David Sowards, Owner

To be honest I never ever imagined that I would own a flight school, but I have always been enamored with aviation. My first flight was with an uncle that took me up in a rental 150 and flew over our house when I was 14. From that day I have always wanted to slip the bonds of Terra Firma and experience controlled flight.

My Army Aviation experience only helped to kindle the fire following college and I embarked on an aviation career that I could not have dreamed of; including travels around the world and seeing some of the most interesting places on earth that would not have been possible without my aviation field providing the catalyst.

After living internationally for almost 14 years I returned to California to find a hidden gem that had not been fully developed and I decided that with a fantastic built-in family that made EFI what it is, and an extraordinary client base to work with, EFI could become a first rate aircraft training and rental facility.

I am extremely proud of the entire EFI Staff (family) and know that each and everyone of them is here to make your flying adventures safe and enjoyable.

From the front staff, the flight instructors, and myself I want to thank you for trusting your aviation needs to EFI and assure you that we will strive to make every flight fun, every interaction with our staff enjoyable, and the thrill of flight as affordable and safe as we possibly can.

Blue skies and calm winds from EFI!

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Stephanie, Office Manager

“Steph” is known for her quick wit and sharp thinking and is referred to as “Number One” around EFI leaving our owner David as “Number Two”! Steph has much experience in the flight training environment as the Manager for the school and for a respectable tenure. She can handle any scheduling request with flair despite how confusing or complicated you may feel it is. Chances are, Steph has heard it and handled it before! She also can Proctor your FAA Testing through our CATS authorized testing facility.

Cyndi, Office Assistant

Cyndi has a very approachable demeanor and can pop a good joke off even when you may least expect it. Cyndi has been at EFI working with Steph at EFI through high and low times and her knowledge of the process speaks for itself and is rivaled only by Stephs. Not only can she field inquiries of the Flight Training process as well as any CFI, she is also a CATS testing Proctor. Cyndi can escort you for a tour of the EFI fleet and loves to answer questions about policies and details with the EFI fleet.

Both Steph and Cyndi are the friendly voices that answer when you call for a flight! Make sure you let them know if there is anything we can do to make EFI a better place to fly!





Jeff Goodwin, Chief Flight Instructor: Comm/Inst, CFI, CFII

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For as long as I can remember, flying was always a dream for me. When I was five years old, my father was a flight instructor and began taking me on flights. Since then, I have been immersed in the field of aviation. I worked for Continental Airlines at Lindbergh International Airport in San Diego for 16 years as an Airline Ground Service Manager. I enjoyed my position but wanted to fly more. I decided to become a flight instructor and I resigned from Continental in 1999. I have over 16,000 hours of flight time and have been blessed for the past 15 years in my career as a flight instructor.



Tom GuthrieTom Guthrie, Senior Flight Instructor: ATP, CFI, CFII, MEI, Major Airline Experience (TWA, American), CSIP

Tom is a retired captain from TWA/American Airlines. In addition to his duties as captain, Tom was a check airman/flight instructor and designated examiner for both airlines. Maintaining his CFII over the years, Tom rejoined his roots and resumed full time flight instructing in light aircraft. Tom holds an ATP, a CFI, CFII, MEI and Flight Examiner Turbojet ratings and license. Total flight time at nearly 20,000 hours, Tom has several hundred hours instructing in Cirrus aircraft and holds the coveted CSIP designation. Tom is married to his wife Penny  and has five grown children.



David Gandolfi, Flight Instructor: CFI, CFII, MEI, A&P Mechanic

Davids broad experience in aviation ranges from turning wrenches as an A&P mechanic all the way to flying as a Captain in a Navajo for a charter freight operator. He has a strong desire to continue as a career Flight Instructor in southern California and enjoys sharing his passion for aviation with the clients he works with at EFI. Dave has continued teaching for over 17 years as a CFI, even while he was a banner tow and traffic watch pilot.

His experience in the southern California area and his calm, practical approach to flying make Dave an all around good guy to have in the cockpit.




Terry BolinTerry Bolin, Flight Instructor: CFI, CFII, MEI









IMG_0580 (2015_03_21 18_39_25 UTC) (3)Adam Stoughton, Curriculum Manager and Part-Time Flight Instructor: CFI, CFII, ATP

Adam has been an active and passionate Flight Instructor for more than 18 years. As a Professional Pilot he has held multiple roles within the Flight Operations Management and Flight Operations Training Departments for his employers. His experience includes flying multi-engine turboprop aircraft all over the US and Pacific Islands. In addition, he has multiple Business Jet Type Ratings including the Challenger 350 which he flies for a large Fractional Ownership and Charter company. Included in his flight training experience are roles which Adam developed, designed, and implemented large scale training curriculum for both initial and recurrent business jet training programs using multi million dollar simulators.

He has trained numerous individuals from Student Pilots with no experience all the way to very experienced Professional Jet Instructors. He also spent a little time in Japan teaching children English and considers that experience one of his defining moments. With a M.S. in Instructional Design and Performance Technology, Adam is sure to identify the best approach for your individualized needs in Flight Training!


Brent Blackmore, Flight Instructor: CFI


Brent is our newest CFI and he provides a palpable excitement to his flight training. His passion for Aviation runs deep as he has completed an Undergraduate Degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Aeronautics Technology. In addition, Brent brings extensive knowledge of aviation weather to any flight or lecture as his Minor is in Meteorology. Brent has traveled extensively outside aviation and also pursues culinary skills to contribute to his varied background. Brent hopes to provide the highest caliber flight instruction to EFI clients.






Alex Landeros, Flight Instructor: CFI

Alex is a Flight Instructor with over 24 years of teaching experience. His pursuits include both fixed wing as well as rotor wing as he is a commercial rated helicopter pilot. Recently Alex retired as an LA City Firefighter proving through experience he can model effective multi-tasking under stressful situations. Alex’s friendly demeanor and interesting experiences provide an enlightening training experience for EFI’s clients.



Mike Ramaha, Part-Time Flight Instructor: CFI, CFII



Shannon Austin, Part-Time Senior Flight Instructor: CFI, CFII



DSC_1418Tom Jernejcic, Part-Time Senior Flight Instructor: Gold Seal CFI/CFII, MEI, ATP

Tommy has been instructing at French Valley Airport since 2007. A native of SoCal, his desire to fly became a passion after his first solo flight in a glider as a cadet in the US Air Force Academy. His background includes flying FedEx freight in single pilot Cessna C-208B Grand Caravans, both as a line pilot and as a training captain. He was also part of the original pilot group of the California-based airline, Surf Air. He is currently the chief pilot of a Part 91 flight department based in Phoenix, where he enjoys surfing the skies in his dream plane, the Pilatus PC-12. Tommy is passionate about aviation’s past history as well as its future, which is why when he’s not flying the Pilatus he’s back at EFI either flying with students or showing visitors around the flight school. While he loves technical flying, Tommy’s laid-back surfer style provides a relaxed learning environment where both novice and experiences pilots can reach their full potential. He is readily available on request for demonstration flights, flight reviews or any other excuse to fly!