SF Bay area pilots willing to help me out...?


Well-Known Member
I'm going to be up in the SF bay area in a few weeks, and I'm hoping to go flying with a friend.

Last time I did this, I went to a school at Petaluma (O69) and flew with the worst CFI ever, for the most money I've ever payed. I really want to avoid this happening again.

This time I'm hoping someone can recommend a CFI who'll be more fun (read: not lazy/unsafe, but perhaps still likes his job and WANTS to be there) to fly with, at a reasonable rate (Is $60/hr the going rate in that area? Or did I get ripped off?)

Even better, though, would be a JC'er with a plane or a nice rental (I'll of course pay my share and buy you lunch or something) willing to meet us and take us for a little tour of the SF area. Not looking for anything too crazy, but if you're willing to make an afternoon for a $100 burger, that'd be cool, too.

So any suggestions would be appreciated, and anyone who wants to step up and offer their services, doubly so.
O69? Not sure I'd call that the Bay Area, at any rate, $55-60 is the common CFI rate in the West Bay at least. I hear over at LVK CFIs go for less. I can tell you at SQL, every school except BelAir has pretty good CFIs who want to be there. Most are actually career CFIs at Diamond and West Valley, but BelAir is infamous for the ATP-style "I just want to get it over with" type of CFIs. PAO has good schools too, just stay away from Advantage, some shady stuff going on over there.

You say you'll be here in a few weeks, I should hopefully have earned my PPL by then, granted I don't bomb my checkride, if I do maybe we can split cost and do a Bay Tour from SQL.
I'll be visiting friends in the O69 area, and also in Berkeley, so I might as well include the whole SF area :p

Chasen, good luck! Let me know how it goes, and I'd love to be one of your first passenger loads! :p

I'll be up the 24th, and staying 3 or 4 days. that give you enough time?
I'd recommend any of the CFI's at Ahart Aviation in Livermore, OaklandFlyers at Oakland International, and Aerodynamic Aviation at Reid-Hillview in San Jose. The going rate is 45 at Livermore and Aerodynamic and between 45-60 at Oakland.
If you are going to be near Livermore, check out Red Sky Aviation 925-294-9703. They have some great "antique" (Aeronca Champ, Chief for two) tailwheel airplanes. Really good folks. A few years ago I bought a Chief and one of thier associates (relative, employee, partner, hangar rat - take your pick) did a pre-buy for me. I also took advantage of some tailwheel instruction while there and all together - instructor AND plane was around $100/hr. Not sure what it is now but whatever ... Sure beats $60 for someone who doesn't show any enthusiasm.
If you want cool planes go to Attitude Aviation in LVK, almost everything they have is Aerobatic or classic.