I've been to a lot of different flying clubs over the years.  It wasn't until I started with Compass West Aviation though that things really started to change for me.  Their flight training program has been designed around professional flying by their President, Russ Ballman, who has flown everything from Beavers to Boeings.  Training is geared to Professional IFR flying in higher performance aircraft.  Their instructors are hand picked and trained by Mr. Ballman.  When I first started, I had to have all of my bad habits broken, passed on to me by low time flight instructors having never flown any real world missions.  I was shocked at the difference.  Rather than take a quick cross country to Campbell River, I chose to fly from Victoria to Toronto shooting approaches at every airport in between.
The training paid off.  I was given a flight test by my now Chief Pilot in one of Compass West Aviation's Barons.  After that it was off to Flight Safety.  The training I received at Flight Safety was remarkably similar to the training I had become accustomed to at Compass West.   I am now flying as First Officer on a Hawker 800, straight out of the Baron, on North American and transoceanic flights.
Thank you Compass West Aviation for providing me with the training to make this possible.

Ken Wiseman
Pilot, Hawker 800


I came to Compass West looking for a Group 1 Instrument Rating, but what I got was a lot more.  Russ Ballman and his crew provided me with a comprehensive, thorough training program that was geared toward my future career in aviation.  Compass West as an advanced flight training unit goes deeper than a standard Multi-IFR course and teaches what cannot be taught in the classroom or from a textbook.  The nuances and beauty, but also the challenging reality of IFR flying is shaped and integrated into all aspects of the training, starting from when you first walk in the door, to when you climb out of the captain's seat of the Beechcraft Baron.  State of the art aircraft and avionics, GPS and Red-Bird Flight Simulator technology combine with the life-long experience and knowledge of an Air Canada 767 pilot to produce one of the best, most advanced training programs in Canada.  What I have learned at Compass West transcends every level of aviation and will continuously apply as I advance in this challenging, but fascinating industry.

Graham Weber