SAFE eNews
December 2021
A Gathering Of Eagles
SAFE Faculty Lounge Debuts
The SAFE Faculty Lounge opened last week on Facebook. The page is for full, no-holds-barred professional-level discussions on an array of flight instruction issues. The group is limited to SAFE members and is actively moderated to keep the discussions professional, helpful and non-political.

"It's is a forum for professional CFIs to share ideas, experiences, and ask questions about how we can be better educators and help raise a new generation of educators who care about pursuing excellence in instructing," explained David St George, SAFE Executive Director. "It's a gathering of eagles."

SAFE, founded in 2010, has a membership comprising many higher-time, well-experienced CFIs. Today it represents more than 4,000 instructors, FAA DPEs and aviation educators.

Topics in the last two weeks in the new Faculty Lounge have included dozens of answers to the question, "what skill do you require *beyond* the ACS minimum to assure your future pilot is safe and truly a "full pilot?" Among the suggested responses so far have been 'using a self-serve fuel pump,' 'fuel management,' 'proper tiedown technique' and 'grass field operations.'
Fresh CFI/Pilot Resources From SAFE
The WINGS Industry Network which features SAFE as a founding member, promoting "mastery not minimums." Continuing pilot education lifetime learning is essential to safety. You can earn WINGS credit with this show.
Read our most recent SAFEblog on CFI effectiveness. Though initial CFI training continually emphasizes the importance of "talking and flying," micromanaging a lesson in this manner impedes student learning. More new CFI resources...
CFI NOTAM: “Supervised”
PIC Time For Commercial
FAA Proposes Med Change
May Allow Basic Med For Safety Pilots
Aviators acting as safety pilots will require only a Basic Med certificate under an FAA rule proposed last month. Currently, at least a third class medical is required to act as a safety pilot.

The Medical Certification Standards for Commercial Balloon Operations was published in the Federal Register on November 18 with a 60-day comment period. "The FAA typically takes weeks or months to digest and consider comments to an NPRM after the comment period closes, so it'll likely be spring or summer before safety pilots will be able to use Basic Med," said Kevin D Murphy, SAFE Communications Director. "We'll keep you posted."

According to the FAA, “the benefits ... include enhanced safety of commercial balloon operations through reduced risks of accidents, fatalities, and injuries caused by medical impairment of balloon pilots.” Under current rules, balloon pilots, even commercial pilots, are not required to have a medical certificate but still must self-certify before each flight.

"As must all pilots," observed Kevin D Murphy, SAFE Communications Director. "This new rule was written primarily to require commercial balloon operation pilots to have a second class medical, but it has the benefit of dropping the FAA medical requirement for a safety pilot in GA operations."

The proposal stemmed from a deadly 2016 balloon crash in Lockhart TX that killed 16 including the pilot. Investigators found the pilot was impaired after taking prescription medication and flew the balloon into a power line.

Basic Med, which was first allowed five years ago, has allowed some 69,000 pilots who might not otherwise have qualified for a third, second or first-class medical to continue to fly. AOPA notes in a press release that GA is on its way to its safest year ever, despite early fears that Basic Med would compromise aviation safety.

A tool for establishing eligibility for Basic Med or renewing your current authorization is here.
SAFE Strategies?
SAFE Solutions?
Please Vote For New Name
After more than a decade serving members as SAFE eNews, SAFE's flagship publication will have a name change. Since SAFE is a member-driven organization, we're asking you to decide the next SAFE newsletter name.

Please vote for the name that you think best exemplifies SAFE's mission to improve aviation safety through increased CFI professionalism. You'll see the result atop the January 1, 2022 issue.
Which new name for SAFE eNews best represents SAFE's mission?
SAFE Solutions
SAFE Strategies
New AFH: 'Awesome'
AFH Now Explains Energy Management
Calling the new 'energy management' chapter in the new FAA Airplane Flying Handbook "genius," SAFE Executive Director David St George said he wishes it had been included 50 years ago when he was learning to fly.

"Remember that Bob Hoover's signature act was called 'Energy Management,' because he had such precise control of his aircraft's momentum," said St George. "It's a much more nuanced approach to aircraft control than the old 'yank and bank' method."

The new chapter 4 in the AFH is titled Energy Management: Mastering Altitude and Airspeed Control.\ It will download as a PDF.
CFI Faux Pas = Pilot Error
An Excerpt from 'Learn To Turn'
Redbird aviation has posted an excerpt from the new Learn To Turn e-booklet by SAFE founding member Rich Stowell, titled "From Flight Training Faux Pas To Pilot Error."

The excerpt identifies improper training as one of the five top reasons for loss of control inflight (LOC-I) and suggests ways CFIs can help their learners distinguish between tactical and operational errors.

The comprehensive Learn To Turn course is available free on the Community Aviation website.
Magenta Line Fixation Kills
FAA Warns Of Automation Over-Reliance
A November 9 notice from the FAASTeam warns that CFIs should not allow learners to blithely follow the magenta GPS course line, lest they have a CFIT accident.

CFIT is the current #FlySafe GA safety enhancement topic. The topic includes a thorough blog entry especially helpful for CFIs and a downloadable, printable Fact Sheet for both students and CFIs. The associated FAA 57-second video summarizes the issue.

"This is not new," said Kevin D Murphy, SAFE Communications Director, "but it's a reminder for CFIs that positional awareness shouldn't be a lost art."
Flight Training Scholarships
Applications Due February 2022
Applications for flight training scholarships will be accepted until February 11 by the AOPA Foundation. The awards range from $2,500 to $14,000, in multiple categories, including sport, recreational, and private pilot certification, instrument rating, and aviation maintenance technician certification.

The Foundation this year also has up to 120 scholarships at $10,000 each for high school students and teachers to train for their private pilot certificate. Donations, not AOPA member dues, fund all awards.

Yes, you must be an AOPA member to apply, but the association offers six-month free memberships to student pilots. Find other Q&A on the AOPA scholarships here.

Other scholarship information is available at
FAA Safety Briefing Asks:
Where Are Tomorrow's Aviation Workers?
The November/December 2021 issue of FAA Safety Briefing focuses on efforts to inspire youth, especially women and minorities, to pursue aerospace careers. Faced with high retirements and even higher demand for aerospace products, the industry has been trying to create a consistent pipeline of aerospace workers.

The issue looks at the roles science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) education plays in the effort, and how FAA helps industry, academia, non-profits, and government agencies develop STEM/STEAM outreach and educational programs.

Articles available in this issue are:


How the FAA Helps To Launch Students Into an Aviation Career
Non-Flying Work in the Aviation World
How FAA-Industry Collaboration Keeps Training Real
Dive into Drone Jobs
Aeromedical Advisory: a checkup on all things aeromedical
Condition Inspection: a look at specific medical conditions
Checklist: FAA resources and safety reminders
Drone Debrief: drone safety roundup
Nuts, Bolts, and Electrons: GA maintenance issues
Angle of Attack: GA safety strategies
Vertically Speaking: safety issues for rotorcraft pilots
Postflight: an editor’s perspective
Quiz: Airport Signs, Markings
Excellent Free Quiz For Your Students
For primary students, learning to correctly interpret airport signs and markings is a crucial but sometimes-challenging task. The Air Safety Institute has created a short Safety Quiz course on signs and markings in the form of a quiz.

"Knowing and understanding airport signs and markings is the best way for a student, or any pilot, to steer clear of a runway incursion," said David St George, SAFE Executive Director. "This quiz is free and well worth the few minutes it will take to complete." The quiz includes full explanations of the various signs and markings.
The Future Of High Tech
NASA's Vision Hasn't Yet Been Realized
NASA's latest study on the value of local airports shows the facilities will be key to high tech air mobility.

A video report by AOPA explains the potential impact of tomorrow's transportation system and how existing GA airports can adapt to the brave new world.

Which OTC Meds Are Safe?
Free FAA Summary Of Good, Bad, Ugly Meds
Here's the latest good answer from the FAA to the eternal question, "what OTC meds are allowed for pilots?" It's a PDF.
Last Year Was Safer For GA
But NTSB Says 2020 Flight Activity Down
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found an overall decrease in fatal accidents (link will download as an Excel file) in U.S. civil aviation for 2020, but that was at least partly because people flew less often. The Board said 332 people were killed in GA operations in 2020, versus 414 in 2019, but pointed out that GA flying fell in 2020 by 11 percent, from 21.8 million flight hours in 2019 to 19.5 million in 2020.

The GA fatal accident rate fell slightly, also, from 1.069 fatal accidents per 100,000 flight hours in 2019 to 1.049 per 100,000 flight hours in 2020. Twenty-one people died in on-demand Part 135 operations compared to 32 in 2019. There were no fatal accidents on airlines for 2020.

According to the NTSB’s data, 2020 flight activity decreased across all segments of U.S. civil aviation with airline operations dropping 55 percent drop from 19.8 million flight hours in 2019 to 8.9 million last year. Part 135 commuter operations saw a 46 percent drop while Part 135 on-demand operations decreased by 19 percent compared to the previous year. GA operations fell from about 21.8 million flight hours in 2019 to 19.5 million in 2020, an 11 percent reduction.

"The Master Instructor accreditation singles out the best that the right seat has to offer."
FAA Administrator Jane Garvey

Master Instructor Achievements
The Master Instructor designation is a national FAA-recognized professional accreditation and parallels other professionals' continuing education regimen to increase their professionalism. The Master designation must be renewed biennially and significantly surpasses FAA requirements for renewing the candidate's flight instructor certificate. Of the 101,000 flight instructors in the US, fewer than 800 have earned the Master Instructor designation, and most are SAFE members.
Craig Blumer, MCFI
Craig Blumer of Salina KS has earned Master CFI certification for the third time.

Craig is an air traffic controller, former airship pilot, and active CFI currently residing in Springfield IL. An ATP, Craig also holds multiple ratings from multi-engine through sport/powered parachute. Craig instructs in a Piper Cub and offers an annual scholarship for tailwheel training. He is a FAASTeam Representative for the Springfield FSDO and continues education through online and in-person briefings.

He will join the CFI flight training staff at Kansas State University in Salina in January 2022.
Lara Zook Gaerte, MCFI
Master Instructors is pleased to announce the designation of Lara Zook Gaerte of Fort Wayne, Indiana, a Master CFI for the eighth time. 

Lara is a CFII, MEI, AGI and IGI and provides practical tests as an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner. She has given nearly 8000 hours of dual instruction, most at Century Aviation, her FBO at DeKalb County Airport in Auburn IN. Her work as a flight educator earned her the designation of 2020 Michigan CFI of the Year.

Lara also flies a corporate Challenger 601-3A and volunteers as President of the Air Race Classic, Inc., which hosts the annual transcontinental air race for women pilots. She and her husband, an A&P with IA authorization, recently restored a 1946 Aeronca Champ.
SAFE is a 501(c)(3) educational, not-for-profit professional organization building aviation educator excellence and aviation safety. Our more than 3,800 members include many of the best-known, best-credentialed and most experienced CFIs as well as many FAA Designated Pilot Examiners.