The Society of Aviation and Flight Educators has formed the Flight Training Safety (FTS) Committee. Responding to a number of recent, high profile events, this committee has been charged with advancing general aviation safety through research into, and application of, modern safety practices.

According to FTS Committee Chair Steve Lasday, “The focus of attention from the media, manufacturers, training organizations, civil aviation regulatory authorities, and the public is shifting in a major way onto flight training. It’s time for us to take an intelligent and proactive stance regarding initiatives that could have a significant impact on general aviation.” Lasday continued, “Although a number of larger schools already incorporate some form of safety management into their operations, general aviation as a whole has lagged way behind other segments of the aviation industry.” The goal is to generate deliverables that are flexible enough for even the smallest flight or maintenance operation to adopt.

SAFE’s FTS Committee is currently comprised of five highly experienced individuals:

  • Committee Chair Steve Lasday, a former instructor pilot at ERAU and safety manager at an overseas flight training organization, has extensive experience with safety in flight training operations. Lasday has been involved with event reporting system development, Safety Management Systems (SMS), safety education, and event investigation.
  • SAFE Chair Doug Stewart is a six-time Master Instructor, the 2004 National Flight Instructor of the Year, and a Designated Pilot Examiner. Stewart also owns and operates a Part 61 flight school.
  • SAFE Vice Chair Mark Adams is a three-time Master Instructor, an Airbus Flight Standards Check Airman, Human Factors Subject Matter Expert, and a former Part 141 flight school owner.
  • Six-time Master Instructor Rich Stowell is the 2006 National Flight Instructor of the Year. He is an authority on stall/spin and upset recovery training methods.
  • Michael Maya Charles is a former MD-11 captain and check airman for a major airline, an active flight instructor for over 37 years, and author of “Artful Flying”.

A lot of work product has been generated for other sectors of aviation already; work that the SAFE FTS Committee intends to adapt specifically for the general aviation training environment. The Committee has identified four areas to address initially, in order of priority:

  1. Development of a General Aviation Flight Training Safety Audit Program
  2. Development of a Safety Management System aimed at flight training operations
  3. Enhancement and widespread implementation of General Aviation Flight Data Monitoring Systems
  4. Development of a comprehensive Upset Recovery Training package for pilots of light airplanes

Industry leaders, educators, and safety advocates who wish to collaborate with the SAFE FTS Committee are encouraged to submit the contact form provided on the FTS Committee web page.

About the author 

Rich Stowell (Lifetime Member)

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