Instrument Ratings - Comments From Students

Dear Bill, Today my training with you paid for itself. This was a "short" trip from kPHF (Newport News, VA) to Leesburg. I had been watching the weather for a couple of days from NN, and I was convinced that all the weather in the east was well south of me ... Georgia, Florida, etc. And so it was, with severe tstorms in FL, especially. The prog chart at JYO FSS showed possible Tstorms developing after 5 p.m. It is, theoretically, a 1.25 hour trip from PHF to JYO. With insane routing from the FAA, it ran to twice that when I went to NN on Tuesday.

I started back at 2 pm (three hours before predicted TS) today, and within 10 minutes I was in haze and in and out of towering cumulus clouds, with a real roller coaster ride. I had 5 minutes of peace, finally, at 10000 feet, but ATC lowered me to 7000 almost immediately due to traffic at Richmond and Dulles. The entire return trip was only 1.8 hours, and I estimate conservatively that 1.5 was solid IMC. Without your training I would have reacted badly to the disorientation that I felt several times. It's scary to hear the stall horn going off at 90 knots and getting tossed around like that. I could only very rarely see the ground below. The controllers were barking rapid fire clearances, which gave me the idea that the sky was really crowded. The controllers were at least kind enough to get me home in a more or less straight line. I flew directly over KIAD and landed safely at JYO. I loaded my car, and within 45 minutes we had dime size hail hitting the ground and bounding off my car. The drive home was as rough as the flight. I am sending this to you since you, of all the people I know, will appreciate the value of this experience. Thank goodness for artificial horizons, gps's and vor's, and seat belts.


Bill is a truly fantastic flight instructor and friend. He has some 8000 hours of flight instructor time, and 1800 jumps. To say "he is experienced" would not fully describe it. Above all, he is a very PERSONABLE flight instructor. He can make jokes, scare you to death, he is a true friend. On every flight you learn something. He has the ability to assess ahead of time your needs, and his comments are straight to the point. What you can do already is what he leaves out, and what you are missing is what he comments about. For me the IFR training was a breeze, every "normal" flight instructor would have babbled for ever and never taught me anything. They just follow a syllabus to make sure nothing is left out, boring you to death. Bill identifies the core deficits and instructs you straight to that point. He is an expert on the ATC field. He is so experienced and professional on the topic of radio procedures that the Schenectady airport plans to hire him as a controller. He is so professional that they haven't hired him yet because they don't know if they can afford him.
Above all, no other CFII is so much of a friend. He helps you, and you can always have private chats with him. No dense, sticky atmosphere in the cockpit. Always fun.
Andreas Laushcke
I live in Irving Near DFW Airport. Bill is a fantastic instructor. I went there to get my instrument rating and I received a whole lot more. His teaching skills shows his experience level and professionalism. The thing I enjoyed most of all was that Bill made it fun to learn . I was able to take cross country trips and see the the New England area, Fly in IMC conditions,and met several friends of Bill's in the aviation community. Without a doubt Bill has been my best instructor to date. When you go there in November, you can expect to train hard 8-10hrs a day if you like. If your going to fly his C-172 its a great airplane. It has a lot of bells and whistles that you normally don't see on a 172 such as a GPS certified for Instrument approaches,frost/ice detector,pre-oiler,ADF,DME,Dual Com/Nav and much it all works...Bill takes great pride in his airplane both mechanically and appearance wise. Bill also has an examiner in Manchester who is great. He's fair and easy going. He just wants to go on a ride during your check ride. Also he'll do a check ride in IMC conditions...cause mine was and it was great ...700 ft ceilings,breaking out of the clouds and lined up on the ILS...what a feeling
If you have any more questions E-mail me at or call me at (972)258-1168
Good Luck and fly safe ... Rick
Could not have been happier with my training with Bill. I was in a similiar position. Had started and stopped several times, got rusty and decided to just do it. Flew to Bill's location on Sunday Nite. Started training on Monday morning Flew out on an IFR Clearance on Friday Morning (Passed check ride Thursday nite, first try). He pushes hard to get you to do what you need, no bull just hard training with loads of positive reinforcement. When I was done, I was legal and confident, but had (and still have) a healthy respect for the weather. If you would like more information, feel free to call me on a voice line and we can chat.
Berry Myers
Voice: 864-223-0837 Mobile: 917-975-1292 Fax: 801-409-3875
1703 E. Durst Ave, Greenwood, SC 29649
Bill Zaleski is a consummate teacher, the best I ever had. He has a sense about things. He knows if you got it right by accident or for the wrong reason. He builds and builds and revisits the issues especially the ones he knows you struggle with. He never stops teaching, when eating lunch, driving flying drinking beer. No one can teach instruments like Bill Zaleski. His only weak point is his looks, but you don't have to love him, unless of course you want to!
Carl VanderPutten
I "discovered" Bill pretty much the way you did and I can't praise him enough. He literally flew through hell and high water to keep our appointment (my airport, Canandaigua, was only good as a skating ring that day). Once we braved and survived the elements to get his Cessna tied down we had the best three days. Bill is incredibly skilled but that's not where it's at in these situations. You need someone you can relate to, who is not intimidating, who teaches well, who is patient and who is pleasant to be with. Bill is all that and more.
Cost-wise, it is a lot of excellent training at a very reasonable investment. Should you get together with Bill, please call me so I can say hello.
Steven Hess,
I trained with Bill for about 6 months and in that time I received my instrument rating and commercial multi/single with instrument. I can't say enough to tell you how impressed I was with his training. I had worked at my instrument rating previously with two other local instructors before. It was always one step forward and two steps back. They either wouldn't fly due to the weather or we had scheduling conflicts. We flew in minimum conditions so I was prepared and comfortable to fly real IFR alone. This was particularly helpful as my checkride was in real IFR.Also as Bill has used the same examiner many times(must be close to 100 by now, 3 times for me) they have a good working relationship and know what to expect from each other. As far as I'm concerned it costs more, takes longer, and its doubtful you can get the real experience elsewhere. His credentials speak for themselves. Feel free to email any more questions. Alan Schoonmaker email=
Hi Rick: My name is Ronald De Meerleer and I'm from Belgium. I did my instrument rating with Bill when he was still a PIC instructor. I can really tell you that Bill is a wonderful instructor. He's very practical , he teaches you in a step by step way and he really gives you confidence. But you have to listen to what he says ofcourse. Although he's very patient he likes to be respected as an instructor , that's why he's therefor and don't try to be the wise guy that already knows it better. I started from scratch with him , so that was easy for me. And yes I was ready for the check ride in 8 days and we did work 8 to 10 hours per day (don't underestimate this because it can be very tiring,I was really glad to get out of the plane some days and I slept very well at night). I passed the test the first time with a rating "outstanding without exception" , so I was very pride and glad about my successful completion ofcourse. I'm really convinced that this good result was largely due to Bill's efforts and his way of instructing. Meanwhile I've done my twin commercial rating with Bill which I passed also the first time. I would not hesitate to do whatever rating with Bill again. I hope this has helped somewhat ,
Happy flying,
-----Original Message-----

> Hi
> My name is Rick Janak and i live in Texas. I'm currently thinking about
>doing my instrument training with Bill in New York. From what i read about
>him hes a true professional in the field. He gave me a list of
>im trying to get your opinion on him and his training.
> A Little bit about me:
> Ive been working on my instrument rating for almost a year now and
>frustrated with results. with many times of starting and stopping training
>for personal reasons im ready to get this over with in a fast pace
>environmenet such as Bill's program.
>I meet all of part 61 requirements already (hood time/x-country) and have
>writtens completed .i dont think i have alot left to do besides brushing up
>on my approaches and partial panel.
> I would like your opinion on Bill and his program?
> Is it really intense training like he says--8 to 10 hrs a day?
> How long did it take you for your checkride/hrs/days?
> Did you pass your initial checkride?
> Any other info would be greatly appreciated
>  E-mail me at
>                                   Thanx Rick