The ADS-B requirement for flight in certain busy areas is now official FAA regulation. If you are flying a non-equipped aircraft, the old “Mode-C transponder restrictions ” pretty much apply (see details here). That same ADS-B channel provides continuous updating of weather and airspace information while airborne via data-link. What an amazing safety tool! Our once stale data we departed with can now be updated continuously keeping us up to date in the air.

Despite these amazing enroute-planning tools, accident statistics clearly point to a lack of fundamental skills and mental preparedness as the #1 risk factor for aviators. Loss of control inflight (LOC-I), losing control of a perfectly good aircraft (most cases), is the threat we must deal with directly to be safer in the New Year. SAFE has been focusing on and providing resources to extend the aviator flight envelope with maneuvers and scenarios in flight. But technology provides some solutions for pilot skill acquisition on the ground also with simulators.

Crawl into a tuned up, full-motion simulator and prepare for a surprise. Full motion aviation simulators are great tools to provide aviation challenges. Both hands and minds need to be prepared for surprise events in aviation. FOr safety, we need to approach every flight with “eyes wide open;” psychologically ready to deal with challenges beyond the ordinary. The well-documented “startle response” often leads to the LOC-I. Savvy instructors in simulators can provide great training for this with a level of safety unavailable in flight. SAFE started the Pilot Proficiency Project™ back in 2011 with a Redbird and a series of pre-written scenarios that surprise and challenge pilots building new skills and psychological preparedness. This program evolved into the EAA  Proficiency365™

The scenarios you may have experienced at the EAA Pilot Proficiency Center at Oshkosh are now available all around the country on properly equipped full-motion simulators. This training requires properly trained aviation educators and suitably equipped simulators.

As an educator,  you can experience the CFI training and tools – see the process in action –  by joining SAFE at a regional meet-up Jan 13th in NYC that will demonstrate these scenarios in action. We will be meeting at “Pilot Proficiency International” on the Farmingdale Airport (KFRG). Owner (and SWA check airman) Danny Weiss will be showing off his Redbird and the tools available for CFIs to expand the pilot envelope and prepare pilots for surprises (this sim can be rented by CFIs in NYC area). We are collaborating with the NYC MCFI club to offer this event (RSVP David Dempsey). Food and video feed from the sim. will be available. You can also find a qualified simulator near you on Community Aviation. Watch for future SAFE Meet-Ups near you. Fly safely (and often) Happy (SAFE) New Year!

SAFE CFI-PRO™ workshop  is open to every aviation educator at every level (even if you are working on your CFI?)

Join SAFE to support our safety mission of generating aviation excellence in teaching and flying. Our amazing member benefits pay back your contribution (1/3 off your ForeFlight subscription)! Our FREE SAFE Toolkit App puts required pilot endorsements and experience requirements right on your smartphone and facilitates CFI+DPE teamwork. Our CFI insurance was developed by SAFE specifically for CFIs (and is the best value in the business).

About the author 

David St. George (Lifetime Member)

David St. George learned to fly at Flanders Valley Airport in 1970. Proving that everyone is eventually trainable, he became an FAA Gold Seal Flight Instructor for airplanes (single and multi, instrument, and glider) and serves the Rochester FSDO as an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner. In this capacity, he gives flight tests at any level from sport pilot to ATP and CFI. For 25 years David was East Hill Flying Club's 141 Chief Instructor and manager. David holds multi and single engine ATP pilot certificates, with pilot ratings for glider and seaplane and several jet type ratings. He recently earned his 13th renewal as a Master Instructor and owns an Aeronca Champ so he can build hours for that airline job!

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