Alex Osadzinski


I was looking for an instructor to work with on my instrument rating. I browsed through West Valley Flying Club’s instructor roster, and called Darryl first because he was one of the few full-time instructors and committed to instructing as a long-term career. I certainly haven’t regretted the decision. The instrument training went very well, and we combined it with transition training to my first owned aircraft, an ’01 Saratoga II TC. Darryl’s a very patient teacher, but also challenged me just enough to make each lesson a real learning experience. His knowledge of the Saratoga’s complex systems was very helpful, and he went out of his way to personally learn what few systems were unfamiliar to him so that he could then teach me. And….I passed the instrument flight test on the first try, with no problems.

I’m now conducting Tailwheel transition with Darryl in the Citabria 7ECA, and we should be done very shortly. It’s been a blast and, once again, Darryl’s passion for teaching has made it a very enjoyable experience. Tailwheel transitions can apparently be nerve-wracking, but we’ve had no problems!”

Martin Van Ryswyk


When I was looking for an instructor for my instrument rating I had a long list of criteria. I wanted someone who had professional flying experience, someone who taught full time, someone who was available when I wanted to fly, someone who was willing to spend a lot of one on one ground time, and many other wish list items. Having been inactive for 6 years I knew that I was in for more than an instrument rating… I had to do some serious work on my VFR skills too. After reviewing instructor profiles, exchanging some emails, and talking to some other club members I found Daryl to be a perfect fit. Now that I have spent many hours with Daryl, I realize that the qualities which make him a great instructor were not in my original criteria! He is a patient teacher who methodically teaches you how to achieve the high standards he expects. This was built up slowly, always challenging but never overwhelming.

Darryl indulged my constant questions and made sure I always knew *why* I was doing procedures, not just *how* to do them. Our ground instruction was very methodical using a syllabus and the Jeppeson Instrument Commercial Manual. We went through the book together which, I found extremely valuable. I watched all of the Sporty’s videos and did not learn 1/10th of what I learned sitting with Darryl. On the day of my flight test I had to change planes due to maintenance and the new plane did not have a DME. Darryl’s training gave me the confidence to take the test anyway. Although my hands were flying across the radios at times, I passed the test! I enthusiastically recommend Darryl to any pilot at any level who is looking for a truly excellent instructor.


Pius Landolt


In September I received the opportunity to take part in an exchange program for a practical training in the USA. I did not have to think twice, I took the chance and left my country, Switzerland, and came to California for a time period of almost two years. Soon I discovered the pleasure and joy of flying. Since I was now in a region where you do not depend so much on weather, and full-time instructors are available, I decided to earn my PPL. It even was possible for a reasonable price.

I was a foreigner in a foreign country; I did not have much of an idea about how to look for a qualified instructor. I ended up at a school in San Carlos with a nice novice instructor but I was having a hard time learning how to land in a crosswind.  It was preventing me from soloing so I started looking for a more experienced instructor.

It did not take long to find Darryl Kalthof of Bay Area Flying Lessons. He has access to a huge fleet of airplanes to chose form, two airports to fly form, and the probably most important thing – Darryl is a great instructor. It’s important to have someone next to you whom you trust and get along with. You spend dozens of hours up there! After reading the CFI Bio on his website I choose Darryl. He has competent teaching skills, he showed understanding learning to fly in a second language. Furthermore Darryl is very flexible. He flies from Palo Alto or San Carlos; whichever is more convenient for the student. Another example of his flexibility and kindness is he even flew with me on one or two Saturdays just to get the license done in the time I needed it to be done.

Every time when I come to the Bay Area for vacation and I want to fly, I come back to Darryl and Bay Area Flying Lessons. I am always on a tight schedule during my stay, Darryl knows that and fly’s with me to complete my recurrency flight as soon as I call. All this reasons I have mentioned are good reasons to fly with Darryl. I can recommend him to anyone.