Society of Aviation and Flight Educators eNewsletter  
June 2017

SAFE represents well over 1,300 of the industry's top aviation educators in 49 states and nine foreign countries, including the majority of Master Instructors and numerous General Aviation Awards winners in all four awards categories.  

SAFE Members Set Voting Record

by David St. George, SAFE Chair

David St George
Thanks for your energetic response to SAFE's elections.  We had a record number of member voters, who chose three new board members (see article below) from a highly qualified group of six candidates.  Again we rejoice in SAFE's member-driven status and the ability of members to volunteer and run our organization.

Please come meet all three winners and the six other Board members at this year's AirVenture, during SAFE's annual meeting and member dinner in the OSH terminal building.   Sign-up for the annual dinner here .  The full dinner, with dessert, is only $7 for members  . Uptown Catering in Oshkosh will cater the dinner, with a social hour starting at 1800 hours on Thursday, July 27th.
We need SAFE volunteers to assist at our booth (Hangar B: 2093/2094), then for booth takedown on Sunday, July 30, and at the dinner.  Please sign-up here for booth or dinner duty!  SAFE is also supporting the  EAA Pilot Proficiency Center  and encourages CFIs to sign up to volunteer their instruction . This service counts toward your Master CFI Certification *and* you can get admission and lodging for helping.Thanks for all you do for SAFE, see you at Airventure!

SAFE Elects New Board Members

Three well qualified and respected members of the general aviation (GA) community were elected to the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE) Board of Directors during its annual election last month.  The three, chosen by SAFE members from a slate of six candidates, are David Dempsey of New York, Charlie McDougal of Texas, and Michael Vivion of Montana.  All three have many years of experience in training and evaluating pilots and in the promotion of aviation safety.
David Dempsey , an FAA CFII, FAA Gold Seal Instructor, and Master Flight Instructor (airplane), was the former owner and co-founder of the American Aviation Network LLC, a ground and flight training business based in New York City.  Additionally, Dempsey has over 25 years of aviation industry experience as an investment banker and management consultant to airlines, air taxi operations, and other aviation related entities.  He has presented at FAA FAASTeam seminars on the topics of recurrent training and finding and keeping well-qualified flight instructors, and is the founder of the New York Area Master CFI/Pilot Group.

Charlie McDougal, who was an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner from 1999 to 2014, is currently the Chief Pilot for an FAA Part 91 flight department operating a Citation S550.  From 1994 to 1999, he was the Chief Flight Instructor for Wright Flyers Aviation in San Antonio, Texas.  McDougal is an FAA Certificated Flight Instructor - Airplane SEL and MEL as well as an instrument instructor.  As a result of being a pilot examiner, he has formed strong opinions about what works and what doesn't work in the training of pilots and he often writes or speaks about these topics.  He also serves as a mentor to new flight instructors. 

Michael Vivion , who recently became a Master Instructor Emeritus, was the FAA National Aviation Safety Counselor of the Year in 1998. He spent 29 out of 30 years of his career as a natural resources pilot with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) in Alaska, where he accrued numerous USFWS awards for safe flying.  Prior to moving to Bozeman, Montana, Vivion coordinated the aviation program at the University of Minnesota - Crookston from 2006 to 2013.  Vivion is active in many different aviation groups and is often a workshop presenter at EAA's AirVenture and other aviation conferences.
The newly elected Directors will each serve a three year term starting on July 27, 2017.

Unique CFI Internship of the Week

Among the new job listings on the SAFE job board this week is a unique intern position that can help a CFI develop a variety of airport management skills as well as gain right-seat time on a Pilatus and Piaggio.  It is at Alexandria Field Airport (N85) in Pittstown, NJ.
The listing is in the SAFE members-only section, and requires a log-in with your SAFE member number and password .  Once logged in, click on Job Opportunities under the Members Only link on the navigation bar.

Flight Training UP
Flight Schools Begging for CFIs

In part due to the more than 5,000 certificated pilots who have completed the steps required for using a driver's license as an airman third-class medical, business at flight schools across the country is picking up.   At the same time, a shortage of CFIs to teach at those schools is becoming acute, in part because the long-forecast shortage of airline pilots has (finally) come true.
"It's almost impossible to keep CFIs," observed the manager of a large flight school in the southeast US.  "We get a CFI in here and when he hits that magic number of 1,500 hours, he's off to the airlines."  The manager added that an experienced, older CFI not heading for the airlines was worth his or her weight in gold at his flight school.
Several flight schools have launched a nationwide advertising campaign for CFIs.  At least one is using direct mail to all CFIs listed on the FAA's airman registry.  Another is conducting an email campaign offering sign-on bonuses of as much as $16,000.  In addition, many schools are posting 'help wanted' notices on their web sites.
SAFE Board Member Joanie Williams runs a flight school in Canada, where she developed an agreement with a regional airline guaranteeing a right seat position at the airline after a certain amount of instruction time at her school.  "This assures the school of solid, dependable and accountable CFIs and assures them of employment at the end of their tenure as instructors," said SAFE Chair David St. George, who added that SAFE is looking at the program to see if such a solution would be scalable for US flight schools.

Commercial ACS Effective June 12
SAFE Efforts Helped Improve Private ACS

null Revisions to the year-old Airman Certification Standards (ACS) for Private Pilot - Airplane and the new ACS for Commercial Pilot - Airplane were posted to the FAA's Airman Testing website on May 18. The two complete ACS publications are available  here.
The revised ACS publications reflect input from SAFE and other groups that have been working with the FAA for several years to make test standards more meaningful and relevant to the way today's pilots fly.  The FAA has produced a PDF document in February titled   What's New and Upcoming in Airman Testing t hat explains ACS changes and why those changes were made, updates on the implementation schedule and background on their development.
Some instructors, however, are complaining that changes to the Private ACS do not address their concerns about the way slow flight will be tested.  SAFE will explore the controversy in a future issue of SAFE eNews.

Low Hanging Fruit: Tips For Passing A Private Checkride

A half-hour webinar titled Low Hanging Fruit    last week featured SAFE Chair and FAA Designated Pilot Examiner David St George and Gold Seal CFI Nate Tennant offering tips for a successful private pilot checkride.
The free webinar was sponsored by SAFE partner Gold Seal Online Ground Schools of Lawrenceville GA and moderated by Master CFI Russ Still.  In the webinar, St. George explained, from a DPE's standpoint, five of the top reasons for an unfortunate result of a checkride.  They are:
  • The examiner having to take control to avoid an accident.  "The old joke is 'don't scare me,''" said St. George.  "The new ACS embeds judgement evaluation in most of the tasks, unlike the old PTS.  Remember, one element can be unsuccessful and the checkride can still continue."
  • Failure to look outside the aircraft. 
  • Consistently exceeding tolerances."One instance of a more-than-10-degree deviation from a heading or more-than-a-100-foot change in altitude doesn't mean an instant failure," said St. George.
  • Failure to take proper corrective action when tolerances are exceeded. "It's more whether you can catch those deviations promptly and return to the standards," he said.
  • Failure to exercise risk management.  St. George emphasized that the ACS standards that integrate risk management in almost all tasks are a difficult area for examiners.  "As an example, checklists are expected to be used at all times on the checkride.  But there are rare times when it would not be good risk management to pull out the checklist first, such as responding to an emergency requiring immediate action."
The webinar is available on YouTube or on the Gold Seal Online Ground Schools site.

Dramatic Drone Developments

FAA Slapped Down: Recreational Drone Registration Unlawful
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled last month that the FAA's drone registry for recreational flying is illegal, changing the drone landscape for recreational users and drone CFIs and again raising safety concerns for full-size manned aircraft.  (Commercial drone use is still regulated). 
Referring to section 336 of the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh wrote , "Statutory interpretation does not get much simpler. The Registration Rule is unlawful as applied to model aircraft."  The FAA says it is "carefully reviewing"  the decision  and is developing a response.  "In the meantime, we encourage registration for all drone operators," read a notice on the FAA's drone web page

Chinese Drone Deliveries Trouncing Amazon

Chinese consumers are already benefiting from drone delivery of products, while in the US a similar delivery plan is still working through federal regulations and approval will likely take a few more years.    
Chinese Amazon competitor is using its fleet of dozens of drones to carry packages large and small to customers on the outskirts of Beijing and in four other provinces. says it is planning to massively expand the size of the fleet and the number of delivery routes.


Essential Reading: The Flight Instructor's Survival Guide

One of SAFE's original nine Board members and Master Instructor Arlynn McMahon has released her latest book, The Flight Instructor's Survival Guide.

This book, sold by Aviation Supplies and Academics, Inc ., is an essential transition from the dry-as-dust FAA Fundamentals of Instruction (FOI) knowledge test to the real world.  Its 44 stories illustrate how to better communicate with your student and offer practical strategies for dealing with both common and unexpected situations-all with wisdom, grace, and humor.

McMahon's companion to the Aviation Instructor's Handbook (FAA-H-8083-9) uses memorable parables and sage advice to illustrate FOI principles at work with real clients in real-life situations.

"Psychology, human factors, professionalism, effective communication, customer service, and ethics are evident in her teaching style with the people she's interacted with over decades in the business of flight training," said the publisher. "McMahon's experiences illustrate what works-and why-for instructors and their students."


Members: Which FAA Regulation(s) Is MOST Outdated?

In the March issue of SAFE eNews, we reported that the Trump Administration is requiring Federal agencies to delete two regulations for every one new regulation they issue, and asked SAFE members to suggest which FAA training-related regulations should be removed.  Among member responses:  
  • Get rid of the Recreational Pilot Certificate.  There's no reason to have it and it doesn't bring in any more new pilots.  It's an antiquated certificate now that Sport Pilot is here. Woody Minar, Wisconsin
  • The problem with the Recreational is the goofy restrictions: no comm and no X-C without augmented training. If you get rid of those restrictions it would be more attractive. (Also) the Sport Pilot does not allow you to fly most small piston planes; the recreational does and BasicMed makes it more attractive too.  Donna F Wilt, Florida
  • Reduce cumbersome TSA clearance procedures required for new or upgrading pilots.  Also, the regulation requiring a tailwheel endorsement is unnecessary; it's like telling new automobile drivers not to drive a stick-shift car without some instruction.  Pilots should be smarter than that.  Kevin D Murphy, West Virginia
Have a particular training-related FAA rule you think is obsolete or unnecessary?    Tell us about it now.

iFlightPlanner v.3 for iPad Available

The latest iPod version of SAFE partner iFlightPlanner is now available.  Among other improvements, v.3 offers compatibility with devices from seven different ADS-B manufacturers: Dual, Levil, Sagetech, SkyRadar, Stratux, L-3 and NavWorx.

Other highlights of the all-new iFlightPlanner for iPad  include:
  • Ability to select the startup view
  • Reorganized planning and mapping interface.
  • Expanded weight & balance functionality, including % MAC calculations for turbine aircraft 
  • One-touch transfer of flight plans to Jeppesen FliteDeck apps.
  • Current crosswind component for all runways in Airport/Facility Directory.
  • New Attitude/Heading Indicator with data from AHRS compatible devices
  • Added logbook fields for personalized data tracking
  • Integration for X-Plane 9 and 10 is included.
As a SAFE partner, iFlightPlanner offers SAFE members a $20 discount on a regular $89.95 cost for a full year of iFlightPlanner Premium and a free profile in the iFlightPlanner CFI directory.

New FAA Safety Briefing Published
The May/June 2017 issue of FAA Safety Briefing focuses on the exciting and ever-expanding world of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). Feature articles answer the Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How of UAS operations, including the regulatory and technical challenges they present.
Feature articles include:  
  • The Dawn of Drones - Why We All Need to Care About UAS (p. 7)
  • When Do I Need a Certificate? A Look at Hobbyist vs. Commercial Requirements for UAS (p. 9)
  • Who's Behind UAS? - A Look at Drone Support, Programs, and Initiatives in the FAA (p. 12)
  • How Do We All Get Along? - A Look at the FAA's Strategy for UAS Integration into the NAS (p.16)
  • Where Do I Find the Drone Zone? - Navigating Cyberspace for Official UAS Resources (p. 20)
  • What's It Like to Fly a Global Hawk? - A First Person Account of Large UAS Operations (p.24)
  • Drone Dragnet - UAS Guide for Law Enforcement Officials (p. 27)

Fresh SAFE Member Blog Entries
Amazing Patty! Lessons For Learning How did famed aerobatic champion Patty Wagstaff go from a new private pilot to the National Aerobatic Team in only five years?  SAFE Chair David St. George reveals some of her secrets to success in this SAFE blog entry.
'Google Planes' and 'Switch Off The Magic'   Is GPS scrambling your brain? Aviation has always led the way in automation, with both technology and the challenges of our problematic "human interface."  As modern media is trumpeting the arrival of self-driving automobiles, aviation has already handled similar challenges for over a century; the first autopilot was demonstrated in 1914, just before 'The Great War' launched. 
But the challenges we aviators now face are no longer mostly mechanical, but how to interface the technology with the human pilot so his or her vigilance and skill are retained despite hours of monitoring the machines.
PIREPs Save Lives: Please Report   There's a good reason for providing PIREPs, says SAFE Chair David St. George.  The NTSB revealed during last year's safety forum that between March 2012 and December 2015, the NTSB investigated 16 accidents/incidents that exposed PIREP-related areas of concern.  "The PIREP information," said the NTSB, "if disseminated, would have increased the weather situational awareness of the incident flight crews, which could have helped them avoid the weather hazards and prevent the aircraft-damaging events."

What We *Do Not* Teach... "Null Curriculum"  by Dr. Sherry Rossiter.   When was the last time you seriously thought about curriculum development and delivery for your ground and flight students?  Probably not since you were studying to pass the FAA's Fundamentals Of Instruction (FOI) knowledge test.  This is unfortunate, because a well-designed curriculum is the basis for an effective transfer of knowledge.  Worse, the Aviation Instructors Handbook really doesn't say much about curriculum development.  For a quick review of how to most effectively teach, read this article.
Be A Hero To Your Clients: Tell Them About ADS-B $500 Rebates

Your flight instruction clients who have not yet decided on an ADS-B installation may appreciate being reminded of the FAA's $500 ADS-B rebate program.  An FAA May 2017 report shows that only a little more than 25 percent of the rebates available have been claimed; the program expires September 18. 
ADS-B Out will be required to fly in any airspace that now requires a transponder.  The deadline for installation and use is January 1, 2020, but the FAA rebate program ends September 18, 2017.  Once the ADS-B equipment is installed, a pilot must fly the aircraft at least 30 minutes, with at least 10 aggregate minutes of maneuvering flight in what will be ADS-B required airspace to demonstrate that the equipment works. 

Master Instructor Activity

Brandon J Ray of Conroe TX, a 5-time Master and SAFE member, renewed his Master CFI accreditation in May through Master Instructors LLC .  Brandon is the lead flight instructor and owner of High Performance Aviation where he specializes in high performance aircraft and transition training at Lone Star Executive   and Sugar Land Regional airports.  A first officer with United Airlines, he also holds an A&P certificate and serves as a a FAASTeam representative in the FAA's Houston FSDO area.
J Clarke "Otter" McNeace of Dothan AL, a 4-time Master and SAFE member, renewed his Master CFI-Aerobatic accreditation in May through   Master Instructors LLC.   A veteran of the US Navy and former FA-18 instructor pilot, Otter is the vice president of flight operations and training with Aviation Performance Solutions LLC .  He is currently instructing at Dothan Regional Airport in Dothan, Alabama, where he specializes in upset prevention, recovery, stall / spin, and aerobatic training.
Phil "OP" Oppenheimer, a first time Master as well as a member of SAFE, earned his Master CFI-Aerobatic accreditation in May through Master Instructors LLC .   A retired US Air Force squadron commander and F-16 instructor, OP is the chief pilot and director of flight operations as well as an instructor pilot with Aviation Performance Solutions LLC at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.  He specializes in upset prevention and recovery training while also serving as president and CEO of   OP Aviation & Consulting LLC.

Matthew Johnson , a 4-time Master and SAFE member, in May renewed his Master CFI-Helicopter accreditation through Master Instructors LLC.  A full time Air Medical helicopter pilot, Matt also operates MattJohnsonHeliCFI where he provides emergency procedures and instrument training in several makes and models of helicopters.  Additionally, he serves as an FAA designated pilot examiner  and FAASTeam representative for the Cincinnati  FSDO. 

Quay C Snyder of Monument CO, an 8-time Master and a SAFE member, renewed his Master CFI accreditation in April through Master Instructors LLC .  Quay is a FAA designated pilot examiner and FAASTeam representative for the FAA's Denver FSDO, as well as the Black Forest Soaring Society's chief glider CFI at Kelly Air Park.  Additionally, he is the president & CEO of Aviation Medicine Advisory Services  specializing in aeromedical certification for pilots and air traffic controllers


David St. George, Chair
Society of Aviation and Flight Educators
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