Build a friendly and engaging community for aviators interested in unique flight experiences.

West Coast Aerosport is a local flight school in Hawthorne, California, serving pilots passionate about flying tailwheel, classic and aerobatic aircraft.

We currently own and operate a Stearman, a Super Decathlon and a Cessna 170; offering primary flight training, a basic aerobatics course and solo aircraft rental.


Super Decathlon - West Coast Aerosport

The Stearman is the ultimate classic warbird – designed as a primary trainer in World War II, it’s easy to fly but challenging to master. Over 10,000 were build and around 1,000 remain today.

Power plant: 220 HP Continental

Aerobatic classic warbird trainer

Experience the thrill of open cockpit flying

Rental Rate:

$320/hr with fuel

$90/hr for instructor

Super D

Super Decathlon - West Coast Aerosport

The American Champion Super Decathlon is a versatile aircraft – docile to handle on the ground and on landing, but able to hold its own in aerobatic competition or cross country flying.

Power plant: 180 HP Lycoming

Inverted fuel and oil system

Rated for +6/-5 g’s in
aerobatic category

Rental Rate:

$180/hr with fuel

$80/hr for instructor

Cessna 170

Super Decathlon - West Coast Aerosport

The Cessna 170 is the original bush classic – designed as the family car of the air, its 4 seats and excellent short field performance quickly made it one of the most popular planes for the back country.

Power plant: 145 HP Continental

800 lb useful load

Excellent short takeoff and landing performance

Rental Rate:

$180/hr with fuel

$80/hr for instructor


Marissa Guilford


Marissa has over 18 years as a CFII/MEI. Captivated with the romance of flight, her belief is that flying is an art and pilots are the poets destined to write their own story. When not flying barefoot in a tailwheel, she’s adventuring with her three kids, flying trapeze, hiking, traveling and rebuilding her VW Thing.

Kurt Bohlken


Kurt fell in love with the Grumman Goose and flying at the ripe old age of 8. He has been flying since he was 16 and flew F-14 Tomcats and F/A-18 Super Hornets in the Navy, the Cessna Caravan and Beaver on floats in Alaska, and the Pilatus PC-12 for a commuter operation in Northern California. Kurt is currently building his own Grumman Goose and loves sharing his passion for flying.

Dan Alix


Dan “Flash” Alix is a current Air Force reserve experimental test pilot with over 2,000 flight hours in high performance military aircraft (primarily F-16 and F-35). He is a flight reliability engineer at SpaceX. and enjoys flying his Long Ez.

Brett Zefling


Brett brings a wide variety of instructional experience. His first flight was in a tailwheel airplane and he’s never looked back. Brett is a father, a former rock and ice climbing instructor, and a corporate pilot. He’s almost done building an RV-8.


John Malsbury

President, Chief Instructor

John is an CFI/CFI-I with experience in a variety of aircraft. He holds a single-pilot rating for the SA-227 Metroliner, and has provided several hundred hours of instruction in the SuperD. John works on communication and navigation systems at SpaceX.

Jay Aranha

VP of Operations

Jay knows that real aircraft have the big wheels in the front. He currently has 300+ hours in tailwheel aircraft, is a Mission Director at SpaceX, and spends most of his time working to make life multi-planetary. He’s also an experienced auto racing driver/coach and an amateur parent.

Francois Moller

VP of Finance

Francois is an experienced finance executive having served business across a broad spectrum of industries. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, flying and being active outdoors doing things like kite surfing and snowboarding.

Mike Heiman

Secretary, Instructor

Mike “Solo” Heiman is a former Air Force test pilot with over 2,000 flight hours in high performance military aircraft. He’s a crew operations engineer at SpaceX, enjoys flying and maintaining his RV-7, helping students master the art of wheel landings, snowboarding, and being a new dad.


12101 Crenshaw Blvd # 1, Hawthorne, CA 90250


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