About Us

At Bay 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. BCF 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 Bay Area location offers a great variety of conditions and geography. We are within a short flight to both beachside and 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 at our sister location in Long Beach. Our commitment to safety and our strict, unwavering maintenance policy exceed FAA regulatory requirements.

  • Karl Lewis
  • Briano Santos
  • Cristina Casillas
  • John Ewing
  • Kevin Hyberger
  • Matt Herbert
  • Pamela McCarthy

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.

Briano Santos

CFI, CFII, MEI

Like many individuals that I’ve come across during my career, I fell in love with aviation at an early age. I took my first lesson when I was 15 right here at Hayward airport. In 2005, while serving in the Air Force as an aircraft mechanic and at Southwest airlines as a ramp agent, I accomplished my goal of becoming a private pilot and eventually began instructing in 2008. For a three-year period, I stepped out of the flight instructing world and into the aerial mapping world where I flew some of the best-equipped TAA all over the U.S. and Canada. After realizing that I prefer general aviation over commercial aviation, I returned to instructing. I love introducing people to the world of general aviation and shaping a safety-minded approach in all that they do. I am now primed and ready to pass the knowledge, skills and best practices that I’ve learned over the years to you. 

Welcome to professionalism. Welcome to experienced instruction. Welcome to Bay City Flyers. Let’s go preflight!

Cristina Casillas

Cristina Casillas is Hayward born, raised, and educated. She brings her deep knowledge of the area and her love of aviation to her role as Administrative Assistant at Bay City Flyers. She spent two-and-a-half years as an FBO customer service representative, and completed the FAA air traffic control training program. Working at Bay City Flyers “was the next step I wanted to take,” Cristina says. She also aims to receive her private pilot certificate one day.

Cristina’s signature personal style and flair are reflected in her motto: “Don’t be afraid of being outnumbered. Eagles fly alone. Pigeons flock together.” She loves being part of people’s next adventure in aviation, whether flying is their career choice or recreational lifestyle.

An animal lover, Cristina volunteers her time at the PALS free veterinary clinic in Oakland. She loves to travel and spend time at the beach with her husky, Leihla, who she rescued from Mexico.

John Ewing

Gold Seal CFI, CFII, MEI, ATP, CE510S

I started flying at age 13 and have been a full-time, professional flight instructor since 2001. I have part 135 freight flying experience and instructional experience in a variety of single- and multiengine aircraft. I have logged nearly 9,000 hours of flight time, have written articles for IFR Magazine, and am the author of the Concise Guide to IFR, Concise Guide to the Diamond DA40-180Concise Guide to the Diamond DA42, and Concise Guide to the Citation Mustang. I am also an avid bicyclist.

Kevin Hyberger

An FAA Gold Seal flight instructor, Kevin Hyberger made the pivot from the world of finance to aviation in 2007. While on vacation from his job he began contemplating other career paths. Three days after that vacation ended, he followed his motto, which is “Don’t wait to be happy.” He enrolled in a flight school and never looked back. “I love to fly,” he says.

His credentials include a Master Flight Instructor accreditation from the National Association of Flight Instructors. In addition, he earned a master’s degree with distinction in safety science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.

Kevin enjoys being part of the BCF team. “It’s a great atmosphere with some of the most experienced flight instructors in the Bay Area,” he says. “We have the capability to take someone from a private pilot to being type rated in a jet.”

When he is not flying, Kevin enjoys scuba diving and taking his dogs to the beach.

Matt Herbert

Matt Herbert knows his way equally well around the end zone as he does the skies. Along with flight instructing, he coaches varsity football at Leland High School in San Jose, which he also attended.

He enjoys applying the principles of discipline, perseverance, and focus in coaching high school football players, just as he mentors flight students and helps them build their skill and confidence. First-rate, well-maintained aircraft, knowledgeable instructors, and helpful staff make BCF a top-notch place to teach people how to fly, Matt says.

One of his earliest memories is gazing up at Cal Fire air tankers at the Moffett Airfield Air Show. “Ever since then, I have been interested in flying and knew that is what I wanted to do,” he says.

If you propose anything that involves being outside, Matt’s in. A day at the lake on his boat with his family is his idea of a great day. Like the Shawnee leader Chief Tecumseh he admires, Matt appreciates “the joy of living.”

Pamela McCarthy

Gold Seal CFI, CFII, MEI, ATP

I was exposed to aviation at an early age through my dad, who was a B52 captain in the Air Force. I've been an active flight instructor for 16 years and have over 4,000 hours of dual given. I'm also typed in the CE-560XL and CE-500. I hold a Gold Seal on my flight instructor rating, and love sharing the challenges of flying with clients and helping pilots develop their skills.

Experience in corporate and charter operations has helped me develop a better understanding of working within the ATC system.

As Chief Pilot on a Citation 550 for a private owner, I handled all the maintenance and required inspections. In addition, I'm a proud owner of a Cessna 140—I have a good understanding of the maintenance side of aviation from vintage aircraft to small jets.

When I’m not in the air, you'll find me waterskiing at Lake Don Pedro or biking the Woodside hills.