Former SDSU volleyball player opens flight center in Carlsbad

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CARLSBAD, Calif. — A former San Diego State University volleyball player has taken his aviation dream from concept to reality by opening a state-of-the-art training center in Carlsbad.

“I went up for a flight when I was 13 years old,” Rick Mosteller said. “After that I was hooked. I was doing model airplanes when I was young and then I started taking flying lessons when I was 16. I soloed when I was 17 and I got my license when I was 19.”

Mosteller paid for his flying lessons by teaching sailing lessons at the San Diego Yacht Club while also attending SDSU on a varsity volleyball scholarship, coming in second place his freshman year.

“In 1977 we got second place, ’78 we did real well, then I went off and did aerospace engineering. I knew I wanted to be an engineer rather than a professional volleyball player,” Mosteller said.

Mosteller went to work in the aerospace industry after graduation and just a few weeks ago, fulfilled a lifelong dream by opening his own state-of-the-art cirrus aviation training center at Palomar Aviation in Carlsbad.

“I always wanted to open a training center that focused on taking people that are interested in flying for the first time or move up to more advanced aircraft,” Mosteller said. “We then teach them all the mechanics of flying as well as all the safety systems of the cirrus.”

Safety systems include a parachute for the entire aircraft in the event of an issue in flight. The cirrus training center also provides a full aviation simulator. After 15 hours of training, you can fly solo and at 40 hours, you can get your license.

While sailing, volleyball and aviation may all seem three very different activities, Mosteller says they all complement each other.

“It teaches you many thing in terms of how to operate very complex systems, like a sailboat or an aircraft, also hand-eye coordination, how to navigate, how to maintain control,” he said.

Mosteller hopes to share the joy of flight with many others at his new training center.

“I love flying, I love the feeling of freedom. I like that it’s really a time machine. You can go from point A to point B quickly.”

You can get your license in a cirrus including all the training, equipment, fuel and fees for about $15,000 and a few months of time. Learn more here.

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