SKY KING SOARING ™
from Stephen Ryan,
Hi Russ. Just to say that at last I have a share of the little Grob 109B! I'm fully licenced and checked out! I actually did a little soaring today, not quite Arizona lift, but enough to have fun. As promised, I've included a photo, resplendent in my Sky King Soaring shirt!! I trust that all is well with you, best regards, Terry.
letter from FAA examiner Terry Brandt:
To Whom It May Concern:
I have been aware of Russell Hustead and his Sky King Soaring operation since before the summer of 1990. I have known Russ since qualifying with him to fly self launched gliders in March, 2001. I have examined students he has trained for initial glider ratings and for additional aircraft ratings in gliders.
He has a national and international reputation drawing students and others interested in gliders and Arizona from other countries and throughout the United States.
His training standards and demeanor are worthy of emulation. His base of operations in Payson is an additional factor in many peoples choice to train or fly with him.
He is known for his emphasis on safety, knowledge of Arizona and the Payson region. His students are completely prepared for solo flights and for practical tests for glider ratings.
Russ and Sky King Soaring are assets that any community and airport would want to have represent them.
Master Certified Flight Instructor 623-877-2365
June 11, 2008
To Whom It May Concern:
I am a certificated airplane pilot, visiting Payson, Arizona for the specific purpose of taking motorglider flight instruction from Russ Hustead, owner of Sky King Soaring, L.L.C. My wife and I drove to Payson from our home near San Francisco, California to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and so that I could benefit by improving my flying skills by working with Russ, a highly regarded Certified Glider Flight Instructor, whose reputation reaches far beyond Payson.
My wife and I have very much enjoyed the hospitality we’ve encountered in Payson. We are staying at a local motel, have eaten in local restaurants, shopped in Payson grocery stores and have even had our car tire repaired at a local tire shop after a nail puncture.
I am particularly happy with the flight instruction I am receiving from Russ Hustead. I was perfectly willing for Russ to take my wife, a non-pilot, on an introductory flight, too, which she enjoyed immensely. I am well qualified to judge flight instructors and flying businesses, having been a long time FAA Certified Flight Instructor as well as an Airline Transport rated pilot. It has struck me that Sky King Soaring is a valuable asset to the Payson community, as it draws visitors from many areas, who undoubtedly contribute to Payson’s economy in their own ways.
Today I witnessed an event which could have negatively affected Payson’s economy, were it not for Russ Hustead’s timely intervention. While Russ and I were waiting to take off from the Payson Airport in his motorglider another airplane was on final approach to the runway. As the airplane neared we both noticed that its landing gear was not extended. As it became clear that the airplane’s pilot was about to land gear-up (it was very close to the ground by this time), Russ immediately transmitted a warning to the other pilot on the airport radio frequency. The airplane pilot added power and flew another landing pattern, meanwhile thanking Russ for the “gear save”. Had the airplane landed gear-up, it would have resulted in an expensive accident and an airport closure by the FAA for at least several hours. This would have had a negative economic impact on the Payson Airport, as no other aircraft could have landed or taken off for several hours. Not only that, I would have had to cancel my motorglider flight lesson. Thank you, Russ!
My wife and I intend to return to Payson. We hope that we’ll be able to enjoy Sky King Soaring’s and Russ Hustead’s services again.
James W. McClendon III
January 2008 - Grand Canyon Area Flight - Kyle's 40th Birthday
A letter from Jens, a former (German) student, who made his Glider PPL with Russ:
you very much for your warm welcome. I felt
very comfortable staying
with you and enjoyed flying and gliding
every day in beautiful
to you Russ, my dream of flying came true
last year. This year I could
enjoy a very pleasant trip from Payson to
After I have told my wife about flying with you she can’t wait to do some soaring and flight training in your motorglider with you. We are already planning to come back next year!
Hope to bee soon in Payson again!
A letter from Lora Korman - her husband had a motorglider ride with Russ:
Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2007 6:46 AM
To: Russell Hustead
Subject: Thank you so much!
Russ and Cynthia,
I wanted to write and thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving Will the experience of a lifetime this past Sunday. I knew that he would have a wonderful time soaring with you, Russ, and just as I had suspected, it was the highlight of the trip for him. He hasn't stopped talking about it!!!
You are both such wonderful people and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you both. I hope that the next time we see you, you'll allow us to take you to lunch or dinner.
Please let us know if there is anything that we can do to help market your business. We are telling everyone we know about SkyKing and I will be writing a review on the TripAdvisor site (unless you prefer that I not do so.) I'm sure that Will told you, but feel free to add us to your list of references should potential clients request one.
a wonderful day.
Reservations: (602) 622-2257
Russ Hustead, CFIG, Owner