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Student Pilot Feedback

Our Students Leave Happy!

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Great Instructors, good friends. Keep up the good work!

Ronald Leong

Dear Ms. Denise

Thank you very much for your heart warming support for the training. I send you the picture with John and me

If necessary, please use this comment for your Internet site.

I got a private pilots license with one month intensive study and 15 days in flight training. I am sure that Tailwheels' professional instructors will keenly respond to your enthusiasm to fly by yourself in safe and proper manner. The training course was really intensive and exhausting, but worth challenging. I appreciate my instructor, Mr. John, and all the other staff and students who shared nice time with me.

Hiroaki IMAI

I would like to thank the Tailwheels Etc. team and especially my flight instructors John Voisard and Ken White for fulfilling my dream of being a pilot. I passed my FAA PPL on March 1st 2013 on my first attempt!!

At 47 years old, learning how to fly was not as easy as I thought, the Accelerated Flight Training Program was very demanding both physically and mentally. I had two great flight instructors, who are excellent teachers that taught me how to land on the center line, with crosswinds, and fly within the test standards for all flight maneuvers. Thanks to Steven Lemieux who did my stage check and other instructors who chipped in to grill me on the oral exam questions.

The administrative team, July, Barb and Denise are awesome! Thanks for taking care of all the administrative matters.

I would gladly recommend Tailwheels Etc. for your flight training.

Jeffrey Yim

Hi Donna,

Thank you so much for your kind comments. I have arrived back homer in the UK this morning and still have a big smile on my face. It still hasn't sunk in properly yet. Achieving my PPL is a dream I have had for a very long time. At times dur8ing my flight training I began to wonder if I had what it takes to become a pilot. But throughout all of my training which was over 4 visits in a 12 month period, Durwin never gave up encouraging me through each step of the way. He is a fantastic flight instructor and mentor. I have also made a friend and owe him a debt of gratitude that I cannot repay.

I would also like to say before I chose Tailwheels Etc as my flight school, I visited 3 other schools in the area and took discovery flights with them all as well as spending some time chatting with them and looking at how they operated.

None quite came close to what I found at Tailwheels. A friendly but professional operation where everyone, the boss, flight instructors, administrative staff, aircraft maintenance staff, take a personal interest in the progress of the students, and of course especially yourself Donna who does a fantastic job in coordinating the students from the time we drop in enquire about flight lessons, through to organizing all the paperwork requirements for us overseas students and scheduling a programme to suit our individual needs and importantly help put our minds at ease on what is quite a stressful journey to begin, thank you mam, your work is very much appreciated.

Of course I realize now I have got my PPL, it is just the beginning of my journey to become a good pilot. I am back over in Florida in January, for a month, and during that time I would like to go up with Durwin again for some extra tuition, maybe to hone my crosswind landing skills a little better, that is one area I know I am weak on and of course it is very important to master crosswind landings as we never know when those skills will be needed.

Following on from that, I think I would also like to take the spin training course again I feel these are skills that can help to achieve a positive outcome should a pilot find himself in trouble.

Once I have my travel dates finalized I will drop you an email and hopefully you can schedule me in with Durwin to fly N66068 again for a few hours and we can also discuss the spin training programme which I understand is with Dennis?

Please pass on my best regards to everyone at Tailwheels. You are a great bunch of guys.

Best Regards
Allan D

Hi Donna,

I am so happy to hear from you!

I am so thankful to you, Durwin, John, Jonathan, Liz and all of Tailwheels Etc. crew for the training and experience I had with your team!

It was really exciting!

I strongly recommend Tailwheels Etc. to everybody here in Russia where I do live now.

By the way, I started my line training as a first officer in an Airbus A-321 with Nordwind Airlines last week!

Say hello from me to everybody and to Durwin especially; he's a great person and a very good instructor!

Does the School really moved to Lakeland airport? If so, that's great news! And the guys that will come from Russia in October will already study there, not in Winter Haven?

They are curious about that in case to look for an apartment to rent.

Thank You! (and hope to see you this Autumn)
Anton L

Hi Donna,

I need to thank you and your school for offering me such high quality training in a lovely environment as well. Everything from the initial booking of the flights to the last landing was done so efficiently and I enjoyed every minute of it. I would certainly recommend this school to anyone who is thinking of either starting flight training or wanting to gain some tailwheel experience.

Thank you again
Michael Reed

Hi John,

Last week I finished my Instrument Rating with John at Tailwheels Etc. Before I made the decision to train with
Tailwheels, I needed to decide two things. First, was accelerated training for me, and second what school should I train at. For anyone on the fence about accelerated training, or who is considering training with Tailwheels, le me say one it, it works! Tailwheels has this concept down to a science. From literally the minute I got to the school the first morning, it was right down to business. Ground school, flight, ground school, a "lunch break" which consisted of a barrage of questions in preparation for the oral exam, then back in the plane for some more flying. Do this every day until you are ready to take your check ride. Oh and did I mention going back to the hotel to study at the end of the day??? You do your part, and the school will do everything else to five you the tools to succeed. In the end, you will walk away with your ticket!

Part of the formula for their success is the atmosphere at the school. Everyone at the school really wants you to succeed. When you have a question about something you just read or did on your flight, you don't just get an answer from one instructor. You have a discussion with 5 instructors and 5 students who are all in the same position as you. When you have a question about something related to the engine, you walk out to the hangar and look at an engine and have a discussion with your instructor and a mechanic...Being immersed in that type of environment was critical to my success.

Lastly, I want to than a few people who were very important to me. Ashley, Julie and Donna for making me feel at home and part of the family. Terry for the shot of confidence right when I needed it most...Jonathan and Liz for all their expertise answering all of my questions and for sharing Riley, and most of all to John for being a wealth of knowledge, a coach and friend throughout the entire process. You all were so important to my success and I can't wait to see you all again for my Commercial and Multi!

Thank you all for everything!
Paul Grieco

Hey John,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and all the guys and girls at Tailwheels Etc.

My friend in Ireland told me about your school in Winter Haven. I had been to 3 other schools, in Europe, and had been ripped off at each one.

I am so glad I came to spend my money at your school in Winter Haven.

Everyone has been so really good to me and I have received great instruction and made to feel part of the family!

I will be recommending Tailwheels Etc in Winter Haven to all my friends and colleagues so they can come over from Ireland and England to spend their hard-earned cash in your city and wonderful flight school. Thanks to my new friends!!!

Jim Halligan


Thought I would drop you a note and give you a quick update on my flying activity.

then I arrived at your school last May I had about 50 hours in my log book.

Today, I have about 100 hours logged, with 25 logged as 50NM= x/c time (1/2 way to being ready to start on the instrument rating).

John Miller's Cherokee 140 has turned out to be a great purchase - I really appreciate Donna connecting me with Miller. I have not had any maintenance issues at all (next annual is due in March) and thus far, the ownership experience has been great. I am learning a lot about operating and maintaining the aircraft and I try not to think about how much I spend in fuel.

Please give my best to everyone, with a special congratulations to Liz and Jonathan on the new addition to the family. I am sure all of you are laughing about when you thought just running a family flight school business was exhausting...hopefully the new mom and dad are getting a little bit of sleep now and then.

Hope all is well,

Tailwheels Staff,

Lydia and I arrived at Tailwheels on 1/5/2012 at 7:45 P.M. after a very long day in the air flying our Piper Archer down from our home airport in Mansfield, MA (1B9). When we walked into the Tailwheels building, we were greeted with big smiles from everyone and John saying, "you must be the Reeves". What a great welcome after a 14 hour trip! John, Jonathan, Al (my instructor) and some of the staff and several other instructors were all sitting around the break room taking turns holding the cutest 4 month old addition to the airport, baby Riley. It couldn't have been more than 30 seconds after friendly introductions that Lydia and I were quenching our throats with an ice cold Bud Light.

After a good nights sleep, we got right down to business. We were given practice written tests and after coaching on questions missed, we both took our official FAA exams. I was pleased to score an 84% on my Commercial. Lydia, on the other hand, not only wanted to score high on her Private pilots test but made it a personal challenge to score higher than 88%, the score my son Carlton and I both got on our private pilot tests. I knew as soon as I saw the huge smile on her face when she came out of the testing room. Lydia scored a 92% and she'll never let Carlton and I forget it.

With the written tests behind us we began our flight training. Nine to ten hour days seemed to blend together filled with 3 to 4 flight lessons and breaks between were de-briefing sessions with our instructors. I would find it a bit comical when my instructor Al would say, "OK, Tom let's take a 15 minute break," and 5 minutes later he was ready to get back to it. Lunch was a treat. Lydia and I would sit in the beautiful Florida sun, eat and talk about our progress.

Six days of intense training and Al had me ready for my check ride. The ride went well and I had my Commercial License. Over the next week and a half while Lydia was finishing up her Private Pilot Training, I really had some fun. I began with Tailwheel endorsement training in the Champ, followed by High Performance endorsement in a 1944 P23 Army Fairchild. What a blast! What made it even more exciting was my instructor, Scooter, a well-trainied and highly motivated Alaskan Bush Pilot. I spent the last 3 days over at Browns Seaplane Base. Talk about fun! Going from lake to lake performing the required maneuvers, with my instructor Ricky, another Alaskan Bush Pilot. The check ride went well and with a single-engine sea rating, over all I'm a better pilot.

I must say that the highlight of our training at Tailwheels was my wife Lydia getting her private pilot license. I'm so proud of her! She confidently took the left seat as PIC for two of our four 3-hour legs on our trip home to Massachusetts. Now we are not only just best friends, we are copilots.

Thanks for everything!
Tom Reeves


Just a quick note to say how pleased I was with your flight operation. Very Nice folks, pleasant and professional, making my tailwheel training enjoyable. Special thanks to Dennis Downing and his invaluable help with his mentoring and training during my tailwheel endorsement. Dennis is a great pilot and a really nice guy who make me at ease and comfortable in learning. Thanks Again!

Jack Weckerle

Dear Tailwheels,

Hey, this is John Irle. Y'all made it possible for me to get my PPL about a month ago. I can't send cookies because I am in Boot Camp. I just wanted to say that I enjoyed EVERYTHING at Tailwheels. There was not one thing I didn't like!

Tell Brenton THANK YOU. I also want to thank John and Jonathan for the hospitality. I don't have much time to write letters, but I wanted y'all to know how much I enjoyed it.

John Irle
US Navy


Hope all is well at Tailwheels. Sorry I haven't had a chance to communicate much since I received my private pilot training in Winter Have, but our business has gone through the roof. Please say Hello to your husband, Liz, Jonathan and John. My time at Tailwheels was one of the best experience in life, only second to flying our new plane back to Alabama from Providence, RI this past Saturday. Flight took approximately 9 and a half hours and it was quite an experience. Lots of fun...All the training sure worked and prevented any issues. Landed well...HaHaHa...Hope to see everyone soon and I would again like to thank the above mentioned folks for everything.

Alex McColman

Dear Tailwheels,

Those that witnessed my final day at Tailwheels still envision a 60 year old woman sobbing uncontrollably. Yes, I had just completed my final checkride with the FAA examiner and I had been granted my private pilots license. I was, however, void of any feelings related to personal accomplishment or personal pride. The visceral outpouring was truly an outpouring of gratitude and love for the Tailwheels' staff and flight instructors.

I had no intrinsic predisposition for aviation nor had I entertained or aspired to fly an airplane at any time in my life. However, when my husband, a pilot of 30 years, developed a brain tumor, it became apparent that our flying lifestyle and safety were in jeopardy. I embraced the dilemma and headed to Winter Haven, enrolling in Tailwheels Etc Accelerated Flight Training Program.

I recognized that this was going to be an uphill battle with many challenges. And I was right! My training took longer than the regular allotted time. The ground school and flight training were definitely rigorous and exhausting. I learned very early that the staff and instruction were dedicated professionals willing to create a learning program designed for the specific needs and learning styles of each of their students.

I hold the Tailwheels' program and staff in high regard. They epitomize an aviation community that takes pride in promoting the world of aviation to all. Students become a part of a close knit family where flying camaraderie prevails.

Their expectations were clear and there were no hidden costs or fees associated with the program. Tailwheels' ultimate goal is to train safe and knowledgeable pilots. Their training method is proven and effective. One on one flight instruction multiple time a day interspersed with ground school allows for continuity of training without review. I couldn't have done it any other way.

The Amundsens (John, Jonathan, Liz and Riley) owners of Tailwheels Etc. are above reproach in the operation of their business. It is a business run with honesty and integrity as well as caring and compassion for their students.

I have recommended Tailwheels to numerous friends and family members. I am excited that they, too, will share the same positive experience that I was so privileged to have.

I owe so much to so many. Thank you a million times, John, for your patience. You all know that you shared this experience with me in one way or another. You ALL invested your time in assisting me. Riley kept me grounded, Jonathan, Liz & Donna offered me the extra TLC when I needed it most. Nik for the repeated ground school sessions. Tim for giving me a hard time. Jim and the round table morning guys for starting each day giving me their constant support. Ashley for just being the special person that she is. Scooter for the wonderful plane rides. John R., Mark & Eric for the extra help and advice. Henri, Durwin, Gus, Gavin, Terry, Todd, Ken for not giving up on me. Tommie's office assistance and of course, Brandon.

Yes, I have my pilot's license but I also have found a family of friends that will continue to be a part of my future flying adventures forever.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Love you all,

Patricia "Patty" Lewis
January 21, 2012



I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to your staff for the excellent instruction I received, in pursuit of my Commercial Pilots Certificate.

I have been flying recreationally for 40 years, so I assume that I was somewhat of an atypical student. Still, it was great to be welcomed into the flow and it was very evident that the students and instructors are all focused on a common goal.

The learning atmosphere is excellent and I was amazed that practically every minute of the day is utilized in some form of learning activity. Nearly every time I passed by an instructor, I was quizzed on some portion of the Commercial Pilot Curriculum which did wonders for my knowledge of the material and on the oral portion of the flight exam.

It was also exceedingly clever of Jonathan to pair me up with Mateo Perez, who was studying for his CFI license and needed a student to practice on.

A special Thank You to Jonathan, Liz, Neil and Matt for their professionalism and assistance.

Alton E Bertelmann
Lakeland, FL

Dear Amundsen's and all of the Tailwheels, Etc team,

I wanted to follow up with you and thank you again for an excellent flight training experience.

My private pilot training at your facility was the culmination of a lifelong goal to be a pilot; one that I left idle for far too many years before arriving at your school.

True to your advertising, your strategy of pairing each student with a single instructor and then training everyday is the best way to learn how to be a safe and competent pilot; however, I think the entire Tailwheels, Etc team's enthusiasm for each student's progress is a key ingredient to the success of your program. Everyone on your team expressed a sincere interest in my progress, and half way through my training you and your team knew when I would be ready for the check ride long before I knew when I would be ready. That confidence you demonstrate in your students is undoubtedly another key ingredient to Tailwheels Etc's success.

Last week I purchased a Cherokee 140.

Cherokee 140

As I slipped into the pilot's seat for the first time I recalled your (John Amundsen's) wise advice that my certificate is really just a license to learn, and on that day the objective was to learn a new airplane. My training at Tailwheels, Etc was in the Cessna 150/152 series so I carefully studied the 140's POH before the first flight to be aware of any differences. On my second landing in the 140 my instructor for the check-out commented that Dennis, my Tailwheels, Etc instructor, did a good job with my training. In addition to your excellent flight instructors, the accelerated format really helps new pilots retain knowledge.

Cherokee 140 Panel

In the coming months, I look forward to building time and experience and I will be sure to make most of my cross-country flights 50nm or more so I can begin my preparation to return to Tailwheels, Etc for an instrument rating.

(I attached two photos; one of the airplane tied down at my local airport, and the other of the panel).

Thanks again for offering a great training program.



PS - I am proud to have my name in your Ratings list posted on your online newsletter but I am also very proud of the fact that you continue to add so many new names to the list since I completed my training just a few weeks ago - if any prospective student wants proof of the quality of your flight training this is a good place for them to start. Great job to all of you.


Dear Tailwheels

I would like to tell you all. Thank you for such a great time we had in Winter Haven last week.

My son and I arrived on Thursday morning meeting John, He informed me what we were going to do, there was no paying around, It was all work and I have to tell you I have never trained that hard in a day and a half like John trained me.

When I came to the check ride. I was prepared and calm not like my Oral was, Ha ha Ha.

I was impressed with the flight school and the people that ran it. Jonathan and Lizzy were outstanding helping us when we got there, giving us a ride to the hotel and bringing us back to the airport.

I would recommend Tail Wheels to anyone who is looking for flight training and advanced flight training.

I have let all my friends know about them and what a wonderful time we had and we will be back to see them soon.

Thank You Again

Patrick Pedersen
Kevin Pedersen


In fact it was demanding for me to do the ME. But I have nothing to complain for. At first Scooter and in second row everyone I had the pleasure to work with or speak with did a great job. After a short time I felt more and more comfortable at your school. It is the friendly, open hearted, really interested in attitude and the personal caring about my needs. This is outstanding and makes the big difference to other flight schools I attended before. Please try to keep that even in the possibly demanding struggle of the daily business! So I can state that I am very happy with the training I received and the rating I had been able to complete!

I will keep in touch and I would like to come back for further training.

Frankfurt, Germany


Durwin asked me to send you a note about my experiences earning my private pilot certificate at Tailwheels. He mentioned that you were looking for fresh quotes to put on the website, which is great. While I’m delighted to share and give you full permission to quote me any way that you wish, my note may be longer than a sound byte. By trade I am a Business Management Consultant, and I have perhaps more than an average amount of input that I hope you can use to further improve your business.

Before selecting your facility, I toured eight other flight schools. I have several friends that are CFIs, pilots, and aircraft owners; every single one of them advised that I NOT pursue your accelerated program, but rather take it slow so that everything has a chance to sink in. However, I selected your school because I understand that only about 10% of people that begin pursuing their private pilot certificate actually finish, and I thought that your facility would get me to my goal. I like the idea of total immersion and short-term focus; it works for me. You should know that the cost of your school is the highest of all eight options available to me, and by a good margin. I am delighted that you are making money with your business model, but my expectation coming in was that your services would be cream of the crop, given the higher cost.

Not sure if you know, but I am the student that changed CFIs mid stream. With the first one I was constantly stressed out and nervous, and found it very difficult to perform. No matter what I did, I heard criticism. I was not allowed to speak or ask questions freely. Your people sensed the stress and came to me to suggest that I switch; first Donna, then the next day Fred, then the next day Ellie. The third day when Ellie insisted that my experience should be fun, I switched and am thrilled with that decision. I found Durwin to be a wonderful instructor, able to communicate perfectly what is expected, and how to correct mistakes. Fred is an absolute delight to fly with, and keeps the atmosphere light and encouraging. George helped me immensely with landings; a very capable instructor.

I’I'll recap some ideas that I shared with Ellie that I think would improve the effectiveness of your school right out of the gate. In my field I am an instructor, and learned the hard way that I don’t teach a subject or a skill. Rather, I teach an individual the subject or the skill. It’s an entirely different understanding and approach. The teaching must match the student, and the student is the focus.

Great pilots do not necessarily make great instructors. Teach CFIs how to teach using all 3 types of instruction; visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Encourage two-way conversations to ensure that there is a complete understanding. The ‘sterile cockpit’ protocol is great, but there should not be a ‘sterile classroom’. Some people learn by question and answer sessions.

Survey students in advance to determine what kind of learner they are, and try to match them up with an instructor that ‘speaks their language’. Ellie seems to intuitively understand this, and perhaps should be the person that could make a match if she has a conversation with the prospective student first. There are online tests available to determine learning styles as well. Your students must complete a great deal of online classes before arriving, so adding just one more little survey would be easy to tack on.

I flew with other instructors only after my current instructor was frustrated that I was not learning how to land properly. Rather than making multiple instructors a last resort to fix problems, I would suggest making it your normal protocol at various stages of training. I learned a completely different spin on the same subject from each, and each benefited me greatly. In my profession we have 9 people in my office that are all capable of doing the same job, yet we all know who is best at certain aspects of the business, and we routinely benefit from each other’s strengths. By the way, when I flew with Chuck he had me do things a bit different than what any of your instructors showed me, and that little detail was also helpful. Everyone has something to add.

Having students complete a brief survey of progress several times during the 2 weeks might give you insights as to how things are going.

Finally, I would suggest making an effort to introduce students around, first with a tour of the facility, and then an introduction to all of the staff.

Thank you John, for the opportunity to comment. Thank you also, for creating the type of program that got me to my goal. I am certain that if I had gone the traditional route, I would have been one of the 90% that never finished. I owe my Private Pilot License to your innovative methodology.

I remain at your service to answer any questions you may have.

Bob Fischer

To Tail Wheels Etc. And Staff:

It is with great privilege that I write this letter of recommendation of Tail Wheels Etc. flight school and their chief flight instructor . I found my flight instructor, , a person who was able to communicate effectively and meet his most challenging task, me; as his student. Even though I doubted I would complete the program in two weeks, Fred was always there to boost my confidence and assure me I could do it. I found him to be a pleasant generous person and his performance as my flight instructor was nothing less than stellar. I now consider Fred, a friend of mine.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Owner John Amundsen who has built for himself a group of top notch CFI Instructors -- Frank Ozen, Eric Robin, Jorge Zamora to name a few, and I would like to thank them all for their support during my Tails Wheels experience.

Last but not least to Ellie and Donna, a big thank you for your calming voices. Anyone who has been at the school knows it would not run as smoothly without you. Thank you all very much for making it possible to obtain my Private Pilot Certificate.

I would not consider any other fight school but Tail Wheels to further my future ratings.

Martin Mannix

PS: Fred, I will always hear your voice in my ear when I fly.


I wanted to express my continued delight with your 2 week PPL course. On Robert Hasiak’(my CFI) recommendation I joined a local flying club – excellent suggestion. I was checked out in the club’s Piper Warrior and Cessna 172 after a total of 1.1 hours between the two airplanes. The club’s designated CFI did not find any issues with my flying; which is a great testament to your course. I took my daughter and youngest son on a quick hop around the Mc Kinney airspace. They both loved the experience.


Hi John,

It's Luis. I'm back in New York.

Happy that I got my license and that I had a great time over there!!!

Just say hello to the entire "Tailwheels extended family" and especially to my instructor Jorge (IR), Nik (Sim), Eric (CPL), all the tailwheel instructors: Scooter, John, Gary and ... the new instructor whose name I cannot remember and of course to rest of the team that really help me out with all my questions: Chris, Frank, Robert, Jonathan, Liz, Fred and Elly.

You have a great team and I hope to go back soon for another rating or just to see you!

Take good care and keep in touch!

Best Regards to all!
Luis Afonso.

Staff Tail Wheels Etc. Accelerated Flight School

Thank each and every one of you for your support and the superior flight training I received.

I purchased my own Cessna 182 Skylane “Trainer” two years ago. With bad weather and high work demands, it took me much longer than I expected achieving my Private Pilot Certificate. I simply needed some good flying weather (like in beautiful Winter Haven, Florida and full attention on flying (limited business distractions). For making this personal and business sacrifice I was awarded with a highly competent flight instructor (Scooter) and the rest of the highly skilled staff.

Everyone on staff was there to help. My long distance flight school gamble on joining Tail Wheels Etc. paid off!

Basically, I learned what the limitations of my aircraft were as well as my own. I do not know of another flight school that requires “Spin Training” I was glad to participate and I feel I have an edge over other pilots attending other flight schools. Spin Training is the last piece of the puzzle in flight training in my opinion.

I had the privilege to fly with experienced professionally trained pilots You guys know who you are or this note will go on forever…

I look forward to seeing you all again next year for my instrument and seaplane rating!

Again, I sincerely want to thank everyone who has flown with me and has supported me from the ground at Tail Wheels Etc... Without your support, I would not have accomplished my Private Pilot Certificate.

Happy and Safe Flying!
Scott Paterson

Dear Tailwheels Etc,

I just arrived home last night after finishing the accelerated private pilot course. I woke up this morning and begun to realize that a whole new world of freedom has been opened up to me, a fact that is just now starting to sink in.

Realizing my dream of becoming a certified private pilot was the result of lots of hard work on my part and the exemplary instruction given to me . It was truly an honor and privilege to have Mr. Moulding as my instructor. Over my academic and professional career I have been in a scholastic setting countless times. Not one instance of past education could come close to rivaling the caliber of instruction given.

It would not be fair to only mention my primary instructor when each and every instructor on your staff went out of their way to help me by providing guidance and answering my (sometimes silly) questions at every opportunity. This type of team approach will never leave a student wanting.

To Eric, Frank, Chris, Gabby, Jorge, Liz, West, Robert, and Richard Bock thank you all for taking the time to help me through my adventure. You are all top notch professional pilots with a world of experience to draw from, thank you for taking time to share your experience with me. I will be a safer pilot because of all of you.

To Ely; None of this would be possible without your caring hand keeping it all organized. You are the exemplar of your trade!

Finally I would like to thank John and Jonathan Amundsen for providing such a wonderful place to make my dream a reality!  I am certain that you are the only organization that can do what you do in the time that you do it but to do it with no pretence really speaks to the caliber of Tailwheels Etc. When I first stepped into the building I felt like a respected client, when I went home yesterday I was leaving a group of revered friends that had taken such care to ensure my safety.

I have many flight schools and airports in the area that I live. None compare to Tailwheels Etc. I will be returning in the future for further ratings.

I just cannot say enough about the caliber and quality of the instruction that I received. I ask that you share my contact information with prospective clients. I would be an honor to personally recommend Tailwheels Etc.

Tom Anderson

All the Tailwheels Staff,

Thank you again for yet another rating achieved, and for a truly outstanding educational experience. I really appreciate the total commitment from each and every person to make me a more experienced and safer pilot. I now often recommend to friends the Tailwheels ETC experience to effectively achieve the next level. Not only is the FAA rating achieved, but years and years of experience and lessons learned are all part of the package.

As a very busy professional, and as a pilot of over 20 years, I find the Tailwheels ETC as a highly effective means to grow my aviation skills yet maintain my existing career. Thank you all very much, and I will be down again to work on my next rating.

A Happy Student

Dear Friends at Tailwheels Etc,

I wanted to thank you all for helping realize many of my dreams. You made it possible for me to learn how fly; being a busy person it was paramount that I would be able to do this in a short time not sacrificing quality of instruction. That is exactly what happened.

People doubted I would be able to do it, and at the beginning I must admit I was worried too. Nevertheless, in 2 months I was able to get my Private, Commercial, and Instrument Rating. As incredible as it sounds that is exactly what happened. It obviously took a lot of dedication on my part, but nonetheless it was accomplished. I have tried different flight schools throughout North America, but I firmly believe out of all the schools I've flown at Tailwheels was the best. Many other flight schools I have contacted said it would be impossible to do, and this was clearly not the case with Tailwheels.

In addition to all of the well kept aircraft on the flight line the instructors are all extremely knowledgeable and everyone at Tailwheels seems to love aviation, this makes it a great place for flight instruction, the pool of experience they have is amazing, such that while training there I was "breathing" aviation.

I am grateful for all the extra care that was given to solve my problems in order to achieve my goals. Furthermore, your honesty is also a testament to the professionalism you have as a flight school.

Thanks to your help, I am training to be a military pilot in the Canadian Air force now; and yet another of my dreams was made possible thanks to you.

Sincere Thanks,
F. Figliola


My name is Eddy Resende, from Portugal.

In January I start a PPL in Tailweels in Winter Haven. 14 days latter I get my PPL license.

I am not a good writer. My English is not very good.

I am a very busy person and I do not have much time to write email, I have who do it for me.

But I want do myself to write the mail of thanks to Tailweels.

You are all fantastic, especially my instructor Robert, Big John, Fred and Jason.

Was 14 days outside of my family and you do not let me feel alone.

At the moment I am flying a Cessna Grand Caravan, I have done over 30 hours to launch skydivers.

I will return to my course of helicopter and qualification of multi engines.

Thank you very much. If any of your potential students have any questions about the quality of your school and about how we are treated in your school, do not hesitate to give them my contact for I describe the eye as I took my PPL

Eddy Resende

John, Jonathan, Lizzy, Scooter, Frank, Gab, Chris, Lauren, Eric, Jorge and everyone else;

Thank you so much for everything! This last month has been amazing and I don't think I can even count the number of cool airplanes I have flown. This school is fantastic and has helped me do something I would not have been able to do otherwise.


I hope you all have a great year and I’'ll send photos from Aussie!

Peace, Love and Blue Skies!


John, it is still hard to believe that a little over two weeks ago I didn'’t know the difference between an aileron and a rudder. This morning, I successfully passed my FAA check-ride with 45 hours of Flight Training under the program direction and instruction of their fine flight instructor. For those who are considering this course but skeptical about the claims of completing your Private Pilot license in two weeks (or less), I can tell you first hand and without hesitation that the school delivers 100% against its promises.

I want to extend my personal and sincere thanks to Fred for teaching me to be safe and proficient. Fred is an encyclopedia of aviation knowledge and more than generous in sharing all that he has learned in his over 10,000 hours of flying and instruction time. Be forewarned, Fred will push you will be very thankful that he did. Fred, I will never forget that Altitude & Airspeed are my friends and I will always maintain positive control of the airplane.

John, you have created a wonderful family environment at the school. While Fred was my “official” instructor I would also like to offer my thanks to Eric, Scooter, Jonathan, Frank, Robert, Jorge and Gabby, all of whom invested their personal time in helping me obtain the necessary knowledge and expertise to complete the program.

Thanks again and see you next year for my Instrument rating.
Craig Wallace

Dear Friends at Tailwheels etc.

I would like to send my sincere thanks for the training that I received with you at Tailwheels. I was looking for a training center that could give me the required training needed for a instrument rating. I was also pressed for time as I work a full-time job. 

After being assured that if I showed up with the written exam passed, or ready to take it at your testing center, you could get me completed in 2 weeks. You told me I would have a designated instructor and aircraft.

On arrival I found out that my designated instructor had taken a much desired aviation job and the aircraft I was scheduled with wasn'’t ready for a couple days.

You can imagine my concern!

John Amundsen and his son Jonathan assured me an instructor even if they had to do the training themselves, which they did.

Tailwheels has a great group of instructors and I think everyone of you stepped up to help. I was also given a much upgraded aircraft than I had signed up for, and charge the same price as what we had originally agreed on.

The days were long and the program was strenuous, but somehow you knew when to take a break from training. I received my instrument rating in 14 days as advertised. I paid exactly what I was quoted, no extras.. testing fees, FAA fees, books, etc. As a matter of fact the only extras (my own doing) were the Donut Man donuts that I enjoyed bringing in the morning.

Brian Dusseau

PS. See you soon for a commercial rating.

Dear John,

It is with the greatest pleasure that I write to say thank you for the wonderful experience of learning to fly at Tailwheels Etc.

During my training I had the good fortune to be a good student of Ms. Lauren Clark. After training with Lauren for a number of hours she moved on to teach at Jack Brown’s Seaplane Base. My experience with Lauren was excellent; she is a well qualified instructor in all respects. I would highly recommend her to anyone wishing to learn to fly.

After Lauren left, I had the exceptional and extraordinary opportunity to finish my training with an excellent flight instructor. He, like Lauren, made lessons something to look forward to each day. He requires students to be self motivated, focused, and serious about the tasks involved in learning to be a skilled and safe aviator. In return he gives his best knowledge and talent to developing the student’s aviation abilities.

The end result was an abundance of aviation skill and confidence in my abilities which made my FAA check ride enjoyable and, best of all, successful! My Tailwheels experience was delightful and I thank you, Lauren, Fred and everyone at Tailwheels for a wonderful lifetime memory.

Barbara Putnam

Dear Tailwheels Etc.

Thank you for helping me reach my dream of becoming a pilot!

Your Staff and instructors were friendly, professional, and dedicated to bringing new pilots to General Aviation. You should be proud of their accomplishments and their representation of your company.

The two week course was demanding, rewarding, and everything Jonathan and Fred said it would be. Fred’s professionalism, dedication, and patients as an instructor were outstanding! His ability to breakdown the most complicated task help me overcome every obstacle in my training. Fred knows how to tailor the program to each students abilities while keeping them on track. His high standards fully prepare a student for the FAA check ride. At no time during my check ride was I surprised nor did I feel unprepared.

Like so many of your students I was told that a two week pilot course was impossible. That is NOT true. You have proved that earning your Private Pilot License can be safely, in two weeks, and your guarantee is unmatched in the industry. After two weeks at your school I learned that not all training centers are created equal. You taught me that it IS all about flying and the customers experience while training.

Finally, allow me to individually thank your staff.

John, Jonathan and Liz: Your dedication to this industry shows how you treat your customers and your enthusiasm for aviation. Thank you for not just being another flight school.

Lauren, Frank, Gabriel, Scooter, Eric and Jason: Your love of aviation, dedication to your students, and willingness to share your experience is part of what makes the experience at Tailwheels rewarding, educational and FUN! Frank, Gabby and Jason thank you for taking the time to prepare me for my oral exam. Your questions were much harder than anything the examiner asked.

Bill and Jeff: Thank you for taking the time to answer all of my questions about aircraft maintenance. I know you were busy but you never hesitated to stop and show me how an aircraft really works.

Elly: We know who really runs things; it was a pleasure seeing your smile everyday.

Please feel free to give my contact information to any future students who need a reference. I’d welcome the opportunity to share my experience with them.

I look forward to returning for my Instrument Training!

Christopher L. Hartley
Private Pilot

To the staff of Tailwheels Etc.

Thanks for a excellent spin endorsement course!!!

That was one of the best and most eye opening experiences of my flying career.

Best Regards,
Mikael Boge

Dear Fred,

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your efforts in teaching me about aviation. Your were a patient, knowledgeable and caring instructor. I credit your personal touch and interest, for my ultimate success. As you know, due to personal issues, it was necessary for me to interrupt training on several occasions. Had I not been confident with both you and Tail Wheels Etc I would not have repeatedly returned.

My introduction to flying through local schools was haphazard, at best. I never thought that I would ever succeed until I arrived at Tail Wheels Etc. Instead of one hour sessions, Tail Wheels Etc philosophy allowed me to immerse myself in training. For me it was easier and more natural to learn and practice maneuvers when the entire focus was flying. The school is a resource in that access to planes, classrooms and instructors is readily available. To be exposed to instructors who actually, truly care about producing competent, safe pilots was a great experience for me.

I am thoroughly enjoying my Archer III. I hope to see you again to work on my instrument training. Best regards to all.

Marty Landsman

Dear Tailwheels Etc.

I just wanted to express my deepest thanks for helping me make my pilot license training, fun, rewarding and deeply enjoyable. I am missing the school and flying already!

I was highly impressed with the approachable, unpretentious, friendly vibe of the school, and I knew it was where I should get my license. Thanks to John for guiding me through the foreign national requirements and making the process easy.

The thought of becoming a pilot does conjure images of months, if not years, of hard study and training and I am deeply amazed at how quickly you can learn and progress with the concise and concentrated training the school offers. This is a fantastically outstanding program! Special thanks go to Fred for his undivided attention and commitment for the two week period. I felt that my training and interests were his number one interest during my time at the school. He is tremendously loyal, committed and determined member of your team.

Thanks also to Frank, Jason, Fred and Lauren for helping me relax (through vigorous Oral exam quizzing) on occasional evenings and introducing to the al fresco delights of ‘Old Man Franks’.

Also thank you Elly for your friendly approach and calming words of wisdom before my written and practical exams!

I look forward to more flying fun soon and eventually continuing to build on my aviation knowledge through more ratings, quizzing and nights at ‘Old Man Franks’.

Many thanks and all the best,
Jamie Pursglove

Hi All at Tailwheels Etc.

I Just want to convey to all my deepest thanks for the most wonderful experience obtaining my Tailwheel experience at your facility.

I was very impressed by the friendly, and helpfulness of you all. I am most looking to return in the near future, and will certainly spread the gospel about Tailwheels Etc.

Pete Wilson

Dear John, Jonathan & Tailwheels staff

Thank you so much for the best weeks of my life. You made my life dream come true & made it fun at the same time.

Everyone was so helpful & encouraging, couldn't have asked for a better environment to learn in.

I would recommend Tailwheels to anyone & hope I can come back ASAP to get my Instrument rating.

I shall never forget my new found family who I truly miss.

Thanks a million everyone.
Jane Whiting


I would like to say Thank You to you and your staff for the positive training experience I had while training for the CFI certificate the past two weeks.

From the day we arrived everyone was so friendly and very helpful. You could feel the support from everyone there and their interest in seeing me be successful.

I will admit the training is very demanding because there is a lot of material to cover in a short time. However, Crystal was the best Flight Instructor I have ever encountered. As we reviewed and learned the FOI and what it took to be a good instructor I realized she exhibited and practiced all those qualities. Those qualities were not something mechanical that she was doing in order to comply as a Flight Instructor, but I could tell they were a natural part of her personality.

They showed clearly in her demeanor, sincerity, acceptance and safety just to name a few. She is really first class.

Jason also took up time with me and helped me in areas I was struggling with. His teaching ability, in the airplane, was truly professional. His teaching style, knowledge and skill was what got me through the Lazy 8 maneuver that I seemed to have a mental block with.

There were others such as Elly, Diana, Frank, Fred, Jonathan and yourself who where always giving me words of encouragement. I don't remember all the names of the guys in the FBO but even they were encouraging and seemed excited to see me succeed./p>

Overall it was a very positive experience and I would recommend it to anyone who is seeking an airplane rating. Keep up the good work.

I wish you and your team all the best.

God bless,
Randy Lee

Dear John,

I want to thank you so much for the wonderful time I had learning to fly at your school. If anyone would ask me to summarize my experience I would say the following.

It was professional

When I had a problem, you or my instructor would analyse with other instructors my learning problem (my horrible landings) and what would be the best approach to get me on track. Professional also because, once the school considers you sufficiently prepared for the official FAA test, failures do not happen. You will pass. So did I.

It was dedicated.

The ongoing efforts to get my landings right, even when I got frustrated, neither you nor your instructors gave up and continued to teach me good-humoured. This is important, we fly for fun, don’t we?

It was safe.

If there was just the slightest doubt about the proper functioning of any device, be it engine, avionics, instruments, gear or whatever, the plane would go to your own certified workshop for inspection.>

If was fun, so much fun.

The school is a family affair, I became just as much a member of the flight school as the family. This mixture of people, crazy about flying, is something I will never forget. Rather, I will return one day.

Warmest regards,
Peter W. Vrolijk

Dear John,

I was flying Big Girl today and thought of you both. I forgot to leave you with something to use in your letters/website. So, I wrote something up. You can use that ever part you want you can also use my name, phone number, etc. as a reference because I will tell everyone like it is and that is you guys are good. I have handed out all your cards I had except one. I’'lll probably be back in the Spring to add some thing on to me license maybe tail dragging or water.

Thanks again,

Dear Jonathon and John,

I wanted to thank you for making flying fun for me again, especially in my Aztec, “Big Girl”! Everyone told me that getting your multi rating was suppose to be one of the “easiest and funniest add-ons”. As you know when I came to you I did not believe this was my case as I was frustrated with previous instruction, but you both knew I could fly that twin. You built my confidence up and put me into situations that made me think and respond. That is a sign of a good teacher, and I should know because I am a public school science teacher. You both made me one safe, confident, multi instrument rated female pilot that discovered the fun part! I’'ll be back some day soon for another add-on or a new rating.

Thanks again,
Sharon Rothwell
Hazlehurst, GA

Hi John,

Just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed my short stay at your flight school. The tailwheel training was really good, and a lot of fun, I'm glad I did it.

I really like the fact that your school is obviously run motivated by the love for aviation rather than just making dollars. Have seen various flight schools in Europe as well as in the US but none of them had such a nice, friendly atmosphere.

I will definitely come back for hour building and additional ratings!

Thanks a lot to everyone over there!

All the best,

Was supposed to leave MCO today but apparently the airline messed up my ticket so it wasn't until 7 p.m. that they could issue me a new one! Now I will catch tomorrow's flight. Once I get home I will contact you about sending you students from Holland!


THANK YOU for the Superior training that is offered by your Flight School...Although, School may be only one definition of Tailwheels. As many of the feedbacks state, Family atmosphere. Not generally a term associated with Flight Schools in general. Well, here is my personal story at Tailwheels. I had studied FAA knowledge test since Nov. 2007 as per John Amundsens advice & request. One should be prepared to take & pass the test ASAP upon arrival. Feb 7 08 in my case, PIC Feb 26 08. After that folks, your are in the air & that's where ones training begins. But its so much more than just training, & that's why Tailwheels etc is what it is. A total immersion into the flying lifestyle thru all the staff, Instructors, family, mechanics. Once in to my everyday of being at school at 8 am, students tend to stay till, well, closing, to study, listen & learn. Oh & you will learn, if you are not flying you shall be studying for the oral & check ride. One can expect to solo within 5-7 days. That is what is offered at Tailwheels that in my humble opinion is not found at many other schools. The one on one training & overall dedication offered here is not found many other places. I myself during my time there saw "Finish up" students with 30+ logged hours come to Tailwheels & not be at the level of a 30 hour Tailwheels student. This speaks volumes as far as the training that is out there is concerned. In short, if you wish to be a PIC in 2+ weeks & YOU come with the base knowledge that is expected your PIC is earned at Tailwheels... Oh but wait, there's more. Once you get your first rating at Tailwheels, you will not go anywhere else. Thankfully I was very fortunate to find Tailwheels on the web & get the right training straight away. Flight schools are a tuff business these days especially. Luckily, there is Tailwheels etc. You will be a part of a family as the feedback's state. My personal thanks go out to Instructor Diana Winebold for her training of yours truly. I shall see you all at Oshkosh 08.

Best on you all.

Student Pilot Alex

John, Jonathon and the Tailwheels Gang,

I just want to say THANK YOU for making me believe in myself. I came to Winter Haven a skeptic because of lousy, unprofessional CFI's with big egos, fat wallets and no time for me. I was beaten down to believe you have to drag out flight instruction to a point that you forget what you learn. After coming to your school from California and leaving as a instrument rated private pilot I'm sold. I'm returning for a third time in July 2008 for my Commercial, MEL and MEI. I presently work for a light sport sales outfit which has a flight school. Its really funny that I always hear students complaining on how long its taking to get a rating I end up whispering in the students ears that they are crazy for not going to Tailwheels. I think I'm going to be fired soon. Big deal...I want time to go back to Winter Haven aviation family is there.

P.S. Hey Liz...can't wait for that lasagna dinner and desert!

Love to all,
Tony Drago

Flight School Grad

Dear Amundsens,

Hats off you you guys again. As a repeat customer I highly recommend Tailwheels ETC. to any pilot. I have once again been amazed at your all out potential to work miracles. I came down for spring break, with a week and a half to work on my CFI. I had hoped to get get my MES rating as well. When it because unclear whether I could get both, Jonathon took time out of his busy schedule in order to ensure that I finished the MES. I was impressed by his willingness to drop other things to accommodate me. I cannot begin to describe how friendly the atmosphere is. It was like coming back to the friends back home, when I arrived in Florida. Everyone there is so nice, and friendly, and its a family, that's the best way to describe it. When you get there your embraced as family. As a result of this, I will be down after summer to be part of your team. You guys go above and beyond any expectations I have ever had, for a flight school. This is what they have helped me achieve in the two and a half weeks total time we've been down there; Com MEL MES CFI AIGI, and numerous written tests. As I said before they are the quickest way from A to B, meaning where you are, and what you want to achieve. Keep up the good work guys, and until I see you guys again, I wish you the best!

Robert Hasiak
Aviation Management Student
Southern Illinois University Carbondale

John and Jonathan,

Thank you very much for the very good time spent with you and the very efficient training. As promised, here attached copy of the certificate. It was a lot of fun to be with you for these few days.

I will be back for my commercial.

All the best from France
Thomas Savare

John, Jonathan, Liz, Diana and the rest of the Tailwheels Staff,

Now that I'm back in the frozen tundra, I reflect on the two weeks plus that I spent with you: The whole experience was special from beginning to end and you delivered what you promised at the quoted price - my Private Pilot Certificate in fourteen flying days. Wow, who would have thunk it. But what makes Tailwheels truly exceptional is not the instruction - it has to do with the family atmosphere that permeates the training. It's obvious to me that you genuinely care about each and every student that comes into your building - no matter what certificate, endorsement, or rating they may be trying to achieve. You are good folks and it shines through. Thanks for the memories.

Regards and Best Wishes,
Doug Warner

I want to thank you guys for a wonderful experience in Winter Haven. I was impressed by how I was treated from the very beginning. You guys went above and beyond to HELP me out. As a result I WILL be back to finish my training with you guys. I would recommend you to anyone because you are the shortest distance between A and B. Not only do you get things done quickly but you manage to do this in a friendly atmosphere. I honestly felt like one of the guys while I was there. The icing on the cake was that I got more accomplished there in a week than I did in the three weeks I was home on break. Not only did I get my Multi add on, I completed my FOI, FIA , AGI, IGI, and my FII. I would have never even accomplished this if Jonathan had not told me about the advantages of getting these. Your ability to help people do so much, in so little time, and make it so fun and friendly is astonishing. I cant wait to be back on spring break!!!!!

Robert W. Hasiak
Aviation Management Student
Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Dear Tailwheels,

When I got to Tailwheels in the middle of December 2007, I had 250 hours and a Private Pilots license. My goal was to have my Commercial Single and Multi Engine done, together with my Instrument rating. I knew it was going to be a lot of work and at times I wondered if it was ever going to be possible to accomplish. John and Jonathan keep telling me that it would be “a piece of cake”, many times I thought they were crazy. Indeed after many delays from TSA to approve some of my applications I finished all of my training just short of three weeks and passed all of my check rides with confidence. With only 4.5 hours of Multi-engine time I have never landed the plane with more than one engine working until this day, this gave me the confidence and experience to be able to pass my multi-engine check ride with Instrument privileges. Also in a week they thought me all the commercial maneuvers I needed to know, and thought me all I needed to grasp the right techniques in order to crisp my maneuvers. Instrument was something that scared me before and now is one of my best tools I have acquired for my career.

Tailwheels thank you for the family like environment and the one-on-one style of training that you have provided me. The experience and laughs shared will never be forgotten. It is nice to see growth in your company on a day-to-day basis. You have made Tailwheels and Winter Haven airport into a contagious experience that I am sure will continue to spread.

December 26, 2007

Dear John, Jonathan, and the entire staff:

Now that the shock of my successfully obtaining my Private Pilot’s License in such a short time in your capable hands has worn off, I felt compelled to write and thank you for all that you did for me. At the time I stumbled across your site, I was just about to give up and accept that I would never complete my training and get my license.  Then suddenly, Tailwheels, Etc. dropped into my lap out of nowhere and saved the day!

I had completed most of my training in New Jersey, but between my instructor leaving the school, too many students, too few airplanes, very poor weather, my job and my kids, I struggled to keep flying at all. Ultimately I could only get in the plane once a month and I saw my hopes slipping away. I felt there was no way to fly once a month and be proficient enough to pass a check ride

The answer was Tailwheels, Etc. Your system of total immersion into aeronautics was the best way to do it. For a few committed days, I did nothing but fly, study, talk aviation, practice, do flight planning, analyze weather, review, and get constantly quizzed with questions by you and the other pilots (and a few close friends and relatives), all in an unbelievable friendly and supportive atmosphere. A true testament to your dedication to getting students ready was when I was feeling insecure about my knowledge for the oral exam, you invited me to disrupt your family dinner by taking me along and everyone at the table drilled me with questions all night. After that night I really felt ready for the exam.

Unlike other training schools I have been at or heard about, you guys did not set up the program to pump billable hours out of people. Conversely, after I flew the first day, you guys strategize exactly what I needed to do to accomplish my goals in the shortest amount of time possible! Unheard of! People who care about the results, not just the dollars they can collect! I really felt like you cared about me getting that license almost as much as I did.

For all that you did for me, I am eternally grateful. If you ever have any prospective students who have questions about the program, please have them call me anytime. Nobody should ever again feel like they should give up on their dream of becoming a pilot when the answer is right here

Kenneth W. Newman

This was a great experience! Everybody around this small airport was helpful. They want you to enjoy flying as much as they do. I would recommend this 2-week program to anybody who wants to get a license. These people finish the job! Would I do it again? You bet. I'm going back next week to start IFR training.

Thanks TailWheels!
Eric Inglis
Private Pilot

To whom it may concern,

Tailwheels inc. was a life saver! I needed to get my pilots license before i had to leave for Officer Candidate School and with little time available, the instructors there were able to take me from scratch to private pilot in just 14 days! The accelerated flight training did not only accomplish my goal of attaining my private pilots license fast, but it was one of the best experiences of my life. Tristan was an awesome instructor and very patient with me even when I got frustrated. John, Jonathan and everyone else that is part of Tailwheels go out of their way to make their students feel comfortable and right at home. All the nerves of being around a new group of people disappeared after about 2 minutes. They make sure to include their students in everything they do such as lunches and dinners and if you ever need anything john or anyone is happy to answer anything you may ask no matter what time you call them.

Safety was always the first priority in the training. I was first taught emergency procedures and how to handle emergency situations. After that we worked on to maneuvers like stalls and steep turns etc. From the good foundation they gave me, it was easy to pass my check ride the first time. The way in which they teach is what makes their program successful. Having already passed the written portion of the FAA test, all that I had to concentrate on was just flying. The schedule varied a little but was generally start flying in the morning and after each hour or hour and a half we would take a break. This gives you a chance to relax and made me learn quickly since after a short break we were back up in the air an able to work on the stuff I struggled with just an hour before. The ability to fly 3-5 hours a day was a huge benefit (and very addicting). Even though the first few days were sometimes overwhelming, about day 4 everything started working and things just started clicking. From then on it was perfecting everything and just concentrating on the little things and the fun stuff like the cross country flights!!! Day 14 I took my check ride and passed with flying colors. It was really amazing I went from never flying to being certified in just 14 days.

The one thing I can’t stress enough is how nice and helpful everyone was. John and the gang helped me find an apartment nearby that helped save a ton of money on hotel bills and they were always there when I needed them. You feel like you are on of the guys minutes after arriving at Gilbert field. The training is relaxed but focused and never did I feel uncomfortable around all of the staff. You won’t be able to find a better bunch of guys and a better group of people to learn how to fly around. It was so impressive that on my next available break, I plan on getting more endorsements and certifications down in Winter Haven at Tailwheels. The worst day of the training was the day I had to leave and head back home. I not only recommend Tailwheels but I tell everyone and even somewhat recruit (unpaid of course haha) for them just because I had such an awesome experience. Anything else would have been a waste of time. These guys are the best. Period!

Thanks guys,
Jordan Meredith

To any prospective multi-engine students; if you want a great multi-engine training experience then go no further. Last year I called John about obtaining my multi-engine commercial add on. He was forthright and honest and quoted a good price. When we got down to business, I would have to say that John’s experience blew me away. As a flight instructor myself, I have prided myself on being able to cut away the fat from a students training so that they could get the best value for their dollar. John definitely did this. We immediately started training and worked hard for a couple days and I passed the check ride with no problem. Since then I have been employed as a corporate pilot and decided to go back to John for some ATP training. I was paired up with Maurice whom is a very experienced and skilled instructor and airline pilot. I did not require the instruction for the ATP rating, but wanted to be at the top of my game. After a few hours with Maurice I was on my way to one of my best check ride performances ever. Since then I have obtained two type ratings. I only wished I could have people like the Amundsens to train me for those!

Brian Wilkins, ATP

Hi John, Jonathan,

Hope you are doing fine.

After returning from Florida I would like to express my thanks to you and your team of instructors training myself and guiding me to a successful check ride for the Private Pilot certificate. In unbelievable 19 days I could achieve a level of proficiency I could never dreamed of before even knowing it has been just a start. As a base for this achievement I see the relaxed atmosphere and dedicated people including my flight instructor Keith. As much I struggled with the Sundowner in the beginning after two weeks I love this aircraft now. Please give my big thanks to all of your team members. Hope we will see us soon and continuing a beautiful journey of flying. Stay safe.

With the best regards
Wilhelm Baum

I recently sought out my taildragger endorsement at Tailwheels etc. and experienced one of the best experiences of my flying career. The aircraft (a champ) was in pristine condition and a blast to fly. My instructor, Jon, was knowledgable, easy going, and funny (at least he thought so). I would recommend Tailwheels etc. to anyone looking for this endorsement, or any, for that matter. In fact, I plan on returning to Winter Haven eventually to get my seaplane rating.

Thanks again guys!
Ruben Hinman
aerial banners inc.

John's 2 week Private Pilot's License course was the only solution to my problem! I had an interview that required me to have my PPL. I only had five weeks to get everything accomplished. Twelve days after arriving in Winter Haven, I was getting my check ride from the FAA evaluator. I passed my evaluation and was able to interview.

I was hired out of over 100 applicants. A huge factor was how quickly I completed the course. I was applying to be an F-16 pilot (not your average job interview). Did John help me with this? YES! Is there someone else in the country that can accomplish this? There may be, but I seriously doubt it.

Most schools will squeeze more money out of you for different "reasons". This course has a fixed price, everything is included. In addition, most schools you will only fly a few times a month. How can you retain things that you have learned when flights are weeks apart!?! You learn everything in two weeks and there is no time to forget anything! I can't imagine trying to get my license any other way.

I highly recommend John and Jonathan. The professionalism and family oriented atmosphere of their business made my time both beneficial and enjoyable. This is truly the correct choice for anyone that wants their license.

Want to know more? John can provide you my email address and/or phone # so I can answer any questions that you may have.

Trevor Kernes

Dear John,

I wanted say hello and thank you for the wonderful two weeks I spent with you, Maurice, and the rest of the team while training towards my private pilot’s license. I left Florida not only with my pilot license but also a lot of fun memories and great new friends. Looking forward to coming back to add IFR rating to my license in the near future. When I booked my trip to attend your flight training I had doubts whether this could be achieved in such a short time. My doubts were all gone when I saw the professional, organized, expert training your team provides. All of your staff are knowledgeable and know how to motivate and train new pilots.

Maurice was the best instructor I could ever have, who worked with me one on one with diligence and used creative ways to teach both the principles and practice of flying an airplane. You worked closely with me all the way to my check-ride to make sure I was prepared. What made the experience even more special for me was the genuine and friendly atmosphere at the school, at the mechanic shop, and at the airport.

Please say hello to the gang. Hope to see you all soon. Thank you once again.

Fatih “Oz” Ozluturk, Ph.D.

Hello John... how is everything?

Over the years, I have flown with many instructors, wether it was being checked out on various rental aircraft, BFR's, or additional training for advanced ratings. I would have to say, that John and his son Jonathan Amundsen definitely top the list of the best flight instructors I have had the privilege to fly with and learn from.

Backed by many years and thousands of hours of general aviation and charter experience. Their instruction was very thorough, laid back, and VERY REALISTIC. They are not going to just get you ready to pass a check ride, they are getting you ready to fly a plane, and fly safely in the environments you plan on flying in, with the equipment you plan on flying. And what struck me the most, was their absolute love of teaching and love of flying. Every hour in the plane with them is just plain FUN!

I finished up my commercial-multi tickets with John, and now fly for the airlines. Often drawing on some of their '"wisdom and experience" as challenges arise and hundreds of people are counting on me to get them home.

Thanks again John and Jonathan, it is great to know that you two are training pilots today, and feel better to know that my wife and children may very well be flying on a plane flown by a pilot you had a hand in training.

Good Luck!

Flying lesson


To The Amundsen Families

I wanted to THANK YOU all for the overall great flight experience last week during my multi-engine training. I appreciate all your hard work and I know the Designated Examiner did as well.

I will highly recommend you to all my friends for both Flight Training and Maintenance services. It’s great to see the aviation spirit alive and well in your homes and businesses.

Please let me know if you are even in the Boston or Maine area. You’'ve all got a place to keep your plane and stay!

Thanks and Best Regards
John Whalen

For all of you at Tailwheel, thanks again for your time and effort!

For all of you thinking of training with Tailwheel, think no longer, ..just do it!! Flying since 97, I have had the dubious pleasure of one or two flight schools, but Tailwheel infused me with the knowledge, comfort & confidence required to finish-up! Commercial SEL to MEL & MES were all done with the necessary help of Tailwheel Etc. I can not begin to explain the exact reason for my ease of learning, all I can say is "Sign-On, Tune-In & Fly-Out!!"

Best Wishes to all
Nick Withnail

Dear Jonathan,

I am very grateful for the enthusiasm and love for flying that everyone at Tailwheels, Etc. has. You definitely go the extra mile. Taking me into your program under short notice and enabling me to get my multi-engine rating was a wish come true. Finding a group of people with a work ethic to match yours would be difficult. Even with the much needed time spent on my instrument skills, we still knocked out my multi- engine rating in less than ten days. Tell your father hello for me. I really enjoyed talking to him and greatly appreciate his words of wisdom. I now have a new level of confidence to go with my flying. I had a lot of fun and plan to come back for more training, so tell Liz to keep N465JA on alert status! Tailwheels, Etc. did a fantastic job!

Jim Eischen CFI

John and Jonathan,

Thank you both for some of the best training I have ever had. I think it was about the most fun I ever has, as well! I am hooked on Tailwheels and am so impressed with your shop that if I can find a good candidate to purchase, I will take it to you guys for the pre-buy inspection.

I was amazed at how much I learned and how much we got done in two days. I think the breaks were the key. They allowed me to rest up and keep going. I went from being a ham-fisted spaz to really feeling comfortable and confident by the end of the second day. I would recommend the 8-hour package to anyone.

After having attended private flight schools, U.S. Navy Flight training and airline training, I was very impressed with the quality of your program. You have it down to a science. It really shows that you guys have taught hundreds of students. I would send my son to you for initial training, with confidence.

Thanks for a job well done!
Mike Spotto
757/767 Captain, UPS, and new Tailwheel Pilot!

John, Jonathan, Tristan, and everyone at Tailwheels...

Thanks for the great experience while allowing me to get an Instrument Rating. The 10 or so days I spent with you guys went far above my expectations. I feel that I am now a much better and more confident pilot. Every question I had about the instrument training or aviation in general was answered and explained in detail utilizing the vast aviation experience present with the Tailwheels staff. It was a great experience and I will definitely make a trip back to Winter Haven for future training needs. I just wish I found you guys a year earlier before I spent 7 months getting my private license.

Thanks Again,
Greg Unverferth

John, Jonathon, Fred, and Liz

To just say thank you seems far too little considering everything you did for me. I came to you so frustrated with my flight training at home. It seemed like all I was doing was throwing money away as I funded my CFI’s flight time. For every step forward, it felt like I was taking several steps back in training. It wasn’t just difficult, but impossible to become proficient flying when I was only able to schedule flight time with my CFI once a week or less. Then I heard about your school. I have to say, I was a bit skeptical at first…finish my training in less than two weeks? But after several conversations with each of you, I felt reassured that you not only knew what you were doing, but you loved it and lived to teach and share your joy of flying with others. You were right, I did receive my license in less than two weeks; in fact it took just six days. But I have to say that while there I received something far more important than my license. I received a renewed love of flying…a contagious passion that came from each of you. I came to Tailwheels not knowing anyone, and I left with four new friends. I will indeed keep in touch. I will also be back each year for more training and of course to see each of you. Take care my friends…Fly High and Safe!

Rev. Jim Wood
MSgt USAF (Ret)


Please feel free to give anyone my phone number or e-mail address if they want to talk with a past student. I’'ll gladly share my experiences with them.


John and Jonathan

I would like to thank all the staff at Tailwheels Etc.

After spending allot of time and money receiving my Instrument rating in my hometown. I wanted to complete my Commercial and multi engine rating without distractions from work or family. I found the relaxed professional atmosphere was conducive to me achieving my goal in eight days, on the Eighth day I left with a Commercial, Multi engine and Sea plane ratings I and others have found that to be quite impressive. I recommend Tailwheels Etc to anyone who is serious about obtaining Private or advanced ratings. I feel that John, Jonathan and West were the reason I was able to complete my life long dream and land a job flying a Lear jet shortly after my training at Tailwheels Etc.

Anyone who would like a personal reference feel free to call me.

Michael Larson

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