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Thread: Looking for "Customer Focused" Instructor

  1. #1
    New member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Looking for "Customer Focused" Instructor

    I've got about 25 hrs as a student pilot spread out over several years. Every time I try to get back into training, I get the feeling that I'm sort of a number... a $150/hr number. It's not really the money that bothers me, it's more the attitude. I'd like to find an enthusiastic instructor that considers a student a valued customer, and takes some personal interest in the students development. I'm not asking to be pampered, but I feel a positive upbeat training environment would be a lot more fun. I'm located in Anchorage but would consider the valley. Thanks for any suggestions!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default flight instructor in Anchorage

    Have you looked at Arctic Flyers at Lake Hood? They have been giving flight instruction and only flight instruction at Lake Hood for four decades. Hermann and Heidi Ruess started this compny in 1969. I believe that Rick, their son is now the main flight instructor and has been with them since '81.

    I have had no personal experience with them so can't speak from first-hand knowledge, but suspect that because they have been in the flight instruction business for 40 years at Lake Hood, they must be pretty student oriented.

    Their website it very basic, but does have useful information.

  3. #3


    I strongly 2nd Arctic Flyers. I got my commercial ticket with Rick and he really is an upbeat guy, if he has a bad day, he never lets its "bleed" onto you like some people do. Im going to be working on my instrument with him shortly

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Bush, AK

    Thumbs up Artic Flyers....

    Here is another very happy artic flyers privat pilot. Rick and Heidi are great to fly with and are as customer focused as one can be. Its also a plus to have Heidi as the one to give you your check rides.
    Three C-150/152's, a nice C172, and 2 T-craft for tailwheel and floats.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    Is Hermann still flying? I took my private checkride with him in 1977 when I was in high school and that's starting to seem like a long time ago!

    Hermann was great. He made it clear he was not out to fail me, but also was sure to inform me that the private was a license to learn, and I certainly had some learning to do.

    If you fly with those folks you will clearly not be dealing with "time builders"! Even though I've not flown with any of them except for the checkride, I'd have no qualms about recommending them from what I've heard. Flight training is a labor of love for them....Louis
    Louis Knapp

  6. #6


    Hermann passed away ealier this year. Heidi is still flying though she mostly gives check rides nowadays. As others mentioned, Rick's a great instructor who is not in it for time building or sitting out tough times. I got my private and instrument with him. Highly recommended.

  7. #7

    Default Arctic Flyers

    I've know the family for 28 years. If you want the best of the best, they are it.
    That's not to say there aren't other fine instructors. Now you know. Go!


  8. #8
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Kachemak Bay Alaska


    Arctic Flyers for the Anchorage area.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member


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