For CFIs and Aviation Educators

July 2024



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Ready For AirVenture 2024?

Visit SAFE in Bravo Hangar 2081-2082

Get Your SAFE Dinner Tix Here!

Benson, Boatman, Phillips

Elected To SAFE Board

Gene Benson

Julie Boatman

Michael Phillips

SAFE members last month selected long-time aviation educators Gene Benson, Julie Boatman and Michael Phillips to SAFE's Board of Directors. The all-volunteer Board consists of nine members, each serving a three-year term. Every year, three of the nine SAFE Board of Directors terms expire and are filled by an election. Winning members are installed at the annual SAFE member dinner at AirVenture.

Biographies of the three winners are available on the SAFE website, Bios for the existing Board members are available here.

SAFE will be welcoming members in the Bravo hangar booth 2081/2082 at AirVenture 2024. Visit and tell us your take on issues in the aviation world. You get extra credit and may win a valuable SAFE cap for praising recent improvements in this SAFE Strategies newsletter.

SAFE members may qualify for FREE daily admission (value up to $60) by helping staff the SAFE booth for a half day. Interested? You'll get to chat with your fellow aviation professionals and talk aviation with other CFIs. Sign up with the Volunteer button below.

Volunteer At The SAFE Booth For Big Rewards!

Your Next CFI Renewal...

May Be Your Last

CFI Certificates Go Lifetime

With passage of the FAA's funding bill came several important changes affecting CFIs. SAFE has been advocating for most of the improvements, including a non-expiring FAA CFI credential.

Other helpful changes included allowing DPEs to conduct checkrides with Basic Med, set up a system to track delays in scheduling DPEs and establish a national DPE center Under today's system, DPEs were responsible only to their home FSDO.

Numerous other changes helpful for CFIs and aviation educators are outlined in this SAFE Blog entry.

OSH PPC 2024 Changes Format

"We Must Recalibrate Flight Training"

Optimal Learning Experiment At AirVenture

Conscientious CFIs find the following unacceptable:

  • 70–80% student dropout rate
  • near-50% initial checkride failure rate
  • LOC-I dominating fatal accident stats.

“We need your help to recalibrate flight training,” says Rich Stowell, a leader of this year’s Optimal Learning program at the Pilot Proficiency Center in Oshkosh, July 22-28.

Optimal Learning workshops at this year's AirVenture will explore new and interactive ways of teaching and learning. Content is driven by Stowell’s Nine Principles of Light Airplane Flying and delivered in the Learn-Do-Fly framework. This step toward better flight training is sponsored by SAFE and coordinated by Community Aviation and its supporters.

Workshop instructors include Stowell, Jason Archer, Pete Reddan, Adriana Barragan, Rob Dumovic, Tammy Barlette, Michael Phillips and Ken Wittekiend. Get more information and register here.

Also at OSH: "The Sweat Factor"

Community Aviation is also sponsoring two Table-Top-Scenario-Based Training (T-SBT) sessions, one on Tuesday July 23 and the other on Thursday July 25. The sessions are free, but pre-registration is required.

Both sessions are with Pete "Vapor" Reddan, a lieutenant colonel qualified in several USAF aircraft. He has won two Air Medals, three Aerial Achievement Medals, and the General James H. Doolittle Trophy for professionalism, courage and leadership.

Use Caution When Creating A Student Certificate!

Flight test applicants are experiencing problems (no test) if their "legal document" and pilot certificate do not match exactly. A new, stricter (TSA) level of accuracy is required. This problem often originates with the initial student certificate approved by the CFI. The best doc. to match is a passport if you have one.

Our Historic "SAFE Magazine" (and other websites) Are Back Online Again!

Thanks to Eric Hake for finding and restoring our historic "SAFE Magazine" to its original home.

Also available again are the original Pilot Proficiency Project and the Pilot Training Reform Symposium from 2011 (the origin of the FAA ACS).

How Low Can Training Go?

Solo Flight Prohibited For Students

Bloomberg News reports that a Phoenix AZ flight school used by Cathay Pacific trainees has decided to prohibit solo flight for its Cathay students. The ban was imposed after a series of incidents not reported by the trainees.

Phoenix-based AeroGuard Flight Training Center cited "an alarming increase in solo incidents during cadet training." Among them were a wingtip collision, a bounced landing with a prop strike and a 'complete' runway excursion.

A poll conducted by MSNBC immediately following the report asked if student solos should be banned. Keeping in mind that respondents were unlikely to be pilots, much less CFIs, nearly half (46%) said no, solo flight is key experience. The other half of respondents endorsed such a ban or said it depends on incident severity.

SAFE Opinion Poll

Please Vote!

Many flight schools are prohibiting primary students from practicing stalls solo. Is this good?
Yes, students might stall, spin, crash and burn.
Yes, it keeps the school's insurance premium lower.
No, CFIs should teach recoveries so students can actually recover.
Huh? No solo stall practice? You're kidding, right?

SAFE Members In The News

D. Lee "Monty" Hall Jr.

Master Instructor - Aerobatic

D. Lee “Monty” Hall Jr. has been awarded the prestigious designation Master Instructor-Aerobatic.

As an Advanced Instructor Pilot at Aviation Performance Solutions, Mesa, AZ, he is an Upset Prevention and Recovery Training expert. In this role, along with the entire APS team, Monty trains pilots to overcome the #1 fatal threat across all aviation sectors, Loss of Control in Flight.

Sherry Rossiter

Honorary Master Instructor

SAFE member Sherry Rossiter of Missoula MT was presented an Honorary Master Instructor accreditation on June 22 by Michael Phillips (right), director of the Master Instructor program.

"Without Sherry, SAFE would probably not be here today," said David St George, executive director. "She has spent her lifetime in service to aviation and served on one of the early SAFE Board of Directors." Rossiter, who holds ATP and CFI certificates in both fixed and rotary wing aircraft, is a founding member of SAFE.

The Master Instructor continuing education program (MICEP) has grown from humble beginnings to an internationally recognized and highly coveted family of credentials appealing to a cross-section of aviation educators. Former FAA Administrator Marion Blakey observed in 2007: "The Master Instructor accreditation singles out the best that the right seat has to offer."

Doug Stewart

CFI Hall of Fame Inductee

SAFE co-founder Doug Stewart (right) and rotorcraft instructor Tim Tucker will be this year's inductees to the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame on July 25th. The installation ceremony will be at the NAFI Member's Breakfast at 8 AM at AirVenture 2024.

Both men are being honored for their "significant contributions to instructor professionalism and improvement of pilot technique to further reduce the accident rate in GA."

Stewart said his original motivation for becoming a CFI was so he could fly without having to pay for it. Soon after he started teaching, however, he realized that flight instruction was his life’s calling. He is based at the Columbia County Airport (1B1) in Hudson, New York. He is a co-founder of SAFE and is now Executive Director Emeritus of the organization.

Tim Tucker is known as one of the top rotorcraft instructors in the industry. His 8,800-hour flight instructor career is divided into three categories: FAA instructor, military instructor, and DPE. He began his teaching career in 1973 in Danbury, Connecticut, flying a Bell 47.

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Toward More Knowledgeable CFIs...

Pilots Behaving Badly

  • Two injured last month when a Harbour Air Beaver floatplane collided with a pleasure boat in Vancouver BC. Video is appalling.

Airline Hiring

Current CFI Concerns.....

Aviation Resources....

  • Ground school Gold Seal updates 'InstructorView' for their courses, allowing CFIs to watch student progress.

  • Checkride Ready, the free SAFE-built app to ensure a flight test applicant has everything together for his ride now available on free SAFE Toolkit.

  • AOPA Rusty Pilot seminars will be July 13 in Rome GA, Bartow, Salem IN and Carthage NC and on July 24 at AirVenture.


Aviation Fuels

Do You Have What It

Takes To Mentor New CFIs?

The SAFE Mentorship Connection group is growing rapidly on Facebook, now with some 575 experienced CFIs able to pass along their years of accumulated wisdom from the right seat. (A few months ago, the CFI count in the group was just 200). If you'd like to help newer instructors, join the SAFE Mentorship Connection group.

SAFE Mentors frequently contribute to the CFI Study Group where about 20 or so soon-to-be-CFIs gather weekly for discussion on training topics and lesson-giving practice. Nearly 5,800 potential and new CFIs have found the group helpful. SAFE Mentorship Connector director Dorothy Schick hosts each meeting.

Guest speakers for the CFI Study Group have included the FAA's Josh Watts on how CFI training can affect operations under 135; Ed Wischmeyer, Derek Mathews on instructional knowledge, Tim Heron on implementing syllabi and lesson plans, Rod Machado, Nathan Ballard and DPE Jim Pitman.

Join SAFE's Mentorship Connection

Recent CFI Study Q&A

Where does it say a W&B document must be on board?

  • You'd think this would be an easy one, but a dozen high-time CFIs pointed to sections of the aircraft's type certificate data sheet, flight manual and sections of Part 91 and Part 23.

Recommendations for flight training a 14-year-old

  • SAFE Mentors suggested several ideas, such as starting in a glider for an earlier solo then transition to fixed wing, and assigning an online ground school with flights at one-month intervals to keep interest.

A student recently earned his instrument rating in a single, but already possessed a multiengine rating from years ago. What will his certificate read if he takes his commercial ride in the single vs the twin?

  • Six active CFIs answered. If the ride is in the single, his ticket would read Commercial Pilot, Airplane Single Engine Land, Private Privileges Airplane Multiengine Land. Reverse that if the ride is in a twin.

In the newest Instrument ACS, under Operational Requirements and Limitations, it looks like you can no longer perform an LPV approach in lieu of a precision approach.

  • If anything, it's just the opposite, SAFE CFIs said. The last section of the ACS appendix says anything with a DA is legal for a precision approach.

Is BasicMed a new emphasis area on Private Pilot checkrides? What do you expect a Private Pilot candidate to know about BasicMed?

  • Several SAFE mentors related recent cases where DPEs asked about Basic Med, including privileges, limitations, the application process, renewals and recordkeeping. Others said they hadn't had any students asked.
Join SAFE's Mentorship Connection

SAFE Sponsors

Please shop at these merchant supporters of CFI professionalism.

They make possible your SAFE privileges and benefits.

SAFE member CFIs get 1/3 off any ForeFlight subscription. Potential yearly savings: $133+

SAFE member CFIs get 25% off all Gleim Aviation products except kits, ATP, FIRC, IARC or sim hardware. Call 800-874-5346 for the discount.

SAFE member CFIs get $100 off Zulu3 and Tango Wireless ANR headsets or $75 off Sierra ANRs.

SAFE members get 20% off select merchandise.

Platinum Cirrus Training Center provides flight training, aircraft rentals and sales at KAXH.

Bose Headsets

SAFE member CFIs qualify for a $100 rebate on Bose A30 or ProFlight Series 2 aviation headset.

SAFE members get a 20% discount on ASA products.

SAFE members get 10% off any MyGoFlight product.

SAFE members receive a 20% discount on all King Schools Training products.

SAFE members get 20% off all books/CDs by Max Trescott, Cirrus Platinum CSIP and author of several guides on using advanced avionics.

SAFE members get 5% off any Qref checklists. Use code SAFE5.

SAFE members get 20% off the Artful Flying book by Michael Maya Charles.

Please shop at these merchant supporters of CFI professionalism.

They make possible your SAFE privileges and benefits.


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SAFE is a 501(c)(3) educational, not-for-profit professional organization building aviation educator excellence and aviation safety. Our more than 5,000 members include many of the best-known, best-credentialed and most experienced CFIs as well as many FAA Designated Pilot Examiners.

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