Learning is most effective under controlled conditions, in a calm, secure and well structured environment. These conditions are met during our instruction at Reno Stead Airport, with aircraft that are superior in quality and instruction that relates to the way you learn.  This includes a syllabus that progresses as you do.  In each session, you will have three items to work on.  As you show competence, additional maneuvers or procedures are introduced.   


Reviewing the stall series can be very educational. Today's instructors do not let the aircraft stall completely; when the stall warning sounds, they start the recovery process. Together we examine the power on and power off, departure, trim and accelerated stalls. By incrementally approaching the stall, the pilot learns every aspect of how the stall happens and how to extract himself from it. Stalls usually occur during maneuvering in the airport traffic pattern.


Spinning the airplane is not something demonstrated by most instructors. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is most training aircraft are no longer certificated for spins. The second is that most instructors don't have confidence in demonstrating the maneuver. Their exposure to it was minimal in their training. The reason for this is that the training regulations only require basic spin training for the CFI endorsement, and most instructors never revisit the spin again.


These are called unusual because they are not normal. The upsetting of an aircraft can be due to winds, wake turbulence, stalls and emergency maneuvering. Hazards can be an overstressed airplane that has exceeded Vne or maximum "G" load. Knowledge of your attitude and power settings can eliminate the stress on the airplane and minimize altitude loss. This is very important when close to the ground as in an approach to landing or shortly after takeoff.


Differing from the tricycle gear aircraft, the tailwheel has been maligned as a craft that is hard to control and tricky to land. The truth is, once understood, the tailwheel is manageable and easy to handle. A complete ground instruction is given, with a hand out for the student, before getting into the airplane. Taxiing is then introduced to understand the use of rudder, brakes and power to achieve confidence in handling the airplane.


Landings in the tailwheel are first taught in the three point attitude. Maximum lift and minimum airspeeds are demonstrated. Short and soft field landings are also performed with this technique. People also ask, "How can you see where we're going?" The visibility over the nose is limited and often non-existent. Instruction to look in other directions to maintain the centerline and tracking is shared with the student.


The hallmark of the accomplished tailwheel pilot is the wheel landing. A smooth landing with control and delicate touch is a thing of beauty. Many instructors do not teach this technique as they fear the student will strike the propeller on the runway. With knowledge replacing apprehension, the instruction offers an opportunity to produce a landing that offers better visibility and more control in the rollout.


The flight review is an opportunity to evaluate your skills and understanding of the various elements of flight. The review is a one hour exploration of a range of aeronautical topics. This is a great time to ask any questions you may have been harboring. This is followed by a one hour flight instruction, examining technique and skills with an objective critique.


The most productive question asked at the start of the review is "What do you consider to be the weakest part of your flying?" The answer to that is exactly what we will work on. The student will benefit most by strengthening his or her knowledge or weaknesses. Flying is a never ending learning process; the review should leave the pilot with enhanced abilities and knowledge.


A short review of your skills, techniques and habits can make your flying safer and more enjoyable. This can be done in your aircraft or one of our aerobatic machines, opening the possibility for you to experience something you may not have thought about. Perhaps you would like to try spins or loops or hammerheads. We can fold these into your required flight review. - Why not make it fun?!?

Why learn aerobatics?  You've seen airshows and pilots with a mastery of speed, altitude, attitude and precision.  Why not add that to your flying credential?  This can be to any degree you want to experience or enjoy, from a one time exposure to competition flying.
It almost sounds like a cliche, but learning aerobatics will make you a better pilot.   
Pictured on this website are the aerobatic machines used for training.  They are meticulously maintained and cared for.  The Citabria is a 1974 7KCAB and is equipped with new Garmin radios.  The Pitts Special is a 1978 S-2A. Both aircraft have low time engines and are rigged nicely.

The Citabria, shown above, is used for tailwheel training, unusual attitudes and basic aerobatics.

If one wants to continue to more complex maneuvers, the Pitts Special, shown at right, is the perfect platform.
About the Instructor
Dennis Brown has been flying since 1967.  Active in sport flying, commercial flying, aerobatics, airshow, air racing and instruction, his flying career has been full.  

Flying the Pitts Special since 1979 to present and building several biplanes has given him an appreciation for the airplane from the inside out.

Instructing is the most fulfilling flying of all.  

Citabria 7KCAB

  • Basic Tailwheel and Aerobatic
  • Trainer
  • (price includes fuel, instruction and is dual only)

Flight Instruction in Your Aircraft


Pitts S2A

  • Advanced Aerobatic
  • Trainer
  • (price includes fuel, instruction and is dual only)

Call, text or email to discuss your flight training needs

  • Reno Stead Airport, Nevada, United States
  • (KRTS)