About Coast


The Coast Flight Training Experience.
We are different from the rest.

We Are Here to Ensure Your Success

Simply training is not enough. Unlike other flight schools, Coast Flight is not a pilot mill – we advocate for you at every stage to safeguard your success. We will not let you invest your time and money without first ensuring you qualify to become an airline pilot, nor will we force you to work faster than you feel comfortable in learning to fly for recreational purposes. We want our students to be the best – professional, responsible, and highly trained. Your success is how we define success.

Why do we position our flight school in this way?

  • The candidates either have medical or background issues that prohibit them from becoming a commercial pilot.
    • Coast pre-screens all of its applicants so that we may inform them of any issues prior to spending their money and time.
  • Candidates don’t have the leadership nor professionalism required to fly commercially.
    • Two of the main goals of Coast’s ACT Program is to produce professional leaders in the airline industry.
  • Candidates do not have the aptitude to be hired as a commercial pilot.
    • The ACT Program screening process includes a Pilot Aptitude Test, which would expose any challenges the candidate may face.


The principals at Coast Flight Training lead with the experience, leadership, and professionalism beyond that of industry standards. One of the most important steps to successfully training students is direct interaction and support from leadership. Research shows the commitment of and access to an organization’s leadership is directly linked as a key contributor to the performance and success of its team. That means our students. The three individuals below are personally engaged with students, their progress, their counseling, and their training. While each of us has a stake in our company, our primary responsibility is to you, our students – we each have a stake in you and your success.

William H. Dryden


Founded in 2008, Coast Flight Training has been one of San Diego’s fastest growing companies, in large part due to our advocacy, professionalism and solutions based approach. Coast Flight is a FAA Part-141 flight school and is TSA and SEVP approved to host international students. Coast Flight is also an acknowledged leader in Cirrus’s training center network.

  • Gold Seal Certified Flight Instructor (100% pilot pass rate required to qualify)
  • Master CFI (only 500 CFIs have this out of 97,000 Flight Instructors)
  • FAA part 141 Chief Flight Instructor
  • Platinum Cirrus Standard Instructor Pilot (only 54 of all 389 CSIPs are Platinum rated)
  • Instructor pilot for March Air Force Base 163rd Reconnaissance Wing ARCAP
  • Corporate pilot with focused experience in Pilatus Aircraft
  • Selected by FAA National Examiner Board to be FAA Designated Pilot Examiner

Bryan W. Simmons, LtCol USMC (Ret)


Bryan joined Coast Flight in 2013. Bryan-Marine-OneAs Director of Flight Operations he oversees curriculum, standards and operational controls, safety, directs the execution of company policies and procedures and ensures that all activities of the flight department, including flight operations, personnel and equipment comply with company and aviation standards. Bryan also develops the leadership training syllabus.

  • Former Presidential Command Pilot, Marine One, during Bush and Obama administrations
  • Former Navy Flight School Instructor and Operations Officer
  • 20 years military service, US Marine Corps
  • Served multiple flying tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom conducting casualty evacuation
  • Recipient of 9 Air Medals and a Meritorious Service Medal
  • 3,500+ incident-free flight hours in rotary and fixed-wing aircraft

Jonathan (Jeff) Bushnell, Col USAF (Ret)

Director of Education and Aviation Standards

Jeff prepares students to meet the commercial, aviation industry’s needs of today and tomorrow and he leads our safety and standards. He developed Coast Flight’s extraordinary “scenario-based” (vs. maneuver-based) training syllabus, through which students learn to fly in real-life situations to different airports and through the same airspace as the airlines. Unique in the flight-training world, Coast Flight uses simulator training extensively, as do commercial airlines and the military. Bushnell oversaw development and installation and now supervises the use of our flight simulator.

  • Retired airline captain—Continental Airlines, 20,000+ flight hours
  • Retired Air Force Colonel—C141 Instructor, Flight Examiner, Squadron Commander
  • 43 years of airline and military aviation experience
  • 30 years of training experience—Airline, Military, Civilian
  • Created scenario-based training syllabus for start-up airlines and for Coast Flight