Guaranteed Flight Training
(by appointment only please)

Watch our intro flight video HERE!

Click here for more videos!

"I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things ..."
Antoine de Saint-Exupery.



I recently got my private pilot certificate after training with Mike. Right from the intro flight, Mike made the process fun and straightforward. So much fun, in fact, that I started my instrument training the day after the private pilot checkride.

Here are a few of the things I liked most about training with Mike.

  • He'll figure out how you learn, and then he'll teach you that way. That means you'll get plenty of challenges, but also plenty of encouragement -- because you'll meet those challenges.
  • Every lesson will teach you something new (including Alaskan bush pilot tricks); you won't keep repeating things you already know how to do. Even if you ask for a review, you'll get a review with a twist.
  • Your training will go far beyond what the FAA requires. When the FAA says you need three hours of flying by instruments, you'll get three hours of instrument approaches talking to air traffic control in the San Diego class B airspace; when the FAA says you need to simulate soft field landing technique on a nice, wide asphalt runway, you'll get some landings in the desert.
  • Above all else, he will teach you to be a safe pilot, so when you get the chance to do something stupid, you'll do the smart thing instead.
  • Plus you'll hear hilarious anecdotes from those thousands of hours of flying.

When you think about it, it's amazing that someone with Mike's experience is willing to teach complete novices. You should not pass up this rare opportunity to learn from the best.

Johannes Muelmenstaedt
La Jolla


Picking a flight instructor, especially in San Diego, is no simple task. There are a lot of folks who call themselves instructors and have somehow earned that license from the FAA, but quite honestly shouldn't even be flying alone. When I searched for my instructor, I wanted somebody who had more hours in the plane than anyone else, who taught other instructors, and who had a deep knowledge of flying at every level. When I found Mike, I knew he was the guy, and my assessment's been proven correct over and over again. As a newly-certified private pilot, I know I've been well prepared through his expert instruction. He stresses safety and the intelligent application of all the book knowledge that one has to master. That means you aren't just 'getting by' to your checkride. Mike ensures that every dollar and hour spent on this process is a valuable one, and that you complete your training as a smart, aware and safe pilot. I'm already looking forward to beginning my instrument training with him, and am grateful for the investment he's made in me.

Kris L.
Pacific Beach

"I completed my instrument rating, commercial single, and flight instructor, all with Mike. All tests were finished perfectly the first time without any problems. But more importantly I learned about real world flying. The knowledge and experience Mike provides to flight training is better than any other school has to offer. If you want to become a great pilot, this is the instructor for you!!!"

Ronnie G

"After looking at numerous schools and going on several flights with multiple instructors, i finally found Mike Upton. He not only was the most knowledgeable but he gave me the confidence on my first flight to let me know that I could handle the pressures of flying. He did this by pushing the limits and letting me take control on our very first flight. Mike is also a straight up guy who will tell you how it is, which made flying not only fun but entertaining. I will never forget the experience of getting my private pilot certificate."

Ryan Childs

I met Michael the day after receiving my private pilot's certificate. I was on my way to starting my Instrument Rating at one of those high price “structured schools” when I learned that for the same amount of money I could get my rating with Guaranteed Flight Training and for the same money- or less- get almost 3 times the actual flying experience. That sold me on the program. Little did I know when I started that price and more flight time were not even the best benefits of flying with Mike. Mike prepared me very thoroughly not only for my check-ride, but for the demands of flying safely in the professional world or Instrument Flying. We flew in some nasty weather during my training. With his training, I was fully prepared to pass both the oral and practical test with the minimum 40 hours of instrument time. Mike’s training pushed the limits of conceivable failures and taught me how to get on the ground safely no matter what the airplane threw at me. Recently, on a Night/IMC flight with 4 people to Vegas I lost my HSI in the clouds and with my training was able to control the airplane safely and get to better conditions without jeopardizing the safety of my passengers or myself. I would recommend that anyone thinking of getting into the cockpit for the first time or taking the next step in aviation to give Mike a call. You wont be disappointed.

Brandon M
San Diego, Ca

When I started training with Mike, I had a Commercial single engine land Certificate and had gone through three instructors trying to get my multi engine add-on. What a difference to fly with a real , experienced professional pilot ! He quickly corrected my “bad habits” and taught me excellent operating procedures. As I trained with him, I began to realize how much time and money I wasted with the other instructors. He put me through the wringer in the twin by creating very realistic failure scenarios and taught me to focus on the important aspects of flying a multi engine aircraft and how to deal with failures in a timely procedure oriented manner. I am a much better pilot since flying with him. If you are looking to improve your piloting skills ( the guy is a real artist at flying ) and have the opportunity to fly with him I highly recommend you do so.

Richard T
Ramona, Ca

I did extensive research when choosing a flight instructor. I could not have made a better decision. Mike is the finest when it comes to his experience, knowledge and instruction techniques. He will push you to surpass even your own expectations. Through my training with Mike I have achieved both my private and instrument rating. Mike prepared me for every flight dedicating each lesson to me obtaining a new skill in the airplane. He did not simply take me up to fly for a couple of hours and give me a local tour. I learned something every time we trained together. He kept my training focused and on pace. He knew everything about anything. I was unable to stump him with any question or scenario. If someone told me he wrote the FAR/AIM, I would believe it. If you are looking to achieve a private pilot’s license or are interested in additional ratings I encourage you to contact Mike Upton from Guaranteed Flight Training. You will be glad you did. Since I began flying I have talked to many students who have horrible stories about their student pilot experiences. If you ask ANY of Mikes students you will hear the same story. HE IS THE VERY BEST!

Brandon Parker
Bishop, CA

I did a lot of checking before I started on my instrument rating and I am glad I did !
I discovered that I could get my IFR rating from Mike for less money than the 141 school I went to previously and end up with a very experienced instructor and a better aircraft. Mike and I did a lot of “actual instrument” flying and I can easily say that his instruction was top notch. I believe I learned more from Mike due to his extensive experience , and straightforward nature than I ever would have from my previous experiences with low time Flight Instructors. I passed my IFR check ride with ease and I regularly fly in IMC conditions. If you are looking for a highly experienced instructor who is not afraid to get up in the “soup” and teach you to fly down to the minimums, Mike is your man.

Chris H
San Diego, Ca

I obtained my Private and Instrument Certification and Ratings from Mike. He is a very knowledgeable Pilot and Instructor. He pushes you to exceed at flying and encourages you to build your solo skills. I learned quite a bit from his experience and approach to flight training. Both my Private and Instrument check rides were passed with ease ( I logged 1.6 hours of actual time on my IFR check ride) and I ended up buying a C-210 afterwards, which I fully enjoy flying VFR or IFR. I highly recommend Mike to anyone who is looking for a “pilots pilot” with an “old school” approach to flying.

Doug R
San Diego, Ca

I went to Emery Riddle and obtained my degree and Private Pilot Single and Multi IFR ratings from them. I heard about Mike and his training and decided to get my Multi Commercial with him. Training with Mike is like working out with a professional athlete. The training was very real and intense to say the least. I think he gave me every possible failure scenario and pushed me to be a skilled and knowledgeable professional. I applied for an airline job and after my simulator check, I was moved to the airbus 340 instead of the ATR (which 90% of the other low time pilots get.) I am sure that it was Mike’s intense training , very realistic approach and insistence that I utilize my full potential that got me the First officer job in the Airbus 340 with less than 300 hours total time.

Kavush S
Phoenix AZ

The best thing about training with Mike is that he is a seemingly bottomless well of aviation knowledge.  As much as you could ever learn about flying, you can learn from him -- and he will teach you the intricate theoretical stuff right alongside the immensely practical stuff.  I had great fun, and after training with such a demanding instructor, the check ride was easy.  More than that, I feel that I have been given a look into the vast world of flight that will inspire me to continue learning for the rest of my piloting days.  This was only possible with someone as experienced as Mike.

John R
La Jolla, Ca

I have flown with many instructors, but Mike is probably the most real of them all. I did my Multi-Commercial add-on with him to my Commercial Rotor wing Certificate. We had a lot of fun in the Seneca but he really made me know the aircraft , systems , procedures and how to: “fly it like you stole it.” He had me doing night landings at L-18 (2100’ long airstrip) and I could always count on him for telling me what I needed to hear to make me a better pilot. I now fly a big multi engine turbo prop for a cargo company in Hawaii at night IFR into small airstrips. If you are a good pilot he will make you a great pilot.

Eugene R



Copyright Guaranteed Flight Training

Watch our flight video HERE!