In a great way! I was introduced to George by a friend who completed a spin training flight with him in the past. Although I am based out of Long Island, I found the trip up to KBAF to receive my spin training and endorsement from George to be well worth it. George is very cool in the airplane and creates a relaxed environment for you to learn how to put his beautiful Citabria into and out of a spin. His teaching methodology is systematic, logical, and makes learning about spins and executing them a non-event. After the training, I was treated to a few acrobatic maneuvers that were totally awesome. If you are looking for a flight instructor to learn about spins or need an endorsement on spins, George is the one you are seeking. You’ll learn and have fun at the same time, which is the best approach. I highly recommend him!
William P. Wang
I have been flying for about 10 years and had just a little over 800 hours of total time when I went to George for spin training. I mention those numbers because unlike some pilots who seem to be quite comfortable doing spins right from the start, spinning an airplane for me was completely outside my comfort zone-- afterall, I had spent my entire flying career being completely paranoid about keeping the 'ball' centered. So for me to intentionally stall an airplane in an uncoordinated flight condition, was, quite frankly, a source of a great deal of anxiety for me.
Consequently I had to work up to full spins in steps, starting with doing some 'falling leaf' maneuvers to get a feel of the rudder control and saving the plane before it even got close to a spin, to progressivly getting more and more agressive with the rudder inputs. George was very patient and allowed me to progress at my own pace as I become more comfortable with the increasingly radical sight picture of the horizon sweeping across the windshield.
Of course it didn't quite go as smoothly as that and at one point I seemed to have hit a wall, the wall being, in all honesty, motion sickness. In trying to figure out how to combat this, we finally hit upon the idea of covering up the airspeed indicator and the turn and bank indicator-- this kept me 'outside' the airplane. Turns out I was apparently focusing way too much on the turn and bank indicator (more than I even realized)-- moving my focus back and forth between inside and outside the cockpit was the biggest source of my motion sickness issues. Suddenly things began to click and I felt much better. So much so that I was able to complete the training very soon after that.
Beyond the spin training, learning to fly the Citabria completely by outside references has transferred to my other flying and has without question made me a better pilot as I am flying much more by feel than I have before. Recently I was flying an Arrow when I realized I had done a take off and a landing without once having looked at the airspeed indicator. It was both humbling, in that after 10 years of flying I was learning a basic airmanship skill, yet very satisfying at the same time.
So for anyone who, like me, has spent the majority of their time flying 'docile' aircraft like Pipers, flying the Citabria is a great way to improve your flying skills. And of course, as far as flying more confidently, there is nothing like actually experiencing the suddenly twirling ground rushing up at you and recovering from a spin!
Thanks Joe, for the kind words and the "stick with it" attitude. This guy takes a lickin and just keeps on tickin. He has since come back for more spin training, determined to chase those demons to the far corners of the hanger. Nice job Joe!
I had a blast furthering my skills in Spins, Loops, Rolls, Takeoffs and Landings in N5235X. George is a Positive, Patient and Professional Instructor. You'll Love the Plane, the Instruction and the Experience. Can't wait to do the "Victory Roll" with him again.
Dave Kiselstein 8/11
Thanks for the kind words Dave, and for the beautiful picture frame and photo of the Model A and Citabria