If being a career pilot is your goal, this school is not for you. Maintainence is horrific and the management seems to disregard things that are basic for other aviation jobs. If you do all your training here, you'll be in for a shock when you leave.
Lani Lea has undergone a change in management for the worst. The front desk is a revolving door of foreigners who have absolutely no knowledge or experience in aviation. The owner does not speak English and also has an incredibly finite amount of aviation experience. The company puts no priority on maintenance. There is not a single aircraft that does not have at least two to four inop placards. Once during preflight, we found a significant amount of fuel leaking into the cockpit via the primer pump. We grounded the aircraft and then were scolded for doing so. Recently it was found that the mechanic had written the wrong date on the annual and pitot static inspections and for more than two weeks it was being illegally flown.The company absorbs 30-40% of the instructor fee that they charge. Also they charge $50/hr to the students while they solo to have an instructor on standby. The vast majority of the five star reviews are from students who haven't been elsewhere and don't know that this is not normal or acceptable in Aviation, nor do they see behind the scenes what goes on with maintenance, management, etc.The only saving grace is that most of the instructors are genuinely good people who care about their students. If you are a student seeking instruction on the island, try Georges or Pacific Flight Academy. If you are looking for a Sky Tour, expect an over priced tour in a 50 year old rusty Cessna with inoperative equipment. But hey, at least the island is beautiful.
I had a frustrating start in aviation two years ago trying to find a flight school on Oahu. Most of the flight schools wouldn't even put names on waiting lists, but I just kept going back for nine months straight. Thankfully in that dwell time I I found out about Lani Lea. I finished my private pilot's license with their planes (and instructors) last year. Jonah has been excellent to work with this year in helping me toward my instrument certificate. Very courteous people and clean facility. I highly recommend them!
The owner and most of the staff are Japanese and both friendly and honest. Also, the head flight instructor is extremely qualified in addition to being a veteran. Good man. I definitely enjoyed my limited experience here and will be back!
For anyone wanting to learn how to fly or just spend the day in the air, Lani Lea is a great place to go. I started my flight training back in august 2019 and was so lucky and grateful to have been able to learn from my instructor Brett. I currently have my private pilot license and my instrument rating and am currently working on my commercial license. The whole experience at Lani Lea is great and it is such an efficient and safe place to learn how to fly. Although it gets busy trying to schedule planes at times, Lani lea does a very good job at accommodating the students and pilots. Overall, a good experience and great place to get your foot in the aviation door.
I got my PPL from Lani Lea and they were the best in the Island. I was lucky to fly with different instructors and they all were amazing. They were so helpful and planes are well maintained. I had great help with scheduling my checkrides and they were always ready to work with my schedules. Special thanks to Natalie for giving me all the help and guidance to achieve this.
Lani Lea flight school is absolutely amazing! I got my private pilot done with kai who is top notch! All the instructors here are wonderful and you can tell they’re passionate about aviation and helping you succeed. But most importantly their planes are beautiful and always well maintained, which made me feel comfortable knowing that I’m in good hands. I can’t recommend this school enough for anyone who wants to learn to fly!
I am a student at Lani Lea with Ian as my current instructor for my PPL. He is awesome and so is the school. Ian has taken gone above and beyond the duties of a CFI to help me accomplish my goals of becoming a certified pilot. I would highly recommend Ian and Lani Lea as a flight school for anyone looking to start pilot training.
I'm have my private pilot license and wanted to take a trip around Oahu but not pay tourist sightseeing prices. They were very happy to rent me an aircraft and a CFI to help me with the local area rules at a great rate. Had an amazing trip, some of the best flying I have ever done.
Edit: 10/27/2020Lani Lea has recently undergone a change of management. The culture at Lani Lea has shifted greatly over the past year in are not so favorable direction. The instructors are under payed for the work that they do and have ended up letting some of their better instructors go over the past couple months. The aviation community can do and deserves better. On a positive note, I do recall their aircraft being fairly well maintained.I would recommend looking elsewhere for flight training.Original review below:Long and short, I would highly recommend finding a different institution to pursue flight training.Lani Lea Flight School is a fantastic organization and hands down the single best place to learn how to fly. The flight instructors are extremely proficient, professional, and eager to help you achieve your goals. It is especially worth noting that the instructors who are working with Lani Lea are there because aviation is their passion rather than simply building time for the next job. It is also worth noting that the small fleet of aircraft that Lani Lea possesses is by far the best maintained aircraft on the island. All the quality that Lani Lea has to offer comes at a very affordable price that simply cannot be beat.
Best Flight School on the Island!! I got the pleasure of working with Carlos as my instructor who helped me through my private pilots license! His patience and determination of helping me is what got me through it all! Carlos is a very knowledgeable instructor and I’m glad I found Lani Lea as my flight school! Everyone else their is also very lovely and helpful! I also got the pleasure of working with Natalie who is another great instructor there! If you’re a determined and passionate student looking for a welcoming and supportive place to go for not only flight school but for tours this is the RIGHT place!
Best flight school ever!! NATALIE IS SUCH A GREAT INSTRUCTOR! her teaching style is on par with the best in the world. If you are looking for a flight school that is more than just a teacher student atmosphere , and is a family of true aviators, this is your place... And Natalie is your instructor! She will go out of her way to make sure you become the best pilot you can possibly become. The only thing that will limit you is yourself. She worked with me to get my private license in 3 weeks. She worked through Christmas and weekends scaraficing her personal time at my expense. Honestly we are all family here and there is no way I would go to anyother flight school. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to meet these amazing people!!
Great flight school! I came in from out of town to rent a plane for some sight seeing and had no trouble booking and scheduling with Lindsey. I did my check-out with Kai who did a great job familiarizing me with the ins and outs of the busy Honolulu airport. Facilities were very clean and welcoming. Would definitely rent again!!
My daughter attended “kids day” here at Lani Lea airport and had a fantastic time. The staff was amazing and was great at working with the kids. They had tons of games and educational activities. Even supplied food and drinks!! My daughter learned so much, and is so excited to learn more about aviation. This program the school offered to the public was an amazing opportunity for everyone that got to attend (even the parents!!), a great push in a positive direction for many kids!! 5+ stars to Lani Lea and their amazing staff!! My daughter can’t wait to start her flight training here! Couldn’t ask for a better environment for my daughter to grow in, with such supportive, successful people!
I have always had great experiences at Lani Lea. Natalie was my instructor, and she is amazing! She worked with my schedule, it was fun leaning from her, and I wouldn't change anything about the experience I had. She is a great person, and I've learned so much from her. Lindsey is also so nice and always willing to help. I highly recommend Lani Lea.
Lani Lea is an outstanding flight school. My children came to visit and I wanted to do something out of the ordinary for them. After looking around, I called and spoke with Lindsey about flight options. She was extraordinary with her customer service, worked with my last minute schedule, and even suggested an Introduction Flight for my daughter. She absolutely loved it!Natalie was the instructor suggested for the intro flight, and we couldn't have asked for a better one! She was very patient and reassuring with my daughter, and was extremely friendly and knowledgeable throughout the entire experience. Both my daughter and son were all smiles the entire day. It was a truly memorable experience and I highly recommend Lani Lea. I will be going back!
My experience at Lani Lea flight school was amazing! Natalie and Lindsey really made a fun and comfortable environment at the school. Natalie (my instructor) was very fun and professional to fly with! Lindsey was also amazing and helped me with anything I needed. One of the best thing was that the flight schedule was flexible and they were able to adjust for me. The facilities and aircraft were also very nice and well maintained. I have nothing but good things to say about this place, really look forward coming back to Hawaii and flying there again!!
Everything I did over at Lani Lea was major. Great instructors, Kai and Natalie do amazing getting the information you need stuck in your head and fast. If you wanna be a pilot and you’re from Hawaii you know where to go. #majah
Awesome experience! I only had 34 hrs of flight time, and hadn't flown in 4 1/2 years. 9 days later and only 13 hrs with Lani Lea, and I'm now a confident private pilot. Prices are great, plane was well maintained, and the staff went above and beyond to help me though every step. Would highly recommend flying with Kai or Natalie!