Training pilots safely and successfully for over 30 years.

A good instructor is always necessary to ensure that you will have a long and fruitful flying career. Your safety will depend on what you and your instructor have built together. Here at Civic, we are pleased to have with us some of the best instructors you can find. They are all Federal Aviation Administration certified and can provide an extremely high level of instruction. They will work with you to meet your flight training goals and provide you with the confidence and enjoyment you need to learn a demanding and rewarding skill.


Chin Tu
Assistant Chief Flight Instructor

Chin started his flying career in 1966. In 1971, he served a tour with the 173rd Assault Helicopter Company (The Robin Hoods) in Vietnam. Upon his return, he was employed by Hughes Helicopters in the Manufacturing Operations Administration, Production, NOTAR Program, Apache Program, Flight Operations—Pilot in Fixed Wing, and also as a Production Test Pilot* in Rotary Wing. Hughes Helicopters relocated to Mesa, AZ. Since he wanted to stay in the area, Chin founded a flight school at Palomar Airport in 1987, and founded Civic Helicopters in 1988.

In 2001, Chin was contracted by Northrop Grumman to conduct envelope expansion tests in the unmanned helicopter “Fire Scout,” during which he obtained flight level 190 in a modified Schweizer SP333. Chin is the “Dr. Doolittle” of the helicopter world. He knows helicopters as very few pilots do and has his own unique style of teaching that is both challenging and exciting. He demonstrates the capabilities of helicopters while maintaining a great respect and appreciation for what these wonderful machines can do. Chin performs stage checks with primary students in addition to providing Instrument, Emergency, ATP, External Lift/Load and Turbine Transition training. Ask him about his Flights Around America.


Chris Kirby
Assistant Chief Flight Instructor

Chris Kirby has over 21 years of experience in the aviation industry as a pilot, flight instructor, researcher, airport executive, and an operations analyst. He is an experienced helicopter and airplane pilot with over 4200 hours total time.   Chris served in the  US Navy for 20 years, finishing as the Officer in Charge of a naval airfield.  Specific tours include operations in East Timor, the Southern Philippines, and The Horn of Africa.  With over 1,100 hours of instructing time, he has also taught college mathematics as an adjunct professor for Vincennes University through a military college program.

As the sole proprietor of AirKirb, a Helicopter-Centered Aviation Training and Analysis forum that focuses on helping military pilots transition into civilian aviation employment.  He  is successful aviation researcher and operations analyst with four publications; two in aviation magazines and two in scientific journals.


Certified Flight Instructors:

Nancy Baccheschi – CFI

Ziki Churchill – CFI

George Dona – CFI, Medical Evacuation Pilot

Alex Kurz – CFII

Bill Laggner – CFI

Cam Leuschel – CFI, DPE, Medical Evacuation Pilot

Mark Omundson – CFI

Andrea Tornielli – CFII

Wes Young – CFII