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Flight Instruction

Christopher Freeze is a Flight Instructor (CFI), certificated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and providing flying lessons in Northern Virginia, Maryland, and the Washington DC area.  Holding the FAA's highest certification rating for pilots, Airline Transport Pilot, he is also an FAA-certified Advanced & Instrument Ground Instructor (AGI/IGI), an FAA-certified Maintenance Repairman for Light-Sport Aircraft (LSRM), and one of the few persons in the United States authorized to conduct safety seminar training under the FAA's "WINGS - Pilot Proficiency Program" as a commercial training provider.


His home airport, located in Leesburg, Virginia, (JYO) is an outstanding location for flight training, due to the easy access to two nearby practice areas, several uncontrolled, as well as towered/controlled airports within a short distance, and the opportunity to fly and work in the busy "Class Bravo" airspace of the Washington DC Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA).


Christopher offers flying lessons for Private Pilot (PPL), Commercial Pilot (CPL), and Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificates, those seeking to become Flight Instructors, as well as for those looking to add on, maintain, or renew their Instrument (IFR) on Multi-engine (AMEL) ratings.  Teaching on a part-time basis at Aero Elite Flight Training at JYO, Chris has a flexible schedule that can suit your needs as a student pilot.  He is also an experienced ferry pilot, and qualified to provide training for high performance, complex, pressurized, and multi-engine aircraft.


Called "the Jack London of Aviation," Christopher Freeze has taught at an aerospace education charter high school in Oakland, California, constructed payloads for NASA high-altitude balloons in Texas, and conducted microgravity research in Ohio. He had paid homage to the Wright Brothers through a pilgrimage to Dayton and Kill Devil Hill / Kitty Hawk, flown many of the unique airspaces of the United States, including the Los Angeles basin (even landing upon and taking off from the storied "One-Six-Right" of Van Nuys Airport (VNY)), the NASA Shuttle Landing Facility (TTS) at Cape Canaveral, Florida, the Hudson River corridor of New York City, and operated at all three of the general aviation airports (CGS, W32, and VKX) located in the Washington DC "Flight Restricted Zone".  He has trained at the American Airlines Training Academy (DFW), and JetBlue University (MCO), worked as a contract research simulator "pseudo-pilot" for NASA (NUQ), taken part in advanced air accident investigation at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, N.D. (GFK), as well as trained in crisis communications and aviation accident investigation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and was a vital member of the AOPA Air Safety Institute's eFIRC revision team in 2013.


He has also trained with law enforcement, including the TSA's Crew Member Self Defense Program, the FBI Citizen Academy (including firearms training at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va.), American Red Cross, Fairfax County's Community Emergency Response Team, and the town of Herndon, Va., Police - and volunteers his time to support various law enforcement, emergency response, and aviation security trainings.


In 2013, Christopher earned his Airline Transport Pilot (ATP-ASEL) certificate - the highest level of certification attainable from the FAA.  In September of that year, he was selected, as part of a nationwide poll, as one of the top 12 flight training professionals, as a finalist in the annual AOPA Flight Training Excellence Awards. He was the only individual CFI chosen west of the Rocky Mountains and was again honored in the same poll in 2016, 2018, 2019, 2021-2022, and 2023. The following year, 2014, he competed in the 50th annual Hayward Air Rally, flying by traditional navigation means from California to Wisconsin, arriving at Oshkosh for the world's largest air gathering, EAA Airventure. In 2017, he gave a presentation at Airventure on the topic of how virtually any pilot can set world speed records in aviation.


In 2020, he set the Guinness World Record for the longest 'wheelie' done in an airplane (Cessna 172) at the Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville, California. The feat garnered media attention from USA Today, Popular Mechanics, AOPA, and local news. That same year, he was also selected as the lead-off pilot, assigned the first leg flying from Republic Airport on New York's Long Island to Bellafonte, Penn., of an aerial recreation of the first transcontinental airmail relay across the United States. He carried actual U.S. Postal Service-postmarked mail in honor of the airmail pilots who pioneered early airways, and earned additional media coverage via Popular Mechanics, AOPA, American Philatelic Society, and more.


He has also earned his seaplane rating, describing it as "aside from flying with my clients, the most fun I've had in a plane" and was among the first pilots in the United States to earn an FAA "Remote Pilot - Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems" certificate - as his application was submitted within the first hour of the certificate's national availability! He has received numerous federal, state, and local civic commendations, including being chosen as a Kentucky Colonel, Alabama Colonel, Texas Admiral, Nebraska Admiral, Arkansas Traveler, and Honorary Tennessean. Christopher Freeze also received the President's Volunteer Service Award for a lifetime of service.

An avid writer, Christopher Freeze has written articles for many aviation publications, including "Air & Space", "AOPA Pilot", "AOPA Flight Training", "General Aviation News", "EAA Sport Aviation", and "Air Line Pilot", as well as co-authored two books on his hobby, aviation archaeology. In 2022, he received the the Michael A. Dormheim Award from the National Press Club for his article series in "Air Line Pilot" on the Air Line Pilot Association's 90-year-long efforts to improve aviation safety and security.


Having served his nation as an active-duty veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Christopher Freeze continues to assist others as a Captain in the Civil Air Patrol, having certified as an Incident Commander, Air Operations Branch Director, Planning Section Chief, Public Information Officer, Search & Rescue / Disaster Relief Mission Pilot, Mission Observer, Ground Branch Director, sUAS Check Airmen, and many other positions. In his first year with CAP, the U.S. Air Force's Auxiliary, he was selected to serve as a Public Affairs Officer for the National Blue Beret - a CAP National Cadet Special Activities (NCSA) in support of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2021, where he earned the highly-sought blue beret and St Alban's crest, and again in 2022. As of 2023, he has participated in eleven federally-declared disasters.


He is a life member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI), Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE), National Aeronautic Association (NAA), Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA)American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), American Geophysical Union (AGU), Civil Aviation Medical Association (CAMA), California Pilots Association (CalPilots), Seaplane Pilots Association, Commemorative Air Force (CAF), Air Force Association (AFA), National Eagle Scout Association (NESA), the First Flight Society, and Mensa, as well as a full member of the International Society of Air Safety Investigators, an Upper Freeman of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots, and an annual member of the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS), American Meteorological Society (AMS), Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS), the Explorers Club of New York, and the National Press Club. He also holds a world speed record in aviation, which he set in 2009, and has been elected an Associate Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation (RIN). He is entitled to the post-nominal letters of AFRIN and MRAeS under the rules of civility in the United Kingdom.


In 2016, Christopher relocated to the Washington D.C. area for a unique career opportunity with the Air Line Pilots Association, which he left in the summer of 2022 for a unique position with the federal government, working to improve aviation safety for all. He brings with him the vast experiences carried in his 3,000+ hours of flight instruction. As of 2023, he has flown to more than 200 different airports in 32 states and frequently shares his flights to new and exciting places via his YouTube channel - which received a YouTube Silver Play Button Award in 2018. And he would love to open the door to your flying career, whether for personal or professional purposes, today!


To contact Christopher, click here to e-mail him - and we can see about taking your first, introductory flight together.



Contact Christopher

Christopher L. Freeze
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