Society of Aviation and Flight Educators eNewsletter  
Welcome Bill!
Loss of Control
The Profitable Instructor
Recent Master Instructors
1 October 2015 

SAFE represents more than 900 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.


Welcome Bill!
I was asked by the SAFE board in late December 2014 to act as the interim Executive Director until the Search Committee could complete its task of hiring SAFE's new Executive Director. The request made sense; I was the recent past Board Chair and had been on the board since the beginning. I was happy to be asked to help. In the nine months since, we (the board, its committees, administrator Jenny Furst, and I) have accomplished much.

On September 17, Bill Moyle was named the next executive director of the organization. The official press release is available here 

Born in Connecticut where he took his initial flight training, Bill flew primarily from the west coast, and now has with a logbook filled with world-wide adventures, Bill has recently settled in Waxahachie, TX (south of Dallas). 

 Welcome aboard, Bill, "you have the controls."

Loss of Control

SAFE's resident expert on Loss of Control, Rich Stowell, will be among presenters at the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB's) forum on Loss of Control. The day-long event is entitled Humans and Hardware: Preventing Inflight Loss of Control in General Aviation.

The event will be held on October 14, 2015 at the NTSB Conference Center, 429 L'Enfant Plaza, S.W., Washington D.C. The forum begins at 9:00 AM ET and is scheduled to conclude at 5:00 PM. The forum is free and open to the public. The forum will also be streamed live via webcast ( The archived webcast will be available on the NTSB website for 90 days following the event.

The Profitable Instructor
 Or how to make money teaching

There are two truths in aviation. One, you can make a lot of money teaching and two; a lot of people don't believe it. I've got 25 years of sales experience and have proved that attracting the right customers is the key to success. Every month, I'll share some of the "sales secrets" which have helped me and can help you too. 

Last month we talked about the importance of dressing like a professional. This month's topic is how to differentiate yourself and get more clients by charging more than other local flight instructors. Your goal as a businessperson should be to get and keep clients who can afford your services and not just more students.

What's the difference between a client and a student? Well up to 85% of students quit before they solo because of money issues. A client who pays an instructor $100 per hour will finish 85% of the time because they know ahead of time that a private pilot certificate is an investment that they are prepared to make. The client who can afford $13,000-$15,000 will usually do more homework, fly more often, and always choose the best instructor they can find. ALL PEOPLE equate higher price with 
higher quality. If you don't believe me, ask your friends if their dream car is a Yugo. Why not? A Yugo is cheaper than the BMW.
Being cheaper than other flight instructors will only make you only look less qualified and attract the wrong type of students.

My demo flight lesson is two hours with 90 minutes of ground and 30 minutes of flight for $179. The cheap school next door charges $49 for a 30-minute airplane ride but you can get it for $25 on Groupon. What's the difference? Well for one I make $75 in profit on every demo flight, they lose money every time. Write this down on your mirror and repeat it every day. This is not a hobby this is a business. Businesses make money. 

For every 5 demo flights I sign up a full-time student who flies 2-3 times per week paying at least $250 for every lesson. The "cheap" flight school converts 1 out of 20 demo flights with the resulting student usually quitting before solo.

Ask yourself if you'd rather teach 20 hours a week for a student who pays you what you're worth, or have students who no show, cancel and quit.  You are a pro, you're a member of S.A.F.E., and I promise you're worth more money than what your competitors are charging. Find out how much the other instructors are charging at your airport and charge at least $5 more. You won't believe how much better you're students and bank balance can be!

Did I get it right or wrong? 
What are your experiences with "cheap" or "discount" flight schools?  Let me know at

About the Author:
Gary Reeves is a two-time Master Instructor, FAA Safety Team Lead Rep, National Public Speaker, Flight School Owner, and a member of SAFE. Learn more about Gary by visiting

AOPA Fly-In, Tullahoma, TN   10 October
The AOPA is having their last local FLY-IN for 2015 in Tullahoma, TN on October the tenth.  This would be a great opportunity for all of our members in the Tennessee area to be an Ambassador. A chance to meet other pilots and instructors in the surrounding area. If you are planning to attend, why not take advantage of this opportunity to introduce yourself, as well as SAFE, to the flying community in that area. You never know what possibilities may exist until you get out and shake hands with those in your area. A wise old pilot once told me that, "Opportunity doesn't always knock, sometimes it whispers." 

There is an hour long presentation by Bruce Landsberg on Loss Of Control, LOC, at 0930. SAFE, as well as the FAA and NTSB, are looking into this as a primary area that needs to be addressed. Why not take advantage of this chance to learn more on this important issue? 

If you do attend, look for other SAFE members and take the opportunity to "Net-Work." Also, please take notes and collect information that can be shared with others. Why not put together an article about your experience to share in the November SAFE Newsletter or on the SAFE  'E' magazine?

SAFE is looking into being a part of the program for 2016. I look forward to chatting with anyone who attends for an in person evaluation of the program. Thanks.

Blue Skys and Tailwinds,  

Bill Moyle

Recent Master Instructor Designations
Congratulations to these SAFE members!

Kele Huia FERGERSTROM, Master CFI 
Honolulu  HI
Kele H Fergerstrom, a 3-time Master and SAFE member, recently renewed his Master CFI accreditation.  Kele is a Part 141 assistant chief pilot and line check airman with Empire Airlines at Hawaii's Honolulu International (HNL) and Kalaeloa (HJR) Airports.  An A&P mechanic with inspection authorization, he also serves in the Hawaii Wing of the CAP and is a designated pilot examiner (DPE) 
in the FAA's Honolulu FSDO area.

Clifford Monroe "Cliff" IZER, Master Instructor Emeritus    (MIE)   
Marietta  GA
Clifford M Izer, 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.  The owner and general manager of Professional Aviation Services at Dekalb Peachtree Airport  (PDK) , Cliff is a platinum Cirrus  (CSIP)  instructor specializing in Cirrus and other technically advanced aircraft training.  He also serves as a FAASTeam representative in the FAA's Atlanta FSDO area. 

Heather Elise MC NEVIN, Master Aviation Educator  (MAE) 
Northfield  MN
Heather McNevin, a 1 st -time Master and SAFE member, recently earned her Master Aviation Educator  (MAE)  accreditation. A long time certificated flight and ground instructor  (McNevin Aviation Inc) , Heather is also a high and low altitude radar ATC specialist as well as an on-the-job training instructor at the Minneapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center.  Additionally, she serves in the Minnesota Wing of the Civil Air Patrol  (CAP) 
and is a FAASTeam representative for the Minneapolis FSDO area.

 Adam Dominick RUSCITTI, Master CFI 
Belvidere  IL
Adam D Ruscitti, a 3-time Master and SAFE member, recently renewed his Master CFI accreditation. A B-757 and B-767 first officer with United Airlines, Adam is also an independent instructor pilot and mentor.  He specializes training and mentoring owner pilots transitioning into single-pilot very light jets  as well as initial jet type ratings and recurrent jet training. 

 Russell Frederick "Russ" STILL, Master CFI 
Cumming  GA
Russell F Still, a 6-time Master and SAFE member, recently renewed his Master CFI accreditation. Russ is the president of Atlanta Flight Training at Gwinnett County Airport (LZU) where he specializes in primary and instrument instruction as well as ground training development and instruction.  A noted aviation educator and published author, he also serves with the Georgia Wing of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) primarily as an instructor pilot. 

Signing off...

John Dorcey, Interim Executive Director
Society of Aviation and Flight Educators
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