Larry Bothe
Larry Bothe

SAFE#: 0022

Hometown: Seymour, IN

Home Airport: KSER

Occupation: FAA Designated Pilot Examiner (retired from plastics industry)

Education: BS, Lehigh University, Business Administration

Pilot Certificates: Commercial, Instrument, CFI, CFII, ASEL, ASES, AMEL, Glider, Rotorcraft-Helicopter (CFI in ASEL only), Advanced & Instrument Ground Instructor. Gold Seal and Master CFI.

Airplanes Flying/Flown: 6,500 hours in 76 different types of aircraft. Except for a little time in a Cessna 421 and a Cherokee Six, all of that time is in 2- and 4-seat aircraft.

Educational Specialty: Private & Instrument, mostly because that is the instructional opportunity here in southern Indiana.

Q & A

What drew you to aviation? During my senior year in college (1964) the Air Force paid for my roommate to get his Private certificate. We scraped together money to rent a plane and go flying together twice before we graduated. I was hooked.

How long have you been involved in aviation education? More than 30 years.

What’s your favorite part of what you do in aviation education? Encountering either a very adept student that I get to teach, or conducting a checkride for an especially well-prepared applicant.

What’s your least favorite part of what you do in aviation education? Flying with flat-footed pilots (i.e., pilots who don’t understand the proper use of the rudder) on flight reviews or checkrides.

Do you have a memorable aviation experience you’d like to share? Just last week I flew a Stearman for the first time. I was able to get it on the ground on the third try with out any help or coaching. Many years ago I flew into a thunderstorm cell in a C-172. I wrote a Never Again account for AOPA that was recently published on their website.

Why did you join SAFE? Because I didn’t like the direction of another professional organization to which I belong. SAFE can and will do better.

What would you like to see change in aviation? I’d like to see IACRA become more user-friendly. Especially, I’d like the FAA to implement the ability for an 8710 form to be corrected at the time of a checkride.

Any suggestions on how the above might be accomplished? The FAA has already told us that 8710 correction ability is in the works, but that was a year ago. DPEs and flight instructors need to keep hammering on the FAA to actually get it done.

Any accomplishments in, or noteworthy contributions to aviation and/or aviation education you’d like to mention? Being appointed to be an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner in 2002 is my greatest aviation accomplishment. It is pretty amazing considering that I have no experience as a corporate, charter or airline pilot. I was a bit surprised when I was actually elected to the SAFE Board of Directors; I’m not very well known nationally. More recently, I was honored to be a forum presenter for the first time at AirVenture 2009.

Who are your role models in aviation? Bob Hoover, always the gentleman.

Anything else you’d like to add? All of us who have the opportunity should try to give back something to this activity we love. Give talks locally. Help reporters. Volunteer at AirVenture. Do Young Eagles rides.