Society of Aviation and Flight Educators eNewsletter  

Bad For The Flight Training Industry

Just Say NO!
September 2017

SAFE represents nearly 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
Hello SAFE members and supporters.Thanks to all of you for helping us grow and extend our mission of promoting aviation excellence and safety. I hope all you in southeast Texas and the gulf coast area are safe. Hurricane Harvey certainly demonstrated Mother Nature's capricious power. Many people are in need. Please consider helping your neighbors through a philanthropy of your choice. 
I am so sorry we had to postpone our livestream show with Patty Wagstaff and Rich Stowell on August 22nd. We are actively working on a future date for this exciting presentation. Please check out our earlier Rod Machado/Greg Brown CFI Professionalism show on YouTube. Thanks to our partner Gold Seal for their support. 
SAFE's Associate Level membership has been recently modified. This membership level provides access to our resource center, our communications and news. But since it was designed as a "try it out" experience it will not, in the future, include the premium "tech tools" benefits like ForeFlight and CloudAhoy discounts. Frankly, these are amazing benefits at the regular membership rate. (Your savings on ForeFlight alone MORE than pays your annual membership with money to spare)
We also modified the Associate Level memberships so they are one time only, renewable only for full-time students and teachers. This is commensurate with our original intention of a "trial membership" incentive. Naturally, we welcome your ideas and feedback on this (and all) policy changes at SAFE. We are all-volunteer, member-driven organization and people like me on the board are just members who stepped up to serve. Nothing special. Please let us know what you think!
We are very excited to announce SAFE will be at the AOPA Regional Fly-in at Groton on October 6 and 7in  booth #63, across from Sporty's Pilot Shop. Join us for a special SAFE gathering during this event; AOPA pilot information packet here. 
SAFE Strongly Opposes ATC Privatization
SAFE and virtually every other GA organization in the US strongly opposes HR 2997, the ATC privatization proposal introduced June 22 by Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA-9).  SAFE urges its members to contact their Senators and Congressmen to oppose the bill.
"In addition to the certainty of user fees, such as charges for each takeoff and landing, a private ATC corporation would have a Board of Directors heavily weighted with airline and military interests," said Kevin D Murphy, SAFE Communications Director.  "There would be little to keep airlines and the military from promoting their own interests to the detriment of GA, especially flight instruction."
"The airlines' short term objective - controlling the ATC system - may be self-defeating for them in the long run," observed SAFE Board member David Dempsey.  "US airlines are so dependent on initial GA training, in contrast with European and Asian airlines that recruit largely from their own 'ab initio' training programs."
SAFE Board Member Joanie Williams Passes

With great sadness, SAFE reports the death of Board member Joan Williams, who passed away July 3, 2017, after a courageous battle with cancer.  Joan was elected to the SAFE Board in 2015 and had the distinction of being SAFE's first international board member. 
According to the obituary in the Toronto Star (July 5, 2017), Joan worked at Toronto Airways for over 30 years first as their Chief Flight Instructor and later as their Business Development Manager.  More recently she was Chair of the Board and Vice-President of Quality for Ottawa Aviation Services. 
FAA's TFR Map Fixed, Feds Say
The FAA's online TFR map page that had been showing erroneous locations for TFRs has been fixed.
"We thank the FAA for its action on this critical matter," said David St. George, SAFE Chair.  "Fortunately, we haven't heard of any pilots issued a violation for penetrating an active TFR due to the errors." 
Pilots had been reporting the erroneous positions to the FAA since June, and AOPA notified the FAA several times. SAFE issued an urgent warning to members via its Facebook Page on August 15.

  AirVenture 2017 "Most Successful Ever"

"Thanks to all the amazing volunteers that made this our most successful AirVenture ever," said David St. George, SAFE Chair. "We added 40 new members during the show, had 31 membership renewals, signed up yet another lifetime member and added a corporate sponsor."
SAFE's annual membership meeting and dinner was blessed by the presence of both Chuck Gensler, the FAA National CFI of the year and Mark Ducorsky, national FAASTeam leader of the year.  Both are SAFE members.  In the photo are (from left), Valerie Palazzolo, FAA National FAASTeam Manager, SAFE Chair David St. George, Gensler and Ducorsky. 
SAFE charter member Steve Rossiter was not supposed to be at AirVenture at all, but decided at the last minute to drive the 1,500 miles from Missoula, Montana to participate, and it's a good thing he did.
Steve (in photo) not only received a Major Achievement Award from EAA while attending AirVenture 2017, but he also won a high-value raffle item at the SAFE membership dinner. Through the generosity of Gold Seal Online Flight School, Steve got a chance to fly their DC3.  "Dreams do come true," observed David St. George, SAFE Chair.

Pilot Proficiency Center Breaks AirVenture Records

More than 4,300 pilots added to their proficiency at the EAA Pilot Proficiency Center during the week of AirVenture 2017.  The Center, equipped with a tent full of RedBird simulators, was staffed entirely by volunteer instructors from SAFE and NAFI.
More than 1,000 pilots on Friday alone attended at least one of the proficiency sessions, officials said.
"The numbers are staggering," said Kevin D Murphy, SAFE communications director.  "It's a new record for the Pilot Proficiency Center at AirVenture, for both VFR and IFR refreshers with the most realistic GA simulators available."

Arizona High School Teacher Uses SAFE Teacher Grant for Education
Dr. Paul McElligott is a passionate and extraordinary science teacher at Fountain Hills High School in Fountain Hills, AZ.  In 2016, he was the recipient of a $250 K-12 Classroom Teacher Grant Award from SAFE to be used to purchase micro drones that his students would reverse engineer in order to learn about aerodynamics and aviation.  The project was completed at the end of the 2016-2017 school year.  For Dr. McElligott's follow up report, click the 'read more.'
SAFE To Award Four Classroom Teacher Grants in 2017

As of press time, a total of 42 grant applications have been received for SAFE's 2017 K-12 Classroom Teacher Grant Award competition.  In early September each application will be read and ranked by members of SAFE's grant selection committee.  The ranking of the grant applications is based on the uniqueness of the proposed lesson or class project, the anticipated learning outcomes, and whether or not the lesson could be replicated by another classroom teacher.  
SAFE's awards these $250 grants to K-12 teachers is to encourage aviation-themed lessons and projects in the classroom.  Aviation and aerospace are an integral part of the latest efforts to promote S-T-E-M (science, technology, engineering, math) education at all levels.
SAFE will award four grants to classroom teachers this year.  Recipients of the 2017 grant awards will be announced in the October eNews.

SAFE Questions Feedback Channel for Practical Test Process, DPEs

The FAA has established a direct email for suggestions, complaints or observations on Designated Pilot Examiners, but SAFE is questioning the need, or even desirability, of such a channel.  That email link, meant for flight schools, CFIs and applicants, is  
"We're concerned that unhappy applicants will complain simply because they got a pink slip instead of a pass," said Kevin D Murphy, SAFE Communications Director.
SAFE Board member Charles McDougal, a former DPE, said "t he selection, oversight, and management of examiners is a broken system. Fact is, many unsuccessful test applicants have an understandably skewed perception of what happened on the test."
SAFE Chair David St. George, a current DPE. said "Our current 'the customer is always right' culture can make the DPE job harder, since every failure, even though clearly justified, can potentially generate complaints."  He pointed out that if every checkride ends up being litigated, there will have no DPEs willing to put themselves in a position of potential liability, and thus no new pilots. Basic honesty and maturity on both sides of this process is essential."
SAFE will watch carefully and alert members of any misuse of the new FAA feedback channel.

Drone CFIs: Latest On Drone Shoot-Down Lawsuits

Can your drone student successfully sue someone who shoots down his drone?
The situation is fluid, reports The Insurance Coverage Law Information Center in their publication last month.  Although many states are considering measures to protect individuals or public entities that shoot down unmanned aircraft systems, Oklahoma is so far the only state to pass civil immunity for drone-shooters. In all other states, the answer could be yes.
The publication carefully notes that the Oklahoma law applies only to drones not operating in controlled airspace, which generally starts at 1,200 feet above ground level, or 700 feet AGL in transition areas.
SAFE will continue monitoring the situation.

New SAFE Blog Entries

Pseudo Teaching: Excitement But No Learning .  Pseudo teaching is a growing problem due to whizbang technological presentations and the "rate my professor" celebration of simple popularity as a measure of pedagogical success, writes David St. George.  He decries "intellectual fast food" such as YouTube videos that are flashy but have little substance.
Life Long Learning .   "Think what would have happened if Albert Einstein or Helen Keller had said, 'I know everything there is to know and I don't have to study any longer,'" says Dr. Sherry Rossiter, who has taught aviation from the right seat for more than 40 years.

Master Instructor Activity

Sanford Cresap "Cres" Wise III , Bonaire  GA, renewed his Master CFI accreditation August 1 through Master Instructors, LLC .
Cres is a three-time Master and SAFE member who serves as an assistant chief flight instructor with the   Robins Air Force Base Aero Club and as an assistant professor of aviation at Middle Georgia State University.
He is a retired Air Force officer, a Civil Air Patrol mission pilot, check pilot examiner and instructor pilot, and serves as the FAASTeam representative for the FAA's Atlanta FSDO.

Adam Dominick Ruscitti, Belvidere IL, renewed his Master CFI accreditation August 31 through  Master Instructors, LLC.
Adam is also an independent instructor pilot, career counselor, and mentor as well as a B-757 and B-767 first officer with United Airlines.  He provides initial jet type ratings and recurrent jet training and specializes in training and mentoring owner/operator pilots transitioning into single-pilot very light jets.

Francis Martin "Marty" McDonough , Gilbert AZ, renewed his Master CFI-Aerobatic accreditation on July 31.   

Marty is a 2-time Master and SAFE member, and works as the chief of safety with Aviation Performance Solutions , a Part 61 and 141 flight school at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. 
A retired Air Force officer and instructor pilot, he now specializes in upset prevention and recovery training as well as stall, unusual attitude, spin and air-to-air combat training.  

James Edward "Jim" McCord Jr , of Santa Rosa CA, renewed his Master CFI accreditation August 15 through   Master Instructors, LLC.
A former volunteer Angel Flight pilot, Jim serves on the Sonoma County Aviation Commission and is a FAASTeam representative for the FAA's Oakland FSDO.  Additionally, he is an independent flight instructor with RAM Aviation at Santa Rosa's Charles M Schulz - Sonoma County Airport.

Christopher G "Chris" Healy , Yuma AZ earned his initial Master Instructor accreditation August 17 through   Master Instructors LLC.

The Marine captain is a SAFE member and currently serves as a MV-22B Osprey pilot and instructor with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 163 at MCAS Miramar.
He specializes in instrument navigation, single pilot IFR, and CRM management.  Additionally, he provides flight and recurrency training for Angel Flight and CAP pilots while also serving as a FAASTeam representative for the San Diego FSDO.   

Master Instructor designation is a national accreditation recognized by the FAA and industry.  It is earned through a rigorous process of continuing professional activity and peer review and must be renewed biennially.  The Master Instructor process parallels continuing education regimens used in other professional fields, and is identifies outstanding aviation educators.  


David St. George, Chair
Society of Aviation and Flight Educators
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