Rison Aviation is not your typical flight school. If you have ever tried some of the flight schools out there, you will agree that most are only interested in one thing- getting you in and out quickly (while eagerly taking your money). It takes too much time and effort to get to know you personally, so many never even try. At Rison, we want to develop personal relationships with our clients. Flight training is not just about getting your ratings, it is about experiencing flying to its fullest. Rison Aviation is located at Gillespie Field (SEE) in San Diego County. The rugged mountains, drastic seaside cliffs, beautiful Pacific Ocean, and spectacular views make San Diego the PERFECT place to fly!

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Our Fleet

Piper Warrior N2458Q
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Pilot Missions

Click here to download these great Pilot Missions as a pdf. Oh, The Places You’ll Go… Things to do & see with your new Private Pilot license and Rison Aviation $100 BURGER RUNS
  • Take a couple friends up to Hemet-Ryan airport (KHMT) for breakfast or lunch. You can park right in front of the Hangar One Café, and there’s also a small aviation museum next door that is sometimes opened. Be sure to check Density Altitude if you go there on a summer afternoon. This trip will also give you a good chance to ‘run the numbers’ for Weight & Balance, to be sure your Warrior is below MGWT after your passengers consume mass quantities of chicken-fried steak or overstuffed omelets. ROUND TRIP: APPROXIMATELY 2.0 HRS.
  • French Valley Airport (F70) is even closer, and the café is open for breakfast, lunch & dinner. You can also make a day out of it with a trip to one of the nearby Temecula Wineries --- or, stay the weekend at one of several nearby bed & breakfasts. Take a tour of the wineries and stagger home to your B&B room, just like in the movie “Sideways”! Don’t forget to allow plenty of bottle-to-throttle time for this trip, or, as the designated pilot, you could also be the designated driver and abstain for once! ROUND TRIP: APPROXIMATELY 1.6 HRS.
  • Santa Monica (KSMO) kicks up the airport dining experience a couple notches! Typhoon Restaurant is right on the field and offers an exotic array of fine dining options. A more casual, typical airport fare can be had at Spitfire Grill, just a short 3-minute walk outside the airport perimeter (MapQuest it first). Santa Monica Airport is a great way to get your feet wet in flying through the busy L.A. Class-Bravo airspace. You may want an instructor to show you the way before you tread up there alone or with family and friends. Not only are you sure to enjoy the excursion, you will also enjoy watching all the slow-moving traffic on the L.A. freeways below you as you zip in and out in your Piper Warrior at a blistering 120MPH.  ROUND TRIP: APPROXIMATELY 2.4 HRS.
  • Flo’s Café at Chino Airport (KCNO) is a fave-rave for breakfast in Southern California. The Planes of Fame war bird museum is on the field (admission $11). Chino has parallel runways (which runway were you cleared for?), and it could be the textbook example of the reason to request “Progressive Taxi” instructions from Ground Control, but it’s close and easily accessible from San Diego. ROUND TRIP: APPROXIMATELY 1.8 HRS.
  • Just south of Chino is Riverside Municipal Airport (KRAL), home of the D & D Airport Café. It’s a towered airport in Class Delta airspace (you should be able to skirt around March’s Class Charlie airspace with no problem). Expect to be told to “report the auto plaza” as you set up for a base leg for Runway 27. Now, you may not know what the nice man (or woman) in the tower means when he says “auto plaza”, but when you are on base (just inside their controlled airspace), and you look down and see thousands of new cars on various car lots, you will know you have arrived over the auto plaza. Park at transient parking right in front of the terminal for easy in, easy out restaurant access.
  • A scenic trip down the coast, topped off by a hearty Mexican lunch at Casa Machado is a great way to spend a couple hours. Get a straight-out departure from Gillespie; you may need to circle a time or two in order to climb above Montgomery’s airspace, but once you’re at 3,500’ continue to the coast, fly up North of Del Mar Racetrack, then start a gentle descent down to 500’ MSL. Fly down the coast, announcing your position (and listening for other traffic) on 122.75. Before you get to Crystal Pier, contact Lindbergh Tower and request the shoreline route at 500’. They’ll hand you off to North Island NAS about the time you round Point Loma, then you can exit the Class Bravo airspace somewhere near the Coronado Bay Bridge. Be sure your backseat passenger has a camera, and sits on the left side of the plane, for maximum visibility. As you fly east toward Poggi VOR, climb to 1,500’ (stay under Class Bravo 1,800’ slice), fly north toward La Mesa, then get ATIS and clearance to land from Montgomery Tower (KMYF). Taxi up to the terminal and go upstairs for Casa Machado. After lunch, it’s a quick jump over Cowles Mountain, back to Gillespie. ROUND TRIP: APPROXIMATELY 1.1 HRS.
  • Dine outside on the patio at The Landings Restaurant at Carlsbad’s Palomar Airport (KCRQ), and you can judge other pilot’s landings! You can get a straight-out departure from Gillespie and fly up the coast to Palomar (see above entry) or if you’re bold and confident in your pilotage abilities, fly the “Highway 120” route. This involves tuning the 120-degree radial from Oceanside VOR (OCN) in your OBS, then flying so that the needle is always about a dot to the left. This assumes you’re on the 119, or 118 radial, etc., which keeps you out of Class Bravo if you fly at 1,500’ MSL (Bravo starts at 1,800’). The OCN VOR is almost perfectly aligned behind Palomar Airport when departing Gillespie, so use your GPS as backup situational and terrain awareness, hold that heading, then climb to above 2,500’ as you approach Interstate 15. Stay NE of Black Mountain (VPSBM) and you should be home-free regarding terrain clearance. ROUND TRIP: APPROXIMATELY 1.2 HRS.
IMPROVED PROFICIENCY These missions are meant to be conducted with a Rison Flight Instructor.
  • What fun it is to make the wheels on the plane go up and down; up and down. You’ll only pick up about 6-knots of additional cruise speed, but getting a Complex endorsement in Rison’s Piper Arrow could be the next logbook entry you get from an instructor after earning your Private Pilot license. Finally you’ll understand why we engrained the “UNDER-CARRIAGE” portion of G.U.M.P.S. into all that pattern work you did as a student pilot! APPROXIMATELY 3.0 HRS OF FLIGHT TIME, PLUS GROUND INSTRUCTION.
  • Learn the Garmin 430 GPS once and for all. Sure, you figured out what the ‘D’ with the arrow button does long ago (Direct-To), but there’s a lot more to getting the most out of the leading edge technology that the 430 in both Warriors provides than that! We’ll get you started with reading about the basics of the 430, and provide a software based simulator you can run on your Windows XP computer at home. After a brief ground lesson, you’ll get a good overview in the airplane for 15-minutes or so, before we start the engine (we don’t want to drain the battery too much…). Then, we’ll go fly for an hour or so, and you’ll get to add and activate a flight plan, triangulate your position relative to VOR’s --- without using the Nav radio --- how cool is that… and much, much more. APPROXIMATELY 1.5 HRS OF FLIGHT TIME, PLUS GROUND INSTRUCTION.
  • If you still have a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach every time you see the solid blue line indicating Class Bravo airspace on a sectional chart, perhaps it’s time to wrestle those airspace demons to the ground with some additional Class Bravo training with a Rison Instructor! After an hour or so of ground instruction, we’ll go fly for a couple hours through, under, over and around Class Bravo airspace all over San Diego County as you learn what you will most likely be able to do --- and not do --- with the proper ATC requests and clearances.
  • Night training… Get more comfortable flying around San Diego in the dark. You’ll learn some strategies for navigating VFR at night and observe some of the common landing illusions and learn how to avoid them. If you plan to fly cross country at night, this is a good way to get started .5 hrs. ground + 1.5 hrs. flight time. APPROXIMATELY 1.5 HRS OF FLIGHT TIME, PLUS GROUND INSTRUCTION.
  • Mountain training… There’s no trick to flying around and over mountains, but there are some specific tactics and strategies you’ll want to know before you attempt this. Safety is the foundation for mountain training, as you learn to fly within the limits of your airplane and your own piloting skill based not only on the mountains, but also the weather in and around them. 1.5 hrs. ground + 2.0 hrs flight time. APPROXIMATELY 2.0 HRS OF FLIGHT TIME, PLUS GROUND INSTRUCTION.
  • Now that you have your Private Pilot License, you may be flying a lot with that special someone in your life. And they are probably asking you a lot of questions about why this and why that? Perhaps you can get more out of your own flying, if your significant other learned more about this whole flying thing from a Rison Instructor. This short session is in no way designed to teach them how to fly or land the airplane, but rather how to get more enjoyment out of the hours and hours you hope they will spend in the right seat. I had a friend that was an avid golfer, and after teaching his wife how to play and enjoy the game, he was able to work in yet another round of golf each week by playing 18-holes with her every Sunday morning. Hmmm.  APPROXIMATELY 1.5 HRS OF FLIGHT TIME, PLUS GROUND INSTRUCTION.
  • Emergency procedures and upset training (such as it is in a Warrior…). While some basic aerobatics training is always a good thing, we won’t be doing any of that in the Warrior. But this one-hour flight lesson will provide a good review of system failure and emergency procedures, including the always-challenging simulated off-airport landing. If it’s been a while since you ran through any of this stuff with an instructor (perhaps not since your check ride?), this is a good way to review and heck, maybe even learn something new! APPROXIMATELY 1.5 HRS OF FLIGHT TIME, PLUS GROUND INSTRUCTION.
WEEKEND GETAWAYS There are many great destinations within a fuel-tank’s reach. Explore nearby hotels, bed ‘n’ breakfasts and sights to see by entering the airport identifier for any of these locations into www.AirNav.com
  • Big Bear (L35) - 86nm N of KSEE - Two restaurants on the field; several cottages and resorts within 3 miles. Be sure to check that weight & balance and density altitude if you’re flying in or out on a warm day!
  • Palm Springs (KPSP, KUDD or KTRM) - 64nm NNE of KSEE - Rental cars available in the lobby of Atlantic Aviation; or grab a $15 cab to one of many downtown hotels (Hilton, Zoso, Marriott) and you won’t even need a car to shop, eat or sightsee. Thursday nights feature a downtown street party on Palm Canyon Drive.
  • Santa Monica (KSMO) - 103nm NW of KSEE - Literally dozens of hotels along the Santa Monica Pier or at Marina Del Rey. A short cab ride or rental cars available from Atlantic Aviation.
  • Santa Barbara (KSNA) - 172nm NW of KSEE - Santa Barbara sits between the mountains and the beach along California's central coast. There’s a nice upscale restaurant, Elephant Bar, on the field, and tons of motels-hotels along the beach, just a couple miles away.
  • Las Vegas (KVGT) - 221nm NNE of KSEE - North Las Vegas Airport is recommended; McCarran doesn’t seem to like little airplanes, and overnight tie-down fees can be costly. Best to reserve a rental car and drive the 20-minutes to the Vegas strip; just head South on the 15 toward the bright lights that are beckoning you to come and spend your money.
  • Phoenix (KDVT or KGYR) - 250nm ENE of KSEE - If you live in San Diego, you may not be that impressed with the tourist experience in the Valley of the Sun (it does take a lot to impress us, doesn’t it?). But hey, if you have family or business in Phoenix, it’s easy-in-easy-out in a light plane. At Deer Valley, not only can you reserve a rental car, but they’ll drive it right out to your airplane on the ramp --- you can’t do that on a commercial flight!
  • Catalina Island (KAVX) - 80nm WNW of KSEE - This will probably be your first flight over a large body of water. You may want to make this trip with an instructor first, so you can get that sight picture at the airport dialed in (don’t forget to go around if it doesn’t look right!) There’s a restaurant on the field (try the bison burger), and a nice $25 landing fee as well, with a couple pricey resort options on the island.
Charity/Volunteer Work Your pilot license and access to light planes puts you in a unique position to help those that need to get from Point A to Point B for one reason or another. These charity groups help you do good deeds, while expanding your pilot skills and adding more meaning to your missions than merely consuming (yet another) $100 burger.
  • Angel Flight West - http://www.angelflight.org/ AFW provides non-emergency medical transportation for patients that need to travel from their home to a distant hospital or clinic. You may be flying a young child and their parent that needs chemo treatment; a patient that needs recurring checkups or exams, or a family member that needs to visit an ailing relative in the hospital. You’ll be donating your time, as well as the cost of the airplane and fuel, but the reward is that you will have made a great impact of the life of someone that needs your help. You can start as a Mission Assistant, flying right seat with another AFW pilot, and then eventually begin to select and fly your own missions!
  • Pilot’s ‘n’ Paws - http://pilotsnpaws.org/ If you have a love for animals, perhaps you can couple that with your love for flying, as hundreds of other pilots have done. It may not have occurred to you that transporting animals from one place to another is something you would do with your airplane, but animals are people too. Moving rescued animals from a shelter in one city to unite them with a foster family in another city is what this organization is all about.
  • Animal Rescue Flights - http://www.meetup.com/aviation-95/ While we’re on a roll with 4-legged passengers, Animal Rescue Flights on Meetup.com is another organization that provides a similar relocation service for animals in need. While not as organized as Pilot’s ‘n’ Paws, they do have over 800 pilots registered and available to assist in saving dogs and cats.
  • EAA Young Eagles - http://www.youngeagles.org/volunteers/ This is all about getting young people excited about learning to fly an airplane. The last time I was in a toy store, I couldn’t even find a toy airplane. And that’s one of the problems with General Aviation today --- not enough young people getting into it. Providing volunteer services during a Young Eagles event could be the way that you “give back” to aviation!
  • Veterans Airlift Command - http://www.veteransairlift.org/VACPilot.html While this service primarily relies on corporate aircraft and empty seats on fractionally-owned multi-engine and jet aircraft, you never know. If you register here as a pilot and a veteran needs a lift from San Diego to their home somewhere in the Southwest, you could be the person that provides that final leg of the trip they need to get there.
Note: All the suggestions on destinations and missions described herein are merely that; suggestions. These are in no way designed to be used for actual navigation purposes. Do your flight and weather planning, check NOTAM’s, TFR’s and terrain --- fly safely, and have a great time! read more

Flight Training

Rison Aviation is a part 61 school offering flight training at nearly all levels.
* Introductory Flights * Private Pilot * Instrument Pilot * Commercial Pilot * Certified Flight Instructor * Certified Flight Instructor Instrument
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