I recently completed my private pilot course in Placerville with Cholena as my instructor. Being able to receive my PPL in 11 days is due in large part to Cholena’s dedication and her being such and Excellent CFII. Building a rapport with your instructor is essential; Cholena’s constant smile made every task looks easier than it really was. She brings “tough love” to an art form – she is the friendliest person but when the situation calls for it she immediately becomes the strict instructor you need at your right side. She lets you learn from your mistakes, like the best teachers do. Her approach can be somewhat frustrating at times but is “extremely” effective. If you don’t spend too much time feeling sorry for yourself it will get you to your goals faster and with much less pain.

Cholena’s aviation knowledge is virtually limitless; you’d be hard pressed to find a question she can’t answer. Even though I don’t plan on becoming a commercial pilot, Cholena’s experience flying charters made for very interesting side discussions about high performance airplanes, IFR, and the business of flying.

Placerville is the ideal place for learning to fly – nice weather, above the fog line, with an endless supply of airplane time. Being 2.5 hours away from my home in the Bay Area allowed me to disconnect from everyday interruptions and focus on flying and ground work, while being relatively close to my family. This made for a relatively short course which in turn allowed me to reduce the overall cost (as well as frustration resulting from never-ending training).

I would definitely recommend AFIT and Cholena to my friends, and in fact have already done so.