New Cirrus training option --- The Flight Academy

Fellow Cirrites,
There’s a new option available for both initial and recurrent flight instruction in your Cirrus. Flight Academy has two instructors, Lysen and John Fiscus, who between them have over 2000 Cirrus hours and have trained over 200 pilots in the SR20 and SR22. (Both are former Cirrus factory instructors.)
I did my initial training with Luke when we picked up our SR20 in January. As a 2000-hour pilot, I’ve had occasion to fly with dozens of CFIs, but I can think of none who have Luke’s ability to provide a sense of ease, confidence, and “you can do this” in the cockpit. And as a university educator, I find it a real pleasure to work with a CFI who has a profound understanding of the craft of instruction.
Luke accompanied me and Glenn Beltz, my partner in the SR20, back home from Duluth to Santa Barbara, CA so that he could give my wife Caroline a course of “pinch-hitter” instruction (for a photo, here). Luke successfully encouraged Caroline to fly the airplane more extensively and with greater facility than any other instructor had ever been able to do. She’s let it be known that Luke is the only CFI from whom she will take further instruction! I, too, am looking forward to learning more from Luke and John and tapping into their extensive and intimate knowledge of the Cirrus and its systems.

I’d encourage you to check out The Flight Academy web site (which includes from other contented customers and a bunch of cool in-flight photos). I can give them my unqualified seal of approval for Cirrus training of all kinds!



I thought that I had posted over her as well yesterday, but somehow I must have deleted it. Luke delivered my SR22 in early December 2001. We spent 3 additional days together in training. Luke is an exceptional individual as well as a top notch instructor. I have kept in touch with Luke since the delivery of my aircraft. I understand that he is not going with UND, but has instead decided to launch off on his own venture, The Flight Academy. I can only give him my highest endorsement. He is a real gentleman, but most importantly a first class instructor with significant knowledge of the SR20 and SR22, and all of the avionics.

If anyone is looking for someone to take delivery of a new aircraft, as well as acting as their “Power of Attorney”, I sincerely believe that they could find nobody better than Luke. I will also personally look forward to seeing Luke the next time that I take training at a CPPP session (I did the first one in April and am planning to make this a yearly part of my routine).

From my perspective, this is a “no brainer” decision for a new owner looking for Cirrus training and/or delivery!

Safe Flying!

Yeah I second all of that. Luke is top notch!

From the initial walk-around to the last part of training, Luke was a terrific resource. I had a lot of actual IFR time flying the Garmin/S-tec and as soon as he was comfortable with my skills, he started to “freelance” the training in a way that kept it fast, interesting and FUN. We touched on all the required elements in such a way that it felt anything but structured.
He continues to be a great resource and when I need recurrent training, I will be calling The Flight Academy…

I took my training with John Fiscus, and think he’s absolutely top rate. Thoroughly enjoyed the training, and importantly, feel that he did an outstanding job. Wonderful individual as well.

Sounds like Luke and John have an terrific program. I certainly plan to use them as part of my recurrent training.

Good luck guys!


Just wanted to add my 2 cents. I picked up SR22/527TR on July 21st, 2002 and Luke Lysen was assinged as my flight instructor by Cirrus. Luke first took me on my acceptance check ride, and displayed his extensive knowledge of the SR22. Luke pointed out a few “squawks” that I would problably have missed (being in a state of daze by the new plane). Luke and I then started in on my flight training. I quickly realized that Luke had “sized” up my flying ability, and was tayloring the training to meet the areas I needed the most attention to. The training was always casual and enjoyable, even if I did teach Luke a new word … can you say “donkey”. As the training week came to an end, it became obvious that I needed Luke to accompany me back to my home airport. The weather had turned bad, and I had not yet recieved my instrument rating. Luke never hesitated, and after filing our route home, we departed KDLH. The trip back to my home airport was yet again another great lesson from Luke. We had to dodge thunderstorms, and severe weather (for those who have been to Duluth, you know what I mean), and Luke continued to teach “real” world flying in the SR22 with the TCAS and Stormscope. So to make a long story short, anyone who wants to continue with additional or initial traing, my recommendation is to contact Luke at “” I know that I am going to continue to train with Luke.

John Fiscus was our instructor when we picked up our SR20. He did an absolutely outstanding job, and I’m fairly picky about instructors. He’s top notch and I highly recommend him.


Luke also trained me, my brother, and a good friend who is an American Airlines Check Airman. We were all very happy to have Luke. My friend the Check Airman was particularly impressed with his thoughtful presentation and easy manner. He would be a perfect person to use as power of attorney as I would expect he’ll be more objective than any buyer who just can’t wait to jump in their new plane.

Just took delivery of SR22 with John as my instructor. I was sad to hear they would be leaving Cirrus, but glad since they will be readily available for future instruction. John was great during our training. He knows the Cirrus backward and forward.

You folks can just go on and on about how great Luke Lysen was with your flight training but I’ve got you all beat. You see, I’m the first customer of The Flight Academy and as we speak the guy is living at my house while training me to stay upright in the clouds. Not an easy task I can assure you. As I write this he is our on the front lawn taking a much deserved break and playing tug of war with my Labradors.Our group has just taken on a fourth partner and because the three original partners had such a great experience with him we brought Luke back for another round. It appears that Luke and his partner John Fiscus, who I hear is a great instructor, have gone out on their own with the implied blessing of Cirrus. I think this is a BRILLIANT move by Cirrus. With all these hundreds of wonderful planes coming off the line as they begin their takeover of General Aviation there has got to be a bigger pool of highly skilled instructors out there who can move all over the country with ease. Luke and his company fill the bill. These pilots know the plane cold, inside and out, and could probably do an ILS backwards in an old Buick. Having such a pool of talent will keep us all well trained and keep the accident rate down and insurance costs reasonable. If Cirrus and these instructors can continue to support each other then everybody wins, especially the customers.As for Luke, just think of him as a cross between your best teacher in high school and Neil Armstrong. A good teacher that gets you to your limits with out pushing to hard. He finds ways to make the information sink in while cool under pressure. I have not flown on the gauges for 10 years. Our second day of work started with a punch up through a thick layer off of Santa Monica. Most of California was lousy, hazy IFR. I was way behind the plane from the start but Luke, we call him “Master Luke” around these parts, kept me focused. Then, the heading gyro took a hike and began to do its imitation of a Las Vegas roulette wheel. (Sandel, are you reading this?) Info from the Avidyne regarding heading also went out the window. Things were not going well for me but I knew I was safe with Luke and he talked me through it and on we went as the FAR’s said we should. Since he knows the panel cold we were quick to optimize what we had left and get down safely. Despite some trouble-shooting we had a similar problem on a real missed approach in hard IFR today and got home via a sweet GPS approach in low actual conditions. This is quite a plane, even when there is a problem. I have Luke to thank for teaching me this. I wish The Flight Academy the best of luck and will continue to take advantage of their skills for as long as I am flying.There are two other instructors I must mention. Kevin Henderson CFII, from Wings Aloft in Seattle. He is also top notch. Also, a local SR20 owner here in Souther California, Jim Campbell ( is a CFI who can also make those Garmins sing.Fellow pilots, your two days of training in Duluth do not make you the best you can be. Take advantage of these fine instructors and be a better pilot. DAVE F.PS The Flight Academy, tel#206-334-0642