My name is Captain Dennis Kirk and I earned my Sport Pilot license.
I have always had the dream of flying, and the professionals at Lockwood Aviation in Sebring, Florida, made this dream a Reality!
I did not just stumble into Lockwood Aviation by chance, there was much research and lots of questions I asked of a number of flight schools and instructors.
I chose Lockwood Aviation and their team of professionals because they ARE professionals.
From the ladies at the front desk, the guys in the shop to the instructors and examiner, and the condition of the aircraft. I can say I would highly recommend Lockwood for those of you who have that spark of a dream to fly.
When I found out that I would be able to learn to fly with the relatively new Light Sport Program, I was excited to get to Sebring and get going. While waiting for June 12th, I began to think about my age and my 99 year old Mom's strong remark, "A man your age should have better sense than to start learning to fly, that's a young mans' job."
When I finally arrived, took a test flight, and talked to Romke, I felt very good and was ready to move on. I was introduced to Jeff Hudson, my instructor, and it all started to move forward. Jeff's training method in the plane and Romke's ground school sessions gave me confidence both in them and in myself. They were serious and at the same time I was having fun in the air and on the ground. I soon knew they both had a goal of teaching me not only to fly but to understand all the systems required to fly safely.
Larry Grondziak, New Light Sport Pilot
I chose Lockwood based on their great reputation in the aviation
community, and the fact that they have a strong focus on Sport
Pilot training. I already had approximately 20 hours of flight
training and had been working through ground school on my own
for about six months; my goal was to be able to take time off
work and finish my Sport Pilot certificate in seven days of
intensive training. It was ambitious, and Romke Sikkema at
Lockwood made sure I understood that and there was no way he
could guarantee that outcome, having no idea of my ability and
the quality of my previous training. With that in mind I decided
to travel to Lockwood and see how far I could get.
The staff at Lockwood was really amazing at accommodating the tight schedule I had set for myself. We flew whenever the weather and the instructors' other scheduled teaching commitments would allow. It ended up averaging about three to four hours of flight time daily, with ground school in between flights.
As for ground school, the staff also made sure I was as well prepared as possible for the oral portion of the checkride. The instructors went through all the tasks in the Practical Test Standards (PTS) with me, from navigation and understanding charts, to aero-medical factors, to aerodynamics. They even made sure to combine the ground school with other students when possible so we could share fees and save money. Again, Lockwood showed they are interested in turning out good pilots, not on maximizing their profits.
I ended up staying two additional days with Lockwood Aviation. There had been some patches of poor weather, otherwise I might have even finished in my original seven day timeframe. Early on my ninth and final morning with Lockwood, I had my checkride with Romke, who acts as on-site DPE for the school, a huge convenience. Romke was tough but fair on the checkride, and I managed to do pretty well. As we taxied into position back at the Lockwood hangar, Romke said "Congratulations Mr. Walker, you have passed your checkride and are now a Sport Pilot." Awesome!
I need to mention the quality of the equipment at Lockwood. The aircraft I flew were always clean and maintained in top condition. There was never any question about whether an airplane was airworthy and ready for flight.
I really can't thank the great folks at Lockwood enough. I set a tough goal for myself that required a flight school with a strong commitment to it's students and a passion for teaching people how to fly. Lockwood Aviation met this challenge and went beyond every expectation I had for a flight school. Thanks to the training I received there I am confident that I am a safe and proficient pilot, and have the skills and judgment needed to operate safely in the complex airspace of the United States. I will not hesitate in the future to seek out Lockwood Aviation for additional training when needed. For me it's worth the travel to make sure I'm getting the best training possible from the most dedicated staff in the flight training industry.
Andy Walker, Sport Pilot
© 2008 Lockwood Aviation Inc.