CFI, CFII, Tailwheel, High Performance


[email protected]


Dhruv Rathi

Like a lot of people in aviation, my obsession with airplanes goes back to early childhood. I used to spend all my allowance savings on radio-controlled planes that I taught myself to fly. This was accompanied by an entirely expected amount of post-flight repair work, where I learned airplanes of all sizes are subject to the same natural laws. I use these early experiences to relate the fundamentals of aircraft control and help my clients develop a positive feel for the airplanes they fly.

My interest in flying and building airplanes took me to graduate school, where I earned a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. After school, I spent several years as a design and flight test engineer working on light aircraft not too unlike those available for flight training.

My background has provided me with an understanding of how airplanes work, and how risk management is at the core of aviation. I find that this allows me to bring to life otherwise heady and technical topics that pilots are expected to know by highlighting the underlying ‘whys’. It’s easier to retain and internalize new knowledge when we can lean on understanding and application of an idea rather than rote memorization for a test.

I got my private pilot certificate in 2013 in the High Desert of Southern California. After becoming a private pilot, I quickly discovered that I loved introducing people to aviation. I became an instructor a few years later because I felt dissatisfied taking people just for a ride. I like to show and teach people that this is something they can learn and do themselves. I have logged time in nearly 40 (and counting) types of airplanes and own a Bellanca Super Viking with my wife. I find that every new type has taught me something new, and learning to master new types allows me to better relate to my clients. To me, flying an airplane safely and consistently still seems like a special type of super-power – one that can be learned!

I have been instructing at Advantage since 2018. Whether you are looking to learn how to fly an airplane for the first time, or want to become a better stick-and-rudder aviator in a tailwheel airplane, or are seeking advanced training for the instrument or commercial ratings, please reach out. If you have an interest in buying and flying your own aircraft, I can also offer guidance on the aircraft acquisition process, or mentorship during the early stages of airplane ownership, including checkouts for insurance and proficiency.