Society of Aviation and Flight Educators eNewsletter  
Rich Stowell, 2014 National FAASTeam Representative of the Year
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National GA Award Nominations
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Recent Master Instructors

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Sep 2014 

SAFE represents more than 800 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 developed and is now offering Regional Pilot Proficiency Projects across the U.S.


SAFE Founding Member Rich Stowell is the 2014 National FAASTeam Representative of the Year!

Master CFI-Aerobatic Richard Stowell of McCall, Idaho, was recently named the 2014 National FAASTeam Representative of the Year.  

An 8-time Master and a member of IAC as well as a charter SAFE member, Rich is an aerobatic instructor specializing in emergency maneuver training and spin recovery (www.RichStowell.comprimarily at Idaho's Cascade Airport (U70).  The 2006 National CFI of the Year, he is also a noted aviation author and serves as a FAASTeam Representative in the FAA's Boise FSDO area.  He can be reached    

The link below will take you to a 3.5 minute video tribute to Rich's life in aviation education -  

Notes from Your Chairman

It's hard to believe that SAFE is only five years old. The organization has come so far since it formed! When the call went out in 2009 for candidates for SAFE's first Board of Directors, I realized there was an opportunity to be part of something important and to make a meaningful difference in aviation.


            Was I ever right!  In addition to the programs and projects of SAFE in the last five years, SAFE has built the infrastructure an organization needs to do meaningful work in the future. Now, as I am re-elected to the board, and as the new Chair of the Board of Directors, I look forward to working for you, providing you with an organization that supports your position as an aviation educator.  Whether you are a career educator, are moving into education after a career in other areas of aviation, or are teaching as a CFI as the first step in an career as a professional pilot, SAFE is an organization where we can all participate and ultimately make aviation safer.


There are opportunities for each and every SAFE member to make a meaningful difference. Please don't hesitate to contact me with your thoughts, ideas, suggestions as well as if you would like to serve on any of the SAFE committees. I look forward to serving you, the SAFE members, to the best of my ability throughout the coming year. 


Donna Wilt

New in the Resource Center!  Student Lessons for Building Model Rockets

Check out the K-12 Resources for an in-depth science project students will love: Modeling and Simulation for High School Teachers: Principles, Problems, and Lesson Plans. This is a 3-week project that challenges students to research, design and build a model rocket, then perform an in-depth analysis of its flight. This lesson plan was supported by the 2013 SAFE K-12 Classroom Teachers Grant and authored by Teacher Grant winner Lisa Damian! Check out the Web site at and find this plan plus much more.

The SAFE Resource Center is one of the many benefits of YOUR membership! For access to the full array of instructional tools and to submit your own multimedia materials, visit


National GA Awards Nominations

The nomination period for the 2015 National General Aviation Awards will be coming to a close on September 30th. The four categories for award winners are: National CFI of the Year; National FAASTeam Representative of the Year; National Avionics Technician of the Year; and National Maintenance Technician of the Year. It is quite possible that you know someone deserving of one of these awards. If you do, then please consider nominating them!


Fifteen of the past eighteen National CFIs of the Year and eleven of the past eighteen National FAASTeam Representatives of the Year are SAFE members. It would be great to add more SAFE members to the list of award winners. Quite often the winners are typically too busy and involved with what they do to bother nominating themselves, but that shouldn't stop you from nominating them. For information on the nominating process click on the  National GA Awards link, and nominate a deserving candidate today!

Also, Two New Power Point Presentation Added to the Resource Center
Two new power point presentations have been added to the SAFE Resource Center, one on the public side, and one on the member's only side. These presentations are made available for your personal  use with general aviation audiences.


On the public side is the presentation that Doug Stewart presented as part of a half-day seminar that the NTSB held at their National Training Center in May, 2014. The presentation, entitled "The Way We Teach Stalls, Spins and Recoveries" addresses the fact that many loss of control accidents end up with the pilot not recognizing an impending stall and failing to recover when it does occur. It looks at the way many pilots are taught stalls and recoveries and offers some suggestions on ways to gain a better understanding of when a pilot might experience an inadvertent stall and how to recover when it does happen. It also discusses recovering from spins and spiral dives and the differences between the two.


"Preparing For The Unexpected" is now available in the member's only section of the Resource Center in the "SAFE created FAA/FAASTeam Materials" This seminar addresses the fact that all too often pilots will act impulsively when faced with an unexpected event, and sometimes their "startle response" welds the final link in the chain leading to an accident that sadly is fatal. It presents a variety of scenarios that can help pilots prepare for that unexpected event, and offers suggestions to aid pilots in "Doing The Right Thing" when the unexpected does occur.

SAFE "ToolKit" App Well Received; Goes International

Flight instructors and aviation educators worldwide tapped the new Toolkit app from the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators  (SAFE) more than 3,000 times in its first four months, a figure confirmed by Google Analytics.  Usage was measured from April 5 through August 5, 2014.  The Apple- and Android-compatible CFI app was developed by SAFE member David St. George and introduced just before the 2014 Sun'n Fun in Lakeland, Florida.


"We knew that SAFE's free Toolkit would be invaluable for any aviation educator, but we didn't realize it would have worldwide impact," said Doug Stewart, SAFE Executive Director.  "Instructors in the United States were by far the biggest users, of course, but the Toolkit had logins in double digits from Japan, India, Mexico, Canada, Dominican Republic, the Philippines and China."  Twelve other countries also contributed to the total of 3,024 uses in the five-month period.


The app features near-real-time NWS weather, flight tracking, flight planning services, CFI endorsements and more.  Other CFI-invaluable tools in the kit include the full FAA Practical Test Standards for all certificates and ratings, the full text of the current Federal Aviation Regulations and Aviation Information Manual and an instructor's checklist of necessary items for a student's first solo.


Although designed as a smartphone app, the Toolkit is also available as a web-based information source. The app is available free to all CFIs and aviation educators from the Apple Store and the Google Play store.

Recent Master Instructor Designations
Congratulations to these SAFE members!

William Goodwin "Bill CASTLEN, Master CFI     
Dothan  AL
William G Castlen, a 5-time Master and SAFE member, recently renewed his Master CFI accreditation.  Bill specializes in technically advanced aircraft training as a Cirrus standardized instructor pilot (CSIP).  A veteran US Air Force master navigator and a 2006 recipient of the Wright Brothers Master Pilot award, he also serves as a FAASTeam representative in the FAA's Birmingham FSDO area.

Michael Taylor "Mike" VIVION, Master CFI Emeritus    
Bozeman  MT
Michael T Vivion, a 7-time Master and SAFE member, was recently granted Master Instructor Emeritus (MIE) 
status in recognition of his many years of commitment to excellence, professional growth, service to the aviation community, and quality aviation education.  Mike recently retired from his position as a check airman and teaching specialist in the University of Minnesota, Crookston's (CKN) aviation program.  The 1998 Nat'l Aviation Safety Counselor of the Year, he has since relocated to Bozeman, Montana.

David Alan "Dave" SIMPSON, Master CFI       
San Diego  CA
David A Simpson, a 4-time Master and SAFE member, recently renewed his Master CFI accreditation.  Dave owns and operates Take Flight San Diego at Gillespie Field (SEE) where he specializes in accelerated primary, commercial, and instrument flight and ground training.  He also serves as a FAASTeam representative in the FAA's San Diego FSDO area.

Richard Kingston "Rick" WRIGHT, Master CFI   
Phoenix  AZ
Richard K Wright, a 4-time Master and SAFE member, recently renewed his Master CFI accreditation.  Rick is the chief instructor of Wright Aviation at Deer Valley Airport
 (DVT) where he specializes in initial and recurrent technically advanced aircraft training.  A Marine Corps veteran, he also serves as a FAASTeam representative in the FAA's Scottsdale FSDO area

Have a SAFE day!

Doug Stewart, Executive Director
Society of Aviation and Flight Educators
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