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First Flight Corp. Puts Flight Training First

From the mom-and-pop-like customer service to the expert flight training and aircraft maintenance, FBO First Flight Corp. has always made general aviation pilots’ needs the core priority. Located at Brown Field Municipal Airport (KSDM), 1.5 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border in the Otay Mesa neighborhood of San Diego, the airport is a convenient alternative to some of the larger airports in the area.

First Flight Corp. at Brown Field Municipal Airport (KSDM) in San Diego, California.

While First Flight’s services range from flight demos and aircraft rental, to maintenance and ramp parking, flight training is a key offering. The FBO has over 40 years of experience with flight training, excellent certified instructors and world-class customer service ratings. The location offers Mexico checkouts, tail wheel endorsements, pilot certificates and ratings, an ATC-610 flight simulator, and a variety of planes to rent by the hour, including a 1947 Aeronca 7AC, 1976 Cessna 172M, 1967 Cessna 172H, 1966 Cessna 182J and 1967 Piper PA 32-300.

General Manager and Owner Tom Sarvis, who has been with First Flight Corp. for nearly 40 years, wears many hats to ensure the operation runs smoothly. He and his staff have successfully established long-lasting customer relationships with pilots that begin with their first flight. In fact, the majority of the FBO’s returning customers – about 70 percent – initially came to First Flight to obtain their pilot license and have since made the FBO their preferred choice for maintenance and fuel.

“We treat all of our customers like family,” says Sarvis. “We’re old school, and we pride ourselves on that. We may not offer a ton of frills, but we’ve been successful because pilots know they will receive personal attention that they don’t get elsewhere.”

In addition to the FBO-specific benefits, Brown Field Airport is becoming a more attractive option for general aviation, as well.

In September, the Los Angeles Times reported that “a developer recently received approval for renovations at Brown Field that will include three dozen new hangars, a large hotel and 1.5 million square feet of retail and industrial buildings.”

In 2018, the main runway was repaved and new taxiway signage installed. This was part of a rehabilitation project, which was funded by a $5.68 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Just last year, First Flight Corp joined the Phillips 66 Aviation branded FBO network. The FBO offers self-serve avgas at an affordable price, as well as Contract Fuel for jet fuel. The FBO also offers WingPoints Rewards and accepts the Phillips 66 Aviation credit cards.

For more information about First Flight Corp., visit