About Us

The Instructor

All training is provided by Ron Preston. Ron learned to fly in San Angelo, Texas in 1979 while he was teaching High School. He joined the USAF in 1980 and had the privilege to fly as a Weapons Systems Officer in the RF-4C, the reconnaissance version of the Phantom. He has been a civilian instructor since 1988. From 1989 to 1996 he instructed in the USAF Flight Screening program in the T-41A “Mescalaro” and the T-3A “Firefly” as a civilian contract instructor pilot. In 1996, he and his wife Kathy moved to Alaska courtesy of the USAF and her active duty job. Ron has instructed aerobatics since 1993. He holds an ATP Single and Multi-Engine, Land and Sea Certificate and is a Gold Seal Flight Instructor with CFI, CFII and MEI privileges as well as an Advanced and Instrument Ground Instructor. He and Kathy moved to Gardnerville, Nevada in September of 2016.  Ron teaches in both Minden, Nevada and Henderson, Nevada for Cactus Aviation.

The Airplane

All flights are in a 2005 American Champion Super Decathlon 8KCAB.

The aircraft has a 180 HP engine with a MT Composite Constant Speed Aerobatic Propeller. It has an inverted fuel and oil system and is capable of approximately 2 minutes of inverted flight (which is about 1 minute and 45 seconds longer than Ron likes). Maximum weight in the Normal category is 1950 pounds while the Aerobatic category limits the weight to 1800 pounds. The maximum G limits are +6 and -5. For more information on the Super Decathlon, visit American Champion Aircraft’s web site at http://www.americanchampionaircraft.com

The Courses

Why learn aerobatics? The first reason is it is fun! Aerobatics also build pilot knowledge, understanding and confidence in handling any airplane they fly as well as acquiring skills that are difficult or impossible to attain in a non-aerobatic training program.

Our program teaches basic “barnstormer” aerobatics. Rarely will the G-meter show Gs in excess of +3.5 and -1.0. If you are looking for training in competition aerobatics, we can get you started with the basics, then, if you are interested, we can recommend operations that specialize in that type of competition or extreme aerobatic training.

The Stall/Spin course is designed to meet the spin endorsement required to become a Certificated Flight Instructor. It is also great for those pilots who wish to gain more knowledge and confidence in this area of flight.

The Unusual Attitude & Upset Recovery course is geared toward light General Aviation airplanes. If you fly a 1 to 8 seat GA airplane, this is the course for you. It includes some basic aerobatics, spins and mild to extreme (inverted) unusual attitudes, upsets and recoveries.

Question – What is the difference between Tailwheel, Taildragger, and Conventional Gear?  At this point in history it is just how you choose to identify the airplane.  We will delve into the history as you get your endorsement.  The tailwheel endorsement will build skills you need for safe takeoffs and landings.  It also opens the door to the numerous experimental and Warbird aircraft with conventional gear.  Most importantly, IT IS FUN!

Restrictions

Due to airplane weight and balance limits, we are unable to provide Aerobatic, Spin, or Upset Recovery training to customers weighing in excess of 230 pounds. Tailwheel training can be provided for customers weighing up to 260 pounds.

Customers are required to sign a Participation Agreement prior to flight training.