Instructors‎ > ‎

Zittin, Dave

Instructor Name: Zittin, Dave

NOTE: Not all instructors have published contact info, feel free to CONTACT THE FRONT DESK if you need to contact an instructor directly, or are not yet a member and unable to access the instructor directory to contact an instructor.

General Information
 Base Airport   PAO
 Teaches At   PAO, SQL
 Accepts New Students   Yes
 Payment Types Accepted   PayPal
  (408) 515-7104
 Hourly Rate   $65-70 (block rates available)
 Ratings Held   See Below
 AC Instructs In   See Below

 About the Instructor

Ratings Held:

AC Instructs In:
BE76, C-152, C-172, C-172RG, C-172SG1, C-172SP, C-172XP, C-182, C-182T, C-182T-G1, C-T182RG, C-T206, DA42, M20J, PA28-161, PA28-181, PA28-236, PA28-5DB (Archer III), SIMULATOR(All including G1000), SR20, SR22, T-SR22-Avidyne, T-SR22-G1000 (Perspective)

Why are you a Certified Flight Instructor?

I used be employed in the software industry. I changed careers and became a CFI because I love to fly, navigate, meet people with similar interest and I love to teach. There's nothing more fulfilling than helping and watching someone learn a new skill, especially flying because it's fun, challenging and a rewarding experience. I am a full time flight instructor, no plans to go to the airlines. 

How long have you been instructing?
I am in my
12th year of instruction. 

Do you tend to favor PAO or SQL, and how might it affect a student's ability to schedule time?
I have a slight PAO bias only because I live closer, but do not mind going between airports providing I can get a 30 minute gap between appointments.

How would you describe your availability in general?
From 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Wednesday, Thursday Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I am available to fly on Mondays, but I will often block myself off so it takes an email or phone call if you want to fly that day. I take Tuesday off. During the long days of summer I will work into the evenings to accommodate those who have 9-5 work schedules.

What method of ground school do you prefer and how does it relate to your syllabus?
I lay out the options with my students. I have online course study recommendations for independent learners and I will recommend a classroom experience to those who like this type of learning environment. My students usually score 90% or better on the written test.

What is your favorite aircraft to instruct in?
I enjoy teaching in any aircraft, but have a slight preference for newer or more technically advanced cockpits. The Cessna 172S, Archer III and the Cirrus aircraft are my favorites. I still have a lot of fun in Cessna 152s and Piper Warriors though! In addition to instructing in most of the club's single-engine aircraft, I instruct in the Diamond TwinStar and the Duchess.

What are your aircraft recommendations for a new student?
It depends on what you plan to do with your flight certificate. If it's just for local flying fun on sunny days, start in a C152, a c172N or a C172S if you want to fly a high wing or if you like the idea of a low wing aircraft then a Warrior or an Archer are good choices. The transition from a high to a low wing aircraft (or the other way around) is easy to do after you obtain your certificate. If you want to fly commercially and obtain an instrument rating, it's best to talk to your instructor very early in your lessons to decide on the aircraft in which you will obtain your private certificate.

What percentage of your students pass their checkride on the first try?
85% overall, 100% for the instrument rating.

Additional Comments:
I have started a blog of random notes on flying. Please visit

"My formal training is in the biological sciences, but I ended up in the computer industry. Now I am a full-time flight instructor I have always enjoyed helping others to learn and I enjoy learning. Working with my students keeps me on my toes by requiring me to constantly think of different ways to present the art and science of aviation to my students.

Early on I had a goal to do trans-ocean navigation and managed to work as a navigator on various sail boat ferry trips. As it turns out I discovered one can do the same in airplanes, but it happens a lot faster.

I most enjoy flying airplanes with cutting edge cockpits including New Piper and Cirrus products. I very much appreciate avionic equipment that reduces pilot work load. I specialize in understanding, using and teaching others about KLN, Garmin (including the G1000), S-Tec and Avidyne products commonly found in modern single engine aircraft."