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Flight Student Testimonials

Visited from NY to take IA’s mountain flying course


I would like to share my mountain flying experience with I.A. I took a 3-day mountain flying course at Independence Aviation with Stephen Slade in January 2021. I learned more new procedures and skills than my last 100 hours of flight. We landed at Leadville, Telluride, Steamboat, Aspen, and a few landings at Eagle since Eagle would be my base for next several weeks. They were all challenging airports. Stephan was very accommodating for my requests.


After completing the course, I feel comfortable going in and out of airports, managing risks and making go/no go decisions in the mountains. If you are a flatlander like me coming from New York, this is a MUST course before you venture into the mountains by yourself.



Best regards,

Spike Ishikawa

I traveled from Iowa for IA’s mountain flying course

October 10, 2020

Colorado Flight SchoolJason Dierking flew this rainy instrument approach into Colorado’s Telluride Airport with IA Instructor Stephen Slade during his mountain training course.

I meant to do this sooner but even a few months after the fact I still reflect on the mountain flying course I took through IA as one of the most valuable experiences in my ten years of flying. Stephen Slade was an amazing professional to work with. The forecast VFR weather turned out to be IFR over the central Rockies that day but we completed a challenging day of mountain flying that involved actual instrument approaches into Telluride and Leadville (circle to land in actual conditions at Leadville!). I travelled all the way from Iowa to take this course and it was worth it and then some. Can’t say enough about Mr. Slade. A real class act and a consummate professional. The experience increased my confidence by leaps and bounds. I’m pretty much counting the days until I can do it again.



Jason Dierking

Discovery flight with Angel Andres Rosado

August 30, 2020

After a short consultation at Independent Aviation and a quick tour of the facility, I was hooked to take the next step. My girlfriend and I decided to take a discovery flight to experience what a full training session would look like.


After being greeted at the door, our instructor Angel took us upstairs to take a spin on the simulator. This was a great tool to get familiar with the flight controls and systems. Angel was very patient as we veered on and off the taxiway. Once we got a hold of the controls we were in the air, virtually.


After feeling more confident we made our way to the tarmac where a beautiful SR22 was awaiting us. As a person who’s always dreamt of getting up close to an aircraft, this was a great experience to watch and help the instructor as he went around the plane to explain all the surfaces and pre-flight checks. Angel spent more than enough time with us and answered all of our questions, he was just as enthusiastic as we were! I stepped into the pilot seat, buckled in and got familiar with the systems. The glass panels of the Garmin avionics are fantastic. Engine started, we made our way to the runway, before we knew it, we were flying! After an hour of sight seeing and maneuvering, a lot of which Angel let me do, we headed back for a smooth landing. Back on the ground, Angel once again spent more than enough time sitting with us during the debrief.


This was such a great experience that I’m enrolling myself into IA’s Flight Training program. Thanks to Angel and Annmarie for helping us complete our dream!”



Brady Kelce, Denver

Mountain flying with instructor Stephen Slade

August 24, 2020

Mountain Flying

Marilyn Bush and Independence Aviation Instructor Stephen Slade show off her freshly printed achievement certificate after having landed at Leadville, CO airport.

If you’re searching for mountain flying training, look no further!  I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Independence Aviation and Stephen Slade, CFI. Stephen created a learning plan focused on safe mountain flying and took my aviation skills to a new level. You’re guaranteed to have an experience like no other, in addition to meeting an all-around great pilot, instructor and one of our country’s best! Aim high!




Marilyn Bush, St. Louis

Mountain flying instruction in my plane

August 11, 2020

I requested mountain flying training in my Cirrus SR22T and worked with Stephen Slade at Independence Aviation. Stephen provided ground school with all the critical terrain and weather basics. He then planned sessions (taking advantage of my planes capabilities) to various airports with progressive challenges. This was a fun and valuable experience for me and I now feel confident planning and flying to my favorite destinations in the mountains. Flights to Steamboat and Telluride were noteworthy.  Stephen was knowledgeable, friendly and has all the attributes of a good instructor.  He followed up with answers to a couple of outstanding questions in a professional manner. Stephen is my go-to instructor for any recurrent or additional mountain flying training.



 Mike K, Indiana

Mountain flying instruction in their plane + FBO services

July 22, 2020

Annmarie, Brendon,


Just wanted to thank you for the great experience yesterday. Kudos to Brendon for his professionalism, attendance to detail and insights. And overall thanks to IA for the smooth arrangements and set up. I hope to be back later this year to continue training, will stay in touch.





Ground and flight training for insurance

June 24, 2020

Jeff and I would like to commend Bob Stedman, [Former] Pres. Independence Aviation (KAPA), for our required insurance ground and flight training.  But let me add a little background.



Jeff began flying in 1985. He has 24 year of airline flying and is a B777 FO and CFI-ASMEL-INST. I began flying in 1965. I retired with 37 years with my company as a MD11 Captain. I am a Part 135 Beechjet Capt and CFI-ASMEL-INST.  We are well versed in recurrent training.



Bob conducted ground school, simulator training and flight training (in our C340).  We found all aspects of the syllabus he wrote and directed appropriate, educational and safety oriented. He did a great job.


If you get a chance to have Bob involved in your flight training rest assured you are with a professional. 



Best regards,

Jeff Clark and Mike Healy

Complete proficiency approach program

January 4, 2019

The CPA program has changed the way I stay proficient. It instills confidence, knowing that my proficiency program is modeled after the ones used by the airlines and top corporate flight departments. In the CPA program, I know that I am working on the right skills and knowledge at the right intervals, using state-of-the art learning methods, with some of the best instructors I have ever flown with.  It is exactly the program I had been waiting for. 




Martin K. Denver, CO

Cirrus pilots proficiency program pilot

March 13, 2018

I’d like to express my profound thanks to you for investing your time and heart in training us simians flying around up there in Cirrus’s, and for training me specifically. I learned more in 6 hours than I have in a decade. I was inspired by your wisdom and perspective. And then, you were kind enough to follow up with these emails with helpful manuals or checklists.



Tom D. Raleigh, NC


Crosswind concepts SIM training success!

May 8, 2017

“Wouldn’t you know it: After my Crosswind Concepts sim training today I flew back to KANK at 3:30 from KAPA during the most convective activity of the day. Winds at my destination are generally below 10kts and about 30 degrees off the nose during most of my flight.


10 Minutes out they start to pick up, go 90 degrees to the runway and start gusting.  By the time I’m ready to enter the pattern I have 18kts at 90 degrees to the runway with gusts to 27kts. The sound of those high numbers almost made me go around but I was lined up on the runway on final and able to hold a steady approach.


I eased into the slip, got the nose straight and just landed the plane on the centerline clean as you like.  Mike, this would have been the 999 score I was working for on the sim.  My plane is much more responsive than the sim and easier to control. I think that works in the pilot’s favor when they return to their own aircraft.


Thanks for helping me to build the confidence to manage bigger crosswinds than I’ve ever attempted before. Would recommend this program to ALL pilots everywhere.



Walt Harder Salida, Colorado

Joining the TRACON tour

December 1, 2016

Thanks again for allowing me to join the group. It was a great chance for me to see what I always envisioned.


I would have thought that the room would have been much larger but then I didn’t realize they only cover the 52 miles around DEN. I was also amazed at how calm everyone was and willing to answer any questions we had. It was interesting to learn about the SID’s using the charts that they have set up and therefore freeing up time for the controllers. The interesting thing was that the one guy said not all pilots were familiar with it even after it has been in place for several years. I also will feel a little better about any vectors I receive as I know they are just keeping everyone safe. I do think the app game I have that simulates air traffic control is fairly realistic. The training only lasts about 45 hours but I realize that much more goes into that before they get to the Denver TRACON.




Simon M. from down under

November 17, 2016

Hi Chuck,


Thank you again for your generosity of time, knowledge and tales from your training past. You were wonderful company and I hope we can catch up again very soon in either Colorado or back here in Australia. I hope you have a great time in Sydney and your journey home is smoother than our bumpy trip of the Central West of NSW!



Simon M.,Australia


October 13, 2016

Thanks again for arranging and participating in the Denver TRACON tour!

I’ve been flying for quite a few years and have never taken the time for any control center tour.


It’s obviously very helpful to see what information the controllers see, their constraints, and how they communicate with and route the aircraft.

It’s also obvious that there’s a person on the other side of the microphone, but to talk in person to the actual people doing the work is invaluable. I now understand better how and why they do what they do, and have an appreciation for the “art of the possible” in our interactions from the cockpit.


Thanks again for making us better pilots,

Dave T.

Dream chaser flight test crew

October 7, 2016

Independence Aviation at Rocky Mountain Metro provides high quality, professionally maintained aircraft, enabling us to maintain flight currency with state of the art avionics systems – a necessary part of our roles in the Dream Chaser program.


Best regards,

Dream Chaser Flight Test Crew

No ground crew better at KAPA then this outfit

October 1, 2016

I recently earned my Instrument Rating through the commitment of my instructor (amazing guy) and the overall awareness and support of the entire team. I can tell you there is no ground crew better at KAPA then this outfit. They meet/greet and manage aircraft as if you’re the G5 parking at Tac. I highly recommend this organization to anyone in need of any level of GA services.


Best regards,

Michael Kennedy


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