Carmen Gardien – Head of Training

Profile picture of Carmen Gardien - Flight Instructor

Carmen is a flight instructor providing instruction towards LAPL and PPL.

Born in the Netherlands Carmen became interested in flying at the age of 12. Whilst on a family holiday in Africa she was given the chance the sit in the front of a Cessna 172 whilst travelling from a remote island resort and the rest is history! Carmen learnt to fly in sunny Spain and has a great deal of experience of mountain flying and is also the master of the Cessna 172! In addition to flying in Spain Carmen has flown all over Europe and on occasion can be seen flying herself home to her native Netherlands. Carmen joined Almat as a full time instructor in early 2016 and since then has worked her way up to head of training. Carmen is a keen golfer, snow border and can speak several languages.

What our customers say about Carmen

Thank you Carmen for helping me keep my skill set current after I completed my Companion Pilots Certificate with Almat. To all the staff at Almat, keep up the good work, this is a great friendly and professional club to be a member of.
Sandra Beeson
Sandra B.
11:08 12 Oct 20
I've completed my PPL with Almat a while ago, then life got in the way and my SEP rating lapsed. What I actually miss the most is everyone from the flying club. I think it's time to renew my membership and I am actually looking forward to flying with Carmen Gardien again! She's the best motivator and we all know how much that is needed to advance in aviation.
Kulik Árpi
Kulik Á.
10:58 11 Oct 20
I can’t recommend this place enough! I joined the fast track scheme after lockdown and I’ve come further than I ever thought possible. This place has a friendly atmosphere and the guys and girls down there are a wonderful bunch to be around. I spend nearly every weekend at the club and it’s always the highlight of my week. I find the training very professional and my instructor is Carmen has been excellent. I trust her completely and love her teaching style. You would never have known a few months ago I was afraid of heights and flying! Steve has also helped me through my theory studies and I can’t thank him enough for all the extra tips along the way.
Billi Staite
Billi S.
20:36 01 Oct 20
I've been flying with Almat for approx 18 months now. They are a great bunch! Friendly, professional & extremely helpful. Carmen my instructor is superb at her job. Carmen is patient and knows the right time to give me some extra encouragement to build my confidence when needed. Steve is great too. He is always polite and has helped me many times with ground school. Ben and Simon also deserve a mention as part of the great bunch! I'd like to think I have made a few friends there too!
Anthony Michaelides
Anthony M.
17:47 30 Sep 20
Started my PPL a couple of years back with Carmen and since then picked up over 35 hours, would highly recommend anyone to get a membership, nice aircraft, nice atmosphere.👍
Alex Miles
Alex M.
16:37 30 Sep 20
I completed my PPL with Almat under the expert tuition of Carmen. I wouldn't hesitate recommending them to anybody looking for flight tuition.
Andy Godfrey
Andy G.
15:53 30 Sep 20
I have been a member with Almat since June 2019 and am working towards my PPL(A) with my instructor Carmen. My progress has been good and I am nearly ready for my Qualifying Cross Coubtry flight
Paul Hayton
Paul H.
15:46 30 Sep 20
After a 15 year break from training, I resumed my training with Almat, and within just a few months I had gained my PPL(A). I particularly like the friendly atmosphere at Almat, and the professionalism of the instructors. I would give a special mention to Carmen Gardien, who guided me through the latter part of my training and always made flying fun. The ongoing membership programme is very useful giving decent discounts on training and aircraft hire. Definitely recommended.
Karl Galloway
Karl G.
15:20 30 Sep 20
In the past week, I have achieved my PPL with Almat Flying Academy. Being a member of this wonderful school has allowed me to gain the confidence and experience required for a future career in the skies. My flight instructor Carmen is a great teacher and made every moment interesting and exciting.
Cain Goodhand
Cain G.
15:12 30 Sep 20
The team at Almat are all really friendly and welcoming! I've flown most often with Carmen, who was really reassuring and encouraging during my lessons. She let me take the controls from the first lesson and it's been good progress since then! I would highly recommend doing a flying experience and then get ready to get addicted to being in the air!
Kapitän John
Kapitän J.
08:09 18 Dec 19
Flew with Carmen in a fixed wing and in a Helicopter with Jason, what a fantastic time I had everyone at Almat were so professional they made my day just BRILLIANT, thanks to all at Almat.
Peter Butler
Peter B.
18:26 09 Nov 19
16/10/2019Had a fantastic flying experience with my son for his 18th birthday. We each had 30 mins in the co-pilot seat and 30 mins as a passenger in the 4 seater Cessna 172. Carmen was a brilliant pilot, guide and instructor. She let us at the controls for almost every manoeuvre (except take-off and landing) and was funny and engaging as well as informative. We flew over Rugby, Leamington, Warwick, Gaydon and everywhere in between. Such a brilliant time. Thank you Almat Flying Academy!
Nick Taylor
Nick T.
07:52 23 Oct 19
Received a 30 Min Flying Lesson as a Birthday present and it took nearly a year to get round to redeeming it, but so glad I did, as it was a truly breath taking experience.Carmen was very friendly and informative during the initial briefing and while in the plane.I'm seriously considering going again... thank you.
Graham Sellars
Graham S.
06:56 17 Oct 19
Trusted Professionals Limited has been working with Almat Flying Academy for nearly 3 years on both a professional and personal basis within the aviation arena. Almat are professional with friendly staff willing to help in any way they can.Carmen and Steve are very knowledgeable pilots with a wealth of experience I would therefore have no hesitation in recommending Almat to anyone wishing to complete their PPL or even for pleasure flights.The only single negative I have is that sometimes the chocolate does run out but rest assured, the staff will do their best to deliver and indeed they do.
John Sullivan
John S.
13:52 04 Sep 19
Great experience today flying with Carmen. It was my first time flying and she allowed me to have control pretty much the whole flight so I could get a real feel for flying. Will be looking to return soon. Thanks again 😊
Richard Reed
Richard R.
12:50 02 Sep 19
Carmen and Ali were amazing - made me feel at ease and excited to fly! Couldn't recommend enough. Thank you guys... I'll be back! Daisy
Daisy Clarke
Daisy C.
19:14 22 Aug 19
A wonderful place with outstanding staff! The people at Almat make it such a special flying school. I completed my PPL in the summer of 2017 and with the accomodation of the staff, especially Carmen, they enabled me to go from 2 hours flight time to passing my skills test in just 3 weeks and 2 days - if that doesn't show a dedicated team of instructors I'm not sure what does! I will be forever grateful to Almat and recommend anyone to take up a trial lesson with them.
15:13 21 Aug 19
I started my PPL last year with Carmen Guardien at Almat and it has been brilliant . Learning to fly has been great fun and I’ve loved every second due to the amazing club feel and fleet that they offer. Definitely recommend!
Alex Miles
Alex M.
11:09 13 Aug 19
Fabulous flying school! Just gone through a lot of changes: moving site and some organisational which have only made it better. The instruction for my PPL was just what I needed: professional, tailored to how I learn, patient and most of all encouraging (Carmen Gardien particularly so for getting me to go solo in my late 50s!!). The whole team is very friendly, the prices are great, and there is plenty of help and advice when you need it.
Andrew Bartlam
Andrew B.
08:36 12 Aug 19
I first attended Almat for ground school to help with my exams over 18 months ago. I have since passed all of my exams and now am flying regularly with Carmen working towards my PPL. Carmen is a great instructor, she has the right amount of patience and encouragement when required. I have also flown with Steve on a few occasions who is also a great instructor. If you are looking to become a pilot or just one off experiences Almat Flying Academy are a great team. They regularly put on social events like BBQ's, days out flying and training courses and always make you feel very welcome.I thoroughly recommend Almat. A+!
Anthony Michaelides
Anthony M.
10:02 11 Aug 19
I gained my PPL with AFA. The whole team we’re professional, well organised and always made time to support me in my flying. Carmen, who is now Head of Training, is a truly amazing flight instructor, along with her excellent team! Next on my ‘tick’ list is to fly aerobatics with Steve, another fabulous instructor. I would recommend AFA to anyone interested in learning to fly or just for a flight experience, it’s great fun and a wonderful day out!
Tony Godfrey
Tony G.
09:19 09 Aug 19
I joined Almat in Jan 2018 and completed my PPL in Feb 2019 alongside studying for my degree course at University. I've now moved on to training for my commercial pilots license. Almat are one of the best in the business and have the best values for training, private hire and experience flights. The company has made and still making a huge amount of improvements. Almat has many opportunities which are not to be missed. Huge thank you to my instructors especially Carmen for supporting me through my PPL.
Hasnain Mirza
Hasnain M.
19:56 08 Aug 19
I have been flying with Almat for a while now and have thoroughly enjoyed it. Carmen is a great instructor, really encouraging and has just got me through all of my theory exams.Lovely staff and a warm atmosphere with great socials.
Phoebe Jenner
Phoebe J.
18:45 08 Aug 19
Started my PPL(A) with Almat early in 2018, and completed it a few weeks ago. The guys (and girls) at Almat are always friendly and accommodating. The quality/stability of the instruction at first was a bit hit and miss but that all changed when I settled into training with Carmen. The instructors I had early on have moved on and the ones there now are great. I would definitely recommend Almat, and would encourage anyone who’s thinking about learning to fly to pop in and have a chat.
Karl Galloway
Karl G.
17:51 08 Aug 19
I've done my PPL training with Almat and would recommend it to anyone at any level. All the instructors in their new line-up are very professional and share their passion with all individuals. I have to highlight Carmen whose enthusiasm is unrivalled. I love flying with her, she knows how to teach you the right techniques and she knows how to have fun! Private hire is probably the cheapest in England, rivalling non-equity groups, with the platinum membership. Super highly recommend!
Arpad Kulik
Arpad K.
16:20 08 Aug 19
As a lapsed ppl I decided to recently, revalidate. Returned to almat and flew with Carmen. Absolute delight, professional, patient and forgiving even when I showed total incompetency, bless her.Visited the new home which is light bright and comfortable and welcoming.Looking forward to flying with Carmen again when she returns from her holiday.
bernie flatley
bernie F.
16:09 08 Aug 19
I have been studying for my PPL with Almat over the last few years. During my flight training with Carmen I have learnt a lot from her extensive knowledge and experience, similarly with ground school training she can make complex subjects easier to understand by relating them back to practical experiences. Theres a great social side to Almat also, if you're considering learning to fly I couldn't recommend them enough.
Andy Godfrey
Andy G.
15:55 08 Aug 19
I had an absolutely fantastic time, was amazed at how much I was aloud to do myself, I had a 1/2hr flying lesson in the two seater Cessna, my instructor was Carmen & she was brilliant, it was a treat for my 60th Birthday, I really want to come back & do it again, thank you so much for such an amazing experience xx
Jane Bemand
Jane B.
16:31 22 Aug 18