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June 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 2014 Board Election Results
Another election cycle has concluded. Congratulations are in order to each nominee, candidate and director elect. The SAFE board will have two new faces joining them as their terms begin during AirVenture. Welcome new directors Sherry Rossiter and Kenneth Wittekiend, along with incumbent Donna Wilt.


One negative to report, this year's election participation was down. The 2013 election had 23.3% of our members voting while only 17.3% of SAFE membership voted this year. This is not a trend we want continued. We also want to thank Tom Benenson and John Dorcey for their five years of volunteer work on the board.

AirVenture 2014
Spring has finally arrived in Wisconsin. We had snow in METARs just north of Oshkosh less than two weeks ago. It will be a short spring, I know, because we are less than 60 days until AirVenture Oshkosh. 


SAFE will again be exhibiting at Booth 35 in the College Park area. Go north from the air traffic control tower on Knapp Street, turn southwest onto James Ray Blvd and continue for 200 feet. You'll find us on the north side of the street. I encourage all SAFE members to stop in at some point during your stay at AirVenture. Swing by and say "Hi", introduce yourself to the folks 'working the booth' while quenching your thirst with a bottle of cold water. Of course we would love to have you spend a couple of hours talking to others about SAFE... why you are a member and the benefits of membership.


Do both of us a favor. Grab your phone and start the calendar app. Go ahead, I'll wait. Now go to Thursday, July31 and create an event. Event name: SAFE Annual Meeting and Dinner. Location: Wittman Regional Airport Terminal, 525 West 20th Avenue, Oshkosh. Start time: 1800. End time: 2030. Set your reminders as needed. Did I tell you the dinner was free? Did I say that there are some terrific door prizes? Did I explain that there will be some very cool folks there? Make your reservations on the SAFE website beginning the latter part of June. Get it? Got it? Good!


John Dorcey



Flight Educators: Make the Most of the VFR Chart
Whether you're instructing new pilots, conducting a flight review or teaching a refresher class, the VFR chart is an essential item. It contains information on airspace, navigation, communications and more, so be sure to include various aspects of the sectional in your teaching. For more tips, see "The VFR Sectional Chart's Hidden Value: Looking Beyond the ABCs..." by MCFI Jean Runner. Check it out in the Navigation section of the Member Contributed Resources. Visit to learn more.


Fly the Airplane First -- No Matter What!

It was a lovely May Day in 1985 and my aerobatic student Bob and I were going out to do some up-set training and a couple of aerobatic maneuvers. We had accomplished a few loops and aileron rolls and were into spins and spin recovery. On about our third spin and stabilized in two turns in my 8KCAB Super Decathlon, the engine and propeller stopped cold and without warning. Bob said, "What are we going to do now? I said, "I've got it. Let's recover from the spin, and then we'll look for a landing field."

Our practice field was over flat terrain with many fields to pick from. After picking a nice looking green field, I asked Bob to do the emergency checklist. Nothing changed, but I said; try hitting the starter switch for the heck of it, and low and behold the engine started and acted as if nothing was amiss.

Bob said are we going back and doing more spins? Being the chicken that I am, I said NO, as I don't know why the engine stopped in the first place and I'm not chancing another encounter. We flew home uneventfully.

A couple of days later I spoke with the mechanic who maintains the airplane. It seems that because of all the aerobatics that I had been doing, the magneto wires in the overhead switch box on the Decathlon had crossed, rubbed bare and shorted out. When we re-started the engine, we were only flying on one mag. (we didn't know that at the time).  

So I guess it's safe to say, no matter what type of event happens or how unusual it may appear: ALWAYS have an emergency landing site picked out or don't put yourself over unfriendly territory; have an option and stick to it; and of course - Always Fly the Aircraft - No Matter What!


Lou J. Wipotnik, ATP - MCFI


SAFE is a Tour de Force

Looking back at the genesis of SAFE  and seeing the ground swell of support and a sense of sustainable stability, SAFE has transitioned into a tour de force exemplifying Aviation Safety and Education. For my part, I have lurked in the background seeing all the wisdom and desire capitalize the needs of the aviation educators by bringing them together under a unified tent. I have enjoyed learning from the SAFE leaders in the field and welcomed the knowledge that it affords me as a flight instructor and as an educator.


The future is always there and it is for us to look at it through the color of our lens. I see it bright for SAFE and for all those that participate in her membership. SAFE brings together a diversity of thought and an assemblage of enthusiastic and motivated aviation educators. SAFE is the organization that listens to the needs of each member and shapes her own destiny through the desires of her members. There is an absence here, of the bureaucratic hurdles that populate most organization. SAFE is and will always remain a direct link between its members.


Time shines a light on all organizations from their fledgling little selves to their future maturity and SAFE's tomorrows are bright. The gathering of minds on the membership roster is a testimony to her coming success. For those who desire to learn, serve each other in aviation and push forward the envelope of education SAFE is a home to come home to. 


I look forward to more SAFE accomplishments as younger and brighter minds take the reins of SAFE in the future and help advance the cause of aviation education to deeper and higher levels. By involving the youth and their teachers, SAFE has opened a window into the young minds to help them grow through grants and gain knowledge from their participation.


If you are a member, I would encourage you to get involved and if you are not a member, join the party. We will all be the better for it!


-Parvez Dara

A Win-Win Proposition!

This past February the SAFE Membership Committee launched a Membership campaign entitled: Each One, Bring One designed to simply and quickly build SAFE membership. As the name implies, if each current member brought in one new member we could double our size by the end of the campaign on July 31, 2014.


To incentivize participation in the campaign, every time a current SAFE member recruits a new member, the current member receives a $5 Starbucks gift certificate, AND also gets his or her name entered in a drawing for one of three prizes with a combined total value exceeding $1600. In fact participating members get their names entered into the prize drawing for EACH new member recruited.


But sad to say, in the three months since the launch of the campaign only 27 new members have been recruited. I can't help but wonder why? Certainly the prizes are worthy. Who amongst us wouldn't want a Bose A20 headset, a Sporty's SP400 handheld transceiver, or a $400 gift certificate from King Schools? Maybe our members have no need for a Starbucks gift certificate as they now have fuel totalizers on board and don't rely on a strong cup of coffee just before flight as one of the best fuel management tools we can use? Or is it just plain apathy?


The SAFE motto is: "We're all about our members." This doesn't only refer to all the tangible benefits of SAFE membership, like the great CFI insurance plan, the numerous product discounts, and the online Resource Center, but the intangibles as well such as the advocacy efforts and SAFE participation on numerous industry/agency committees. "We're all about our members" also refers to the fact that our entire organization is supported almost solely by our members volunteering their time, talent, and treasure. Without each member GIVING as well as receiving SAFE couldn't exist.


So I challenge each of you. There are basically two months left to the Each One, Bring One  campaign. Let's see if we can't double our membership by July 31. If each one of us brings in just one new member it will help SAFE continue to thrive.  It will also allow three lucky members to win a fantastic prize, AND prove that SAFE really is "all about it's members". This sounds like a WIN - WIN proposition to me.


Doug Stewart

Executive Director

SAFE Seeks Member Input on By-Law Review

The Governance Committee would like to thank you for participating in the Board of Directors elections that have recently closed.  Such participation allows our members to maintain an active role in the operation and direction of our fine organization.  From the start, SAFE has been focused at maintaining transparency and accountability, and ensuring that we exist for our membership.  As such, your input is always welcomed and greatly appreciated.


As SAFE evolves as an organization, it is important that our Bylaws evolve as well.  Designed to be a living document, it needs to be evaluated and updated as required to help SAFE maintain its viability as an organization and to ensure that the needs of our membership are met to their expectation. So in keeping with our guiding principle of being membership driven, we request that all members take the time to review the current Bylaws, available online at , and make any recommendations that you feel should be evaluated for a possible revision.  We are looking for any comment, whether it is a revision, removal or addition of an article to the Bylaws.  All comments will be reviewed by the Governance Committee, so this is your chance to contribute to the continued success of SAFE!  


Once the Governance Committee has reviewed all submissions, proposed changes will be brought to the general membership for vote, again ensuring that SAFE is an organization driven by and for our membership.  Comments regarding Bylaw revisions should be sent to the SAFE Governance Committee at  Comments regarding Bylaws will be accepted through August 15th, 2014.


Thank you all again!  Fly SAFE!


SAFE Governance Committee

Recent Master Instructor Designations
Congratulations to these SAFE members!

Richard Michael "Mike" COLIGNY
Master CFI        (Renew:  1Jun14) 
Prescott  AZ
Mike Coligny, a 7-time Master and charter SAFE member, recently renewed his Master CFI accreditation.  Mike is president / CEO of SIMAVIA USA in Prescott, AZ.  SIMAVIA USA is a flight simulation manufacturing company 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 area.
Michael Bruce "Mike" TRAUD, Master CFI     
(Renew:  1May14) 
Gold River  CA
Michael B Traud, a 6-time Master and SAFE member, recently renewed his Master CFI accreditation.  Mike serves as the safety officer for the Sacramento County Sheriff's Air Squadron as well as as a designated pilot examiner (DPE) in the FAA's Sacramento FSDO area.  Additionally, he is an aviation consultant who owns MTAviation Services LLC at Sacramento Executive Airport (SAC)


Have a SAFE day!

Doug Stewart, Executive Director
Society of Aviation and Flight Educators
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