I’ve dedicated the majority of my life to flying largely because of the encouragement and mentorship of Dave Coffman. He was my first instructor in jet aircraft, and a primary factor for my success and career progression as a pilot. When I lost confidence in my flying skills, he reassured me. When I became overconfident, he challenged me, and when he felt I was right on track, he quietly let me proceed. Bottom line, Dave knew where I was in the training process and what was needed to insure my success long before I knew, and he always guided me in the direction of success.
Dave encouraged me to push myself to be the best pilot I could be both in the cockpit and on the ground. His reassuring demeanor, exceptional patience, and sense of humor were always welcomed when it seemed the tasks in the cockpit were on the verge of overwhelming me, and his after action instruction was always concise and specific. Safety was always paramount in his instruction process. We prebriefed safety before flight and we practiced safety in the aircraft, there was never a doubt when we were in the air.
Over the 6 months that I flew with Dave, we developed not only an excellent student/instructor relationship, but also a friendship that has lasted over 20 years. I’m very proud to say that Dave Coffman taught me to be a pilot, not just the hand-eye skills needed to successfully take off, travel from Point A to Point B, and safely land, but also the mental and emotional skills needed to be a successful aircraft commander.
I know of no one that I would recommend more highly as an aircraft instructor and mentor pilot than Dave Coffman. Dave knows his aircraft down to the last nut and bolt, and his knowledge of aviation rules and regulations is as thorough as anyone I’ve ever known. Dave’s character is beyond reproach, he is the man that takes the road of honesty and integrity, no matter how difficult the path. If you’re looking for a pilot in whose hands you can trust your life, you’ve found him in Dave Coffman.
D.M. Colorado Springs, CO April 12, 2015
Dave began his flying career at 16 and earned his Private Pilot’s license shortly after his 17th birthday. He graduated with Honors from Florida Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Air Commerce Flight Technology and later completed his Masters Degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry Riddle University. After graduation he joined the Air Force through Officers Training School and later completed pilot training at Reese AFB, TX. He was selected to the fly the F-16 at Torrejon Air Base, Spain with the 614 Tactical Fighter Squadron “Lucky Devils”. Dave served 23 years in the active Air Force and Air Force Reserve retiring as a Lt Colonel. His assignments included operational F-16 units in Europe and the United States as well as an assignment as a T-37 Instructor Pilot at Columbus AFB, MS where he served as the Assistant Chief of the 14 Flying Training Wing’s Standardization and Evaluation Division. He commanded the 39th Flying Training Squadron, Moody AFB, GA, the Air Force Reserve’s first associate Joint Primary Aircraft Training System unit employing both the T-6 and the AT-38 jet trainer as well as a tour flying the lead solo #5 F-16 aircraft with the Air Force Demonstration Squadron “Thunderbirds” where he flew over 150 air shows in all 50 states as well as in Europe and South America before millions of spectators including the President of the United States, Secretary of State and numerous heads of state. His awards and achievements include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal and Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and Top Graduate of his Pilot Instructor Training class. Additionally, he was the awarded the Air Force “Pilot of Distinction Award” for his recovery of an F-16 during an air show after a catastrophic afterburner explosion. He is an ATP rated pilot as well as a CFII/MEI. He has over 5,000 hours of flight time and over 1,200 hours instructing in jets, with type ratings in the Embraer Phenom 100 and 300 as well as the Citation Mustang (CE-510S). Please feel free to contact Dave at 904-631-0153, or via email firstname.lastname@example.org