Following last month’s success of its first  Regional Pilot Proficiency Project (PPP) in Texas, the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE) has promised more such fee-based events, with Florida likely the next venue.

SAFE debuted its Regional PPP on October 26-28 at Redbird’s Skyport in San Marcos, Texas, drawing 28 paying participants from as far away as Colorado.

“The smaller class size turned out to be a blessing in disguise,” said Doug Stewart, SAFE Executive Director. “We’d planned on fifty pilots, but  every single participant told us that the smaller class size improved their experience and helped make the event so successful.”

SAFE Regional PPPs are advanced educational events for pilots and instructors.  They combine in-depth aviation seminars by top national presenters with one of eleven specially-designed flight scenarios in an advanced Redbird simulator.

Seven seminars during the San Marcos event included Single-Pilot IFR, Stick and Rudder Skills in Glass Cockpits, Human Factors in Loss of Control, iPad Best Practices using ForeFlight, Tailwheel Tips and Tricks, Angle of Attack Awareness, and GPS: Beyond the Basics and simulator instructors provided a dozen challenging sessions in Redbird simulators.  Surprisingly, about a third of the participants choose to train with a “six-pack” legacy instrument panel rather than the simulator’s available glass cockpit.

Participant and CFII Mark Pierce of Austin, Texas wrote SAFE President Doug Stewart, saying the PPP was “an excellent event, and worth many times the investment. You are a first-rate instructor and speaker, and those of us who had the opportunity to spend time in your presence are better for the experience.”

A detailed report of the San Marcos PPP, based on a survey of participants, is available at

The San Marcos event was SAFE’s first fee-based regional Pilot Proficiency Project.  The PPP was developed in 2012 by SAFE in part because pilot error continues to account for about three-quarter of all accidents, and lack of flight proficiency is the chief cause of the most frequent type of GA inflight accident, loss of control.  Before going on the road, the SAFE PPP received rave reviews from pilots and instructors at EAA  AirVenture, Sun-n-Fun, and AOPA Summit.

“We’re committed to bringing high-quality PPP events to pilots in the most populated parts of the country,” said Stewart, adding,  “Announcement of the next PPP will be made on SAFE’s web site, at

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