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About HFA

A team of experienced, professional instructors

High Flight Aviation offers accelerated flight training for a variety of certificates, ratings and aircraft. Why accelerated training? We find that the best way to ensure knowledge retention and a successful pass rate is to have a consistent and dedicated schedule. Less information is “lost” in the memory trying to shuffle daily life and scheduling/re-scheduling airplanes.
Our courses are setup in such a way that throughout the entire time with us, you are constantly learning and practicing what you learn

All of our instructors are vetted by our Chief Instructor. We take pride in hiring only the best instructors. Our instructors are knowledgeable, experienced, patient, and just super-awesome.

We operate out of KMYF (Montgomery Field, San Diego CA), KSEE (Gillespie Field, San Diego CA), and KCOE (Pappy Boyington Field, Coeur d’Alene ID).

Meet our awesome instructors

Shane Terpstra

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Chief Instructor – ATP, CFI, CFII, MEI, AGI, sUAS

Shane Terpstra founded the company in 2010, having had a career in Information Technology, having founded his own IT company in 1999. Shane started flying at the age of 16 and has pursued multiple facets of aviation. Shane is an ATP-rated pilot, a FAA FAASTeam Lead Representative, Accident Investigator and, former airline Captain. Shane was involved in Search and Rescue for over 20 years with the Civil Air Patrol as an Incident Commander, Command Pilot, and Director of Emergency Services for the state of California. Shane is currently the Director of Safety and Chief Pilot for the largest flight club in the United States.
Over the past 10 years, Shane’s first time pass rate remains above 80%, mostly thanks to the amazing students with many ratings above 90%.

Shane is a Airline Transport Pilot in both Single and Multi-Engine aircraft, Certificated Flight Instructor (Single & Multi-Engine Land and Single-Engine Sea) with Instrument Privileges, an FAA Gold Seal Flight Instructor and a NAFI Master Instructor, a designation held by less than 1,000 instructors worldwide.

Emerson Smith

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Instructor – CFI, CFII

Emerson has always wanted to fly and several years ago, realized her dream to be a pilot. Fast-tracking her certificates and ratings, she quickly became a Certificated Flight Instructor.

Emerson’s journey led her to San Diego and High Flight Aviation, where we are thrilled to have her as part of our team.


Alan Hernandez

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Instructor – CFI

Alan started his aviation career in the maintenance world. Alan has been fixing airplanes before flying them and is a current Airframe & Powerplant with Inspection Authorization (A&P/IA) managing a team of mechanics specializing in Cirrus aircraft.

Alan is a High Flight success story having completed his Commercial Certificate for both Single-Engine and Multi-Engine, as well as his CFI certificate all in the HFA ecosystem. HFA is proud to have Alan join the team and capitalize on his unique experience as a mechanic and flight instructor.


Jeff Glass

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Instructor – CFI

With a professional career in hockey that has spanned over 18 years, Jeff has always been passionate about pursuing his dreams. Whether it has been a decorated 15 year playing career that saw him play in the NHL all the way over to Russia, he has been one of top in his class. Since retiring from playing hockey, he took on a coaching role at the professional level to help the next generation reach their goals of playing in the top league in the world. 

Along this journey he realized he was equally as passionate about aviation. While playing in the NHL, Jeff took on more and more flying responsibilities. Soon it became clear that his love for aviation would also become a career. Working in different airspaces across North America he is now a CFI in San Diego excited about helping the next generation of pilots reach their goals, similar to how he has taught the next generation of hockey players. When Jeff is not teaching, he is flying a King Air in Canada for Weather Modification International on their hail suppression project which has him flying in challenging weather conditions.

Jeff is married to his wife Allie, and they have a 6 year old daughter Lucy who attends school in the area.


Patrick Ciri

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Instructor – CFI

Patrick Ciri was introduced to flying at a young age through paragliding and although the love for aviation was clearly there, he never imagined he could build a career through flying. After years spent in Marketing, Patrick took a leap of faith and left his desk job to pursue a career in aviation. A year and half later he is now a newly minted CFI ready to share his passion for flying as he builds his hours to one day join the airlines.

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