About Us

At Angel City Flyers we are committed first, foremost and always to safety. We provide a highly structured, disciplined approach to flight training. Our emphasis on training standardization, standard operating procedures and single pilot resource management produces pilots ready for real-world, commercial and private operation. Our commitment to customer service and pilot proficiency earned us the designation as the Diamond Aircraft factory training center for the southwest United States, and one of only two Diamond Brilliance Centers in the country.

We believe that flight training made enjoyable is flight training made effective.  ACF instructors are with us because they enjoy their profession, are committed to safety and strive to be the best at what they do.

We chose Diamond Aircraft for their proven performance, reliability and safety. Diamond’s integration of glass cockpit technology, composite construction and turbo diesel engines places them at the leading edge of technological advances in general aviation.

Our Long Beach, California location offers the greatest variety of conditions, geography, convenience and instrument training facilities in the U.S. Beachside airports are within a short flight of ski resort airports, and California has both the highest and lowest points in the lower 48 states.

We maintain our aircraft to the highest standards through the Diamond Factory Maintenance Facility in Long Beach. Our commitment to safety and our strict, unwavering maintenance policy exceed FAA regulatory requirements.

  • Seosamh Somers
  • Armando Delgado
  • Ciara
  • Jeremy Chavez
  • Jim Yoder
  • Joe Ugulano III
  • Karl Lewis
  • Maureen Cavin
  • Meredith Edwards
  • Sam Gustafson
  • Zach Ruhl

Seosamh Somers

Founder

ATP, CFI, CFII, MEI, Honors Degree Aerospace Engineering

In Ireland, the cheapest way to get a ride in an airplane is to promise to parachute out of the plane halfway through the flight. And so began the soaring saga of Seosamh Somers, the shilling-starved space student from…somewhere in Ireland.

Although Seosamh (pronounced SHOW-SEFF—obviously), graduated with honors in aerospace engineering from the University of Hertfordshire, he soon decided that he would rather fly planes than design them. Armed with the goal of bringing to general aviation the same professional approach, attention to detail and technological resources generally reserved only for space flight, Seosamh founded Angel City Flyers in 2003.

Seosamh holds both European and U.S. professional pilot and instructor certificates with over 8,000 hours of flight experience. When he is out of the office, he flies a Citation jet for short overland flights and small piston engine airplanes for the long transoceanic crossings (go figure)! Be warned, he is quite proud of his phonetically impossible name.

Armando Delgado

Administrative Assistant

Armando Delgado staffs the front desk and stays on top of the schedule for students, instructors, and aircraft renters. As ACF administrator, Armando helps ensure the accuracy of aircraft utilization and maintenance records and is responsible for ramp and facility safety.

One of four brothers, Armando is the first in his family to attend college, currently attending Cal State Long Beach and majoring in American Studies. He plans to pursue pilot training in the future, his exposure to aviation at ACF having spurred his interest.

Armando is extremely happy to have a future aviator in his family with the birth of his son.  When he's not at work or school, Armando hangs out with his family and friends, plays RPGs, or cooks up one of his signature dishes: enchiladas, posole, and tinga.

Ciara

Ciara was born on a St. Patrick’s Day. She began at Angel City Flyers when she realized she wanted a career in aviation just like her idol, Snoopy. Since she came to the office that day she has reigned supreme. As official company mascot, she receives a generous compensation package of unlimited affection and abundant hugs and pats.  Her responsibilities include teaching us all about loyalty, dependability, and the importance of jumping for joy. 

Jeremy Chavez

When he was growing up, Jeremy Chavez’s dad took him to air shows at Miramar, Chino, and here at KLGB. “One day my dad asked me if I wanted to take a demo flight and I did,” Jeremy says. That was it—he knew he wanted to be a pilot and went on to receive his private pilot certificate at age 17.

If you mention jetlag to Jeremy, he can chat about either long flights or Beach Fossils’ latest single. When he isn’t sharing his love of flying, Jeremy takes in indie shows and rides his Harley up and down the coast between Orange County and Santa Barbara. He also enjoys hiking and backpacking in Yosemite, scaling Half Dome and other peaks in the Sierra.

With a healthy respect for the discipline, studying and adherence to deadlines that aviation requires, Jeremy also likes to encourage his students with this reminder: “Never forget that flying is fun.”

Jim Yoder

Jim Yoder has been flying for decades and claims to take the title of oldest instructor at Angel City Flyers (he needn’t have taken it as we would gladly have given it to him). Jim decided to become a professional pilot at age 13 after writing a vocational report on the subject. To achieve this goal he earned his pilot’s license at 17 and his instructor’s license at 19. While attending San Jose State University earning a degree in aeronautics, he taught flying during the day and flew mail at night.

After college Jim became the youngest corporate pilot in the country, flying a Lear Jet at age 21. Jim said, “At the time, having a DME in the cockpit was the ultimate high-tech product.” Jim has experience as a Part 135 charter pilot, corporate pilot, mail pilot and as an instructor in tail wheels, single engine, multiengine and jets.

Jim believes a good pilot is always training. To this end, he earned his rotorcraft-helicopter rating at age 50. 

Joe Ugulano III

The car was the first to go, followed by the dirt bike and the truck. As a young aviation enthusiast, Joe Ugulano III sold off all his land vehicles to pay for his flight lessons. A self-described southern Californian, Joe’s first job straight out of high school was pumping gas and working the front desk at an FBO at Long Beach Airport. “Working at the airport, I ate, breathed, and slept airplanes,” he says.

The son of a pilot, Joe manages ACF’s Jet Program, supervising and providing pilot services for Mustang and CJ3+ clients. He’s an avid traveler with a nearly full passport and a checkmark next to almost all 50 states. He did a stint as a pilot for an internet research company, flying all over the U.S. as the company photographed the landscape.

While on land Joe likes to sample local craft restaurants. He also loads his 75-pound pit bull, Moose, into his Jeep and goes off-roading in the desert, where the vast, unspoiled terrain appeals to him. In winter, his favorite snowboarding venue is Mammoth. He once relished the thrill and strenuousness of dirt biking, but shelved that hobby after deciding he’d broken sufficient bones.

“Now I’m a full-time traveler,” he says. “That’s what I love to do.”

Karl Lewis

Karl Lewis “retired” from his 30+ year career in the banking and financial services industry for approximately 15 minutes before he joined Aero City Group as Director responsible for both Angel City Flyers and Bay City Flyers. Long known to us as someone who doesn’t spend any time sitting around, Karl completed his private pilot and instrument training at ACF in 2016.

But his zeal for aviation dates back to his teenage years when he took an initial demo ride in a Piper Cherokee 140, an experience that stirred a lifelong passion for flying. Concentrating on career and family led to a gap between Karl’s early days of flying “old beat-up Cessna 150s” and working as an aircraft refueler and dispatcher at Fullerton Airport, and the time he sought out ACF to resume flight training.

The culture of safety drew him to the company, Karl says. “I wanted to fly the airplane that had the safest record in the industry, and my research showed that Diamond has one of the best in general aviation.”

As Director of both ACF and BCF, Karl combines his enthusiasm for flying and his business skills to manage day-to-day operations and provide strategic direction. His years as an IT professional in the financial world serve him well in understanding the technologically advanced aircraft in both locations, he says.

Also a runner and an equestrian, Karl enjoys spending time with his wife, daughters, and 2-year-old grandson.

Maureen Cavin

Maureen Cavin came to ACF with a broad background in city government, education, and public relations. As weekend safety/dispatch administrator, she ensures that everything is organized and ready to go for our Saturday-Sunday clients.

The breadth and diversity of Angel City Flyers clients intrigues Maureen. “Everybody has a story to tell and everyone is so interesting,” she says. From her early days as beauty queen, a role she says “catapulted a shy person into public speaking and meeting with prominent leaders,” to her present-day responsibilities at ACF, Maureen’s graciousness and good humor have stood her in good stead throughout her varied career.

The four F’s are important to Maureen: faith, family, friends, and fun. “To me faith means trusting in life, and believing that you’re in the right place at the right time and doing what you’re supposed to be doing,” she says. She enjoys reading history and biographies, spending time with her wide circle of friends and her three children, and playing with her three dogs.

Meredith Edwards

Administrative Staff

Long Beach native Meredith Edwards started her Angel City Flyers career at a party.  She was working at the time in a local gastropub where ACF held its holiday gathering that year. She said she immediately observed that ACF was an intriguing company with a “refreshing, dynamic, and intercultural staff.” After she finished her communication degree at Cal State Long Beach, she got in touch with ACF and started as an administrative assistant, since moving into her current position of client services administrator. A competitive athlete in her last year of law school, Meredith juggles her ACF position with her place in a women’s soccer league and her prodigious academic load.

Sam Gustafson

Sam Gustafson is a third generation aviation aficionado – his grandfather flew B25s and B52s in the Air Force, his mother is a career flight attendant and his father is a FedEx pilot. “I’ve been surrounded by aircraft for as long as I remember,” he says.

A native of Aledo, Texas, Sam made his way from Texas to California via Alabama, where he earned his business administration/aviation management degree at Auburn University, and Daytona Beach and Denver, where he launched his flight instruction career after completing his training.

He loves seeing his flight training students have that “aha moment” when their hard work and studying pays off and a complicated concept becomes clear. “For myself, I remember that first day that landings clicked, and from then on you just get it. It’s personally rewarding to help students experience that kind of realization,” Sam says.

Sam likes being in motion in the skies, flying everything from a Great Lakes open-air biplane to a Citation Mustang to a vintage T34. He isn’t much for sitting around on the ground, either. An avid skier and hiker, he he enjoys “doing anything outdoors” in his free time.

Zach Ruhl

Zach Ruhl grew up in Wrightwood, with the San Gabriel mountain community as his virtual backyard. That’s where his enthusiasm for camping, hiking, skiing, snowboarding and cycling was born – and his love of flying. The Rialto Airport, where Zach started flying at age 16 and received his private pilot certificate at 17, was practically next door.

Teaching students how to fly brings variety and rewards that Zach appreciates every day. “It’s never the same day twice,” he says. He especially enjoys helping students through the challenges of flight training, and watching them get to the next level. “I like making a positive impact on a student’s safety.”

His career in aviation took him to the East Coast for a time, but Southern California’s weather and year-round flying opportunities lured him back. While the stint in the New York metropolitan area was fun, it couldn’t compare to life in the southland.

Zach holds a history degree from San Diego State University. An avid follower of international news, finance, and business, Zach moves easily between conversations about aviation and world affairs.