I recently traveled to Andover, NJ to accomplish flight training with Damian DelGaizo. I requested 10 hours of "Advanced (Bush) Tailwheel" instruction as presented in the course syllabus.

I have been flying professionally since 1968 (old guy) and feel that I am a good judge of quality flight training. Over the past 38 years I have trained to new aircraft, new avionics, instrument recurrent training and aircraft type training in transport, tactical, combat, research and development, engineering, experimental and production aircraft and associated assignments. I have trained in cockpit procedural trainers, motion simulators, silos and actual aircraft. My tailwheel background has been in most taildragger versions of the Piper and Cessna line as well as the Pitts, American Champion and Helio Courier aircraft. Quality training usually involves good equipment, a well designed syllabus and a passionate trainer.

Damian has purchased a CubCrafters Top Cub for his training weapon of choice. This airplane has no peer in this training environment. It is comfortable and extremely user-friendly combined with a robust primary structure, generous useful load and arguably GAs most bulletproof powerplant. Damian has searched for local geographic sites that offer realistic bush training in his syllabus. His training scenarios and techniques can be utilized in any challenging flight environment in the world. This type of training has associated inherent risk but Damian has mitigated the risk by thoroughly understanding his equipment and procedurally having alternate "outs" if needed. Damian is focused and passionate as an instructor. His ground briefings are thorough and precise preparing the student for the airwork. He is professional, patient and has a unique sense for raising the "training bar" keeping the student continuously challenged and the training meaningful.

The local flying area is a training efficiency delight. Andover Aeroflex (12N) is uncontrolled and although there are other aircraft based there the actual activity is minimal and never compromises training. Damian's other local selected sites, also uncontrolled, are closely situated hence training is always maximized.

In summary, I thoroughly enjoyed my exposure to the Top Cub. The instructor/student relationship that Damian fostered was very meaningful and the training I received was excellent. I highly recommend this training to all who have taildragger interest or a tailwheel aircraft in the flight department. This high level of tribal training knowledge that Damian offers is becoming very difficult to find. Amidst the intensity of the training I have to admit my fun meter was also pegged. I am already looking forward to my return visit and will be aiming some of my flight cohorts to Damian for the training experience.


Respectfully,
David Hoepfinger, Senior Pilot
Testbed Operations, Integrated Defense Systems
Boeing, STL

Back

Damian DelGaizo, President of Andover Flight Academy
Bush Flying