I took flying lessons with George in 2001. When I thought about learning to fly, I was told by many other pilots that the most important detail to consider was finding a flightinstructor that was not only expertly qualified, but would suit my personality as well. Some student pilots have to try a few different instructors before that happens. I was lucky that George was my first and final choice!
Since getting my pilot's certificate last September, my wife and I have purchased our first plane and find ourselves open to a whole new world! We love to go to places like Block Island, RI for lunch or Jaffrey, NH for ice cream or Fitchburg, MA for an air show. Every flight is a pleasure and we look forward to all the new experiences in store for us. Thanks George!
Dave & Leslee Bibeau
My name is Chris Bernardo, and I have been flying with George for approximately 2 years now. He has been a great friend and even better flight instructor. A flight instructor leads by example,something George does very well. With aspirations to be a pilot in the U.S.A.F, I have developed a common goal with George. He has made my goal his goal. We have spent entire afternoons, flight planning, flying, and discussing what I can do to better myself as a pilot. I can't wait to finish my training and use what George has taught me, and hopefully to fly myself wherever I want to go in the U.S.A.F.
Thanks for everything George!!
Cadet AFROTC DET 355
BOSTON MA 02115
Hi there! I'm Steve Aulisio, I have been waiting my entire life to
learn to fly. Since I flew with George for the first time I have been
wondering why I had waited so long. I know that as with anything, a good
teacher has a sizeable amount of experience. George has that and an
uncanny way of knowing how I learn, and that I think is invaluable. I
really can't say enough about my experience as a student pilot, and
how learning with George has improved my self-esteem, and confidence in
all aspects of my life. George tells me I have a bias opinion, but
George, is the BEST!
239 Hanson Dr.
I had wanted to learn to fly since I was 14 year old. However, life got in the waymarriage, kids, job, divorce, marriage, kids, job. There always seemed to be something that came up and got in the way. A couple of years ago, I finally had myself in the position where I could afford my dream. I went to a small airport in Connecticut and started there. I took lessons for about 4 months and accumulated around 20 hours. However, I never felt like I "clicked" with my instructor. I decided I needed some time off.
After my time off, I decided to go shopping for an instructor. My travels took me to Barnes Airport and George Munson. I immediately felt comfortable after talking to George on the phone. We made an appointment for an intro flight and I knew that I had found my instructor. George has an unbelievable way of making you feel confident about your flying, and if you make a mistake, not belittling you or making you feel small. He is always very encouraging and very patient. Even though my lessons took longer than I had hoped (weather in New England can be a nightmare), I finally achieved my dream in October 2004 and became a private pilot. I could never have done it without George Munson. "I just wish I had started with him because I would have finished much sooner". I highly recommend George Munson for anyone wishing to fulfill the dream of becoming a pilot.
PS- Make sure to ask for a ride in the Citabria!!!
I had thought about flying my whole life. Things usually got in the way
though, including and especially self-doubt. I'd done some flying; scenic
sailplane rides a couple of times, and years ago, I even took an
'introductory flight'. They were always exhilarating, and quite frankly a
little scary- I'm afraid of heights. I needed to overcome everything and
fulfill all the dreams, so I became determined to do it the right way.
I started reading everything aviation I could get my hands on with the
specific intent to learn what to look for in a CFI. I knew I could learn to
fly (it's in fact quite easy); the studying would be fun (if you're into
planes you probably know alot already); I'd be around airports (cool); and
most of all the end result would be being able to call myself a pilot (and
now that I am, saying it IS thrilling). But I needed to find the right CFI-
the right person. I needed to find George.
I found him on his web site, which I read along with a bunch of others
while doing the typical stuff: how much does it cost? what kind of airplane
to use? But there was a picture of the man: the shot was taken from the
pilot's side of 5PT (George's well cared for C-172); the door was open and a
young lady was sitting in the left seat (presumably a student) and George
was peeking from around her shoulder and he had a big smile on his face. He
looked like a nice guy. And he is.
Yep, since July 27, 2003, when I met George and 5PT, and took my first
lesson I've done all things you need to do- stalls, cross-countries, unusual
attitudes; all the FAA requirements. Some of these things take some getting
used to; there are sensations that require adjustments, some terms that you
don't use in everyday speech. But these things are within everyone's
ability. To help foster the psyche though takes a special type. And for me
it was George. So I can say a great many things about flying- if you're
thinking about doing it you already know them: it's beautiful; it's
challenging; it's fun; and yes it's sometimes nerve-wracking. But the
things that mattered most for me in learning to fly were the things that I
can say about George- he's laid-back; he's knowledgable; he's understanding;
and most of all, he's my friend.
My interest in aviation goes way back. I built model planes as a kid,
some that flew, most just sat up on a high shelf with my imagination
seated at the controls in the cockpit. Whenever I flew on a
commercial flight I'd take advantage of any opportunity to glance in
the cockpit and look in awe at all those controls and instruments. My
father and two older brothers took up soaring when I was too young to
reach the rudder pedals, but I'd watch them soar and count the days
until I was old enough. Unfortunately they ran out of interest, or
money, or both by the time I caught up in size, so I missed out on
that. Once I reached 40 I decided it was ridiculous to stare up at
passing small planes and wish I was on them, and started looking into
how to become a pilot. Fortunately, George was one of the first
instructors I spoke with about my desire to fly, and he spent some
time talking with me on the phone and then we met at the airfield. I
felt like I asked him a million questions and he patiently addressed
all of them, including "What was the scariest moment you've ever had
in a small plane?". Then we took off and I officially began my
training to become a private pilot. Since then (Feb '04), not only
did I successfully obtain my private license with George, but he
assisted me in the purchase my own plane (a beautiful Cessna 182),
was always available to answer questions even remotely related to
aviation, and just recently I completed my instrument rating with
George. Throughout all the training, and time spent together in the
confines of a small plane, George has been tremendous wealth of
knowledge and a very patient and dedicated teacher. They say it's
hard to teach an old dog new tricks, but when I think about what a
mystery flight and all the regulations were to me when I started, and
to now have a solid understanding of pilotage, it really amazes me. I
give George all the credit in the world for making that possible. Now
I'm able to visit friends all over New England with ease in the
comfort and safety of my own plane. I've been out to Wisconsin to
pick up my son from a backpacking trip. Attended a seminar in
Frederick, MD on a 2 hour flight that would have been a miserable
drive. It's opened up worlds for me. If somebody had told me I could
jump in a plane, have a scenic flight over New England and land on a
grass strip just yards away from the beaches on Martha's Vineyard and
get home that same evening, I would have done this years ago. If you
have an itch to fly, definitely scratch it, and get in touch with
George. He's a quality person, and a rare find in the ranks of
certified flight instructors.
Granby, CT October 2004
Congratulations Jamie, new instrument pilot ! October 2006
Congratulations Jamie! Tailwheel endorsement,
Champion 7ECA, Citabria March 14, 2007
I didn’t pursue pilot training until my wife surprised me with an introductory gift certificate for my 51st birthday present, and she had the first lesson already scheduled for me! Although I had long been fascinated with aviation, becoming a pilot just didn’t seem like a realistic pursuit – Boy, was I wrong! With a conscientious flight instructor and a very reasonable amount of interesting study, it’s not only realistic – it’s just plain fun! The more that I learned, the more I wanted to learn! It only took one lesson for me to become completely hooked, and I looked forward anxiously to my next lesson just as soon as I exited the airplane.
There are many interesting aspects to flight training including communications; weather; navigation; regulations; safety; aerodynamics; procedures; and airplane operation. George clearly has a tremendous wealth of experience in these areas as well as best practices and techniques that he will share with you to make sure that you are well prepared and self-sufficient. Especially important, he is genuinely concerned that you fully understand these topics and can put it all together to ensure that you are on the road to proficiency. He will take great care to adapt his teaching methods to the way that you learn best! George has an admirable ability to adjust to each student and will seek your feedback throughout the training. Taking my first solo flights and my practical flight exam, I felt well prepared and confident which allowed me to truly enjoy each of these experiences.
I can’t believe that the time that I spent training for my private pilot certificate was so enjoyable and has passed so quickly! Take my advice – take an introductory flight (or 3)! Don’t wait! Do it now! I consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to take my flight training with George Munson, and I look forward to advancing my training further with him for an instrument rating. Thanks, George!
Hey Steve, watch your head!
Steve, Steve! Steve!
AD UP Aviation provides flight instruction in a Cessna 172. This is Steve. Below, Steve checks the fuel for contaminants.
He is a great student. He's fun to fly with and he always uses his checklist.
Not too many people can say they soloed on their 16th birthday. Even less, can say they did it in a G1000 equipped aircraft. As if that wasn't enough, he took and passed his private pilot checkride on his 17th birthday.
Congratulations Jim Labrie Jr. ! Private Pilot
17th birthday 5-18-08
G1000 equipped C172
My interest in flying began in 1983. While in the U.S. Navy I was a parachute rigger and part of my training was to jump out of airplanes. I jumped a few times out of a Cessna and often wondered what it would be like to pilot the Cessna. I spent some time riding in the back seat of a fighter jet and fell in love with flying. After leaving the Navy I became a police officer and started a family. After years of raising a family, all the while watching planes fly overhead I finally made the decision. I would find a flight school and embark upon my dream. I looked online, mainly at the larger flight schools in the area. I visited a couple of them which employed several instructors most of which were younger than I. Wanting the best match I kept looking.
One day I saw an internet ad for “ADUP Aviation” I gave George Munson a call. He told me he was the sole owner and instructor for his school. As I spoke with George on the phone I noticed a level of enthusiasm and passion in his voice that I had not heard from the other schools so I decided to meet with him.
I walked into George’s office and introduced myself. He immediately reached out his hand with a big smile and said “Hey, how’s it going Mark?” As we started talking about flying I could now see the level of enthusiasm and passion that I had previously heard on the phone. As an instructor for a police department I have met and worked with many different types of instructors/ teachers "My experience has taught me that the best teachers are those that love to “teach” what they love to “do” George is all that and then some. My mind was made up. I would take this journey with George Munson.
Learning to fly is exciting, challenging, and extremely rewarding. George’s style of teaching and level of competence helped me meet those challenges all the while reminding me to have “fun” because that’s what it’s all about. After my solo cross country flight I was astonished that I actually flew a plane to another airport and back alone. During each phase of the flight I kept hearing George’s voice reminding me how a maneuver is done. I soon realized just how thorough he trained me.
If you’re looking for a personable, competent, passionate instructor I guarantee you won’t be disappointed with George Munson. As far as flying goes remember this famous quote.
“ Once you have flown, you will walk with your head looking to the sky above, for there you have been and there you long to return”
Feeding Hills, Ma
I got my pilots license a long time ago, while I was still in High School in the 1970's. Since then I have flown off and on, and I flew a bunch of different small planes, but for most of that time my license was not active. I got my license current again, but this time I decided that the only way I would stay current would be if I had my own plane. But what to buy? As I thought about it, I decided that what I really wanted was something small, just made for fun, and aerobatic if possible. And that meant I was going to be getting a taildragger. For the non-pilots out there, a taildragger is an old-fashioned design where there is no nosewheel, but there is a little tailwheel and the plane sits with its tail on the ground. Taildraggers are more challenging to takeoff and land, and they require a special sign off to fly. "So I needed to find a flight instructor who could teach me to handle a taildragger".
It is not hard to find instructors who will give taildragger instruction, but they want to do it in your plane. You would have to buy a plane you are not qualified to fly, and hope you are able to get qualified to fly it. I did not want to do that, I wanted to get qualified first, then look into buying the plane. So I searched for instructors all over New England, New York, and eastern Pennsylvania, when all of a sudden a lucky search combination caused google to pop up this very testimonial page you are reading now. Right here, in my own backyard, was a guy named George Munson at Barnes airport with a Citabria that he used for spin training. I sent off an email asking about a taildragger signoff, spin training, and aerobatic training. George mailed me right back and said sure, he could do that for me, but we would just need to wait for the winter weather to break before we could start. A couple of months later George mailed me again, and we got started.
And what I found was that all the testimonials on this page are correct. George is calm and incredibly patient. He really creates a relaxed learning environment in the air, that helps you learn and makes the learning fun. I could talk about the flights we did, with the door off on the Citabria. Warm sunny Saturdays flying low over the Berkshires, looking at the houses and trees as we practiced handling the airplane. Evenings after work watching beautiful sunsets while we practiced landings. Or the disorentation of my first spin, yet by the end of that lesson the disorentation going away and actually counting the rotations and rolling out of the spin after the predetermined number of turns facing in the predetermined direction. If you are even thinking about learning to fly, just do it. Call George. Go for a flight in his Cessna to get a feel for flying a modern small plane. Or take a ride in the Citabria, with the door off if you dare, and get a feel for what flying was like in the 1930's.
So of course I got my taildragger signoff. But the story does not end there. As I was finishing the signoff I found a beautiful recently restored Citabria for sale. It was located just east of Cicinnati, and was owned and had been restored by an airline pilot who kept it on his farm. I went down and checked it out, and made the deal to buy it on the spot. But how to get it back to Massachusetts? All it had for navigation was a compass, and it been nearly 30 years since I had flown a long trip. Well, it was George to the rescue! We flew down with Jamie Gamble in his beautiful Cessna 182, and took the next two days bringing it back to Massachusetts.
That trip was the icing on the taildragger signoff cake. Flying at 2000 feet over the coast of Lake Erie, in my own plane, in air so clear we could see all the way to Toronto. Flying across upstate New York with the sun shining off the finger lakes, watching a World War 2 B-17 bomber warming its engines on the grass runway beneath us. Sights that are hard to describe and that you never forget. But then back in Massachusetts, where to keep the plane? No worries, George to the rescue again! George hooked me up with another student of his who had hangar space he was not using. A quick phone call, a short meeting, and thanks to George my Citabria had a home! And the story actually does not end, since there is always more to learn. More crosswind work, short runways, landings on grass, and then there is always an instrument rating to get. So don't wait. Get started now. Give George a call. He is a great guy, a great instructor, and by the time you are done he will be a great friend.
Alex Berger, 1st solo August 16, 2009
I began my training to become a pilot at the age of 50 after being given a gift certificate for lessons from my wife. I had dreamed of flying for much of my life and at the age of 50 it was time to make this dream a reality. From her initial phone conversation with George, my wife could tell he had the passion for flying and teaching. She was right. He led me through all the flying maneuvers in a calm, cool and collected manner. From constantly telling me to keep right rudder on takeoff, to my many hair raising cross wind landings, he always gave positive directions and encouragement. It was always an exhilarating and fun experience. He knew when I was ready to take my check ride before I did. The check ride was successful, and I felt confident throughout. Thanks George. See you in the air.
Marty, it was a pleasure to fly with you during your private pilot training. Towards the very end of his training he flew with Mark Grella (seen here on the left with Marty, Royal G. and myself) who eventually endorsed his 8710 for the checkride. Turns out we have something in common. He's got me by 16 days. Congratulations Marty Wright!!! They don't make'm like they used to, do they?! Old man!
Hey Bill, where did you go? Bill came into AD UP Aviation with one thing in mind, to get his ticket, as a prerequisite to entering the Air Force. He got his ticket and took off, not to be seen again. (He is one focused guy)
Bill Weinmann Private Pilot Oct. 14, 2009 Congratulations Bill!
I had always wanted to fly. As a boy, I remember my dad taking me to the airport to watch airplanes takeoff and land, and I dreamed of the day when I would be flying one of them. I was also interested in the technical side of aviation, and that interest drove me to pursue Aviation Maintenance as a career path.
I attended training to obtain an FAA Airframe and Powerplant Technician license, and ended up spending 24 + years working in military, general aviation, corporate, and commuter airline aircraft tech / management positions.
It seemed like the more I learned about aircraft and their systems, the more it fueled my desire to learn to fly.
In 1986, at 29 years old, I started taking lessons, soloed, and built up some time before “life”, with all of its obligations, brought flight training to a halt. Although disappointed, I knew that I would continue it someday, and I can honestly say that I thought about flying every day until I was able to pick it up again in late 2007.
I was disappointed with my first choice in flight instruction when I re-entered my training, and then someone told me to try AdUp Aviation in Westfield.
After meeting George Munson at ADUP Aviation for the first time, I instantly knew he was the flight instructor who would get me to the goal of becoming a Private Pilot. "George has dedicated himself to teaching people to fly" – I’d had 6 or 7 other instructors during my training and could see right away that he had a genuine interest in my achieving the goal, which was something I hadn’t seen in the others. His tailored, focused, and patient approach to teaching flying is something you won’t see anywhere else, and his knowledge and experience are unparalleled also.
Despite “life” slowing me down again a couple of times, I completed my training and passed my Private Pilot checkride on October 29, 2009.
Throughout all of the “ups and downs”, it’s a great feeling to finish this after 23 years, and I’m grateful to George for his skill, insight, and friendship in getting me to this point. I hope to work on an instrument rating down the road, and I’ll surely be back to train for this with George.
I would recommend George Munson to anyone who wants to learn to fly– simply said, he provides the best flight instruction available in our area.
Trenton's 1st Plane Ride, age, 5 months
“There are some things that you just know are in you. Becoming a private pilot was one of those items for me. But like many people, achieving that goal required some important mentors, cash and the right instructor. My first memories of flying are from a pre-school age and it was of my father flying over the house as he was pursuing his license. Unfortunately he lost his medical before he could complete training, but I always enjoyed hearing about his training experience and solo flights.
With my goal of flying firmly established by my mentors and with some money to invest, it was all about finding the right instructor to get me there. There are a lot of instructors and “flight schools” out there, but selecting the best instructor is critical. For example, my second flight school in CT employed a bunch of young CFI-I’s that were “building time” to earn real jobs. They were all good guys, but their schedules were sporadic and I flew with at least 4 different instructors in one summer. It was always two-steps forward and one step back while each instructor was getting used to me. That process costs hundreds of dollars because of the cost of instructors and the plane. So when I relocated, I was determined to find a different experience. Thankfully, my friend Jean (a pilot and ATC herself) referred me to George Munson.
George is a fantastic instructor. His great qualities are numerous, but most of all I would say that he is calm in the airplane and walks you through everything; he’s patient and an excellent listener. In all of my flights, he may have touched the controls less than 20 times to demonstrate something. When you are paying, you should do all of the flying and George knows how to explain things so that you can do it on your own. That is a CRITICAL skill. "Any CFI can demonstrate a skill, but a good teacher is able to get the student to do it on their own".
George also is extremely devoted to his craft and his students. He flies probably six days a week and is always looking to make it work for his dedicated students. If you start flying with George, you will finish with him also. I can’t say enough about George.
Finally, the training aircraft is very important. When you fly with George and rent his plane, N5PT, you are flying a very well equipped aircraft with two moving map GPS systems, weather and traffic awareness system. The airplane also flies often, which means that it has a healthy purring engine that gives you a lot of confidence.
I’m now looking forward to doing the things I’ve dreamed of for years. Flights with my kids and wife to grab a bite, or with the my dad and father-in-law to go camping and fishing. The private pilot license (PPL) is good for life and this has been my most rewarding investment. My recommendation to you is talk to other pilots (mentors), save your beans ($$) and call George Munson.”
There is an airport in Puerto Rico named after Benny's uncle, Benjamin Rivera Noriega. He was a charter pilot flying Brittan Norman Islanders, down South where it is warm year round!
Ali is now working the tower in Juneau, Alaska. Brrrrrr!!!
Congratulations Ali. Private Pilot 1-5-10 You Go Girl!!
OK, what we have here is a fellow Red Sox fan, and devoted Patriots fan. A true New Englander. Ron toughed it out as you can see from his testimonial. He's a real trooper!
Congratulations Ron! Private Pilot October 29, 2009
1st solo Mike Sullivan October 2, 2009
Joe Howe 1st solo Sept. 8, 2009
Marty Wright private pilot May 2009
When I asked Mark if he would write something for my website I should have put a limit on the number of words. But when you have as much fun as we do in his Citabria it's hard not to want to tell everyone about it. We have, and continue to have many good memories in 38N.
How 'bout those wheel landings Mark!
Congratulations Mark Karl, new aircraft owner, Sept. 2008
Congratulations, Benny Reyes
1st solo 1-26-09
The photos on this page are posted chronologically, from top to bottom, newest to oldest. This is why you will see student activity scattered throughout.
Congratulations Bill Weinmann 1st solo 1-23-09
10-24-08 1st Solo!!! Congratulations Allison Hanley Future Air Traffic Controller.
Mark purchased a share in a Piper PA28 and is flyin' his butt off. Instrument rating doesn't appear to be too far in the future. Mark is another one who loves to write. Fortunately all I have to do is copy and paste!
Bill is a former C-5 engineer based at Westvoer, MA. He has since left the air guard and is now building his own aircraft. No picture is currently available, but I will "grind" him until he sends me one!
Bernie is one of those guys that could be mayor of your city. Just a good guy and a good pilot. He is currently working towards his instrument rating in a PA 28 which he purchased shortly after earning his pilot's certificate.
Benny has graciously offered the following links: Thanks Benny
Frankly, flying is unlike any other experience I’ve ever had. As Wilbur Wright put it, “the sensation is one of perfect peace mingled with an excitement that strains every nerve to the utmost, if you can conceive of such a combination.” While I’ve always been certain that I wanted to be a pilot, I did not know how best to achieve this dream.
My first experiences with flight school were unsatisfactory; every couple months, I would be assigned a new flight instructor since my previous one would leave to pursue his career as a commercial pilot. While this is understandable, I found myself spending way too much time and money relearning techniques and adapting to my new instructor’s teaching method. I wanted to find someone who would be there to the end, someone whose only prerogative was flight instruction. George is exactly this sort of person. He’s incredibly reliable and a damn good aviator—the best kind of person to learn from. After committing to Ad Up, it was pretty much smooth sailing. By the time I was flying solo to other airports, I felt much confidence in myself. Both this confidence and the exhilaration you’ll feel in the cockpit are truly amazing; at a time when I was not old enough to even legally consume alcohol, I would fly high into the atmosphere, navigate for hundreds of miles, and descend back to earth. That’s something that too few people ever experience, and I have George all to thank for it.
The first time I started taking flying lessons was over 25 years ago, I went to Northampton with a coupon for three flights at a discounted price. I really loved it and worked up to my solo and began planning my first cross country when the demands of life took over, a mortgage and children. I committed myself to getting my pilot license someday, but other priorities always won out. Then one day I watched the movie “Bucket List”, and I actually made a bucket list. Getting my pilot license was seventh on the list. So, I called a friend of mine who was a pilot and asked who he recommended as an instructor. He told me that he had just the guy and to meet him at Barnes the next day. I was introduced to George and nervously arrange for my first lesson. It wasn’t long before I became very comfortable flying with George and committing myself to my goal. George has a very calm and cool approach to teaching and even when you are making one of them crazy out of control landing, he just calmly says, “maybe you should add a little power” and if I was discouraged with my performance, George would change things up until I built up my confidence. I really enjoyed taking lessons with George and I not only think of him as my instructor, but also a friend.
Jim Byrnes……… Westfield
Jim Byrnes new private pilot
And 10 months later, new aircraft owner doing the Moxie Chug after complex endorsement
Gotta love this picture. Tom Guzowski, 1st solo. And then a year later, doing the Moxie Chug as a new private pilot. (What in the hell did I just drink!?#)
I entered this office as a new student 2 years ago never knowing I would be leaving with not only my Private Pilot License but new friends in my life. This has been an amazing experience that I will never forget thanks to George. His constant reminder: “You don’t get it…..You Earn it!”is so true, and really helped me acknowledge it was work and sometimes not easy. George stood by and coached me as flying became real for me. He had patience, kindness, knowledge and was very devoted to doing whatever it took for me to succeed. Hours of making sure I knew the rules, the maneuvers, the weather and how to be safe up there. When he signs you off for your final check ride, you will be ready! I will be forever grateful as I spend my free time flying and learning.