Lou Dietz, CFI, CFII

San Francisco Bay Area Flight Instruction


I am a flight instructor based in the San Fancisco Bay Area, with over 3,500 hours of total flight experience, almost all in single engine aircraft. I specialize in tailwheel aircraft and instrument instruction, both in round-gauge and glass cockpit aircraft. More than half of my flying experience has been for personal travel, mostly in a Cessna 180 (high performance, instrument-capable "bush plane" tailwheel aircraft). I have flown across the country multiple times, to Mexico more than a dozen times, and have extensive experience in the western states and mountain-flying. I started flying right after college, and have been a part-time CFI for 25+ years. So, my clients are able to benefit from my many years of real-world flying experience. My goal is to help them become safe and capable pilots so they can achieve their own goals of personal or commercial flight.

Since my first flight in 1987, I have enjoyed flying for both the pure fun of piloting an aircraft, as well as for the full engagement of intellect, attention, and respect that is demanded when flying a plane. One of my favorite things about flying is the meditative escape that can be found from the daily stressors of life during the all-consuming experience of flight. I'm a Stanford-educated electrical engineer by training, so the intricate technical aspects appeal to me as well.

I operate mostly out of West Valley Flying Club, where I am an independent contractor and Senior CFI. I also instruct outside of West Valley with members who have their own aircraft. I prefer to instruct from Palo Alto Airport (KPAO), but I also instruct at San Carlos Airport (KSQL), and regularly train clients at all of the general aviation airports around the Bay Area, and all of California!

Whether you are looking for a first demonstration flight, or whether you are an experienced pilot wanting to add some new capabilities, I can help you reach your goals. I look forward to flying with you!