Society of Aviation and Flight Educators eNewsletter  
Three Open Board Vacancies
"Each One, Bring One" Campaign
PPP Melbourne, FL
FAA ATD Policy Change
Free Resource!
Recent Master Instructors

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February 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.


Organization to Fill Three Board Vacancies

For some, a headline like this would imply a catastrophe had just occurred. Alarms would ring and calls for an investigation would be heard. Rest assured that is not the case for your organization. SAFE board elections occur every year; a process where you determine who will be a candidate, a process where you elect every director. This election process is a basic tenant of our existence. It is but a part of our member centric structure.


Each SAFE Director, there are nine, is elected to a three-year term. Terms are staggered so one-third of the board is elected each year. Term limits restrict directors to two concurrent three-year terms. Including today's board, 17 individuals have served as SAFE directors.


The SAFE Governance Committee is putting the finishing touches on the 2014 board election schedule. Basically it begins with an announcement to all members explaining the process and provides a timeline. Included with this initial announcement is a call for nominations. SAFE members may nominate themselves or be nominated by another member. Nominees must be a current SAFE member.


The committee then goes to work vetting nominees, collecting background information and creating an informational document for each. The committee then presents their slate of candidates to the board. Typically there are two candidates for each board position. Candidates are introduced to SAFE members through our eNewsletter and website. Elections begin a few weeks later. The election is conducted through a secure online process.


A member centric organization whose members elect every director, directors who are organization members first, directors who have term limits, all combine to make a solid governance foundation. This philosophy is but one that led to SAFE's existence. It is one reason why we are succeeding in our mission.



2014 SAFE BOD Election Timetable

 Feb 1st     Release of announcements requesting                              nominations through all of the SAFE                                resources (Website, Social Media,                                    Newsletter, etc.)

Feb 14th     Nomination period closes

Feb 15th - Mar 2nd Applicants questioned / telephone                        interview

Mar 3rd  - Mar 11th  Governance / Nominating                                    Committee meeting(s) to discuss candidates                    and determine if any should not be                                  forwarded to the BOD 

Mar 12th     List of candidates forwarded to BOD

April (TBD) Online Elections


This is the proposed time schedule we will use for the election process.  We've moved the last date to the 12th instead of the 15th to coincide with the March BOD meeting.

"Each One, Bring One" 2014 SAFE Membership Campaign


The 2014 SAFE Membership Campaign will kickoff on February 1, 2014, and SAFE needs YOUR help.   All current SAFE members are invited to participate in a special recruiting effort called "Each One, Bring One" to achieve SAFE's goal of 1,500 members by July 2015.



Each SAFE member is asked to recruit one new member into the organization between February 1 and July 31, 2014.  This recruitment campaign is not a competition to see who can bring the most members, but the more members you do bring into SAFE, the faster SAFE will reach its membership goal AND the more times your name will be entered into a special drawing at the end of the campaign. The recruiter's name must be shown on the membership application for participation.  Members can participate by recruiting a new member, who would pay his or her own membership dues, or by purchasing a gift membership for the new member. 


Current members can download and print a SAFE membership brochure from the SAFE website to use in their recruitment efforts or they can simply put a link to the membership brochure in an email they send to a potential new member.


The new member can either print out a SAFE membership application from the website to be mailed back to SAFE with their dues, or they can complete a membership application online.  There is a place on the membership application for the new member to write in the name of the current SAFE member recruiter.


Member Incentives 

Each participating member who recruits a new member will receive a $5.00 Starbucks gift card immediately after the new member pays his or her dues. 

Each participating member will receive one chance per new member recruited to win a special prize via a drawing at the end of the campaign.  This drawing will take place at the annual SAFE dinner held in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, during AirVenture 2014.


Campaign Prizes

Prizes to be awarded are as follows:  

  • BOSE A20 Aviation Headset
  • SP-400 handheld NAV/COM aviation radio from Sporty's Pilot Shop
  • $400 gift certificate from King Schools to be used for training materials

You do NOT need to be present at the drawing to win a prize.


Plans for the next regional Pilot Proficiency Project, which will be hosted by the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne Florida on the weekend of March 8-9 , are moving ahead. A website is now online ( where one can access information about the seminars, presenters, simulator scenarios, schedules and registration. 


In addition to the educational opportunities available for pilots at the PPP, there will also be an exciting cross-wind landing contest presented by Lightspeed Aviation. The winner of this contest will win a Zulu.2 headset. Participants will have the opportunity to practice their crosswind landing skills throughout the event. More information about the contest is available here.  


On Saturday evening a banquet sponsored by Piper Aircraft will feature an open discussion on "The Art of Teaching in the Cockpit" moderated by Nick Frisch and Doug Stewart. Discounted registration is available through March 1st.   The Pilot Proficiency Project is sponsored by Redbird Flight Simulations, Starr Aviation, Lightpseed Aviation, Piper Aircraft, Foreflight, Aero-News.Net and F.I.T.Aviation.

Still Time to File a Comment on ATD Policy Change
The deadline for filing comments relating to the Notice of Policy Change regarding the use of ATDs in flight training is quickly nearing it's close on Feb. 3, however there is still time for you to make your voice heard regarding this giant step backwards  by the FAA. If you have not yet read the notice, you can access the notice through this link Federal Register. You can submit a formal comment by clicking here. You can also listen to a podcast that includes interviews with SAFE Executive Director Doug Stewart, and Pilot Proficiency Project Chief Instructor Bill Ervin right here.
Online Resource is Free for Flight Instructors

Atlanta Flight, Inc. has released Version 3.0 of its premiere online ground school. The Gold Seal Ground School was the first multimedia ground school to be completely internet-based. Over 27,000 pilots have registered since its introduction in 2006. 

"This new version is the biggest upgrade we've ever produced," said Gold Seal founder, Russ Still. "Under development for the past year, it includes completely updated lesson modules, a new quizzing engine, vastly improved tracking, and new iPad support. We can safely say that there is no other online ground training program like it." 


Roughly 40 independent lesson modules are divided into six sections. Each interactive lesson, professionally animated and narrated, includes supplemental resources for additional student use. Quizzes are generated for lessons from a database of nearly 700 current FAA questions. New tracking features allow students to review quizzes at will and print out custom reports from missed questions. The course automatically generates Certificates of Completion and Endorsements for the FAA Knowledge Test. 


In this new version, FAA certificated flight instructors are given full, free access. They can then monitor their students' progress, communicate with them, and query individual student quiz results online. Instructors have single-point access to all of their enrolled students allowing them to more effectively evaluate their ground school knowledge development. 


"Ground school coverage has always been something of a challenge for instructors," Still said. "This free program for CFIs will make their jobs a lot easier by quickly identifying bottlenecks and problem areas for individual students." 

Student registration at the Gold Seal Ground School is free and gives them full access to roughly a third of the course. Full-access Enrollment costs just $88 and students are protected by the company's "Forever Guarantee". This full money-back feature, based on complete customer satisfaction, never expires. 

The Gold Seal Online Ground School can be accessed at


For more information contact: Russ Still 888-514-1945 


For almost 40 years I was involved in aviation journalism. I wrote about flight training and general aviation accidents. During those 40 years I 

was appalled by the industry's inability to reduce the number and 

causes of accidents. When I heard about the formation of SAFE, I was 

curious. Was this new organization going to be able to make a real 

difference to the chronically flat-lined aviation accident picture? It 

quickly became obvious that with SAFE I could help to make a 

difference. I ran for a position on the member-elected Board and 

became a director.  I'm immensely proud of the substantial 

contributions SAFE is making to the way flight instructors and aviation 

educators ply their craft and the way SAFE is now recognized as an 

expert advocate and participant in FAA and industry committees. As a 

member of the editorial review committee for the Resource Center I've 

come to appreciate the wealth of information available for members to use in their own education as well as for their students. The SAFE 

sponsored Pilot Training Reform Symposium and the Pilot Proficiency 

Project have and are making substantial changes to the way aviation 

education is conducted. But what makes me proudest is the passion and commitment of the members of SAFE to improving aviation education. 

It's what I signed up for and why I ran again for the Board when my 

initial term ended. If you, too, want to make a difference, consider 

running for a position on the Board (elections will be held soon) or 

volunteering for any of the committees. You'll be glad you did.



Tom Benenson

Recent Master Instructor Designations
Congratulations to these SAFE members!
John Wesley "Jack" VANDEVENTER, Master CFI (Renew: 13Jan14) 
Zionsville, IN
John W Vandeventer, a 5-time Master and a SAFE member, recently renewed his Master CFI accreditation.  Jack is an independent CFI who instructs with Eagle at Indianapolis Executive Airport (TYQ).  He also serves a FAASTeam representative in the FAA's Indianapolis FSDO area as well as a board member and secretary for the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators. (Photo: MCFI Jack Vandeventer of Zionsville, IN)    
James Leighton "Jim" STOVER, Master CFI    
(Renew:  1Feb14) 
Fredericksburg  VA
James L Stover, a 7-time Master and SAFE member, recently renewed his Master CFI accreditation.  Jim is the chief CFI and owner of JLS Aviation, a Part 141 flight school at Shannon Airport (EZF).  A retired Army infantry officer, he also serves as a representative of AOPA's Airport Surveillance Network (ASN) and is a FAASTeam representative in the FAA's Richmond FSDO area.  
(Photo: MCFI Jim Stover of Fredericksburg, VA)  
Timm PREUSSER, Master CFI     (Renew:  31ec13) 
Kleinwallstadt  Germany
Timm Preusser, a 8-time Master and SAFE member, recently renewed his Master CFI accreditation.  Timm is the chief flight instructor and president of the Darmstadt Flying Club as well as the chief instructor for the Cirrus Owners & Pilots Association (COPA) in Europe.  He also serves on COPA's board of directors and is a Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot (CSIP). 
(Photo: MCFI Timm Preusser of Kleinwallstadt, Germany) 
Thomas Monroe "Tom" EVANS, Master CFI      (Renew:  1Jan14)   
Tampa  FL
Thomas M Evans, a 7-time Master and a SAFE member, recently renewed his Master CFI accreditation.  Tom is a flight and ground instructor with Atlas Aviation, a Cessna Pilot Center at Tampa's Peter O Knight Field (TPF).  He also serves as a FAASTeam rep in the FAA's Tampa / Orlando FSDO areas and is president of the Florida Association of Flight Instructors.
Allen "Al" BANEN, Master CFI    (Renew:  28Jan14)  Fountain Hills  AZ
Al Banen, a 4-time Master and SAFE member, recently renewed his Master CFI accreditation.  Al is an independent Phoenix-area flight and ground instructor specializing in Bonanza and Baron recurrent training.  Recently named the Western Pacific Region CFI of the Year, 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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