SR-22 Perspective
  • Equipment: Garmin Perspective, Air-conditioning, Traffic, Weather, Infrared
  • Vis-X Camera, Dual AHARS, XM Radio
  • Rate: $270/Hr. (Dry)

About CalAir

CalAir Aviation is Los Angeles’s debut Cirrus Training Center and Cirrus rental facility. Based out of Hawthorne Airport (KHHR), we specialize explicitly in the ultra safe, innovative, and technologically advanced Cirrus Aircraft. We offer flight training for a variety of ratings and certificates, including Cirrus transition courses. Our training center is built on a strong foundation that structure and knowledge is an absolute necessity in developing superior piloting skills. Our instructional staff is standardized in Cirrus make aircraft and has the patience and perseverance to work diligently with any student pilot, on any topic, and through any plateau. We cordially invite you to come take a look and experience why CalAir is home to most Los Angeles based Cirrus pilot! Call and make an appointment today!

Why CalAir

With the multitude of training, sales, and aircraft management locations within Los Angeles, it can be confusing at who can best fit your needs. Well there’s no need to look any further, we’re your Cirrus one-stop shop in L.A.
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    With the closest location to downtown L.A. and LAX, we truly are LA’s exclusive Cirrus Training Center. Two and a half (2.5) miles southeast from LAX, where the 405 and 105 freeways meet, you’ll find Jack Northrop, Hawthorne airport, Los Angeles’s fastest growing GA airport. Hosting such companies such as Tesla and Space X, Hawthorne is LA’s most progressive and innovative flight environment. Also, quite excitingly, Hawthorne is one of the few “aviation friendly” airports left. With no departure curfews, landing fees, or restrictions; aviation is welcome to thrive.

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    With CalAir, you’re flying the most exquisite aircraft general aviation has to offer, why not fly it out of the nicest general aviation facilities to offer? Our thoughts exactly, that’s why we’ve set up shop at the Jet Center LA! With the rapid growth of Hawthorne airport, it’s an FBO like no other. Make use of the pilot’s briefing area/lounge, have guest relax in the terminal and watch up close aircraft in action, or grab a bite at Eureka tasting kitchen, the only acclaimed Gastro pub at a general aviation airport in Los Angeles.

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    Staff and Services

    At CalAir, quality is second to none. Our aircraft are meticulously maintained and by only Cirrus Certified mechanics at Kim Davidson Aviation, L.A.’s largest and only Cirrus certified maintenance center. Our instructional staff is hand selected and standardized per Cirrus factory designed flight operations and held to the highest expectations possible. Our training procedures and policies are derived from only the safest and newest in practice, as well as our syllabus’s and training materials. Not only do we work directly with the industries leaders when it comes to sales and acquisitions, either new Cirrus sales or with TAS certified used aircraft, but our aircraft management practices have set a standard yet to be matched.

Frequently Asked Questions About Flight Training

How much will flight training cost?

This will vary depending on the type of aircraft you chose to do your training in. An older training facility will quote you somewhere in the range of $12,500 if they’re being entirely up front, whereas flying a Cirrus will cost you around $18,000. Pay attention to what you’re being quoted, however, as some schools only make quotes at the FAA minimums of 40 hours to complete a private license; the national average to completion is actually 65 hours. They’ll also tend to leave out FAA testing fee’s, training supplies, ect., as well. Sometimes we’re asked if it would be more cost effective to do training in an older aircraft and come to us after to do a Cirrus Transition Course, which is a fine idea however, if you add the cost of the transition course to what you paid in the older plane it works out to be the same as if you started in the Cirrus from zero time. You could’ve had the safety features the entire time you were doing your flight training at essentially the same cost.

How do I get started?

Usually a great place to start is to schedule a demo, or introductory, flight at the school you’re considering. This is a short flight to introduce you to the airplane, its operating characteristics, and gives you opportunity to meet potential instructors and get a feel for the day-to-day operations of the school. Although not the same intensity as a flight lesson, it’s long enough to give you a clear idea of what a normal lesson would consist of and able to tell if flying is for you.

How Difficult is the medical?

The medical certificate required to solo, and further act as P.I.C., or pilot in command, isn’t burdensome at all. It consists of a basic physical to make sure you are “fit for flight”. If you require corrective lenses, this does not disqualify you in any way. Be advised that there are certain medications that are a “no-go”. If you have any concerns about eligibility for a medical, please contact your local Aero Medical Examination Doctor, or A.M.E.

How Soon before I solo?

Traditional syllabus’s used to have students soloing around 15 hours. That’s not the case anymore. Most of our students don’t solo until approximately 30 hours. Newly implemented FAA FITS scenario based training criteria, of which our syllabus’s cater directly to, require more attention to detail and require a better overall understanding up to soloing. This does not mean your training will take longer, it simply means that soloing has just been resequenced in the training structure. Remember, taking a check ride doesn’t happen at a paticular hour requirement as it does at a point of pilot proficiency.

Top 10 Tips when Picking a Flight School:

  1. Research and know the difference between Part 141 and Part 61 program’s and the pro’s and con’s to either.
  2. Search out flight schools that are recognized by an aircraft manufacture. They have most likely been through a rigorous application process to meet those manufactures flight training standards.
  3. Decide in advance what your personal goals are. Maybe you’d like to have your license done in the shortest amount of time and you’ll need a strict schedule and a classroom setting to keep on track; or maybe you’re only interested in flying once a week in a self-paced environment with no time constraints or pressure to meet test dates and complete homework style assignments.
  4. Budget. This will greatly impact on where you may chose to fly. Many flight schools may promise to have you finished within a particular dollar, or time, amount. Keep in mind, flight training to completion of a check ride is proficiency based, not hour based. No one can guarantee at the beginning how many hours exactly it will take; and if they say they can, buyer beware.
  5. See a syllabus! Most schools have nothing in use and lessons are made up or even conducted “on the go”. You should never show up to a lesson in were an instructor ask you, as a student, what’s to be completed for the day. Part 141 schools have to have established syllabus’s per the FAR’s, however, Part 61 instructor’s, or school’s, do not. Designed and structured syllabus’s lay out a clear path to success and alleviate the student in training from things that will inhibit smooth and successful completion.
  6. See for yourself and examine the fleet. Even if you have zero time, simply walking around or even sitting in a plane you’ll get a sense if the fleet is healthy and properly maintained. Are the planes covered up with sunshades in windows? Are pitot tubes covered? Is there oil all over the cowl? When’s the last time it was washed? Is the plane a hard luck case? If the poor planes crying for help do it a favor, don’t fly it.
  7. Try and start with a demo flight, and if possible, take it with an instructor. Most flight schools offer a discounted demo or introductory flight. This will give you a great chance to feel out the aircraft, normal day-to-day operations at the school, and most importably feel out your potential instructor. Not all personalities mesh so it’s very important to find someone you can relate and are compatible with.
  8. Talk to other students, ask for recommendations, or look up reviews. Upon request, we’re more than happy to provide references from current or past students or from pilots in our rental fleet.
  9. What types of resources are available to students? Most schools don’t have flight simulators, and this used to be considered the best tool to ensuring success, however the FAA has greatly reduced the amount of time a student can log toward a rating of recent. Instead, we utilize things like online programs such as the Cirrus Learning Portal.
  10. Don’t be fooled. It’s been my experience that many flight schools are chalk full of false promises and empty facades. Do your research and look around. There’s everything from stand alone freelance Part 61 instructors who operate with just a tie down to academy style schools that require haircuts and uniforms. There’s a fit out there for everyone, no matter what their goals or experience may be.

About the Owner:

Jonathan Lucas

B.A. in Professional Aeronautics, Dean’s List, Honor Roll

My passion for flying developed long before I can remember. My grandfather, a retired bird colonial from the U.S Air Force, used to take me flying on weekend’s in his circa 1940’s Navion. Departing Van Nuys early in the mornings to get breakfast at any number of airfields in Southern California, I had the privilege of learning to fly from a 40,000 hour combat pilot as a child. After high school, I joined the California Air National Guard where I served 6 years as an Air Transport Journeymen with the 146th Airlift Wing out of Point Mugu. While serving enlisted, I attended a few of California’s community colleges working on credits to fulfill my Bachelor’s in Physics. It wasn’t until I became a tutor for college Algebra and calculus that I realized I had developed a strong passion for teaching. Eventually, I decided to transfer to an Embry-Riddle satellite campus where I completed my Bachelor’s in Professional Aviation, graduating on Dean’s list and Honor roll. Post enlistment, I was approved to attend the Delta Connection Academy in Florida. I was one of the first students to complete the newly implemented scenario based FAA FITS Private-Instrument combined and commercial syllabus. I trained explicitly in Cirrus aircraft for my Private, Instrument, and Commercial Single Engine licenses. After a brief 10 months and 148 flight hours in the Florida humidity, and a not so promising job market, I moved back to California where I did my CFI and CFII part 61. I worked for a flight school in the LA area for a couple of years where I was able to hone and develop my own teaching style and technique. Before long I naturally found that my background, training, and style are a seamless fit for Cirrus.

Meet Your Instructors

Tim Rylko
CFI/CFII, Cirrus Training Center Instructor
Tim took his first flight lesson at age 17 and has been hooked on aviation ever since. He completed all his flight training in the midwest at various Part 61 schools while attending DePaul University in Chicago. He says he started teaching in 2007 out of the enjoyment in sharing his passion for aviation with others. He feels that while flight training can be demanding, it should also be fun, exciting, and extremely rewarding and that there's no better feeling as an instructor than being able to assist others in achieving their dream of learning how to fly. He has flown a wide variety of platforms and in his opinion Cirrus aircraft truly represent the best of general aviation.
Anna Gerts
CFI/CFII, Cirrus Training Center Instructor
Anna considers herself lucky to be an instructor as well as a Cirrus owner over the last eight years. She's logged almost all her flight time in the Cirrus and has obtained an intimate knowledge of the aircraft between training and flying her own Cirrus. Anna has been part of the Cirrus family since 2007, representing Cirrus aircraft in Russia. While acting as a Cirrus rep, she exclaims that it gave her a chance to learn how to use simple language to explain very complicated aviation terms. She feels that taking on the responsibility for another's person's education is extremely satisfying and rewardable.
Ramin Amely
CFI/CFII, Cirrus Training Center Instructor
Ramin is a US Air Force veteran and So Cal native, born and raised in Palos Verdes. He's been flying now with 20 years experience in everything from small single engine aircraft, like the Pitts special, to large corporate jets such as the Gulfstream IV. He holds Certified Flight Instructor, Instrument instructor (CFI/CFII), Advanced Ground Instructor, and Instrument Ground Instructor (AGI/IGI) ratings. When Ramin's not instructing in the Cirrus or flying the Gulfstream jet, he practices competition aerobatics with aspirations of competing at the national level.

Why Cirrus?

Cirrus Perspective

Cirrus Aircraft is the most technologically advanced general aviation aircraft availible. The on-board features are the pinnacle of design. A glass cockpit, complete with features such as an integrated autopilot, advanced GPS units, Storm Scope, Sky Watch, C-max, Synthetic Vision, Infrared EVS, a Level Button, dual AHARS, Perspective ESP, and Enhanced Terrain provide astonishing situational awareness and ensure any pilot at any level has all the required tools for a safe and successful flight.

Integrity In Engineering

Cirrus Aircraft have many key engineered design features that make it far superior to all aircraft. The airframe is composed of complex composites, making an aerodynamic airframe that is noteably sturdy and stable. Cirrus has also made improvements in wing design in creating a “spin resistant” wing. The wing is cuffed, or has a separate airfoil, that makes for excellent aileron control even in accidental stalled conditions. Cirrus has also taken largely into consideration reducing pilot workload, an incredibly safe and quite often overlooked design feature, through insightful cockpit design.

Multilayered Engineered Safety

Cirrus has been the leader in safety since they’ve been in production. One astonishing feature that has set this standard is C.A.P.S., or Cirrus Airframe Parachute System. Useable at altitudes as low as 500’ AGL, a deployed parachute will bring the entire aircraft and its occupants safely to the ground where the aircraft is further designed to absorb the impact through collapsible landing gear, forgiving honeycomb seat cushions, and an encompassing roll cage integrated into the airframe. Cirrus Airframe Parachute System’s have already saved several lives in real life threatening emergencies.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Cirrus Aircraft

I heard that the Cirrus is unrecoverable from a spin?

Fact of the matter is very few manufactured GA aircraft are certified for spins. The PTS was changed years ago from spin recovery to stall/spin awareness. Meaning that pilots today are not taught how to recover but more so how to recognize and avoid a stall/spin. Cirrus actually had to put the SR-20 through spin testing for the JAA where the test pilots reported no abnormal characteristics. What Cirrus has done, however, is design and develop a wing that affords pilots superior aileron authority in lower airspeeds to help the pilot who knows not how recover from a spin more aircraft control. If anything, Cirrus has worked hard at producing a “spin resistant” aircraft and in aiding to the fact that pilots don’t know how to recover from spins.

Does Cessna have a better safety record than Cirrus?

In 2008 the total amount of Cirrus’s registered in the U.S. verse the amount of Cessna 182’s in the U.S. was roughly a quarter and had roughly the same amount of mishaps. When someone makes this argument about one aircraft verse another they must understand that there are lots of variables. How long have the aircraft been in production? How many are registered? And what are the variables that lead to each mishap, meaning location, lack of knowledge, or cause? These are bountiful and don’t make this the strongest argument.

How sturdy is the composite fuselage of a Cirrus?

Testing the useful life of aircraft structures is fairly new for general aviation aircraft. Older models of aircraft rely on detailed inspections to replace or repair parts of the airframe that may be cracked or show signs of fatigue. Cirrus chose to test their airframes to the extent of 12,000 flight hours and found that the airframe was capable of handling twice that time. It may also be comforting knowing that the methods that Cirrus used were more stringent than others used. The composite materials are a function of technology that is developed to make safer, more aerodynamic airframes and increase reliability. It’s that simple

If I learn to get my instrument rating in a glass cockpit is it true I won’t be able to fly steam gauges?

This is like trying to compare apples and oranges. Anyone who learns to fly a steam gauge panel will be lost in a glass cockpit and vice versa. With that said, the basics should be transferable. Meaning a instrument rated pilot should be able to jump into a steam gauge or glass panel and be able to maintain altitudes, turns to heading, maintain a positive aircraft in instrument conditions. It’s the navigation, situational awareness, and systems that changes and what requires additional training.

Why doesn’t Cirrus design a plane with retractable gear?

Cirrus hasn’t designed retractable gear because they feel there’s no need for it. It’s another system that is capable of failing and with the light weight, aerodynamic design drag isn’t as much of an issue. Besides, in the event of a parachute deployment they’re there and designed to aid in the impact when the aircraft settles to the ground.

Contact Us

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Cal Air Aviation
Cirrus Training Center
12101 Crenshaw Blvd, #100, Hawthorne, CA 90250
Call: 310.953.7776

Success Stories

Flying at Cal-Air is a dream. Most importantly, I know that I can trust the airplanes and the maintenance schedule. I know that the facility is top-notch and will make any client of mine feel comfortable and confident as they walk in the door of the FBO. There is every variety of Cirrus a renter could want, and easy scheduling with Jonathan or the online scheduler. Communication is great at Cal-Air, and there's always a friendly face to wave to over at KHHR. Cal-Air has a great facility and location, and I am happy to bring pilots to the school and also rent their aircraft myself! Thanks, Cal-Air! - Liz DeStaffany

"To say that Jonathan knows the avionics like the back of his hand is an understatement! He can teach you the tricks and shortcuts that only thousands of hours in the cockpit can bring. He is: patient; takes pride in being a good teacher; relaxed; confidence inspiring. He is at home in turbulent IMC and has the perfect balance of humor and seriousness. I can whole heartedly recommend him."

"I am currently using Jonathan Lucas as my transitional instructor to IFR in the Cirrus SR-20. He is patient and unassuming, yet takes control on the radio or through verbal instruction when necessary. He knows the airplane by heart and is safe and cautious. Never have I felt him do things for me; he has gauged my experience level and adjusts his lessons accordingly. I highly recommend Jonathan as a CFI instructor; he's top notch, extremely knowledgeable, and a nice guy to work with."

"If you choose to accept the mission, with Jonathan Lucas as your co-pilot you'll empower yourself with the best chance of completing private pilot training. At the very least.....go up for an hour, sample the magic. I challenge anyone to resist those goosebumps."