Society of Aviation and Flight Educators eNewsletter  
October 2017

SAFE represents more than 1,500 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.  

Chair's Corner

by David St. George, SAFE Chair

David St George
Thank-you members and fans, your continued support has been amazing; SAFE passed 1500 members in September! I hope you v isited our home page on the web  recently and saw the amazing CFI tools (from Bold Method ) to make your teaching more effective. I recently published a blog article explaining their effective use. The SAFE blog will continue to feature on-line and technology (featuring our sponsors) in the next several months; please follow├é  this popular educational outlet!

SAFE will be at the
  AOPA Regional Fly-In at Groton CT, October 6 and 7, booth #63.  (Please visit us at the show!) We are planning a dedicated gathering for members after the show on Saturday. Please write ASAP  if you can help me at the AOPA show at Groton.

It was a pleasure to meet with (former FAA AFS-800) Bob Wright in Ithaca in September. Bob was one of the people behind our Pilot Reform Symposium that led to the development of the new FAA ACS . (SAFE member Dr. Donna WIlt is currently working on the CFI ACS now in Draft Form )

We have some great new initiatives in planning for aviation educators (and pilots)! We are again asking for all members to
"Step-Up" and increase your level of support (and please encourage your friends to join SAFE ) Please remember Amazon Smile for holiday shopping as a painless way to help SAFE. Thanks for all you do; fly safely!

New FAA Safety Briefing Devoted to CFIs

The entire September-October 2017 issue of FAA Safety Briefing is devoted to CFI issues, offering the official FAA view of how instructors can help keep the National Airspace System safe.
"CFIs often refer to the FARs, the AIM, the new ACS and Advisory Circulars, but this issue of Safety Briefing provides the official viewpoint in easily readable, magazine style," said SAFE Chair David St. George. "This issue really should be required reading for all CFIs."
Among the feature articles in this issue are:
  • Compliance Philosophy for Flight Instructors, wherein FAA Airman Training and Certification Branch manager Jeffrey Smith explains the FARs with a focus on safety rather than enforcement.
  • Getting the Gouge, with leading SAFE member Susan Parson explaining 10 things CFIs need to know about using the new ACS.
  • Flight Instructor Resources, by magazine staffer Jennifer Caron. Jennifer writes on resources any CFI can find useful - or essential - in day-to-day instructing.
  • Teaching Technology, by Susan Parson. Technology has changed much about learning to fly, and the ease of navigation by GPS is only the start.
  • Renewing Your 'Lease,' by Safety Briefing Editor Tom Hoffmann, outlines the multiple answers to a frequently-asked question: how to accomplish renewal of your flight instructor certificate every two years.
  • Shifting Gears, by Susan Parson, explaining a veteran's tips for tackling transition training, including the sometimes-difficult transition from military to civilian flying.
NOTAM System Under Review: SAFE Urges Speed

Calling the existing NOTAM system "a hot mess," SAFE is asking the FAA to pay close attention to the government NOTAM committee formed in July. The FAA's Air Traffic Organization singled out the NOTAM system in two of its annual top 5 hazards for 2017.

"We've known for years the NOTAM system is broken," said SAFE Chair David St. George. "On a flight of any length, a pilot must wade through literally hundreds of insignificant NOTAMs to find ones that really matter, and we know how easy it is to miss something important in the clutter." Offers SAFE Members 20% Off

Until October 15, SAFE members are eligible for a 20 percent discount on ALL products from MYGOFLIGHT .com, a long-time SAFE supporter. To claim the discount, log into the SAFE Web site and find the special code needed for the discount.
  MYGOFLIGHT  carries pilot and aircraft supplies, including various types of GPS mounts, kneeboards, flight bags, anti-glare glass for 8 of the most popular iPad models, electronic device chargers and power banks, GPS and ADS-B products and SkyDisplay Heads Up Displays. It also sells the Ultimate Flight Sim Immersion Cockpit/Modern Work Environment (shown).
Other MYGOFLIGHT divisions carry products for automotive, marine, cycling and photography.

Reduce 1,500 Hour Requirement for FOs?  Good or Bad.
Should the requirement that first officers in air carrier service have an ATP - originally mandated in 2010 by Congress following the Colgan 3407 crash in icing conditions in Clarence Center, NY - be changed to lower the hour requirement?
Airlines, especially regional airlines suffering a shortage of willing applicants for FO positions, are
ALPA Advertisement
strongly pushing Congress to lower the current 1,500 hour requirement in hopes it will increase the pilot supply without increasing their costs.
The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) is opposed to the idea, arguing that lowering the FO experience requirement will affect safety (see ALPA advertisement, right) and that the pilot shortage is not due to a shortage of pilots but the abysmally low pilot pay historically paid by regional airlines.
What do you - as an experienced CFI and SAFE member - think? Please help determine SAFE's position on the issue by sending your opinion to Your letter may be published in whole or part unless you request otherwise. At press time, the issue is heating up in the Senate.

Drone CFI Opportunities Growing

Opportunities for drone CFIs are picking up, as the FAA announced last month that more than 60,000 people have obtained remote pilot certificates under UAS Part 107 rules. FAA records show more than 80,000 individual drones have been registered since August 2016.
Examples of new commercial operations include property insurance companies using them to examine damage to homes after storms, such as Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana. The FAA issued 127 authorizations to drone operators to perform search and rescue missions as well as further damage assessments to critical infrastructure. Parcel delivery company UPS is testing drones for delivery of emergency medicine from its Beverly, MA facility to Children's Island.

Four SAFE K-12 Classroom Teacher Grant Recipients Named
Renee Pionke

Nicole Williams-Roulhoc

Bradley Agee

Roger Sanders

Why does SAFE annually award $250 grants to classroom teachers in elementary and high schools across the country? It's because we're looking to secure a future for aviation and space-related jobs.
This year SAFE was able to award four such grants, to teachers Renee Pionke of Rosendale, Wisconsin; Nicole Williams-Routhoc of Pembroke Pines, Florida; Bradley Agee of Sandusky, Ohio and Roger Sanders, Rock Hill, South Carolina. Each grant of $250 is meant to help the teacher bring an aviation-themed lesson or project to their classroom during the coming school year.

SAFE Professional Membership Passes 1,500
SAFE's membership count of professional aviation educators surged past 1,500 in September, a new record.
"We are truly blessed with astounding growth," said David St. George, SAFE Chair. "Members tell us they join for the professional-level resources and services we offer, and we expect membership will continue to grow as we add ever more resources for the nation's top aviation educators."
SAFE was founded in 2009 as a non-profit, member-directed professional organization dedicated to improving instructional competence and aviation safety. Yearly dues for full membership are $45. 

GAO: "No Need To Create A Private ATC"

Criticism of the Administration's proposal to privatize ATC is getting louder. A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report issued last month confirmed that the FAA's long-beleaguered NextGen technology is performing well and has already increased flight efficiency and saved airlines millions of dollars in fuel costs.
SAFE and virtually every other general aviation organization opposes HR 2997, the 21st Century AIRR Act that would remove ATC from Federal oversight and allow it to be governed by an airline-dominated board of directors. Just before press time, Congress did pass a temporary FAA budget, but the fight over a privatized ATC will resume in October.
If you have not yet done so, please call, write or email your US Representative and two Senators and explain to them why putting ATC in the hands of a non-profit government company would NOT be good for the flight training industry. Find your  US Representatives   US Senators

STEM High School Symposium Nov 6-7 in FTW

SAFE is encouraging members to tell their local high schools about the  third annual AOPA High School Aviation STEM Symposium , scheduled for November 6-7 at the American Airlines C.R. Smith Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. AOPA is co-sponsoring the event.
A Word template is available for students requesting school permission to attend the symposium.
"For those who dismiss the value of STEM aviation education, look around you," said Kevin D Murphy, SAFE Communications Director. "See all the old people with gray hair? That's today's general aviation, and it's up to us to make every effort to push more young people into aviation as a career."

Illinois Teacher Uses SAFE Grant for Rockets, Motorized Paper Airplanes

2016 SAFE K-12 Classroom Teacher Grant Award recipient Josh Miller, who teaches third grade at Hillel Torah North Suburban Day School in Skokie, Illinois, sent SAFE the following email this summer along with photos of the class project he did.
"Thank you so much for the grant!" Miller wrote.  "3rd grade and 8th grade had a blast working together to launch air rockets, water rockets, and pump rockets. We also turned paper airplanes into motorized planes using Power Up 2.0 and 3.0. We then got to build real mini rockets to launch the last day of the year."

"The students really got hands on experiences learning about Bernoulli's principle, different types of propellants, the properties of aerodynamics, and team building opportunities. The 8th grade got a chance to also take their advanced learning of these principles and ...simplify them to have discussions with 3rd graders."

New SAFE Blog Entries
The Dangers of Aviation Automation: Rust . Even though most companies that operate larger aircraft insist that automation be used for almost all the flying, there's a downside: pilot rust. The post child for the perils of automation dependence is the Air France 447 accident, where three tired and rusty pilots flew a perfectly good Airbus 300 into a full stall and held it there until it impacted the ocean.
"The complexity and reliability of modern aircraft automation has made these systems opaque to the pilot and taken pilots completely out of the operational look. Pilots are seen as a source of error," says David St. George, who authored this SAFE blog.
Unlearning is Essential for Pilot Education . Every beginning student has preconceived notions about how things *should* work, but CFIs do not always unwind the misconception before trying to instill the aviation-specific knowledge. Prime example: First-hour students who attempt to taxi the aircraft using the ailerons for directional control. As humorist Mark Twain said, "What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know. It's what we know for sure that just ain't so."
Free Tech Tools for Pilots (and CFIs!) . Perhaps the greatest source of humor around our flight school is watching CFIs attempt to convey aeronautical concepts on a white board. "This is a plane" is usually where the laughing begins. We aren't paid (or trained) to be artists. And though your student acquiesces to your dismal drawings, they often derive nothing from your time-consuming efforts. This post goes on to point to animated CFI tools available FREE from SAFE sponsor Bold Method.

Master Instructor Activity

Russ Still
Russell F Still , a 7-time Master and SAFE member from Cumming, GA, renewed his Master CFI accreditation in September through the Master Instructors LLC . A noted aviation educator and published author, Russ is the president of Atlanta Flight Inc  at Gwinnett County Airport (LZU) where he specializes in primary and instrument instruction as well as ground training development and instruction. Russ also serves with the Georgia Wing of the Civil Air Patrol primarily as an instructor pilot.
Russ has greatly assisted SAFE with his generous sponsorship through Gold Seal Online Groundschools, donating DC3 rides at Oshkosh and making our FAA Lifestream presentations possible. Thanks Russ!

Matthew Robert "Matt" D'Angelo of Spring Lake Heights NJ, renewed his Master CFI accreditation
Matt D'Angelo
August 31 through
Master Instructors LLC.   Mattis is a flight instructor with Monmouth Area Flying Club  at Lakewood Airport (N12), where he specializes in tailwheel, primary and instrument flight training with an emphasis on stick and rudder skills. Additionally, he is an EAA Young Eagles pilot and serves as a FAASTeam representative in the FAA's Teterboro FSDO area. Matt first earned his Master Instructor professional accreditation in 2015 and has held it continuously since then. Only 154 other aviation educators worldwide have earned the credential two times. 

David Pepitone
David Pepitone of Polvadera, NM a 1st-time Master and SAFE member, earned his Master Aviation Educator accreditation on September 21 through  Master Instructors LLC. A long time flight instructor, pilot, and aviation educator, Dave is a glider instructor and check pilot with the New Mexico Wing of the Civil Air Patrol.  
David also is a recent recipient of the FAA's coveted Wright Brothers Master Pilot award. 

Matthew C Plourde of Arlington, MA, a 1st-time Master and SAFE member, earned his Master CFI accreditation September 21 through Master Instructors LLC . A former instructor pilot and flight supervisor at Daytona Beach's Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University  campus, Matt is now in first officer training with Piedmont Airlines .
Matthew also serves as a FAASTeam Representative for the FAA's Orlando FSDO.


David St. George, Chair
Society of Aviation and Flight Educators
Copyright SAFE, Inc. 2017. All rights reserved.
SAFE, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Public Charity -- --