Chase Franzen



Hi, I’m Chase. I took a bit of an unconventional route to becoming a certificated flight instructor. This isn’t my job – it’s a passion I want to share with others.

I do IT Security (hacker) for a living. My background is scattered – I went to school for Economics and Political Science. Grad school for Business and Finance. I’ve taught as a college professor, own a restaurant, worked in management consulting, and renovate and own real estate investments. I also sail, rock climb, do ultra endurance races, snowboard, and scuba drive. Absolutely obsessed with traveling the world.

So how did I become a pilot? As a young kid, my uncle (a decorated Air Force pilot) invited me to fly with him. I was hooked. I knew, one day, I’d become a pilot as well. Fast forward 25 or so years later, I took a job across from Montgomery Airport in San Diego. Walked over one day at lunch, and signed up for the Plus One Flyers club.

I became a private pilot – saying I’d never go further. I lived in San Diego – why would I ever want to fly on anything but a perfect day? Then one day I decided I needed to be able to fly through the marine layer of clouds – there goes the instrument rating. Then a commercial rating because I thought I may want to fly for a skydiving company for fun. My instructor (Travis) told me that I needed to become a flight instructor – so here I am.

Being a CFI/CFII allows me to merge my love of flying with my passion for teaching. I’m not leaving to go off to the airlines – I’ll be a life-long, part-time flight instructor. Teaching instrument flying is my jam, but I’ll do other stuff as well. If it sounds like we’d gel or if you have questions – let’s talk!

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Chase is professional, incredibly knowledgeable, experienced and absolutely qualified for the job of CFI/CFII/AGI. He’s an encyclopedia of aviation knowledge.

He knows systems (yes, all of them), he understands and respects weather, the rules and courtesies of communication, practicalities and logistics of cross-country planning, and is the only person I know that understands and can explain the lift equation. He can (and will) reference any FAR, and has the ability to jump in any airplane and give you a tutorial on any piece of glass in there. He doesn’t just recite, but has demonstrated how to safely handle emergencies, and won’t leave you alone in an airplane until you can demonstrate the same. He will make sure you truly understand the fundamentals, maneuvers, know what and how to use all of your available resources, and will do everything he can to ensure you have every single tool you need to succeed. He can and will be tough on you. His expectations and standards are high.

All of this makes Chase a phenomenal instructor.

What makes Chase the person you want analyzing your ADM, as your mentor, your aviation advocate, your cheerleader, accountability buddy, partner, and frankly, any part at all of your aviation journey, is that he genuinely cares. He wants to see you succeed. He will do everything he can to ensure you do. To ensure you leave him a better pilot, a safe pilot. He wants to build an aviation community. And he wants you to be a part of it, and to feel like you belong to it.

Perhaps because I’m his girlfriend, his application of caring is amplified, but I know, whomever you are and whatever rating you’re after, he will always care.

At one point in my training, I decided I no longer “cared at all about flying a Cessna.” So Chase introduced me to taildraggers, aerobatics, and vintage airplanes. He actually gave me permission to hate the 172 (as long as I could demonstrate being safe and proficient so I could jump to the next airplane that interested me more). He purposefully re-introduced me to aviation, and I fell in love for the first time.

Feeling absolutely electrified with excitement and terror on my first solo, returning home exhausted after my first cross country flight, or shaking hands with the DPE as he congratulated his newest private pilot; for these moments I owe a massive thank you to Chase. The magical moment, of my own airplane’s wheels peeling off the earth, of finally seeing familiar terrain after six weeks of flying across the country, or opening the hangar doors to the place that finally feels like home, I owe that, to Chase. That I went from thinking I would never love aviation, to believing I will never fall out of love, with flying, I owe that too, to Chase.

Whatever your aviation dreams and goals are, yes, you’ll require a competent, knowledgeable instructor. But we don’t just need more “auto” pilots in the sky. The future of aviation requires as much love, passion and excitement for flying as it does textbook knowledge. The aviation community is only going to survive through those with genuine excitement , admiration and absolute ecstatic appreciation for the ability to get in the air, and yes it needs to be coupled with that brainiac textbook knowledge.
Chase flies because he genuinely LOVES to fly. And lucky for those of us that need a CFI, he happens to be incredibly smart, and great at instructing, which is why, students that find him, keep him.

Tarynne Mingione


Chase loves what he does and he shows up every lesson with energy to help you improve. His positivity is so helpful to build confidence and skills over time. His encouragement versus correction ratio is just right to keep the progress coming. I highly recommend Chase!

Josh Weeks


In over 4yrs of flight training, from my private pilot certification to instrument now to commercial, I have had over 10 flight instructors (mainly due to instructors moving on in their career). Chase is by far the best and easiest to learn from. I haven’t had a lesson yet where I haven’t felt more confident about my abilities and what I need to do to be a better pilot and the confidence that I can attain those goals. Beyond being incredibly knowledgeable about how to fly at many levels, Chase’s knowledge about the rules and regulations and the “spirit” behind them makes it easier to understand, and integrate. Chase is not only a very capable, knowledgeable pilot, he is the best teacher I have had to date. Chase not only teaches flight and knowledge, but builds confidence as well. While I would never say that being or learning how to be a pilot is easy, in perspective, learning has never been as easy and as fun as it has been with Chase. 

Randy Borman


I had the ambitious goal of completing my commercial rating in the San Diego area, a place where I had never flown. I got a call from Chase who gave me a very logical timeline about how to accomplish my goal and put me at ease about how I could accomplish my goal. Upon reaching San Diego, Chase very methodically helped me understand the airspace and practice areas, identified areas where I needed to practice for both my oral exam and practical checkrides and helped me fine tune my weak areas. I was able to accomplish the goal we set of getting my commercial certificate in under a month. During my time, I appreciated Chase’s willingness to keep to my timeline, over-prepare me as much as possible so that my checkride went as well as possible. Despite my short timeline, Chase’s schedule flexibility was excellent and his demeanor was cool, calm, casual and fun. It’s clear he’s passionate about getting more people in the air and I look forward to flying with him again soon.

Neil Hathi


My flying endeavors started about 10 years ago and have used 5 different CFII’s over the years with finally completing my IFR rating. I’ll say this, out of every trainer I’ve used, Chase has been the most proficient on multiple levels. Sure any pilot who’s flown for a long time can be knowledgeable, but that doesn’t mean they know how to convey it or teach it. Also many CFII’s only focus on “going flying” and there’s so much more that goes into flying from rules, regulations and nuances. This is where Chase really shines. His knowledge is borderline like reading through the FAR/AIM but better. He can describe and explain what everything means way beyond just reading it from a book. I have zero hesitation in recommending him to anyone looking to learn more or take their first flight behind the yoke.

Doug Smith


I just earned my Instrument Rating, my proudest achievement yet as a pilot. Chase approaches each lesson with a mindset to make sure you advance in knowledge, skill, and experience with every flight. Training for your Instrument Rating is hard work (anything worth achieving is supposed to be hard, right?) but Chase makes sure you are still having fun! Chase is more than just an instructor; he is a partner who is committed to helping you achieve your goals and training you to the highest professional standards.

André Hutchinson


Chase fits into airport culture incredibly well for several reasons. He is constantly curious and learning from others around the field and hangars. A pilot’s license is a license to learn! Knowledgeable and skilled in the cockpit and equally patient with a great sense of humor and humility. His level of preparation and organization allows you to feel safe and enjoy flying as you step up your game. I believe he has even been able to teach his girlfriend how to fly and lived to tell the truth; I couldn’t even teach mine to parallel park without getting into an argument.

Tyler Long


Chase has been really helpful to me as an IFR student. He is really an excellent instructor. He is always very patient and so very insightful in his teaching methods. It is always a pleasure to learn from and fly with Chase. I highly recommend him for Instrument students.

Jack Arnold


Chase is an excellent CFI who carries himself in a professional pilot oriented manner and has the ability to teach students many different ways. Every flight with Chase is a learning experience and he brings a unique style of teaching to the table with very detailed answers to my questions both in flight and on the ground. I would recommend Chase to anyone looking for a CFI for all types of pilots, whether that would be student, recreational and professional pilots.

Bryan Toma


Chase helped me get my Instrument Rating. He is an excellent pilot with knowledge that is truly impressive. As a CFI, his ability to teach while still making flying a fun and safe experience brought me a comfort and confidence that I had never felt in an airplane before. Anyone who flies with Chase will become a more knowledgeable and safer pilot. I cannot recommend him enough for ground or flight lessons.

Guy Milner


I came to Chase by way of referral. I had come back to flying after a significant layoff, and wanted to become instrument current after a 15+ year lapse. His boundless enthusiasm for all things aviation is infectious. After talking about what I wanted to do, Chase outlined a well paced plan to get me to IPC condition. Each lesson was demanding, but not overwhelming.

Mistakes were learning opportunities, complete with explanations of where my rust had interfered with my progress. Debriefings were on target, complete with notes of what to cover on the ground. The time was used wisely and efficiently. His structured style for IFR fit me well, with easy to learn flows and memory aids. I completed my IPC, and flew soft IFR the next day.

Chase is thorough, professional, and extremely knowledgeable. If he doesn’t know an answer at the time, by your next session he will. Thank you for getting me back up in the clouds!

Bob Marks


I’ve had the privilege to fly with Chase since he began his aviation journey. From day one, I knew Chase would make a great instructor. He was quick to learn new concepts and was able to perform maneuvers nearly perfect. Since our first flight, I’ve watched him earn each certificate and rating at an incredible pace. Chase will challenge you and will transform you into a good and safe pilot. Whether you are new to aviation or need to earn your instrument rating or commercial certificate, Chase will provide you quality instruction and will help you reach our aviation goals. I highly recommend Chase without any reservations.

Hector Torres