Student pilot choosing flight school and/or leaseback program!

Hello All,

I am seriously considering getting my pilot certificate in a cirrus aircraft. Giving you a little background of myself, the last time I was in a cockpit was two years ago, I was training in a Piper 28-140. In about 5 weeks, I competed around 30 hours. However; at the time, I could not see myself flying in that type of aircraft. Now I have around 2 hours in a Cirrus SR20 aircraft and I love it. I honestly think if I continue my training it has it be in a Cirrus. I live in Southern California I am looking for a professional flight school. I was considering Embry Riddle. However, their fleet has no Cirrus Aircraft. I know that Aerosim flight academy (also known as Delta flight academy) has the the SR20 but don’t really know anyone who is a grad from there. OR I could join my local Cirrus flight school and maybe get a leaseback program!

Is a leaseback program a good investment? (2012 SR20 demo for $399,500)

I basically need your thoughts on what path I should take as a student pilots!

Thanks in advance!

Welcome on board!
I will let others more qualified than me, give you advice about your questions.
I will only say what I say to my daughter who is also a private pilot student:
“it is better to be on the ground wishing to be up there, than up there wishing to be on the ground!” enjoy your flying and be always safe rather than sorry!

Hi Ravi.
Good choice! I did all my training in a Cirrus, and was very happy. Most of my experience was on the east coast with Performance Flight (also a great flight school), but I did have the pleasure of working with Will Dryden at Coast Flight Training in San Diego a few times. He runs a first class organization. The website is Good luck!

Good luck with your flying. Cirrus is a very good choice, plane of today.

Training in the Cirrus is very important you have a Cirrus trained and current CSIP who is knowledgeable with the Cirrus and Cirrus training. You have many fine schools and CSIPs in the area and that’s what I would recommend. You can go to the web and go to:, look into training, put in your zip and get the closest training centers and CSIPs to look into. I would recommend working on your PP and Instrument rating at the same time. Most important, enjoy have fun and get well trained

Under no circumstances is anything aviation related a good financial investment.

If you are considering a leaseback, buy a used SR20 for half the cost outlined above. It will still rent a similar hourly rent.


Welcome to the cult of Cirrus. Listen to Marcus. There are exceptions. But let the general rule be your guide until you’re further down the road of experience.

I have visited Coast Flyers at Montgomery Field. I concur with the previously expressed opinion about their quality.

Once you decide you want to go with a Cirrus (whether you own one or not, doesn’t matter,) consider a COPA membership. Many experienced COPAns do not read the public forums regularly. So you’re missing out on a lot of good advice on this side.

Finally, you probably made a typo when registering. It’s spelled ‘Saigal’ :wink:

I gather from that statement that cost is a consideration. If so, you should strongly consider buying one of the many used aircraft on the market, with or without partners or leasebacks. You’ll save a bundle.

Why are you becoming a Pilot? If it for personal or recreational reasons, there is no reason to use one of the career pilot schools like Embry Riddle or Delta Flight Academy. For career-minded folks, schools like that may have advantages but they are not a necessity. Consider interviewing smaller schools based on their proximity to you, aircraft types, number of instructors and their qualifications, time-slot availability, rates, and most importantly whether you get a comfortable feeling talking to their employees, instructors and management.

Join COPA, fill in your profile with more information about yourself, then feel free to call me at 619-920-2120.

I am based at Montgomery Field in San Diego and fly along California a lot. I also talked with a couple of mentors when I decided to by my Cirrus SR22 when I had about 10 hours total time, and I would be happy to return the favor to others in your situation.

Coast Flyers at Montgomery Field are good. Mach 1 Aviation at Van Nuys is good. JATO Aviation at San Carlos are good. People and syllabi are critical.

Since I hire the instructors for the Cirrus Pilot Proficiency Program, we list those instructors here and recommend them without reservation, especially the distinguished instructors designated as Platinum CSIP.

Enjoy your search! Have a great Cirrus day!



Thanks for your advice Gicci!

That is why I am getting my FAA witten test prior to my flight training!

Your daughter will become a safe pilot because she has you as her mentor.

Thanks Bryan!

I did take a demo flight with iFlyCoast enjoyed it lot also.

Thanks Chuck,

I will look into working on PPL and Instrument Rating at the same time.

Thanks for your financial advice Chuck!

Yes after this post I will get the COPA membership considering that there isn’t a lot of information on the Cirrus training out there. And yeah fixing the typo wouldn’t change me to Saigal. Once a Sehgal always a Sehgal :wink:

Thanks for your advice!!

You got it right on! Cost is a consideration just renting a used Cirrus aircraft for my training will cost me around $15,000 and after my training I will like to fly more then 3 hours a week.

Honestly I do not know if I would like aviation as a career, it too soon to say. However, its something I like doing and will continue todo. Career pilot schools like Embry Ruddle and/or Delta Flight Academy would at lease give me a degree in aviation that will justify that time I put in it.

Thanks for your thoughts James.


Thanks for your feedback Rick, I will definitely call you!

Since you know so many flight school. what’s your opinion on CalAirOnline?


Dunno, since I have never interacted with them. Color me skeptical when I hear someone use the adjective “premier” about anything, especially flight schools. Especially since Mach1 Aviation uses exactly the same phrase, but those folks have some credibility with COPA members.


I am not sure I understand this. I always thought the degree programs at these schools were separate from, and more extensive and expensive than, their flight training activities. If I am right about that – and it is possible I don’t understand – then you could find there is a lot of program structure, course material, cost and red tape that will not really apply to your desire to become a pilot.