AirVenture 2016 ‘A Banner Year’ For SAFE


AirVenture 2016 was ‘a banner year’ for SAFE, with a record number of instructors and pilots joining the organization and many members renewing.  The annual membership meeting dinner on Thursday night was sold out, and attendees included top FAA and NTSB officials.
Special guest Stephen Pope, editor of FLYING Magazine, spoke at the membership meeting dinner.

A special ‘Director Emeritus’ Founder’s award went to organization co-founder Doug Stewart and Certificates of Appreciation were presented to NTSB Board member Dr. Earl Weener and FAA Flight Standards Service Director John Duncan.  Also recognized was Susan Parson, editor of FAA Aviation News.  The 2016 SAFE Service Award went to Kevin D Murphy, editor of eNews.
SAFEbooth2016The SAFE booth in Exhibit Hall B provided SAFE members an opportunity for input on the new FAA NPRM affecting training for Commercial and CFI certificates and IFR currency requirements when using an Aviation Training Device (ATD). (See related story in this issue).  Others took the survey on runway incursions sponsored by the Pegasas Project in cooperation with SAFE, chatted with staff members and volunteered at the booth.
Sponsors of the sold-out membership dinner, FLYING Magazine, Sporty’s Pilot Shop, Aviation Insurance Resources (AIR) and Starr Insurance received a round of applause from the appreciative audience.

SAFE Member Volunteer At AirVenture Pilot Proficiency Center

MichaelPhillipsPPC_OSH16SAFE members Jack Vandeventer of Indiana, Ken Wittekiend of Texas, Parvez Dara of New Jersey and Michael Phillips of California spent much of their time at AirVenture 2016 as volunteer instructors in the EAA Pilot Proficiency Center, helping both VFR and IFR pilots sharpen their skills on a dozen Redbird LD flight simulators, a Redbird MCX and a Crosswind simulator.
Tech Talks by volunteer presenters and simulator practice were available free to any pilot in the cavernous, well air-conditioned tent set up at the Four Corners at AirVenture.
Partners for this year’s EAA Pilot Proficiency Center included SAFE, NAFI, Hartzell Propeller Inc., Jeppesen, Redbird Flight, AOPA, David Clark, Mindstar Aviation, PilotEdge and Plane and Pilot Magazine.

SAFE Expands Member Outreach, Seeks Volunteers

New SAFE Chair David St. George announced at AirVenture 2016 that the organization will be expanding resources available to members on the new web site and increasing outreach by involving more SAFE members.
“Write a blog article, join a committee or become a SAFE Ambassador,” he said.  “CFI to CFI, face-to-face communication about instructional safety is the goal.  SAFE members are some of the best and most experienced CFIs in the world, and keeping all that talent and expertise bottled up is no way to increase aviation instructional excellence.”
“For instance, this month we need a SAFE Ambassador for the AOPA Fly-In event at Bremerton (WA) National Airport (KPWT) to tell the world about the resource SAFE offers instructors aspiring to excellence.”
Use this form to volunteer as a SAFE ambassador for this and many other aviation events around the country or join a committee…promote your professional organization!

SAFE Members Agree With Use Of TAA For Commercial Flight Training

Substituting a technologically advanced aircraft (TAA) for a complex aircraft for commercial pilot training earned approval from nearly three-quarters of the SAFE members who participated in a survey on FAA NPRM-2016-6142-0001 at the SAFE booth at AirVenture 2016.
SAFE sponsored the survey at AirVenture to get member input on the NPRM, which proposes substantial changes affecting flight training.  SAFE will include the opinions as part of the organization’s official comments to the FAA.
On the proposal for allowing TAA instead of complex aircraft, 71.4 percent of SAFE members agreed or strongly agreed with the proposal, while the remainder either disagreed or were neutral.  SAFE members were less enthusiastic about another proposal in the NPRM which would remove the requirement for an instructor to be present when a pilot is using a full flight simulator, flight training device or aviation training device for IFR recency; only 42.8 percent agreed or strongly agreed with that proposal.
The FAA’s comment period on the NPRM remains open through August 10, and SAFE urges members who did not participate in the SAFE poll at AirVenture 2016 to make their views known.  In the comment search box, enter FAA-2016-6142-0001.

National FAA GA Award Winners Honored At SAFE Dinner

GAwinners2016This year’s National FAA General Aviation Award winners for 2016 were honored at the SAFE member dinner on Thursday night at AirVenture.  They were Rich Martindell (FAASTeam representative), Bob Hepp (CFI) and Adrian Eichhorn (aviation technician).
All winners also received embroidered shirts with the SAFE logo and a year’s membership in SAFE.

A Note From Outgoing Chair Donna Wilt

During the annual SAFE membership meeting at AirVenture 2016, I was pleased to announce that Vice Chair David St. George was elected by the board to the position of Chairman of the SAFE Board of Directors for the coming year. The SAFE Directors unanimously elected him in accordance with the SAFE Bylaws and he assumed the position at the end of the annual meeting.  I’m sure he will be an outstanding leader for the organization.
It’s been my privilege to serve as SAFE Chair for the past two years, and I remain active on the board, completing my current term. Read more about David and the newly-elected directors, Eric Hake and Mike Garrison, later in this eNews.
Donna Wilt

New Board Chair, Two New And One Previous Director Assume Office

DavidDirectorSAFEDavid St. George, a charter member of SAFE, has been elected as Chair of the SAFE Board of Directors for the 2016-2017 term.
For more than 20 years, St. George was the Chief Instructor at East Hill Flying Club, and is a CFI for all fixed wing certificates and ratings from Sport Pilot to Multi-Engine ATP, and is an FAA pilot examiner for the Rochester FSDO and FAAST Team lead representative. He is a ten time Master CFI and Charter member of SAFE.  David maintains many websites and wrote the popular SAFE Toolkit app.
He has been instrumental in SAFE’s growth, especially in the area of SAFE’s social media outreach.
Also taking office as SAFE Directors were Eric Hake of Houston, Texas and Mike Garrison of Port St. Lucie, Florida.  Parvez Dara of Toms River, New Jersey, was re-elected to the Board after having been appointed to fill a vacancy created in 2015 when a Director stepped down.
Previous Chair Donna Wilt oversaw creation of a greatly expanded eNews, built membership to more than 1,000 and upgraded SAFE’s image at trade shows.

SAFE Toolkit App Updated With ACS Information

SAFEToolkitACS1SAFE’s popular Toolkit application has been updated with all Airman Certification Standards (ACS) information a CFI needs to properly prepare a student for a Private Pilot or an Instrument Rating checkride.
It includes all endorsements for training required by FAR Part 61, along with mobile weather, flight tracking, N# lookup and more.  “We basically put everything in the SAFE CFI Tookit that you would use as a working CFI,” said David St. George, the app developer.
SAFE’s Toolkit is free and downloadable from the App Store for iPods and from the Google Play Store for Android devices.
“As a DPE I get to see the really great and disappointingly bad results of aviation instruction,” said David St. George, an FAA DPE and former flight school manager who wrote the app. “When I sit down as the examiner with an applicant to ‘qualify’ him or her, we need to have the legal minimum endorsements and experience per AC 61.65F or we cannot proceed. Without the legal data we are ‘dead in the water,’ wasting time and providing a very disappointing experience for our future aviator. That’s why SAFE has added the ACS information to the SAFE Toolkit.”
SAFE members who have a favorite resource not yet on the app may have it considered for addition by using the last tab on the app, which goes straight to the developer’s phone.

SAFE K-12 Classroom Teacher Grant Deadline August 31

Classroom teachers have until August 31 to submit applications for the two $250 classroom teacher grants SAFE awards annually.   The teacher does not need to be a SAFE member.  The grant program is meant to encourage teachers to incorporate aviation-themed lessons into their curriculum.   Grant information is available at

Driver’s License Medical May Increase CFI Business

A nearly 30-year battle to allow non-commercial pilots to fly using a state-issued driver’s license instead of an FAA medical certificate reached a milestone in July with Senate passage of a FAA reauthorization bill and signed into law by President Obama on July 15.  Once the FAA writes specific rules to comply with the legislation, any pilot who has held any class medical certificate in the past 10 years may use his or her driver’s license as proof of fitness to fly.
Unlike earlier, more restrictive versions of the legislation, the privilege will be for virtually any single or twin-engine airplane, VFR or IFR, with up to six seats and a gross weight of up to 6,000 pounds.  Pilots operating with a driver’s license medical may carry as many as five passengers up to 18,000 feet and flying at speeds up to 250 knots.
“With passage of this so-called Driver’s License Medical bill, some of the expense and hassle of non-commercial flying has been removed and we expect CFIs will see an increase in business as former pilots clamor to get back into flying,” declared outgoing SAFE Chair Donna Wilt.
The FAA has one year from the time President Obama signed the bill to develop rules implementing it.  Although pilots won’t be able to fly with a driver’s license medical until the FAA officially issues the new rules some time in the coming year, the reachback period of 10 years started with the July signing of the legislation by President Obama.  The ten years dates from the final day the airman’s last medical certificate was valid as a third-class medical.
The new law does not allow pilots to disregard medical requirements.  As is the case now, each pilot must assure that he or she is medically fit to fly before each flight.  Pilots will have to visit a physician (not necessarily an AME) every four years and provide the doctor with an FAA-generated checklist that he or she will use as a guide to the examination. If the physician does not find any physical or neurological items that could interfere with safe operation of an aircraft, he may so certify.  The checklist is not sent to the FAA, but retained by the airman.
Every two years, airmen will need to take online training in aeromedical factors and keep the certificate of completion in his or her logbook. At that time, airmen will provide the FAA with some of the same information as they do today, including authorization for the National Driver Register to provide the airman’s driving record to the FAA.  Also required every two years will be a signed statement by the airman certifying understanding that he or she can’t operate an aircraft during a medical deficiency or have any medical condition that would prevent flying safely.
An updated list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the new driver’s license medical is available from AOPA.

Student Pilot’s Guide Part III Featured In July/August 2016 FAA Safety Briefing Magazine

FAA Safety BriefingThe July/August 2016 issue of FAA Safety Briefing (formerly known as FAA Aviation News) focuses on the world of student pilots and airmen in training.
“Building on our previous student-pilot themed editions in 2012 and 2014, this issue provides tips and resources for success in initial pilot certification,” wrote Susan Parson in the magazine’s introduction.  Parson is editor of the magazine and SAFE member.  “It also explores the new Airman Certification Standards which begin rolling out this summer.”
Other articles in this issue include
•    Perfect Picks for Potential Pilots, an assessment of essentials for any beginning pilot.  Written by Sabrina Woods, a former Air Force accident investigator, it covers everything from aviation texts to headsets and a good pair of sunglasses to keep glare from harsh morning sun down.
•    Junkyard Dog or Factory Fresh, by William Dubois, on choosing the best training airplane.
•    Mandate Mythbusting Part II, by Tom Hoffman, on separating fact from fiction for the ADS-B 2020 equipment requirements.
•    I Want To Fly, So Why Do I Need to Go To The Doctor? By James Williams explains the many myths about medical certification for pilots.  Especially with the new driver’s license medical for non-commercial pilots, a thorough understanding of the FAA’s medical requirements is essential for any pilot.

FAA Risk Management Handbook Available On-Line Free

FAARiskBookThe AOPA Air Safety Institute says that about 75% of all GA accidents are caused by pilot error; the NTSB puts that figure at 85% for the last 20 years.  Whatever the exact figure, pilots are clearly the weak link in the chain. All we have to do is fix pilot error, right?
“Many of these accidents are a result of the tendency to focus flight training on the physical aspects of flying the aircraft…(while)…risk management is ignored, with sometimes fatal results,” says the introduction to the FAA Risk Management Handbook, a publication available for free download from the FAA web site.
The eight-chapter, 131-page handbook covers identifying and mitigating risk, basic aeronautical decision-making, single-pilot resource management, automation and risk management training.  Particularly valuable are three appendices, which include helping pilots and flight instructors set personal minimums, providing valuable sample risk management scenarios and a CFIT checklist.
“The new ACS brings new focus to teaching risk management to our students,” said Kevin D Murphy, former VP, AOPA Air Safety Institute.  “With 75 to 85 percent of GA accidents the result of pilot error, it’s about time, don’t you think?”

SAFE Blog Highlights

ACS Survival Guide for Flight Training and Testing is a fascinating and easily-read report from FAA DPE and SAFE Chair David St. George detailing his first experiences in using the new Airman Certification Standards to give airman check rides.
St. George, who has conducted more than 2,000 flight evaluations as a Part 141 flight school Chief Instructor and FAA DPE, points out that a flight check is a pass/fail system.  “If something in flight on a checkride is unsatisfactory, both the applicant and I will know it immediately,” he writes.  “The harder and more important areas of concern are the judgement and risk-management areas of flight, which now receive full focus in the new ‘Know, Consider, Do’ ACS format.”
How’s that new ACS thingy workin’ for you?  St. George also was one of the first FAA designated examiners to actually “test drive” flight tests using the new ACS, and he reports that it doesn’t affect any of the maneuvers or completion criteria during checkrides, but it does codify what examiners have been using in their plans of action over the last 10 years.  “Increasingly, we have been instructed by the FAA not to fire off rote-based questions, such as ‘how much fuel’ or ‘what is Vx’ but instead guide an applicant through a realistic, scenario-based experience or “thought experiment.” The intention of each evaluation is to discover how our future pilot will think, decide, judge and perform in a myriad of realistic situations we could not safely or efficiently create in an aircraft.
New FAA rules on Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) for commercial operators are giving greater freedom and access for aspiring unmanned aviators, who no longer have to be pilots with a current medical and current flight review.  It’s still much easier for Part 61-certificated pilots to get a “remote pilot certificate,” involving only passing an online test on  Non-pilots must be at least 16 and complete a knowledge test at an FAA Approved Testing Center, then apply for certificate with an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner.  A new guide for the knowledge test is available.

AOPA Flight Training Poll Open Until August 22

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 3.19.00 PMInstructors who are actively involved in flight training may want to encourage their students and former students to take the 2016 AOPA Flight Training poll. The poll measures the performance of flight instructors and schools in four categories: educational quality, customer focus, community, and information sharing.
“If you’re a good flight instructor and know it, you should encourage your students to participate,” said SAFE Chair Donna Wilt.  “Not only will it give you a chance to be nationally recognized in the Flight Training Excellence Awards but also give you coverage in Flight Training magazine and on AOPA’s website.”   She added that all instructors who get at least five qualifying poll-taker students will also receive a report card summarizing customer feedback on the areas where you excel and where you can grow.
“This isn’t just a popularity contest,” said David St. George, incoming SAFE Chair.  “The team at AOPA has gone to great lengths to scientifically calibrate the survey and weigh the results to defeat attempts to “game” the system. They have gathered real data on what makes CFIs and flight schools the top performers. Their analysis behind this survey reveals impressive and useful information for all serious aviation providers.”  A deeper look into factors that go into instructional excellence are in the SAFE Blog.
The poll closes at noon on Aug. 22, 2016.

2016 Master Instructor Achievements

Six of the nation’s top professional aviation educators renewed their Master CFI designations in May, June and July, all through Master Instructors, LLC.  Additionally, three long-time Master CFIs were granted Master Emeritus status.  To see full information on each, Read More…
MCFIMarkMaddenMark Edward Madden, Anchorage  AK
Five-time Master CFI and SAFE member Mark E Madden renewed his Master CFI accreditation on June 15.  Mark is a professor of aviation technology at the University of Alaska, where he is responsible for curriculum development as well as classroom and individual education of future professional pilots.  An independent Merrill Field (PAMR) flight instructor, he also serves on the board of the Alaskan Aviation Safety Foundation and was the 2013 National FAASTeam Representative of the Year.
MCFIVickieShermanVicki Lynn Sherman, Deland FL

Vicki Lynn Sherman, a six-time Master and SAFE member, renewed her Master CFI accreditation on May 31.  Vicki is a flight and ground  instructor with Hayes Aviation at New Smyrna Beach, FL Municipal.   She was the 2011 National FAASTeam Representative of the Year and she operates Aero Supplies and Express in Daytona Beach while also serving as a FAASTeam representative in the FAA’s Orlando / Tampa FSDO.
MCFIChrisHopeChristopher John “Chris” Hope,  Kansas City  MO
Christopher J Hope, a five-time Master and SAFE member, renewed his Master CFI accreditation June 2.    Chris was the 2015 National FAASTeam Representative of the Year and is an independent flight instructor specializing in primary and instrument training at Lee’s Summit (KLXT) and Johnson County Executive (KOJC) airports.  He also serves as a volunteer Angel Flight pilot and is a FAASTeam Representative in the FAA’s Kansas City FSDO area.
MCFILamarChildsLamar Anthony Childs, Pensacola, FL
Lamar A Childs, also a five-time Master and SAFE member renewed his Master CFI June 28.  As president of Lamar A Childs Flight Training, Lamar specializes in primary and advanced flight training in single and multiengine aircraft at Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport (KPNS).  A former US Navy hospital corpsman, he also serves as a corporate pilot as well as a designated pilot examiner (DPE) in the FAA’s Birmingham FSDO area.
MCFIGaryBrossettGary Michael Brossett, Master Aviation Educator, Midland  GA
Gary M Brossett, renewed his Master Aviation Educator (MAE) accreditation June 1.  He holds an A&P with inspection authorization (IA) and is a quality engineer as well as a maintenance instructor at Pratt & Whitney’s Columbus Engine Center.  A US Air Force veteran and an FAA-certificated balloon pilot, he also serves as a FAASTeam lead representative in the FAA’s Atlanta FSDO area.  Gary is a four-time Master and a member of SAFE, as well as the AMT Society.
MCFIJimAlslipJames Lee “Jim” Alsip, Master CFI-Aerobatic, Indiantown  FL
Five-time Master and SAFE member James L Alsip renewed his Master CFI-Aerobatic accreditation on June 1.   Jim specializes in basic aerobatic training as well as tailwheel transitions and upset recovery at Dylan Aviation his aerobatic flight school at Indiantown Airport (X58).  A noted aviation writer, he also serves as a FAASTeam representative in the FAA’s Orlando FSDO area.  Jim has an article in the current edition of SAFE The Magazine advocating expanded use of the reference line on the windshield often used in primary instruction.  He is also a member of the IAC.
MCFIJeanneMcPhearsonJeanne Elizabeth MacPherson, Master CFI Emeritus
Helena  MT
Jeanne Elizabeth MacPherson, a 6-time Master and SAFE member, was granted Master Instructor Emeritus status on July 1 in recognition of her many years of commitment to excellence, professional growth, service to the aviation community and quality aviation ducation.  Jeanne owns and operates Mountain Airdance LLC at Helena Regional Airport (KHLN) where she provides aerobatic flight training.  She also serves as first officer on the Montana governor’s aircraft and is a FAASTeam representative in the Helena FSDO.
MCFIMikeColignyRichard Michael “Mike” Coligny, Master CFI Emeritus
Prescott  AZ, 
Mike Coligny, an 8-time Master and charter SAFE member, was granted Master Instructor Emeritus status on July 1.  The status was conferred in recognition of his many years of commitment to excellence, professional growth, service to the aviation community, and quality aviation education.  An aerospace consultant, Mike is president of CFS Consulting, founded in 1980, and located in Prescott, Arizona with clients worldwide.  He also serves on SAFE’s government affairs committee, HAI’s flight training committee, and is a FAASTeam lead representative in the Scottsdale FSDO.
MCFIBillCastlienWilliam Goodwin “Bill” Castlen, Master CFI Emeritus, Dothan  AL
William G. Castlen, a 6-time Master and SAFE member, was granted Master Instructor Emeritus status July 1. The award was for his years of commitment to excellence, professional growth, service to the aviation community, and quality aviation education.  Bill specializes in technically advanced aircraft training as a Cirrus standardized instructor pilot.  A veteran US Air Force master navigator and a 2006 recipient of the Wright Brothers Master Pilot award, he also serves as a FAASTeam lead representative in the FAA’s Birmingham FSDO.

The Master Instructor designation is a national accreditation recognized by the FAA.  It is earned through a rigorous process of continuing professional activity and peer review.  The Master Instructor designation is a means to identify outstanding aviation educators.

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