Greetings SAFE Members,

This past month has brought many parts of the country to a virtual standstill, what with measurable snow in all 50 states. But whereas aviation came to a halt, with airplanes grounded, and airports closed, even in parts of the country where they “never” get snow, SAFE has continued to grow and move forward, sometimes at what seems like “warp” speed. Here’s a rundown on what we’ve gotten done over the last few weeks:

SPONSORSHIP: As you are probably aware, negotiations with Cessna finally came to a successful conclusion, and we now have Cessna as our website sponsor. If you haven’t been there, check out the footer on every web page of the SAFE website ( to see their handsome advertisement. In addition to their sponsorship, we are working together on other projects to advance the cause of aviation safety and promote aviation education. Another wonderful company has come on board with SAFE both as a sponsor and as a partner in furthering safety and education, and that is Lightspeed Aviation, Inc.. For starters they are sponsoring our exhibit at Sun N Fun, which will include a contest / drawing, open to all aviation educators,  with a Zulu headset as the grand prize. We will also be working together to create seminars on effective aviation communications, for national dissemination. For this project we will also be partnering with the FAASTeam.

MEMBER BENEFITS: I am also happy to announce that we are not standing still finding more partners for our Member Benefits. has stepped forward to offer a $100.00 discount on any of their products to all SAFE members. This now brings the number of companies offering benefits to the membership to 22, and we are far from finished in this endeavor.

MEMBERSHIP RECRUITMENT: As I mentioned in last month’s update, the “Member GaMe Plan” has been under development and is now set to launch at the beginning of March. In this plan every one of you will have the opportunity to help SAFE more than double it’s membership. Our goal is to recruit 500 new members by AirVenture 2010, by having our members Get a Member (GaMe).  And if you are one of the top three members to recruit the most new members, you could win a Zulu Headset, a Garmin Nuvi 765T  GPS, or an “ultimate FIRC” package. Look for the full details to be coming to your email inbox at the beginning of March.

MEMBERSHIP RENEWALS: For many of you, your first year of membership is just about over. The first memberships were begun in March of 2009, and many of the original members will find that the time to renew memberships is coming upon us. In preparation for this we have been working on a membership renewal package that should make your renewal process a simple and seamless event. Look for an email in the early part of March announcing how to go about renewing your membership. This email will include a “year in review” listing our many accomplishments over the past year, our plans and initiatives for the coming year, as well as the top five reasons to belong to SAFE. Needless to say it will also include a renewal application.

FORUMS AREA: Last month I mentioned that the FORUMS area was just about ready to go “live” and almost before I could click “send” on that update, the FORUM was up and running. This is a “members only” portion of the website that can have fantastic value for all of us. It is an area where we can discuss important training issues, ask questions, get answers, and in so many other ways network with each other. Thus I am a little disappointed to see that not all of you have registered to use this wonderful SAFE tool. Why not head over to and register now!

LIBRARY: For any of you who might have clicked on the Library page on the website in the last day or two, you would have noticed that the library has gone “live”. Just please be aware that this is the very mere beginning of a most incredible resource. The Library Editorial Review Committee (LERC) has been very busy setting up the categories and listings for the library, and this is no easy project. So what you are seeing on the website right now, is just the “tip of the iceberg”, the start of a major “work in progress”. Please be patient as this outstanding member benefit grows and takes shape. The next step will be to build the library with content submitted by SAFE authors. With the wealth of talent and knowledge within the SAFE membership, this library has the potential to become one of the greatest sources of information for the entire aviation education community.


                GOVERNANCE: One of the responsibilities of the Governance committee is to conduct nominations and elections for the Board of Directors. Today was the last to day to submit nominations to the nominations chair, Sherry Rossiter. In correspondence from her, the committee has not been flooded with nominees, but has enough that they will now be starting the process of interviewing the nominees so that they can present a slate of six nominees to the Board of Directors at their next monthly meeting, scheduled for March 10th. The next step in the process will be to set up the elections, so that every member of our organization will have an opportunity to help decide who sits on the Board of Directors.

         FINANCE: After soliciting for members to volunteer for the Finance committee, I had the honor to select Dr. Parvez Dara, and Stan Burkes to fill the member positions on the committee. Per the by-laws, the Treasurer, Larry Bothe serves as chairman, and I fill the last seat on the committee. The committee got right to work, and has already drafted the budget for our coming fiscal year.


            FLIGHT TRAINING SAFETY COMMITTEE: Prior to the last Board of Directors meeting held on Feb. 10th, member Steve Lasday came forward to suggest the formation of a committee to deal with the many issues of Flight Training Safety. As Steve said; “flight training will very soon be receiving intense scrutiny from the public, media, governmental groups, and, perhaps most importantly, regulatory agencies. This focus demands that SAFE have a voice, as concerns such as these are one of the core reasons of SAFE‘s existence. We have to be at the pointy edge of the spear on this, or else we’ll end up being subjected to ultimately rather undesirable results.” Considering that Steve is not only so motivated and passionate about this topic, but also somewhat of an expert, having extensive experience with safety in flight training operations. event reporting system development, Safety Management Systems (SMS), safety education, and event investigation, the Board asked, and Steve accepted, that he chair this very important committee. Other members appointed to the committee include Rich Stowell, Michael Maya Charles, Mark Adams, and myself. 

The Committee has identified four areas to address initially, in order of priority: Development of a General Aviation Flight Training Safety Audit Program; Development of a Safety Management System aimed at flight training operations; Enhancement and widespread implementation of General Aviation Flight Data Monitoring Systems; and Development of a comprehensive Upset Recovery Training package for pilots of light airplanes. If you share a passion for these topics, and truly have the time to invest in being a part of this strategic committee, please let me know.

For me, this is a big step forward, as SAFE is finally reaching that stage where we can now start to move beyond the logistical requirements of creating infrastructure, and start to truly advocate to fulfill our mission and vision statements. As part of that effort, I will be going to Wichita next week to be a part of the FAA Small Aircraft Directorate public meeting to hear “Recommendations for General Aviation for the Next 20 Years” based on the Part 23 – Small Airplane Certification Process Study. This study has looked at not only the certification and maintenance of the GA fleet, but the operations as well. I look forward to being able to have input representing the viewpoint of those of us who spend the majority of our time in the right seat of an airplane.

ANPRM: Two weeks ago I sent out a notice that SAFE was soliciting comments so that we could draft an official response to the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making that the FAA has announced would be addressing issues raised by the Colgan Air accident in Buffalo. To date I have received 10 very well thought out and worded comments. These will certainly aid us as we prepare the SAFE response. However we can certainly use some more comments. There are many different viewpoints relative to the FAA’s proposed changes, and we would like to know what you think. So keep those cards and letters coming, folks! For more information go to:

SUN N FUN: News having to do with Sun N Fun, is that we have set the time and date for our Annual Sun N Fun Breakfast. It will be on Friday, April 16th, at 8:00AM. I am trying to secure the same venue as we had last year, but have not had confirmation as of this writing. As we did last year, we will have a sign-up sheet on the website for those of you who plan to attend. Also, as I mentioned in the last update, we will not be as hard to find as we were last year. You will find us at space E-6, just east of Hangar A. We will be in a 20 X 30 tent this year, right on a main thoroughfare. We’ll have some flutter flags standing tall to help you find us. Go to to see a map of where we’ll be. As I mentioned earlier we will be conducting a contest / drawing sponsored by Lightspeed Aviation, with a Zulu headset as the grand prize. Needless to say we are going to need SAFE volunteers to help staff the tent, and administer the contest. If you will be attending Sun N Fun this year, please try to set aside a morning or afternoon to lend a hand, and let me know when you could help, so that I can start to put together a schedule of exhibit volunteers.  Also, if you will be presenting any seminars at Sun N Fun please let us know, so that we can post them on the website.

BROCHURE: Last week I sent out an “urgent appeal” for photos to use as we create our new brochure. The response to that appeal was absolutely overwhelming. I received over 125 photos in less than two days. It was feast or famine for our graphic designer as she now was faced with the problem of having to choose from so many great photos, rather than not having anywhere near enough. But she has done that, and the final draft will be on it’s way to the membership committee for final approval before going to the printer. However, with so many photos of SAFE members now in our archives, we are going to go ahead and use many of them to upgrade and enhance the website header. My sincere gratitude to all of you who participated in this fantastic show of member support!

INSURANCE: Jim Anderson, our underwriter from Starr Aviation tells me that he is hoping for approval from Chubb executives this week to move forward with the legal department and then finally file with all the states. It would appear that he is “on spot, on speed” in getting us our insurance program before the first quarter of the year is over. As was said: ” this is like turning the Titanic, but once we clear the iceberg it should be smooth sailing.”

INTERNATIONAL LEARN TO FLY DAY: ILTFD is May 15th, three months away, but I am already pursuing several partnerships and initiatives so that SAFE members will be able to take an active part in a day set aside to exposing as many people as possible to the joys and rewards of learning to fly. Stay tuned for more news on this exciting project in the next update.

That just about sums up what we have been doing for the last four weeks. It’s been a very busy time, and we have accomplished quite a bit, but that doesn’t mean that we can now sit back and relax.In fact we are just starting to get warmed up, and there is still so much to do.  Remember too, that we are entirely driven by volunteers. The only paid staff is our webmaster. So once again I will remind you that we can use your help. Being “all about our members” means not only that we are here to serve the membership, but that the membership is encouraged to take part in all that we do. Please take a contributing part in our initiatives. Even if you don’t have the time,  or inclination to serve on a committee, you can at least take the time to write a response to the ANPRM;  you can register and participate in the forum discussions; you can make a submission to the library; you can vote for the Board members of your choice;  and once the “Member GaMe Plan” is active you can go out and recruit several of your peers to our GREAT organization.

Until the next update may your days be happy and SAFE!

Doug Stewart 


Society of Aviation and Flight Educators

About the author 

Doug Stewart (Lifetime Member)

MCFI/ DPE, 2004 National CFI OTY. Specializing in instrument training, tailwheel training, and sport pilot training. Currently SAFE Executive Director.

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