Brandywine Flight School 


Jim Wawrzyniak is a former Naval Aviator and instructor pilot.  He has a calm demeanor in the cockpit and is at excellent at teaching the subtle nuances of flight.  He has extensive experience in a wide variety of aircraft from tail-draggers to the v-tail Beechcraft Bonanza and other complex, high performance aircraft.  In addition, Jim currently flies a Bonanza, a Zlin 526F, a Czech aerobatic plane (for attitude adjustments) and tows gliders using the Piper Pawnee, an ag-plane.


Rick Laytham started flying in 1971 as a cadet with the Civil Air Patrol.  After a 15 year break (during which time he served our country in the Military and was deployed overseas) he earned his CFI rating in 2004 and worked as a full time instructor until 2012.  Rick has experience flying into mountain strips in Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Wyoming.


Kevin Komisor has been  flying professionally for 20 years, beginning as a CFII, making the transition to turbo-props for a commuter airline, then jets for a major US airline, until finally discovering corporate aviation while on furlough.  Kevin is entering his 12th year in corporate aviation -  flying first the Learjet series aircraft, and currently the Gulfstream G150.  He thoroughly enjoys all aspects of aviation, most recently gliding, and is pleased to return to instructing.

David Hogue started flying in 1979 and after getting his private license decided to pursue a flying career. He attended  school in Florida and obtained  Commercial and Instrument ratings along with several flight instructor ratings. Upon return to this area, David  started teaching at a local airport and did this for several years. David has extensive experience as a commuter pilot, night freight pilot and  Chief Pilot for a small corporate flight department.


Patrick Rush has been flying professionally for twenty-eight years.  He began in gliders and soloed on his 14th birthday.  He received all ratings in powered aircraft including his CFII and started flight instructing in 1989.  From 1993-1996 Patrick owned and operated his own (PART 141) flight school.  He entered the corporate world of aviation in 1996 .  He has flown various jets including the Lear Jet 35 and the Lockheed JetStar.  He currently flies a Gulfstream 150.  While acquiring over 10,000 flight hours, his greatest passion continues to be flight instructing.   ​

Thomas Beenick started flying in 1998 before joining the Navy in 2000. Thomas became an aircraft mechanic and worked on many fighter jets throughout his career and has been a CFI for almost four years  now.  Thomas has flown multiple aircraft, from Piper to Phenom. His hobbies include building plastic model aircraft with his kids and coaching baseball and soccer.


Derek Lemke is an ATP, CFI, CFII and MEI.  He is a former airline pilot and has much experience to share with student pilots.  He is self-employed as a financial planner and works with us on a part-time basis.


Troy Gruner  is a veteran instructor here, with a fifteen year history - and a student favorite.  Troy has  amassed over 9,000 hours of instructed flights and teaches most Saturday mornings.


Joe Caruso has more than 20 years of flying experience in General Aviation, and has been instructing since 2004.  Joe holds two Engineering degrees. Joe is trained for Garmin G1000 transition, as well as training in Cirrus Aircraft and other Technically Advanced Aircraft.
 

Our team of instructors is large enough to provide you with flexibility in choosing the right flight instructor to fit your objectives, schedule, personality and learning style.  We will work with you to pair you with an instructor who will not only become a mentor in the cockpit and on the ground, but also a friend through your entire training program.


Our priority is to teach you to safely fly in a cost effective manner.   To do that, we selectively hire instructors that meet our criteria.  

  • They have to be highly experienced (each individual instructor typically has thousands of hours of flight experience). 
  • They are able to fly precisely - they are great flyers.
  • Personalities matter - our instructors are easy to be with - communication and relationships flourish.  We want you to "feel at home" when you are learning.
  • They know how to teach.  This criteria is often overlooked by the unknowing.   You could be an Astronaut but not know how to teach very well.  Great teaching flows easily and efficiently to a receptive audience. 
  • Their motivation aligns to our culture - they are here because they love to teach, not because they are building hours (on your dime) to move on to the airlines. 


Our instructors have diverse backgrounds, including former airline, military and corporate pilots - arguably the most experienced group of flight instructors in the area.   These pilots are highly accomplished, and motivated by the thrill of your learning to be a safe pilot.  We love aviation !