JR Calanoc


Darryl was my instructor for my private pilot license.  Here are the main reasons I find Darryl Kalthof to be an excellent Instructor and would highly recommend working with him:

Has a plan

  • Darryl starts your journey as a student pilot with an extensively detailed syllabus and plan of attack. This allows the student to know exactly what to expect to best plan for schedule and which topics to study
  • Each lesson progresses while building on the previously learned skills

Is very experienced

  • Darryl has over 14000 hours of flight experience.  As a very experienced instructor Darryl is able to see each individual’s strengths and weaknesses; he can help you focus on the right areas.
  • He is deeply knowledgeable in both the practice and theory of flight.  This gave me confidence that I was learning the right procedures and process.

Does not settle for just okay

  • Darryl is quite demanding on making sure his students perform each skill to the best of their ability. Darryl does not quit until the student fixes or improves on deficient areas of flight.

Nice guy

  • It’s quite important to find an instructor that you get along with. Darryl was cool enough to take my wife and my dad on flights around the bay as well.

I highly recommend Darryl, if you are an aspiring pilot who is committed to learning. As a private pilot, I look forward to continuing to learn from Darryl as I progress through my aviation adventures.

Laura Dahl


I came to Darryl with no previous flying experience of any kind, much less any knowledge of airplanes or aerodynamics. He was able to explain all the systems and concepts clearly and concisely, without speaking down to me in any way. His syllabus and teaching methodology are precise and well organized, and he is able to tailor these to the individual needs of the student.

Darryl is patient, yet at the same time demanding and thorough, with clear goals for both the student and himself. I feel very fortunate to have received my private pilot’s training from Darryl, and his efficient preparation enabled me to pass the FAA check ride without any problems.

Russell Hamilton


“I had a month off between jobs and decided that I’d like to get my IFR rating. I had been a VFR pilot for about ten years and wanted to be able to go some place and come back even if the clouds come in. A friend of mine had gotten his IFR rating with Darryl (over a period of several months) and recommended him to me.

To get your IFR rating in four weeks, you need to treat it like a job. I’d drive to the airport in the morning and stay the day, either flying or doing ground school with Darryl. I also flew on the weekends. Since ground schools take longer than a month, Darryl tailored personal sessions for me covering the material. I passed both the written and the flight test on the first try – it wasn’t too bad, since all the material was fresh.

Pushing me through the entire rating in a month was a large time commitment from Darryl, who had other students as well. He juggled his schedule and accomodated me very well. Darryl was always friendly, patient, and professional. His eye for detail will make you never bust your minimums. I’d recommend him highly to anyone!”

Alex Terman


“Working with Darryl, I was able to complete my private pilot’s license and instrument rating in about six months, passing both checkrides on the first attempt. Darryl is extremely well-organized and dependable, qualities that are sometimes hard to find in CFIs. He has a detailed syllabus that is well thought-out and very effective in tracking progress towards the checkride. Most importantly, Darryl is a good teacher; he is patient but also demands high standards of his students, refusing to allow bad habits to develop. I would recommend him highly to anyone interested in first-class flight training from a veteran pilot and instructor.”

Karl Liang


I first hired Darryl after a 10-year hiatus from flying first to get current and then to pursue my instrument rating. My experience was so positive, that I ended up continuing and got my commercial multiengine and single engine ratings and my certified flight instructor certificates, all with Darryl as my instructor!

I stuck with Darryl through all my ratings for a number of reasons: (1) as a veteran flight instructor, he has “seen it all” and is able to instruct and advise from a very deep experience base; (2) I knew that I could stay with him because is one of the rare CFI’s that have chosen flight instruction as a profession and not a “time building” proposition — I knew that he would not abandon me in the middle of my flight training; and finally (3) his enthusiasm for aviation was contagious — loves to teach and see his students succeed.

I would highly recommend Darryl for any aspiring aviator, from student pilot all the way to flight instructor and ATP!

Michael Klingler


I want to express my appreciation for your instructing skills in assisting me to regain my private pilot currency after almost 30 years of not flying. I particularly appreciate your teaching examples and descriptions drawn from your personal experience as they provide “real world” context to help me understand and remember the teaching points. As one of the few flight instructors who also hold an aircraft mechanic certificate you have an excellent understanding of the aircraft systems and instruments, and consequently always have a ready answer when I ask “why” this or “why” that.

Working on my instrument rating has made me  appreciate your patience and instructing skills even more as I work my way through this very challenging but rewarding training.