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Learn to Fly

Aircraft Rental & Flight Training


Visalia Flyers provides flight instruction according to Part 61 of the Federal Aviation Regulations. Our skilled instructors will turn you into a safe and competent pilot.


The Visalia Flyers fleet currently consists of three Cessna 172 Skyhawks. They are available for rental to licensed pilots (after a checkout) and to our students who are actively receiving flight instruction. 


Each instructor associated with Visalia Flyers LLC is certified with the FAA to train pilots for Private, Instrument, and Commercial ratings. Whether you are taking your first flight or are preparing for a career in the airlines, our instructors are ready to help!


About Us

Byron Vander Weide
Founder and Principal

I first got into aviation as a senior in high school when I got a job as an aircraft mechanic apprentice at a shop on the Visalia airport. Shortly after getting the job I went on my first test flight in a small Cessna. After that I was hooked on flying. It’s a great feeling to be able witness students first flights and see that they have the same feeling I had on my first flight. My goal is to help as many people as possible make their dream of flying a reality.

Visalia Flyers

Visalia Flyers, LLC was founded by current owner, Byron Vander Weide who has been working in the aviation industry since 2011. He graduated from the Reedley College aviation maintenance program in 2013 and got his airframe and powerplant mechanics license. He later became a licensed aircraft inspector. 


Byron acquired his first airplane, a Cessna 150, N8145S in 2017 after it had been sitting on the Visalia airport for 5 years with no engine. It has since been fully restored and brought back to its former glory. It has also been upgraded to be fully IFR capable, having been equipped with a Garmin GNS 530 GPS, Garmin CDI, as well as the Garmin GTX 335 transponder to meet the FAA’s current 2020 mandate for added safety. 


There has been much interest in renting the Cessna since there was no flight school and no other rental aircraft, so he immediately began renting the plane. Within a year, the N8145S flew 600 hours and helped many new pilots get their private pilots licenses and build time.


In May of 2020 Visalia Flyers, LLC purchased a Cessna 172N. The aircraft is equipped with IRF capable Garmin GPS and a secondary nav-com with glideslope. This aircraft is an easy transition from the 150 and is great for the bigger pilots who aren't as comfortable in the smaller 150.


In December of 2020 Visalia Flyers, LLC purchased their second 172, a Cessna 172P. This aircraft is equipped with an IFR capable WAAS Garmin 430 GPS and a secondary nav-com with glideslope. This aircraft is also equipped with a STOL kit for short field takeoff and landings. This 172 was actually restored by the owner of Visalia Flyers back in 2018 after being purchased from the old flight school, Western Air. N96836 has a lot of history in Visalia as it has been here as a trainer for many years!


In January of 2023 we added a third Cessna 172. N3378E is IFR capable with a Garmin GNS 430 WAAS GPS installed. This aircraft is also factory equipped with a cabin recirculating fan. N3378E is a very low time aircraft with only 2300 hours total time when purchased. This aircraft is nearly identical the N3558E and is only 62 serial numbers apart!


In May of 2023 we sold our Cessna 150. N8145S was a great plane but we decided the school would run more efficiently with 3 of the same aircraft. N8145S logged over 3000 hours of flight training while in our fleet. 


Visalia Flyers, LLC also has a state of the art, FAA approved, BATD flight simulator. This simulator is great for any student to build time on. Flying the simulator eliminates the stress of flying the plane when trying to learn procedures. It's also tons of fun to fly! Students can log 2.5 hours towards their private license and 10 hours towards their instrument rating. You can also stay instrument proficient without an instructor present. 


With the help of its valued partnerships with CFII-rated instructors, Visalia Flyers, LLC hopes to provide the Visalia area with an invaluable resource for flight training and quality aircraft rental services for years to come. 


Due to FAA airport security protocols, we ask you to contact us to set up an appointment before visiting. When you arrive at the airport, head west down Airport Dr. and find the north gate which is just left of the business aviation building. We will provide you with the gate code when we talk to you. Once you go through the gate, turn left and follow the fence until you find the big hangar that says Top Flight on it. Our office is in the southwest corner of the hangar and says Visalia Flyers on the door. 


Contact Us

Interested? Let us know!

9519 W Airport Dr.

Visalia, CA 93277

Tel: 559-804-4080

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