Society of Aviation and Flight Educators eNewsletter  
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SAFE eNews November 2018

SAFE represents more than 1,700 of the industry's top aviation professionals in 49 states and nine foreign countries, including the majority of Master Instructors and numerous General Aviation Awards winners in all three awards categories.  

Executive Director Notes
by David St. George, SAFE Executive Director
Hi, SAFE members and supporters. As we approach our organization's 10th anniversary, let's take a moment to reflect on how much we have accomplished together with *your* efforts and support;
Our Pilot Training Reform Symposium in 2011 shook up the aviation industry. As then-FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said at this meeting, "you are the movers and shakers of the flight training community" This gathering of aviation professionals led to creation of the new FAA ACS standards. This important transformation embedded risk management into pilot testing - and by extension pilot education - and also fostered an FAA/industry collaboration that continues today. The working group is currently rolling out the new ATP (see below) and CFI ACS standards for comment.
SAFE's early collaboration with Redbird in 2010 led to the Pilot Proficiency Program which has been widely accepted and expanded by the EAA. This program was the first to introduce scenario-based training into aviation education. Redbird, at the time an industry upstart, has become a leader in flight simulation.
SAFE members created the very best CFI insurance program  customized specifically to the needs of flight educators. This program continues to be the most comprehensive and affordable insurance available to the industry, thanks to former SAFE Board member Jim Anderson at STARR.
Our STEM educator grants (see below) started in 2009, are a model for industry support of aviation in the schools.  Additionally SAFE provides active CFI mentoring to new CFIs (see below), the   FREE SAFE CFI Toolkit App (used daily by over 3000 active CFIs and DPEs around the country) and live webinars with aviation leaders like Patty Wagstaff and Rod Machado. 
We have some exciting, creative initiatives coming soon; we are just getting started! Its our support that makes this all possible. From simple things like Amazon Smile (free to you when you shop Amazon) to your tax-deductible gifts during the approaching holiday season (help SAFE instead of paying the IRS). Please watch for our annual giving appeal in the mail soon. And consider stepping-up to a supporting or lifetime membership. Thanks again, enjoy this holiday season!
SAFE Member Wins AOPA Best CFI
Mike Biewenga
CFI of the Year

Former airport engineer and SAFE member Mike Biewenga took home AOPA's Best CFI honors for the US Midwest region at the annual Redbird Migration flight training event last month.
Mike is a full-time CFI at Lake Of The Hills airport outside Chicago. He said his airport engineering career took a detour in 1993 when he realized that "flying was a lot more fun" than engineering. He has been teaching for about five years, and believes that aviation essentially "sells itself" to new students.
The flight school seizing top 2018 honors was Take Flight, a Montgomery NY training center that cites "culture, organization, and updating the fleet" as the reason for its success. The award noted that Take Flight uses newer Diamond aircraft, which co-founder Ryan Mayo said made it easier for pilots to "see themselves picking a travel destination and embracing GA to get there."

ATP ACS Now Available
Finally! Comments Due NLT Dec 21

The long-awaited Airman Certification Standards for Airline Transport Pilot applicants was published on October 22 in the Federal Register. FAA sources earlier had said the target date would be September 1.
SAFE urges members to read and comment on the new ACS. Dr. Donna Wilt, the SAFE member on the FAA's committee developing the standards, said that there are four ways to submit suggestions, and that the deadline for comments is December 21. The four ways are:
  • Federal eRulemaking Portal:  Follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.
  • Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations, M-30; U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W12-140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
  • Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202-493-2251.
  SAFE will be submitting written comments to the FAA separately.
Experienced CFIs: Join SAFE's Mentoring Program

More SAFE members are needed for SAFE's Mentoring Program, which pairs volunteer veteran CFIs with newer instructors to improve professionalism in the ranks. The program has been one of SAFE's member benefits since shortly after the organization was founded in 2009.
"It enhances the professional development of aviation educators of all types," said SAFE Mentoring Program head Ken Wittekiend of Texas. "And with today's explosive demand for new CFIs, it's one of the best ways to transfer many years of real-world experience to recent instructors. Did I mention that it's free for SAFE members?"
The Mentoring Program is available to current educators or educators-in-training in flight, ground, youth, college, maintenance, or other aviation areas.  Even experienced educators may occasionally want or need insights when teaching in new aircraft, or with new technologies and techniques.
To volunteer to be a Mentor , two references are needed to verify that volunteer Mentors possess sufficient expertise in aviation or aviation education to warrant the respect of their aviation peers, although meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance as a Mentor. Decisions of SAFE's Aviation Educator Mentoring Program are based on a review of the potential Mentor's application, recommendations and references.

Safe Welcomes Newest Sponsor -
Our Friends at CFI Bootcamp

Newest SAFE sponsor CFI Bootcamp specializes in just one thing, and apparently they do it very well. The first-time CFI pass rate for graduates of the program is over 80 percent, compared to under 40 percent for the national average.

"CFI Bootcamp knows exactly what it takes to create a successful CFI," said Mike Shiflett, owner. The school  offers a two or three week customizable program, including a week of online instruction, another week live class and a third week of flying at the customer's location or at either of CFI Bootcamp's bases in P alo Alto, CA and Miami, FL.

"Owner Mike and his team have become the "go-to trainers" for many individuals and schools all over the US," said David St George, an FAA DPE himself and executive director of SAFE.  
The comprehensive online course is a standalone product that will fully prepare students for the oral portion of the CFI checkride. 
By request, CFI Bootcamp instructors also travel to larger schools to train their students. "In truth, most busy flight schools just do not have time or expertise to successfully complete their own CFIs" said Shiflett.
The CFI Bootcamp Website offers some  generous resources and free video lessons for potential CFIs.
ADS-B Countdown
Why Flight ID Must Match Aircraft ID

For students who are always asking, "why?" here's an ADS-B factoid: AC 120-26M clarifies that after January 1, 2020, the Flight ID transmitted by your ADS-B unit must match the ID filed in your flight plan. 
But why are matching IDs so important? It's because a mismatch in codes will give ATC a "call sign mismatch" alarm, distracting the controller. 

SAFE Aviation Education Awards $1,000
Teachers Win From Alabama, Illinois and Tennessee
Heather Adams
Two elementary and two high-school teachers this month won SAFE's 2018 Aviation Education grants promoting aviation and aerospace interest in youth. All four will use the money for aviation-related projects in the 2018-19 school year and will make their lesson plans available to other teachers through the SAFE website.

Amanda Callahan-Mims
The winning educators are Heather Adams, a second-grade teacher at Moody Elementary in Moody, AL; Amanda Callahan-Mims, a kindergarten through fifth grade teacher at Spring Hill Elementary in Knoxville, TN; Charmelia Craig, a STEM teacher at Hale County High School in Greensboro, AL and
Charmelia Craig
Melissa Wedwick, a middle school teacher at Rockford, IL Cathedral of St Peter School.

All four SAFE Aviation Education Grants for 2018-19 were sponsored by individual SAFE members. "We try to get the biggest bang for our members' bucks," said St. George. "Although  each individual award is small, every teacher agrees to share their aviation-related STEM lesson plan with other teachers nationwide, magnifying their value."
Melissa Wedwick

Aviation education awards for public and private school teachers have been a small but important part of  SAFE's efforts to promote aviation education since shortly after the organization's founding ten years ago. The program has grown from one award in 2009 to four this year.

SAFE Sponsor Gold Seal Ground Schools
Provides Free Access for CFIs
Gold Seal Logo
Generous SAFE sponsor Gold Seal Ground Schools offers free membership for CFIs, which allows instructors use the groundschool course materials and track any students they have taking any of the Gold Seal online classes.

"You can monitor every student's progress online to see progress and trouble spots on quizzes for review, said owner Russell Still, a Master CFI. "Additionally, there's a free searchable CFI listing and a personalized CFI webpage with your specialties and contact details."
Gold Seal Ground Schools is a well-known online ground school, based in Atlanta and offering complete online ground schools for private and instrument students The company recently introduced a Remote Pilot ground school course.

For particularly active instructors, it's possible to create your own branded version of Gold Seal, says Still.

Holiday Giving: Don't Forget SAFE

CFIs and other aviation educators wanting to boost SAFE's efforts encouraging CFI professionalism may do so on an ongoing basis without investing so much as a dime, through Amazon Prime' s "Smile" program. The deal, free for SAFE members, returns a small percentage of each sale to SAFE, which is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

There is no cost to SAFE members. To set up a SAFE "Smile" account benefiting the organization, go to a nd log in to your Amazon Prime account. "Your Amazon Smile" is one of the dropdown choices, then choose Society of Aviation and Flight Educators as your selected charity. From then on, SAFE will receive 0.5 percent of every sale, at no additional cost to you. Here is a simple step-by-step tutorial.
"But there's a catch," warned SAFE Executive Director David St George. "You'll want to create a shortcut on your desktop to Amazon Smile and use it every time you buy something from Amazon. The URL of your shortcut should include"
Amazon Prime accounts are held by an astounding 65 percent of US households, according to the company, and the Prime Smile program has directed almost $100 million to charitable organizations. Your shopping this holiday season could really help SAFE with no cost to you!

CFI Jobs Still Hot
"...but the times, they are a-changin'"
A new $2.5 million grant for pilot training from airline FedEx Express last month is additional confirmation that the pilot shortage is becoming acute, especially for airlines, benefitting CFIs.
"Remember when pilots were plentiful and airlines could pay peanuts and laughed at the idea of paying for pilot training?" asked Kevin D Murphy, SAFE Communications Director. "The worm has turned, and all the money airlines are pouring into pilot training is very good news. The challenge now is to bring professionalism to the previously fragmented world of flight instruction."

In the past year alone, several airlines have set up programs with established and new flight schools and aviation universities for flight training. In April, American Airlines started offering graduates of its AA Cadet program a guaranteed interview with any of American's three regional carriers, with the promise of a job with the major carrier as seniority allows in the regional airline.
FedEx's grant will be administered by six universities: University of Memphis in Tennessee, Delta State University in Mississippi, the University of North Dakota, Indiana State University, the Tennessee College of Applied Technology and Arkansas State University Mid-South.

SAFE's Garrison, Vivian Serve At AOPA At Fly-In

SAFE Board members Mike Garrison and Mike Vivian represented SAFE at last month's Gulf Shores Fly-In, and Mike brought his camera.

Mike Garrison inspected the new SF50 Cirrus Jet on display at the Gulf Shores Event.
Mike Vivian presented his ever popular program on Back Country Flying at the AOPA Gulf Shores Fly-In during October.  
Richard McSpadden, ASI Executive  
Director and SAFE's Mike Garrison at the
Gulf Shores AOPA Fly-In.

Master Instructor Updates

Kenneth F Wittekiend of Burnet, TX, a 7-time Master and a former member of SAFE's board of directors, recently renewed his Master CFI accreditation with Master Instructors Inc . on October 16. Ken instructs owns and operates ProMark Aviation Services at the Burnet Municipal Airport and is a Bonanza Pilot Proficiency Program instructor.  He also serves as a pilot examiner as well as a FAASTeam representative for the FAA's San Antonio FSDO    

Brian L Robbins of Southampton NJ, a 7-time Master and charter SAFE member, renewed his Master CFI accreditation November 18 through   Master Instructors Inc . Brian serves as a FAASTeam lead representative for the FAA's Philadelphia FSDO, and is an instructor at Trenton's Robbinsville Airport as well as Medford's Flying W Airport and Resort where he specializes in instrument, cross country, and avionics training primarily in Diamond aircraft. 

Robin H Lindstrom of Huntsville AL, an 11-time Master and charter SAFE member, recently renewed his Master CFI accreditation through Master Instructors Inc . Rob is the assistant chief flight instructor and a ground instructor with the Redstone Arsenal Flying Activity at Huntsville's Redstone Army Airfield.  He is also an aviation instructor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and serves as a FAASTeam representative for the FAA's Birmingham FSDO. He was one of the first aviation educators to earn the Master designation when the accreditation program was first introduced in 1997 by then-FAA Administrator Barry Valentine at Oshkosh AirVenture.    

Again, thanks for your support and Fly SAFE!

David St. George, Chair
Society of Aviation and Flight Educators
Copyright SAFE, Inc. 2018. All rights reserved.
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