Testimonials from Alumni/Students of GATTS’ Pilot Training Courses

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I want to thank you and your staff for all your help and hospitality during my instrument training this last ten days. Your facility and method of teaching are second to none. I really feel that I learned more about my airplane and the operations of the plane, and above all my piloting skills than any other type of instruction I have had. I really feel a lot safer flying even in VFR conditions.

I really want to thank you for putting me with Chris Kopper. Chris is a class act and is a real asset to your operation. Chris really got me through the last 2 days when I was doubting myself about passing the check ride.

Thanks again sincerely,

— Mark Roseland, Privot Pilot with Instrument Rating

I just wanted to write and say how much I enjoyed myself a few months ago during the commercial course. I had simply accepted the fact that flight training is always problematic and frustrating due to scheduling, mechanical failure, etc. until I trained at GATTS. I received much more than I expected and just wanted to say thanks.

My ag flying job only lasted 5 days. The farmers this year were simply not top dressing their winter wheat due to the lack of moisture and no rain forecasted. It was a lot of fun, and I received some good training. Here are a few pictures of my GN-1 aircamper. I ended up selling it just a few days ago.

I've been spreading the good word about GATTS. Jason and Dale, you guys provide a great service and were great to work with. Kelsey, you're a superb instructor and a lot of fun.

God Bless,

— Kyle Ransom

I just wanted to take a moment to let you know that I had an incredible time at GATTS last month. Everything was just as advertised and then some. Your facilities are top notch and the instruction was hands-down, the best that I have ever received in my 30 years in aviation. I didn't think that I'd ever be able to fly with confidence in the Instrument system and in IMC conditions, but I have done it almost daily since I've been home.

Before deciding on GATTS for my Instrument training, my partners and I did some research. We found that there are a lot of companies advertising 7 and 10-day style Instrument courses these days. They all guarantee something or another and all appear to be about the same until you look a little closer. In fact, one organization that claims to specialize in "Single Pilot IFR" appears to have copied the GATTS program verbatim. Upon further investigation, we found that these folks were actually employed by GATTS at one time. Although they looked good on the surface, I'm glad that we did our homework and decided to go with the "ORIGINAL GATTS." Personally, I would be leery of training with an organization that has to copy an existing and successful program and are not experienced or knowledgeable enough to create their own. Being in aviation for 30 years myself, I know that this type of business practice is not good for this industry or anyone involved. This was just one of the many interesting bits of information that we uncovered.

The bottom line for us was that through our research, we found that no other school in the country that offers this type of training can boast the years in the industry or match the experience of GATTS. We decided that it would be best to train with the originators of the program and not a cheap copy. That was the best decision that we've made yet! (next to purchasing the SR-22!)

Thank you again for all that you've done. We'll be back!

— R. Dempsey, Aircraft sales, New York

After getting back to Nebraska I felt like telling you how impressed I was with the treatment I received at your company. After 50 years of flying I have run the gamut of testing and training at different places but no one came close to the great way you treat your customers. Please relay this message to Brandon as I feel much safer flying after his instruction, as a matter of fact I am anxious to fly in some real IFR weather.

I would be happy to recommend your co. to any one wanting quality training. Thank you again.

Your friend,
— Don Terry

I wish to take this opportunity to thank you and your staff for the exceptional job teaching me instrument flying.

Jason Wolcott did an outstanding job setting up and coordinating this training session. I recognize that GATTS does not normally do IFR finish-ups, and yet, Jason was kind enough to spend considerable time to examine my previous IFR flight training and craft a custom program uniquely suited to my needs. My living arrangements were first-rate, and throughout my stay, it was evident that Jason was genuinely concerned about my needs, my comfort, and my satisfaction level. It was his attention to detail that allowed my flight training to be efficient and worry-free.

I cannot speak more highly of my flight instructor, Brandon Roenbaugh. Start to finish, Brandon was the consummate professional, presenting a feeling of quiet confidence. He managed to deliver a substantial amount of knowledge in a very short period of time in a clear, easy to understand manner, and developed my confidence to create a low-stress environment which allowed me to concentrate on learning. I have had quite a few instructors over the past 30 years, and Brandon is a unique blend of extremely talented pilot and excellent teacher without the overbearing ego that seems to so often accompany flight instructors. I feel fortunate to have been trained by someone of his abilities.

Brandon has recommended I take a GPS approach course and someday an IFR refresher at GATTS (not a bad salesman, either), and I have every intention of doing both. For now, I intend to fly the pants off my newly-minted IFR ticket, and I have GATTS to thanks for that opportunity.

Very best regards to all,
— Neil Czarnecki

I would like to express my greatest appreciation for the superb training & support I received from the two of you while I was in G.A.T.T.S. for my instrument training. It was a wonderful life-time experience for me.

I would especially like to thank all of you for the warm friendships extended to me. I first felt it over the phone as I recognized your unique ability & patience to train a new pilot with low time like myself. The personalized attention was a major reason why I chose to train with you instead of one of the countless other training centers. Before I met you two I thought you were special: now I'm certain of it.

Thanks to Lyle's quick & calm thinking my cross country experience was a "real" learning experience. You guys make a great team.

Since I am home, I have flown once in real IMC with an instructor to Allentown, PA (Class C); and, we practiced four approaches. Once I practiced in a local New Jersey area with a very busy New York approach controller. Thanks to your magnificent training I was able to handle it with ease (well almost). He was talking so fast – just like the cattle auctioneer.

I plan to return next fall, God willing, to receive my commercial rating. I hope to have enough hours by then. Who knows, maybe one day I will be able to be a great instructor just like you. WITH YOUR HELP, of course.

My wife & I sincerely hope you and your family will take our invitation to come to New York seriously. It would be our greatest pleasure to show you around the Big Apple – now that I've seen the Little Apple.

I hope to hear from you soon. I just got an e-mail address today. Wait until you hear what it This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

See you soon,
— Mendy Spilman

I wanted to thank you for the wonderful experience that I had at GATTS. It exceeded everything that I expected.

I look forward to coming again next year, when I buy a new plane. Please feel free to use my name as a reference. I am glad that KSU finally won, although I would have preferred them to beat the Aggies.

— John R. Hedrick

Dale, Jason,

Thank you for all your help last week during my instrument-training program. The program and your instructors are wonderful.

The straightforward and practical training methods that you use work very well and I believe that I am a safer and more confident pilot because of the course. After spending eight hours with a CFII from a local FBO before I came down to GATTS I didn't think that learning the dials was going to be easy, your methods make it easy to understand and fly.

Lyle is an excellent teacher and a great pilot and I appreciate his patience with my mumbling in the cockpit.

I filed and flew my trip back home on the dials and had great fun. Upon arriving at Fond Du Lac, WI, I asked Chicago Center to do the SDF 36 approach into FLD, one of my best approaches of the week!

I look forward to working with you again sometime, maybe Commercial next spring.

If you or your staff is ever in the Milwaukee area, drop a dime and I'll show you some good Wisconsin eats.

My best regards to you and your great staff.

— John Powalisz

I wish to thank you personally for the very difficult job you undertook helping me become an Instrument Pilot.

Your patience and encouragement are without question and your devotion to your students is unequalled.

I personally feel I could not have accomplished the end result without you. I thank you from the bottom of my heart – a job well done, a friend forever.

— Joel Fishman

To Editor of AOPA Pilot:

Last year I had the good fortune to win the AOPA Safety Foundation Silent Auction for the Seven Day All-Inclusive Instrument course at G.A.T.T.S. in Manhattan, Kansas. This spring I was finally able to fit the course into my schedule and fulfill my dream of getting my instrument training.

Despite assurances of their success rate, I was apprehensive before going as to whether I was going to be "the one that got away". Starting with my arrival at the Manhattan airport, where I was met by Jason, those fears were soon laid to rest. I cannot speak highly enough about the quality and skill of the instructors and the G.A.T.T.S. organization, right down to the living arrangements provided. They simplified what was a daunting prospect into easy to understand sections that were quickly absorbed, and my confidence grew daily until I aced the check ride.

I would recommend the G.A.T.T.S. program without reservation to any and all who desire their instrument rating. I look forward to returning for my Commercial Rating, maybe next year.

Congratulations to Dale Wolcott for the fine organization he has built.

— Barry Stratton

Just a note to thank you, Jason, Lyle, and George for the superb instrument training course I received at your facilities in Manhattan last week. After more than 20 years of "marginal" VFR flying, prowling around dangerously under low ceilings in limited visibility "scud and crud" all the time promising myself "someday" I'd get my instrument rating...I finally got it done!

And I'm convinced my success was made possible by the quality, commitment, and attitude of the GATTS team and the innovative instruments training program you have developed. Numerous past false starts down the path to my IFR ticket were merely an unpleasant memory once I was hooked up with your instruction and the GATTS system. Previously worrisome holds with teardrop entries, vexing NDB approaches with incessant clicking of stopwatches were transformed by you and the GATTS instructors into an easily manageable and clearly understood set of flight maneuvers, involving straight-forward flying of headings and altitudes, keeping a step or two ahead of the airplane...using the turn coordinator and vertical speed...but of course! I was halfway back to IDP on my IFR flight plan before I finally decided to uncover the altitude indicator...mostly for aesthetics...that chunk of old approach plate pasted over that Al hole really doesn't look very attractive!

With the tremendous safety and increased capabilities of our new Skyhawks, Skylanes and Stationairs, it's really a shame every pilot today does not have the opportunity to learn via the GATTS system and benefit from your extensive flying experience and the assimilation of knowledge you have gained via your leadership role with the AOPA Air Safety Foundation and the FAA. The "best" airplanes + the "best" training = the "best" (safest) pilots!

Again, Dale, many thanks and congratulations on building such and excellent program at GATTS. I'll be back often. Happy landings...without flaps!

Best regards,

— John J. Doman, Director Worldwide Sales at Cessna Aircraft Company

Thank you for training me for both my Instrument and Commercial ratings.

The training was precise and to the point. Lodging and transportation furnished was first class.

As the president of Energy Enterprises, Inc., my time is very important and restricted. With your help I was able to prioritize a limited amount of time for my training. The training was done in the specified time by experienced instructors and I now hold my ratings.

Best of all I feel I have made new friends – you, your son Jason, and all of the instructors.

Thanks again,

— George Conley, President at Energy Enterprises, Inc.

I want to thank you again for the hospitality shown to me during my stay while taking your commercial course. I still find it hard to believe that the course delivers more than described and I got way more than my money's worth. In today's expensive aviation business, your training program and facility is the best for the money I have seen. I really appreciated having a planned syllabus for ground instruction and knowing what to expect when Brandon and I flew.

Brandon did a great job. He knows the material and has the ability to make it simple to convey understanding so that comprehension and learning occur. He explained and demonstrated the maneuvers so I could almost sometimes rarely nearly just about (you understand) do them to standards too. He stayed busy and kept me busy but at the same time we went at my pace. I feel like he did an exceptional job of preparing me for my check ride. Absolutely NO COMPLAINTS!

Overall, I worked, had fun doing it, and came away knowing I accomplish my goal and EARNED my commercial rating. You may use my comments or have a prospective student contact me if they have any doubts regarding the quality or validity of GATTS training.


— Randy Walker

P.S. I really enjoyed the great weather, the more than ample, comfortable accommodations, the furnished vehicles to get to see the country side and the folks I met.

It was a pleasure training at GATTS last month. The dependable equipment, comfortable accommodations, enthusiastic staff, and well-structured curriculum made obtaining a commercial pilot certificate a positive experience for me. It will be my pleasure to recommend GATTS to friends and fellow pilots seeking advanced flight training.

Enclosed you will find several copies of the 2002-2003 Missouri Airport Directory & Travel Guide. This was a project I developed over the past year between airport inspections and construction projects. On the cover, I am flying a low pass in our Cessna 182. Hope you enjoy the directories; and look for the 2003-2004 Missouri Aeronautical Chart early this year.


— Scott Vazzana, Senior Airport Inspector at Missouri Department of Transportation

What can I say? The whole course was remarkable. From my flight into Manhattan, to my departure from Manhattan the experience was truly rewarding. I give your course an A+.

Since we met at the Manhattan Airport, the car rental, accommodations, training, evaluation, retry, and finally my departure the consideration you and your staff gave me, it was worth the time and effort.

As for my instructors, Brian and Randy, who are both delightful instructors with the means and knowledge, I was deeply impressed with their styles and mannerisms. Especially Brian, this Randy Travis look-a-like, who is not only intelligent and knowledgeable but who is also a warm and kind human being. Understanding what the student needs and fine tunes the student not only to pass the check ride but encourages students to succeed in flying and to become the best pilot.

We talked for a while and we discussed the school's philosophy. Like you said it is hard to describe the atmosphere until once can come and see for oneself. After seeing the school in action I can see why you are so successful.

Anyway, again thank you for my short time. I wish you well in your future goals with the school and perhaps someday, we can do business together. Please feel free to call on me if you are in the area. My house is always open to you and your staff.

A special hello to Dale, my fellow veteran and pilot, who should write a book on his experiences and share the insights of his aviation life.

Good luck and God speed with your success.

— Raymond S. Terheyden

I am writing to express my gratitude to, respect for and appreciation of your organization. Enclosed please find a copy of a letter I have sent to Bruce Landsberg at AOPA's Air Safety Foundation.

From scheduling to check ride, all areas of training were handled well and I found the course was designed in a way that made learning easy and enjoyable. I would especially like to compliment Randy Southam for his patient training and easy going teaching style. He is an exemplary instructor and an asset to the organization. While I may have given him some tips regarding how I remember things, he taught me much more. I came away from your course with a new and greater understanding of what airplanes are capable of doing and how to make them do it. Succinctly put, I can now handle an airplane and make it perform in ways I didn't know I, or it, was capable of. Primarily, however, I feel that I am a better, safer pilot.

Thank you for the opportunity to attend your facility. I look forward to returning in the near future.

Very truly yours,

— Paul I. Marx, Attorney at Law with Marx & Aceste, LLP

I just wanted to thank you for the excellent training opportunity offered to me last month. The course was rigorous and complete. Jim was an excellent instructor and very patient with me during my stay with you.

Your teaching facility was more than adequate and I have no reservations in referring any of my pilot colleagues to your course. I have had several already asking about the particulars and seriously entertaining this excellent option.

Again, I want to thank you for your hospitality and practical course in survival. All my best to you and your staff.

By the way, I averaged 232 mph by my GPS in my velocity home the day I left. (I had a little tail wind for help though).


— Paul A Barber, M.D.

I want to thank you, Brian Correll and the GATTS organization for your excellent instrument training program. My seven days in Manhattan went by very quickly, yet I learned so many skills with Brian in that time. You truly distill what is important in single pilot IFR operations and get those concepts to your students (at least this student!).

I do hope to take part in other GATTS programs in the future. Feel free to use me as a reference for any pilots that may be considering your IFR training. I'm very proud and happy to have my instrument rating and appreciate what your program did to make it happen.


— Lance Flynn