During Bensen Days 2023, I let 2 CFI's fly my Nano to learn about it so if/when they train anyone they can point out the differences in the Nano .vs. what you are learning in. This is to hopefully make your first Nano flight easier and less stressful. I added them to the Maps page, both are fantastic pilots/guys.
Corey Kirkwood out of Foley, Al (near Pensacola) (CoreyMitchellKirkwood@gmail.com)
Herbie Lewis out of Stuart, FL (251.697.5102)
As I travel around, I hope to find other CFI's who might be interested in flying the Nano to get more familiar with it, I will add those CFI's to the list.
Have to include some photos of the experience. Top to bottom: Lightning Aviation FBO, Corey, myself (the new Red Baron), and the FBO lounge.
I finished four days of Gyro lessons with Corey Kirkwood of Lightning Aviation in Foley Alabama last week. He’s a ‘preferred trainer’ for the Nano, and it didn’t take me long to find out why. (His contact information is available here on the forum.)
While Corey is only in his late 20’s, he’s already accomplished more in aviation than many pilots with decades of seniority.
Best of all, Corey is an excellent CFI, probably the best I’ve ever had. And for many reasons not worth going into here, I’ve flown with about a dozen instructors in the past 18 months alone. Only one of them was comparable to Corey. He’s everything you want in a CFI: knowledgeable, patient, organized, and enthusiastic. He’s also pretty darn funny. I spent a lot of time in the air laughing… especially when I was bungling landings. I can still hear Corey saying “Ouch” in the headphones when I flared a little too early and was about to land harshly!
Two things really made me appreciate Corey’s instruction. First, he made a major effort to discover my learning style(s). I’m a mixed-method-learner—visual, read/write, and kinesthetic--and I tend to confuse most CFIs because I’m a terrible audible learner and my other styles trade places in dominance depending upon what I’m learning.
Second, once Corey found out what worked for me, he devised a couple of very helpful exercises to assist me in not killing myself or crashing the Nano the first time I fly it. He also regularly told me how the Magni M16 we were flying was like AND unlike the Nano in performance, handling, etc. This was exactly what I needed, and exactly what I hoped for. His final critique of me as a pilot, and what I did well and needed to work on, was probably worth the trip alone.
I can’t recommend Corey enough for gyro instruction and Nano transition training. Even if you’re a rated gyro pilot, you should spend a few hours with Corey so he can fill you in on the nature of flying the Nano. If, like me, you’re coming from fixed-wing, you’ll probably want 6-10 hours minimum to get ready. I was only able to get 8 hours in… not quite enough time to be good enough for my Sport Pilot gyro endorsement. I’d like nothing more than to go back to Corey to finish my training. In the meantime, I feel well prepared to safely fly my Nano when it gets here in August.
I signed up to get my gyro endorsement with Corey in May. I’ll write about my experience when I finish up.