ABOUT

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. 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 instruction for years to come.

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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.

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Kevin Thompson
Certified Flight Instrument Instructor

Aviation has been a third career for Kevin. After college he worked as a kayak instructor and fly-fishing guide all over the world. He then went into the industrial rope access industry working on MegaWatt wind turbines. Kevin’s first interest in flying started with him becoming a paragliding pilot. He later purchased a Vans RV-4 and got his pilots license. He has always enjoyed sharing flight and introducing people to a whole new dimension of experiencing the world. It’s very rewarding to help people through a challenging commitment like learning how to fly.

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Lloyd Fries
Certified Flight Instrument Instructor

Lloyd has been a flight instructor since 1977. He started flying in 1975 at the Visalia Airport. Since then he has accumulated a little over 8,600 hours of flight time with over 7,250 hours of flight instruction given. He was active teaching ground schools in Visalia and Tulare when there were Flight Schools at each airport.

His primary goal is guiding students to become Safe and Competent Pilots.

Scott Mill
Certified Flight Instructor

Originally from Monterey, Scott spent seven years in the Navy as an Instructor Flight Engineer accruing over 2,500 hours operating the systems of the P-3 Orion Maritime Surveillance aircraft while deploying all over the world. He earned his Private Pilot Certificate in the Central Valley before completing his additional ratings in Southern California. Now he’s back in the skies over Visalia, teaching safe and smart pilots!

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Sean Krueger
Certified Flight Instrument Instructor

Sean got his pilots license when he was 18 years old and has been flying for 15 years. His experience ranges from single engine props to fighter jets and can’t wait to share his passion of aviation with you!

Tanner Herman
Certified Flight Instrument Instructor

Tanner is a 22-year-old, passionate aviator and has gained immense experience over the last three years. Tanner completed a Private Pilot ground school class that was a requirement for his degree at the University of Southern Illinois. Once the semester ended he decided he wanted to become a professional pilot and fly for a living, starting as a Certified Flight Instructor. In three years, Tanner has received his Bachelor’s in Aviation Management and all of his certificates from Private Pilot to CFII. Tanner is very excited to share information about aviation in a safe and professional manner and help grow the industry in Visalia, CA.

*All instructors are independent contractors and are not employed by Visalia Flyers, LLC.

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Lance Aytman
Certified Flight Instrument Instructor

My aviation career began in August of 2018 at the ATP flight school in Sacramento, CA. By September of 2019, I  earned my Private Pilot Certificate, Instrument Rating Certificate, Commercial Single Engine Certificate, Commercial Multi Engine Certificate, CFI (Certified Flight Instructor) Certificate, and CFII (Certified Flight Instructor Instrument) Certificate. Since completing an accelerated program, I can provide high quality instruction to  accommodate those who wish to finish quickly or those who wish to take their time.  I look forward to meeting and joining you on your path to becoming a pilot.