Desert Aero Club

Experience “Old School” aviation with Desert Aero Club
Specializing in classic aircraft rental & instruction


Learn more

In this era of glass cockpits, satellite weather and tablet computers, we offer pilots and aviation enthusiasts the opportunity to experience the flying of yesteryear. We take you back to when “seat of the pants” flying was the norm and maneuvering your aircraft through the sky was more of a visceral experience and less of an exercise in data management.

We feature flight instruction with experienced, professional instructors that have a passion for imparting aviation knowledge and skill. They love what they do, and believe that sound stick and rudder skills are an important part of being a safe and confident pilot.

In addition to the feelings of accomplishment and just plain fun that we experience flying classic aircraft, we also strive to re-create the sense of camaraderie and community shared by aviators of the past. Whether it’s getting together for an educational event, barbecue, or just a cup of coffee to swap stories, Desert Aero Club is a place where you will find many others who share a common love of aviation.

About Us

Andy Estes in front of plane

Andy Estes is a Certified Flight Instructor specializing in tailwheel training for pilots and CFIs. He is the owner of Desert Rat Aviation, and is an expert on restoring classic and antique aircraft. During his career Andy has developed both a passion and talent for sharing his love of classic aviation with others. His love of vintage aircraft and the type of flying that was common during the "Golden Age" of aviation led him to imagine a new "old style" flying club. One where there would be a focus on flying just for the fun of it and sharing in the experience of old fashioned "stick and rudder" piloting. A grassroots club where aviation was more affordable and accessable to everyone. Andy also wanted to recreate the sense of community and comaraderie where anyone with a love of aircraft and aviation could come together to share their experiences and expertise.


Aircraft Rental

Choose from several classic aircraft offering either sticks or yokes and tandem or side-by-side seating.

Tailwheel Instruction
Our specialty!

Our proven curriculm will give you the confidence and skills to comfortably handle a conventional gear aircraft.

Primary (Private Pilot) Instruction

Available in either conventional or tricycle gear aircraft.

Flight Reviews

Conducted with a stick & rudder focus.

Light Sport Instruction

We use classic LSA qualified aircraft.

Introductory flights

Experience taking the controls on your first lesson! We also offer certificates to make it easy for you to share the gift of flight.

Drone Training

Learn to safely operate your drone or prepare for the FAA part 107 test.

Aerial Imaging

Aerial imaging shot using either drones or manned aircraft.


Click each plane for more info

Aeronca Champ
Cessna 172
Piper Cherokee 140
Cessna 182M


You can contact us via email at or by phone/text at 907-947-7830.
Desert Aero Club is currently ran by Priscilla Ribic of Alpha Kilo Aviation, and is located on Ak-Chin Regional Airport (A39) in sunny Maricopa, Arizona.
Ak-Chin Regional Airport is located on the Victor 105 Airway approximately 28 miles from the Phoenix Vortac.

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