North Star Aero - Testimonials
Here's what a few of our customers have had to say about us.
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Summer 2015 - Missoula Montana
I'd very much like to categorize the Cirrus certified instruction that I received from Mark Wages as outstanding in both its presentation and content. Mark was enthusiastic and very well focused on the training process, which made flight time extremely efficient and productive. The overall professionalism and the high quality of the training syllabus made North Star Aero my number one choice for further Cirrus training.
Summer 2015 - Hendersonville, NC
I just completed my Basic and Advanced (IFR) Cirrus transition training with Mark. He knows the Cirrus inside and out, and equally important he is an excellent communicator and teacher. I would HIGHLY recommend his services for anyone wanting a "top tier" CSIP. If you would like to contact me directly for more information just ask Mark for my phone number and / or email address and I'll be glad to talk to you.
Summer 2015 - Hendersonville, NC
I have recently used Mark as a buyer's agent for the purchase of a SR22-G5. Mark assisted with every facet of the transaction from helping to find the plane, negotiating the price and terms, arranging the pre-buy inspection, doing a test flight and creating a very thorough inspection report, and even took care of soliciting quotes from multiple reputable insurance brokers to find the best insurance coverage and price available. Mark has many years of experience with Cirrus airplanes and numerous contacts in the business. I found Mark's assistance in this transaction to be invaluable, and his fee was very reasonable considering the level of expertise that he has and the amount of work that he did on my behalf. I would highly recommend Mark's buyer's assistance service to anyone that's purchasing a Cirrus and wants to have have a very experienced expert on their side to represent them throughout the entire transaction. If you have any questions that I can answer just ask Mark for my contact information and feel free to contact me directly. I'll be glad to help in anyway that I can!
I have been flying for 39 years and have worked with several instructors for primary and instrument instruction, BFRs and checkouts… without question Mark Wages is the best. Mark provided my transition from the “steam gauge” Cirrus SR22 to the full glass panel, my instrument proficiency check and BFRs. Mark is very competent and knowledgeable in the airplane and easily communicates that knowledge to the student. We were able to comfortably explore the entire flight envelope and all of the functionality provided by the Avidyne Entegra and Cirrus Prospective avionics packages. Mark was always available for questions and his web site was an ongoing source of information. The instruction and flying experience with Mark was world class and the all of the information and instruction received have made me a better, safer and more competent pilot. If you have an opportunity to fly with Mark… take it!
Spring 2014 - San Rafael, Ca
After renting Cirrus aircraft for several years, I was finally able to contemplate purchasing one. However, being a first time buyer, I was unfamiliar with the process. Mark, was able to help me understand the differences between the various generations, NA versus turbo, and other options. In addition, he was able to help pre-screen aircraft which fit my needs. Mark was very responsive particularly when things got hectic. Ultimately, we found a great aircraft and thanks to Mark the process went more smoothly than I anticipated.
Fall 2013 - Durham, NC
Having done my transition training to Cirrus last November, I decided it was time to go for my instrument rating late this summer. There was no question who I wanted for an instructor - Mark Wages. Following the Jeppesen curriculum, Mark provided a comprehensive and patient approach to instrument flying. Of course, doing it in a Cirrus made it even fun. Mark is big on doing cross-country flying as a part of your instrument instruction, so we flew approaches and made stops in Georgia, Tennessee (BNA and an evening at the Gaylord Opryland Resort!), and Kentucky on one trip. On the second trip Mark and I stopped in West Virginia, Maryland, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio (Sportys!). While building hours I was also developing the skills I would need. They stayed with me right up to the practical, which I passed ten days ago. My biggest accomplishment in flying to date, and I give Mark all of the credit. You simply can't do any better than the guys at North Star Aero.
I recently completed the Cirrus transition training with North Star and it was great. I had recently received my private pilot certificate so I had only minimal PIC hours in a C172 with old instrumentation. I was concerned about being overwhelmed in the Cirrus but NS was perfect for me. They had a very comprehensive knowledge of the regulations and the airplane. When I asked questions they always referenced from memory the various parts of the FAA regulations or airplane manuals. However, what was special was the ability to teach. The instructor created the right balance of fun, details and has the ability to keep my bucket fully loaded without overloading me to the point of frustration. I was shocked how much we covered during the transition training. I am now pursuing my IFR rating and I will be using Matt in the future as supplemental training. It is definitely worth the time and money.
Marshall Rainwaters Mobile, AL
Recently, I had the pleasure to fly with Mark for a weekend. Being fairly new to my Cirrus SR22, I was looking for an instructor to help me fine tune my skills. I really wanted to work with an instructor that really knew this airplane. After some investigating, I chose to work with Mark because he was a Platinum CSIP with over 3000 hours in the Cirrus. Later I learned he also has a degree in Aeronautics from North Dakota.
He’s a very easy going and focused instructor. His teaching style is also very relaxed and non intrusive. My biggest issue was with consistent and good landings. After doing a few three point landings, I finally gave his way a try. I soon realized that I was too focused on my airspeed, coming in too fast and forcing the plane to land. After a few more attempts, he had me flying solely by sensing what the plane was doing, and what the plane needed……..sink a little, add a little power.
It’s obvious Mark knows this airplane and he can teach you the finer details of the Cirrus. I highly recommend him and look forward to working with him in the future. Thank you
Cirrus Recurrent Training
I have used Mark on numerous occasions to practice approaches, maintain currency, and for annual flight reviews. He is consistently superb in his ability to challenge me and my flying skills. I always seem to learn something new about the plane when spending time with him. His teaching technique is great, making me feel at ease and helping me to learn and grow as a pilot. He has also taken my wife up for several flights, helping her better understand the systems and plane so that she can be better prepared in case of an in flight emergency. I would highly recommend him as an instructor, either for recurrent training or transition training.
I’m a private pilot with an instrument rating and over 500 hours of flight time. I was flying Cessna’s (renting) and decided it was time to purchase a plane. I spent 1.2 hours in a Cirrus and I knew that’s the plane I wanted to buy. I found a 2002 SR22 that was on the west coast. I negotiated a deal and purchased the plane. One of my bucket list items was to fly coast to coast and with this purchase I’d have my opportunity given I live on the east coast. I needed a Cirrus Certified Instructor to teach me how to fly the plane and to help me ferry the plane back east. Mark was recommended to me so I contacted him about my plan. From the beginning Mark’s approach to flying; personal teaching style; demeanor; and knowledge had me feel very comfortable with my decision to hire him to help me with my new plane. We exchanged a few phone calls and emails to set up the trip. We connected in Santa Monica, CA for the first time in person. Mark was very professional and easy to communicate with. We began our journey by getting to know one another; discussing the lesson plans and goals of the flight. Mark was very thorough in his explanation of the Cirrus training program. We would have four days to complete the lesson so we had pleanty of time to learn and to enjoy the flight. Just like our ground school sessions during the trip our flight time was invaluable as a new student learning the “ins and outs” of the aircraft. Mark went through all systems and procedures with me and by the time the trip ended I had 25 hours in the plane and felt comfortable flying solo. Our trip managed to take us to a variety of challenging airports (Catalina Island, CA.; Half Moon Bay, CA; Harris Ranch, CA; Telluride, CO; Aspen, CO.; Leadville, CO; Lake Front Airport, New Orleans, LA; and Hilton Head Island, SC). Mark’s coaching enabled me to navigate these areas with a sense of confidence. In addition to the technical aspects of the flight; we spent a lot of time together as we crossed the US. Mark’s a great person to travel with. We chatted about many aspects of the trip and the ease at which our conversations took place made the day go by faster than I liked. Mark’s an excellent pilot; instructor; and person. I thoroughly enjoyed his company and approach to training me to fly my new plane. I highly recommend his services. I know I will be using his services in the future.
I would enthusiastically endorse Mark for anyone looking to become familiar with Cirrus aircraft. While I had plenty of experience with other types of aircraft, I had no experience with the Cirrus SR-20. Mark was able to spend quality ground and air time with me to the point where I feel very comfortable giving instruction in this aircraft. His patience and attention to detail allowed me to become very familiar with the aircraft in what I believe is the least amount of time. His enthusiasm for Cirrus was infectious and I am a firm believer in the aircraft’s capabilities. Not only do I feel comfortable in the aircraft, but I look forward to sharing my knowledge.
His schedule was very accommodating and he made himself available to meet my timeframe. He was even available for consultation after he returned home. Given his superb teaching expertise and experience, his rates are extremely reasonable and I highly recommend him.
CFI, CFII, AGI
Mark Wages is an exceptional flight instructor. Recently, Mark traveled to my hometown to spend 10 days with me training me on flying a Cirrus SR20. In that period I made more progress as a student pilot then I could have imagined. Mark is a great instructor – which means he is not only knowledgeable, but he knows how to teach, how to work with a pilot to give them the skills they need to fly the airplane.
Not only is Mark a great instructor, but he’s a great guy – easy going and fun enough that doing intense training with him is, well, fun. If you’re going to spend a bunch of time with someone in the cockpit, you want it to be enjoyable. I thoroughly enjoyed our 10 days together – not just because I made huge progress in my training, but because it was fun.
I heartily endorse and recommend Mark Wages to anyone – from student to someone with significant experience. You’ll be a better, safer pilot after working with Mark – and you’ll have fun at the same time.
Although I have over 1400 hours in Cirrus aircraft, I still train regularly, and had the pleasure of working with Mark earlier this year. He is very knowledgeable about Cirrus aircraft, thoughtful, and easy to work with. I picked up several new tips, tricks, and things to think about from Mark – yet unlike some instructors, he is flexible enough to engage in conversation about the best techniques, rather than to insist that his way is the best.
Mark took the time to learn what I hoped to accomplish in our training, and set about making sure I received what I was looking for. I would recommend him to any Cirrus pilot looking to gain knowledge and increase their skill set.
ATP, AGI, IGI
Gary E. Stock CFII
In September 2008 I traveled with one of my students, Kim Gill, to Cirrus Aircraft, in Duluth Minnesota. Kim had purchased a new Cirrus Design SR22 Turbo Perspective, which is a technically advanced aircraft. The purpose of our visit to Cirrus was to take delivery of the aircraft and receive transition training and then fly the aircraft to our home base in Torrance, California. We arrived on a Friday at the Cirrus factory, and we were introduced to Mark Wages, a Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot. We spent the next six days with Mark learning the systems and flight characteristics of the new aircraft. Even though I am a Certified Flight Instructor, with over 4,700 hours, I had no experience in glass cockpit aircraft. Kim was a newly minted Private Pilot and also had no experience in glass cockpit aircraft, or for that matter high performance aircraft. I received 11 hours of dual instruction from Mark with Kim observing from the back seat, and Kim received 17 hours while I observed from the rear seat.
The training was well organized with each module beginning with a power point guided ground discussion of what we would be covering on the flight. I received both VFR training and IFR training, while Kim worked on VFR procedures. All systems were covered as well as normal, abnormal, and emergency procedures. We flew to a number of different airports in Minnesota as well as Wisconsin, which allowed us time to become familiar with the integrated avionics system on this aircraft. After completing this training I felt comfortable enough in the aircraft to fly it home to Torrance. The trip home gave us both more opportunity to apply what we had learned from Mark.
From my view as an active Certified Flight Instructor I found Mark to be excellent. He is professional, patient, and thorough in presenting the lesson plans. Mark is an expert on this Aircraft, and I would recommend him to anyone seeking training in a Cirrus Aircraft.
Gary E. Stock CFII
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