SAFE Member Brenda Tibbs Named Best Flight Instructor in AOPA Poll

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More than 11,000 individuals completed the AOPA online poll this year, an increase of 60 percent compared to 2015.
The award for Best Flight School went to Flight Training Professionals in Orlando, FL, and the Student’s Choice Award went to Paragon Flight in Fort Myers, FL.   A special President’s Choice award, selected by AOPA President Mark Baker, went to Take Flight Aviation of Montgomery, NY for “significant and innovative contributions to the flight training community.”
SAFE supported the AOPA outreach effort by promoting the poll in eNews and elsewhere and providing a polling station for SAFE members at this year’s EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh in late July.  The poll was designed to measure the performance of flight instructors and flight schools in four categories: educational quality, customer focus, community, and information sharing.
Additional outstanding flight schools recognized in the poll were:
– AeroVenture Institute of Southbridge, MA
– Brazos Valley Flight Services of College Station, TX
– Centennial Aviation Academy of Atlanta, GA
– Illinois Aviation Academy of Chicago/West Chicago, IL
– Skill Aviation of Chicago/West Chicago, IL
– SkyTrek Alaska Flight Training of Anchorage, AK
– Stratos Aviation of Greenville, SC
– Valley Aviation of Wilkes-Barre, PA
– WINGS Flight School of Vacaville, CA
Outstanding flight instructors named were:
– William Allen (AeroVenture Institute 3B0 – Southbridge, MA)
– Allan Burke (BCB – Blacksburg, VA)
– Scott Campbell (Sierra Charlie Aviation SDL – Scottsdale, AZ)
– Jennifer Frost (Aspen Flying Club APA, Denver, CO)
– Kayla Harder (Paragon Flight School FMY – Fort Myers, FL)
– Steven Casey Jones (Wings of Carolina TTA – Sanford, NC)
– Domenic Lafauci (Bridgewater State University; East Coast Aero Club EWB, New Bedford, MA; BED, Bedford, MA)
– Stephen Matheson (U77 – Spanish Fork, UT; DVT ñ Phoenix, AZ)
– Jason Schappert (MZeroA OCL – Ocala, FL)
– Joseph Standley (Flight Instructor Joe/Blue Skies Pilot Shop 3CK – Chicago/Lake In The Hills, IL)
AOPA also issued “report cards” to all flight schools that received at least five qualifying poll-taker students reports to help make feedback from students the most constructive for the flight training providers.

FLYING EXPO: Great to see so many SAFE members

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“It was great to see so many attending the seminars and receiving Wings Credit”, said Wilt. “Thanks to member Gary Reeves and, it was easy for attendees to turn in a post card on site to get FAA Wings Credit.” She said that more than 1,100 attendance cards were turned in for Wings program credit during the three-day event.
A highlight of the seminars at the Expo was the first-ever live debate between SAFE members John King of King Schools and Rod Machado, long-time aviation educator, on the FAAís new Airman Certification Standards.
Those staffing the SAFE booth included aviation professors Glynn Falcon of San Jose State and Donna Wilt of the Florida Institute of Technology.  Special promotional items at the SAFE booth were donated by MyGoFlight for the event.

ForeFlight 8 is Here!

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The new release also improves on the popular Logbook option from previous releases.  “From a CFI’s standpoint, one of the best innovations allows pilots in training to send draft logbook entries to their instructor, who can then electronically add his signature,” said Kevin D Murphy, SAFE Communications Director.   “Busy CFIs will understand what a time-saving feature this really is.”
“ForeFlight has been one of SAFE’s best sponsors,” said SAFE Chair David St. George, “and the 33 percent off their software can actually save a pilot more than the cost of every year’s membership in SAFE.”

SAFE’s Aviation Education Scholarships Help Ensure GA’s Future

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The purpose of this grant application was to purchase Guillow balsa wood models representing different general aviation aircraft designs. The models were to provide the students with experience reading construction plans. Few students have experience building something from plans. In fact, the closest most students get to constructing from plans is assembling IKEA furniture.
The models met and exceeded this goal. Not only did the students’ ability to read plans improve, but the models exposed the students to construction techniques similar to the ones they use in the construction of the real aircraft we are building in our school shop. This sped up our construction timeline and reduced frustration levels (both mine and theirs). The students learned to enjoy taking their time to create an aircraft part that displayed fine craftsmanship instead of rushing to complete something that only needed to be redone as a result. Also, model components such as a spar, longeron or firewall transferred directly over to our aircraft projects and to other topics we covered as well.
Finally, the models provided the students with three dimensional examples of popular training aircraft that the students were learning to represent in aircraft design software. This allowed the students compare their computer model with something they didn’t previously have any knowledge of. They didn’t have to ask me, “Does this look right?”I will definitely repeat this project next year. The students and I both felt the outcomes of the project outweighed the financial and class time costs.”

Flight Instructor Bob Hoover Praised, Thanked  SAFE Says We Should All Be Like Bob!

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Mr. Hoover’s trademark maneuver, called “Energy Management,” was a high-speed dive without power, using the hurtling momentum to pull up the plane into a loop at the last possible minute, followed by an eight-point roll, then a waltz to a landing, touching first one main tire then the other.  Still without power, he then maneuvered up the runway and onto the taxiway, stopping at precisely show center.
He often flew in a business suit, wryly saying it would be less trouble for the undertaker in the event of an accident.
Mr. Hoover was a contemporary of and knew Orville Wright, Charles Lindbergh, General Doolittle and Eddie Rickenbacker, as well as Chuck Yeager and Colonel Gagarin.  In the space age, he counted as friends astronauts Walter Schirra and Neil Armstrong.
Aerobatic pilot Sean D. Tucker credits Mr. Hoover with saving his life by providing fatherly advice early in his career.  In those days, Sean was aggressively pushing the edge of what was possible with an airplane when Mr. Hoover approached him and explained in clear language how his days would be limited if he didn’t build a little more margin into his flying routine.  “I don’t think I’d be alive today if Bob hadn’t taken me under his wing and told me I was pushing the envelope a little too much,” said Sean.”
“I encourage all pilots to aspire to be ‘more like Bob’ both in pursuing excellence and professionalism in every flight and promoting safety and keeping watch over our fellow aviators” said St. George.  “Please take a page from Bob’s playbook and both build a safety margin into your flying and put a friendly hand on the shoulder of any pilot you see on the road to disaster.”

SAFE Blog Highlights CFI Purpose, Tools

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Who is Your Gatekeeper?  Nationally known aviation safety specialist and SAFE member Gene Benson kept hearing that CFIs must be the “gatekeeper,” ensuring all pilots are competent in skill, knowledge and decision-making.  “Then why did my research find so many instructional accidents in the past five years?” he asked.  That was when his epiphany occurred, as he relates in this fascinating SAFE blog.
ACS Presents the “Three Dimensional” Pilot by SAFE Chair David St. George explains why the old Practical Test Standards presented a one-dimensional, black and white sketch of a three-dimensional, color world, and how the new Airman Certification Standards helps correct that.
Two Pilots; Support Excellence in Aviation! is also by St. George, and compares the piloting skills of captain Chesley Sullenberg of Hudson River landing fame and the pilot of Colgan 3407, who allowed his aircraft to slow into a mushing, slow flight condition on final approach to Buffalo, NY, ignoring all stall indicators.  It’s a must-read for all serious CFIs.

2016 Master Instructor Designations

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Lance Alan Bartel, a 2-time Master CFI and SAFE member, renewed his Master CFI accreditation July 31.  A graduate of Kansas State University’s Professional Pilot Program at Salina Municipal Airport, Lance works as an instructor with Textron Aviation.† He specializes in providing Beechcraft Baron and Bonanza factory training courses to customers nationwide and conducts aircraft flight demonstrations.
Erick de Barros Camara, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, renewed his Master Ground Instructor accreditation in October.   The holder of both advanced and instrument ground instructor certification (AIGI) as well as an ATP certificate, Erick specializes in teaching airborne geophysics to ground students and has earned master wings in the FAA’s WINGS program.
Ken Wittekiend, Jr. Burnet, TX,†renewed his Master CFI designation for the sixth time at the end of October, marking 12 years of commitment to excellence, professional growth, and service to the aviation community.† † Ken instructs with the Bonanza Pilot Proficiency Program in addition to operating ProMark Aviation Services at the Burnet Municipal Airport. He also serves as a pilot examiner and a FAASTeam representative for the FAA’s San Antonio FSDO. Ken oversees the CFI mentoring program at SAFE.
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