Wes Irish
ATP, FAA Gold Seal CFI/CFII, CE-525S Type

Welcome ...

I'm an FAA Gold Seal Certified Flight Instructor and ATP rated pilot based in the greater San Francisco Bay Area with 25 years and 6,800 hours of flight experience. I have a passion for aviation, and I love to share it with others. Please explore my site to learn more about me and further details about the instruction and services that I provide. My FAQ page can help answer your questions about flight instruction and the overall process of learning to fly. My Lessons and Library pages hold a collection of documents and references that are useful to student pilot and licensed pilots alike. My rates, polices, availability, scheduling, and related issues are all explained on my Rates & Policies page. And finally, please use the site search function (the top-level menu magnifying glass feature) to search this site for a particular topic or keyword this is often the quickest way to find something specific.


Services Offered

Flight Instruction

I work with pilots (and student pilots) to help them become knowledgeable, disciplined, safe, and proficient — to become a professional pilot, or at least a private pilot with a professional demeanor. My "best fit" clients seek a solid understanding, smooth and precise execution, and continual improvement. I set high standards, and I will teach you tools and techniques to obtain and maintain those standards. I teach for the real-world, not just the checkride.

If you are just starting out, I can help you earn your private pilot's license. Not only will I teach you everything you need to know and master to meet and exceed the FAA requirements, but I will also help you navigate the process.

If you are already a licensed pilot, I can help you move to the next level. Perhaps you're interested in earning your instrument rating or commercial pilot's license. Or maybe you would like to add a high power or complex endorsement, or are ready to make the step up to even more advanced aircraft such as a pressurized piston, turboprop, or jet. Are you in need of a flight review or an instrument proficiency check? Have you thought about earning your CFI or CFII certificate? Or maybe you're just getting back into flying after some years off and need to knock the rust off to be safe and proficient once again. My instruction and services page gives more details about what I offer. And my Library includes numerous links to useful references and related information.

I typically instruct in aircraft with modern avionics, such as the Garmin G1000, Garmin G3000, Avidyne Avionics, and their variants (G1000 NXi, Cirrus Perspective, Plus, Touch, etc). But in some situations (especially client-owned aircraft) I will instruct in aircraft with equipment such as the Garmin G3X Touch, GTN 750/650, G500/600, or even older or less integrate avionics and instruments, such as a classic 6-pack with NAV and COM radios.

I also hold a Letter of Deviation Authority (LODA) from the FAA that allows me to provide flight training in an aircraft certificated in the experimental category. Under a recent reinterpretation of the FARs by the FAA, without a LODA, fight training in experimental aircraft is not generally allowed.

Instruction Specialties

While I teach virtually all ratings and aspects of airplane flying, I specialize in a few particular areas:

    • Instrument Rating - My instrument students become knowledgeable and proficient IFR pilots who can safely negotiate the technical and demanding realm of real-world IFR and IMC. As with all instruction that I provide, my curriculum goes well beyond the FAA minimum standards and includes a wide variety of approach types at dozens of different airports (some examples are enumerated here). I typically teach the instrument rating in TAA (Technically Advanced Aircraft/Airplane), which often use some form of the Garmin G1000, Garmin G3000, or Cirrus perspective (based on the Garmin G1000) integrated flight deck, aka glass cockpit.

    • Commercial Pilot Rating (CPL) - I've helped many pilots obtain their commercial pilot's license, to expand their flight envelope, and improve their proficiency, smoothness, and professionalism. Your passengers will notice the difference, even if you are just flying friends or family. The CPL also allows a pilot to get paid for flying, so it opens the doors for a number of interesting opportunities.

    • Advanced Aircraft and Systems - Aircraft that routinely fly in the flight levels - pressurized pistons, turboprops, and jets - have a number of systems that are not typically found on less capable aircraft. These more advanced systems include: turbochargers or turbine engines, pressurization and environmental controls, anti-ice and deice, and retractable gear. Typically, these aircraft also have advanced avionics qualifying them as TAA, often having some form of "glass cockpit" integrated flight deck such as the Garmin G1000, G3000, or Garmin/Cirrus Perspective. If you want to step up to the flight levels then this is the training that you will need. Insurance companies will require flight experience in aircraft with relevant systems before they will insure you to fly such advanced aircraft on your own. I can train you in your own aircraft. Or, through WVFC, you can now take advanced aircraft instruction with me in a Piper Malibu (PA-46-310P).

    • Adventure Flying / Mountain Flying - Cross-country flights to interesting places, often in mountainous or desert locations. This often includes remote airports with short/challenging runways, and high density altitude environments. I've been to every airport in California, and a great many airports throughout the US and Canada, and I've guided pilots on the ins and outs of flying to/from EAA AirVenture/Oshkosh. I like to share my depth and breadth of experience with others so that they can safely embark on their own flying adventures. I've even developed my own Mountain Flying Course and checkout that has helped many pilots safely enjoy mountain flying.

Professional Pilot Services

In addition to instruction, I provide a range of professional pilot services in piston, turboprop, and jet aircraft, including:

  • Flight Crew - Captain/First Officer pilot services in your personal or business aircraft for you, your family, friends, employees, VIP customers, etc.

  • Mentor Pilot - Build the time and experience to meet your SOE (Supervised Operating Experience) requirements

  • Right Seat Pilot - Meet your personal, or corporate mandated, safety needs by having a professional pilot in the right seat whenever you fly.

  • On-the-road Instruction - For the busy executive or individual, I can provide instruction in your aircraft as you travel about the country on business or pleasure.

  • Ferry Pilot - I will relocate new or existing aircraft to meet your needs. Often, I will pick up a new or used aircraft with the new owner(s) and the flight "back home" serves a dual purpose of ferry flight and training.

  • Special Services - Mission-oriented flights, SAR, Engineering Support flight, Traffic Watch, etc.. My science and technology, engineering, disaster services, and related backgrounds lay the foundation for my interest in supporting these and other special operations.