About Us

FAA Approved Part 141

Channel Islands Aviation is the only FAA Approved Part 141 Pilot School in the tri-counties. We achieved this prestigious mark in 2009 and are approved for the following courses: Private Pilot, Instrument Rating, Commercial Single Engine, Commercial Multi Engine, Certified Flight Instructor and Advanced Ground Instructor. Being approved Part 141 holds CIA’s flight training, records, instructors and aircraft to a higher standard as they are routinely audited by the FAA. Our transparency with the FAA creates a safer learning environment for our customers and allows lower completion times for ratings. We are authorized for examining authority and can issue Private Pilot Certificates to course graduates. Furthermore, as an FAA Pilot School we can complete and submit Student Pilot Certificate applications under the new rule change that took effect April 1, 2016.

Cessna Pilot Center

We’ve partnered with the industry’s leading aircraft manufacturer, Cessna Aircraft Company as a Cessna Pilot Center (CPC) since 1976. Few CPCs have been partnered with Cessna as long as CIA has. In 2007, we were awarded the prestigious Diamond Award from Cessna for “exceeding company operational standards and for excellence in flight training.” CIA operates an all Textron Aviation fleet of all Cessna and Beechcraft aircraft. We also utilize Cessna’s modern online flight training syllabus for the Private, Instrument and Commercial courses. Sarah Oberman Bartush, Flight School Manager, works closely with Cessna sitting on the board of the CPC Advisory Committee.

CATS Testing Center

CIA is also a Computer Assisted Testing Service or “CATS” Testing Center for all FAA written exams. We are able to test up to three applicants at once in our testing room seven days a week. To register for an exam, please call our partner CATS directly at 800-947-4228.

When you arrive for your test please allow fifteen minutes for check-in prior to commencing the exam. US Citizens will be asked to show their Driver’s License and non-US Citizens will need to show their passport along with another form of photo identification. All applicants will need to have a valid flight instructor endorsement for the exam upon check-in. Valid forms of instructor endorsement are those in the applicant’s logbook or on letterhead from the company where the instructor conducts instruction.
No personal items will be allowed in the testing room. Paper and pencils will be provided.

VA Approved Education Program

At CIA we also offer a VA Approved Education Program for the Instrument and Commercial Single Engine Courses. Veterans will need to contact their local VA office to determine their benefits as coverage amounts vary on a case by case basis. For detailed information we recommend visiting the US Department of Veterans Affairs website.

Flight Team

David Koble,


Chief Flight Instructor - CFI/CFII/MEI

David joined CIA in 2007 as a full time instructor and quickly advanced to the role of Assistant Chief Flight Instructor. After six years in that role he was promoted to Chief Flight Instructor with more than 8,700 total flight hours and 6,700 hours of instruction given. David is a Gold Seal Instructor, an FAA Safety Representative and Cessna Corvalis instructor. Originally from Bakersfield, David left a career in the oil field industry to pursue his passion for aviation and education. In winter 2016 David was appointed as an Authorized Certification Representative (ACR) to conduct checkrides and issue Private Pilot Certificate’s under Part 141.

Del Kienholz,


Flight School Manager - CFI/CFII/ATP

Del was raised in a flying family and has been flying since 1984. As a native of Ventura County, Del first flew with CIA as a Private pilot in 1987. He earned his Flight Instructor Certificate in 1994 and returned to CIA as a flight instructor in 1996. After several years of instructing, Del left for a long career flying cargo for a nationally recognized express company. After retiring from flying cargo, Del returned to his passion of teaching flying. As a Gold Seal Instructor with over 10,000 hours of flight time and 3,000 as an instructor, Del specializes in the mentoring of his clients. He has experience in a multitude of aircraft with extensive actual weather and night experience in the Cessna C208B Caravan aircraft conducting FAR Part 135 operations. Del returned to CIA in early 2015 as the Assistant Chief Flight Instructor and was promoted to Flight School Manager in 2016. Del holds an AS Degree in Administration of Justice and currently resides in Bakersfield with his wife Phyllis and their two daughters.

Arthur Pinneo,


Assistant Chief Flight Instructor - CFI/CFII/MEI/ATP

Art’s passion for aviation began in high school when he started his flight training at the age of 16 when he was a Cadet Lieutenant Colonel in the Civil Air Patrol. In the early 1990s Art received his Flight Instructor Certificate and began teaching in Palms Springs. Later in his career Art flew Grand Canyon Tours for a Part 135 operator and gained experience in Part 121 operations flying a Jetstream 31 and Embraer 145 for a regional airline. With nearly 6,000 hours of total flight time, Art has over 1,500 hours as a flight instructor. He enjoys being an instructor and sharing his passion for aviation with others. Art holds an Associates Degree in Aviation Business Management from San Bernadino Valley College.

Michael Ferley,


Flight Instructor - CFI

Michael’s first flying lessons began when he was sixteen in his home state of Texas and knew immediately the profession he wanted to pursue. He wanted to gain life experience and continue to pursuit of aviation, so he joined the Navy as an aircraft mechanic right here in California at Point Mugu. Michael then moved back to Texas where he went to the number one pilot school in the state, Texas State Technical College, and received his Associate’s Degree in Aviation Science. At school, he completed his private, instrument, commercial, multi engine add-on and his CFI. Michael wants to spread his passion of flying with his clients and continue to further his aviation career here in California.

Chris O’Donnell,


Flight Instructor - CFI

Chris’ love for flying started in the mid-1980s after watching the movie Top Gun. His passion grew from there when he joined the Civil Air Patrol in 1993, eventually achieving the rank of Cadet Squadron Commander. During that time he was able to log his first twenty hours of flight time at Fox Field in Lancaster, CA. In 2005 Chris was hired by the Ventura Police Department as a Police Officer and was medically retired in 2012. Not wanting to waste his second lease on life Chris pursued his first love, flying. Chris is a graduate of Channel Islands Aviation’s Professional Pilot Program receiving his Private, Instrument, Commercial and Certificated Flight Instructor ratings. He joined the CIA team immediately after completing his CFI. “Being able to teach others how to fly and achieve their dream of becoming a pilot, that I too had for many years, is a rewarding experience” said Chris.

Anneliese Tomlinson,


Flight Instructor - CFI/CFII/MEI/ATP

Anneliese started flying at the age of sixteen when she was inspired by her father, who was an airline pilot, to learn to fly. She received all of her ratings locally and completed her CFI during college. After graduating University of California Santa Barbara with a degree in Marine Biology she began teaching and later worked for SkyWest Airlines. After seven years as an airline pilot and continuing to teach part-time on her days off, Anneliese returned to Camarillo to pursue a career as a flight instructor. She has been with Channel Islands Aviation for ten years and is CIA’s on staff Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot (CSIP). With about 15,000 flight hours, Anneliese has found the perfect profession that combines her dad’s love of aviation and her mom’s passion for teaching.

Marc Wilson,


Flight Instructor - CFI/CFII/MEI

Marc started his aviation career at the age of sixteen when he took his first flight at the Oxnard Airport. From that moment he was hooked on flying and looking to turn his new found fascination into a career. Marc later enrolled at the University of North Dakota, one of the country’s leading aviation universities. There he graduated in Unmanned Aircraft Systems and received his Instrument, Commercial and Multi Engine Ratings. Wanting to stay on the manned side of aviation Marc enrolled at Channel Islands Aviation to complete his Certified Flight Instructor Certificate. Marc enjoys teaching clients who share his same passion for aviation and hopes to inspire others to pursue aviation careers.

Robert Vaughan,


Flight Instructor - CFI

Robert Vaughan had a lifetime dream of flying from boyhood when he would watch in wonder the myriad aircraft flying in and out of Meadowlark Airport (L16) in his home town of Huntington Beach, CA. Robert spent 6 years in the U.S. Air Force Reserves as ground crew for C-130s and C-141s as part of the Military Airlift Command stationed at March AFB and Norton AFB (now KSBD). In 2001, Robert attained his Private Pilot certificate flying out of John Wayne Airport (KSNA). He has since flown Piper, Cessna, Beech, Mooney, and Diamond aircraft throughout the southwest as well as island hopping in Hawaii while enjoying the privilege of being a pilot. As a mentor in business, Robert decided to marry his love of teaching with his passion of aviation and become a flight instructor. Says Robert, “Today, I am living the dream right seat sharing with others the joy of flying while instructing at one of the best flight schools in the industry.” Robert has been a member of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) since 1999, as well as member of Corona Pilot’s Association (CPA) and National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI).