Karl ‘Schlimmer’ Schlimm

Chief of Standards and Evaluation

Karl ‘Schlimmer’ Schlimm

Karl Schlimm, Chief of Standards and Evaluation at APS, has a diverse aviation background, making him well-suited to tackle the operational demands of Upset Prevention and Recovery Training at APS. Mr. Schlimm has 34 years of aviation experience, having soloed in aircraft at 17 years old. He received aerobatic instruction and was proficient in spin recoveries by the time he was 19 years old.

In 1986, Karl earned a B.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering at Lafayette College, completed Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) at Lehigh University on scholarship, and earned his officer commission in the United States Air Force. He was one of only four cadets—out of a class of over 125—to earn a pilot slot. Karl attended Air Force Pilot Training, flying the T-37 and supersonic T-38 at Williams Air Force Base, now Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport where the APS headquarters is located. He distinguished himself in Academic Excellence and was voted Best Officer in his class.

After completing his Alpha tour as a Forward Air Controller, flying the OV-10 Bronco, Karl attended F-16 initial training at MacDill Air Force Base (AFB) in Tampa Florida in 1991, and was assigned first operational F-16 tour at Moody AFB in Georgia, where he was selected to be on the F-16 “LANTIRN” (Low Altitude Navigation Terrain-following Infra-Red for Night) initial cadre. Flying this mission exposed Mr. Schlimm early to the rigors of aggressive all-attitude maneuvering at low and medium altitudes at night, under increased susceptibility to disorientation. Karl quickly upgraded to 4-ship flight lead and mission commander, leading Nellis AFB Red Flag Blue Force as Night Flag Commander.

After a one-year remote F-16 tour at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, where Karl was an Operational F-16 Instructor Pilot, he became an F-16 Formal Course Instructor at Luke AFB where he was an F-16 flight and academic instructor, teaching the full spectrum of LANTIRN, Air-to-Air and Air-to-Ground missions. He was also a platform academic instructor.

Mr. Schlimm separated from the Active Air Force in 1999, earned his CFI, moved to Lititz, PA, and co-owned a Part 135 Charter Business operating the Piper Aerostar in both two-crew and single-pilot operations in diverse day/night instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) in the congested Class Bravo airspace on the East Coast. While on the East Coast, he developed his own Emergency Maneuver Training Program utilizing the American Champion Super Decathlon.

Mr. Schlimm initially joined Aviation Performance Solutions in 2001 as Director of Operations and Chief Instructor. He was also an ICAS certified airshow team performer in the Extra 300L. Karl left APS in late 2003 to again fly the F-16 full time for the Air Force Reserves at Luke AFB. There he was one of the few instructors fully qualified in both Night Vision Goggle and Targeting Pod tactics. He also served as Director of the Luke Warfighter’s Edge Briefing Program and was deployed to the Middle East where he was Assistant Director of Air Force Lessons Learned (A9) Directorate for OIF (Iraq) and OEF (Afghanistan) theaters. Karl has been voted F-16 Instructor Pilot of the Quarter, Field Grade Officer of the Quarter, and has won numerous Top Gun Awards in Air-to-Ground bombing events. Karl retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force Reserves at Luke AFB.

Since joining APS, Mr. Schlimm has served as Director of Flight Operations, Director of Safety, and is accomplished in UPRT, aerobatic, tailwheel, and formation instruction. Karl is a Master CFI Aerobatic and also serves as the Chief Flight Instructor for the APS Part 141 UPRT flight school. Karl has obtained over 8,500 flight hours mostly in all-attitude training environments. He also has over 4500 hours in the Extra 300L. He is the primary Marchetti S211 Jet Instructor as well.

Instructor Experience:

  • Master Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) Aerobatic
  • Part 141 Assistant Chief Flight Instructor
  • Certified Flight Instructor (CFI)
  • Instructor Course Graduate – F-16 (2000+ Hours)

Airline Transport Pilot (ME):

  • 8500+ Hours (5500+ Jet and Piston Aerobatic)


  • BS: Mechanical Engineering, Lafayette College

Flight Experience:

  • Part 135 Charter Pilot / Management Experience
  • International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) Certified Airshow Performer

Military Experience:

  • 12-Years Active Air Force
  • 10-Years Air Force Reserves, Lt Colonel
  • 301st /69th Fighter Squadron / 310th Fighter Squadron / 80th Fighter Squadron
  • 69th Fighter Squadron (AA Weapons Officer, Chief of Training)
  • Veteran Operation Iraqi Freedom (Qatar, A9 Lessons Learned Division International Organization for Standardization (ISO) / Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) / Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF))