welcome to Olmsted Aviation

challenge yourself

who we are

Olmsted Aviation is a Southern California flight school specializing in advanced pilot training, with an emphasis on upset recovery, aerobatic and tailwheel training.

We are located at the historic Santa Paula Airport (KSZP), just thirty-five miles north of Los Angeles. The wavered aerobatic practice area is three miles east of the airport.

Chris Olmsted, owner and CEO of Olmsted Aviation, is an aviation educator and enthusiast with extensive experience in the art of aerobatic flight.

As a certified flight instructor (uncertified therapist), certified aerobatic judge and a certified air-frame and powerplant aircraft technician, he has over fourteen years of professional experience with over four thousand hours flight experience including fifteen hundred hours of aerobatic flight.

Mr. Olmsted is president of the Los Angeles Aerobatic Club (International Aerobatic Club Chapter 49) and acts as contest director of the annual Duel in the Desert aerobatic contest; he also is the co-founder of the Figure 1 Foundation, providing flight training scholarships for aviation career advancement.

specialized services

tailwheel | Pitts check-out

competition aerobatics

what our customers say

  • Chris puts you at ease with his unique blend of ground school and in-flight instruction. His ability to teach to any skill level is second to none.

    J. Flauding
  • Chris' ability to adapt his teaching skills to my needs was incomparable to any instructor I've previously experienced.

    H. Kelly
  • As a professional flight instructor myself, Chris is one of the few that I turn to for professional instruction.

    C. Alexander
  • Great guy, loves to help people learn, as much fun as you can have with your clothes on!

    R. Haight
  • What an awesome guy. Chris took me in the Pitts for my introduction to high performance tailwheel. Excellent instruction!!

    M. Ciaglia
  • Great guy who makes all feel comfortable around him and a fantastic instructor.

    C. Garman

current rates

aerobatic discovery flight $195

gift certificates available


flat rates

Pitts S2-A $295 per hour wet

flight instruction $80 per hour


block rates with 10 hour block purchase

Pitts S2-A $270 per hour wet

flight instruction $70 per hour

all attitude flight safety: phase I

total course cost: $1,900


all attitude flight safety: phase II

total course cost: $1,900

ready to fly?

Email or call us with any questions you may have. We would love the chance to earn your business.


320 E Santa Maria St, Suite A

Santa Paula, CA, 93060, US






by appointment only