Society of Aviation and Flight Educators eNewsletter  
Please 'Step Up' - Support SAFE
SAFE To Emphasize CFI Professionalism
New AFH Available
Holiday Shopping Discounts for SAFE Members
Think and Ye Shall Fly
Circular Pattern Debated
SAFE Blog Updates
CFI Toolkit Updated
Modern Pilot Offers 68% Discount
Tragic CFI Error Injures GA Image
John King Explains TLAR
FAA Safety Briefing
Are You Night Current?
Newest SAFE Step-Up Campaign Lifetime Member
Master Instructor Renewals
2 December 2016

SAFE represents more than 1,100 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 Step-Up and Happy Holidays!
by David St. George, SAFE Chair

David St George
We wish all our SAFE members and friends the happiest of holidays! We are so lucky to have you as members and we work hard to earn your support every day. This issue of SAFE e-News contains many suggestions for shopping discounts from our safety sponsors. Please enjoy  some gifts  for yourself and friends from the   member side of our website. 

In all the merriment, I hope you can find the time and money to support  SAFE's important mission  of aviation educator professionalism. Our current short term goal is achieving a better FAA interpretation of slow flight for training and testing ( blog article ). Moving into spring we are creating several new initiatives targeting CFI professionalism.   Donations  are tax deductible with our 401(c)3 (educational) status. I also encourage all members to Step-Up to a  Supporting  or  Lifetime  membership. Your continued support of our mission is a wonderful blessing...Happy Holidays!

SAFE To Emphasize Instructor Professionalism 
at 2017 Sun'n Fun and AirVenture

SAFE will be encouraging instructor professionalism at the 2017 Sun'n Fun fly-in, asking its highly experienced members to create presentations targeting professionalism for CFIs.
"We're asking every presenter, and especially Master CFIs, to up the ante with a topic aimed at aviation educators rather than the average private pilot,'" said David St. George, SAFE Chair.  "Subjects like How To Talk To The Tower have been routine, but let's kick it up a notch this year and address professionalism for CFIs instead."  He suggested fresh, upper-level looks at presentations addressing CFI needs such as Mastering Technology for CFI and Student, Teaching Slow Flight Without The Stall Warning Horn or other higher-level subjects.
SAFE members with a topic he or she believes would be of value in promoting CFI professionalism are asked to contact Sun'n Fun's Joel Walker at [email protected] , copying the request to St. George .   All CFI Master presentations at Sun'n Fun 2017 will be publicized specifically as 'SAFE Presents CFI Professionalism' and will be so noted in promotional materials and the event program. 

FAA-Revised Airplane Flying Handbook Published

The FAA's completely revised Airplane Flying Handbook (AFH) was published in early November and is available free on the FAA's website.  The full handbook may be downloaded as a low resolution PDF, while each of the 17 chapters is also available separately.
SAFE members were heavily involved from the beginning of the three-year effort to make significant improvements in the handbook.  In addition to providing expertise for all the chapters, SAFE members authored the original work on upset prevention and recovery training that ultimately was added to the new Chapter 4, Maintaining Aircraft Control, as Upset Prevention and Recovery Training. 

CFI Holiday Shopping Discounts for SAFE Members

Many manufacturers, distributors and retail outlets are offering SAFE members substantial discounts on products and services for CFIs and other aviation educators. 
In addition, purchases made from through the company's Smile program benefit SAFE at no additional charge to you.  Use the Smile program  and select SAFE as your charity.
For full details on SAFE discounts and other offers, Read More...

Think and Ye Shall Fly
A Whole New Meaning To "Fly By Wire"
Researchers from Honeywell Aerospace earlier this year demonstrated hands-off brainwave control of flight in a King Air C90.  Think and ye shall fly.  The researchers say it's unlikely the experiments will lead to thought-controlled aircraft flooding the market, but it is expected to add to safety by reducing pilot workload, especially in high-density terminal environments.
Honeywell Aerospace demonstrated the fly-by-thought technology, outfitting journalist Jack Stewart with an electrode-studded elastic cap that transmitted his thoughts of up, down, left and right to the modified autopilot of a King Air C90.   And, reports the non-pilot Stewart in the November 15 edition of Wired Magazine , it works. 

"The first few maneuvers, I can't believe it's me in command," Stewart reported. "And then comes the euphoria. I am swooping through clouds, climbing, diving, flying in circles, all at my whim."

CFI's Cheer, Boo AOPA, UND Study

A "circular traffic pattern" is being studied as an alternative to the traditional "box," or rectangular pattern that has been in use since long before most of today's pilots were born.

The AOPA Air Safety Institute and the University of North Dakota are conducting the study, which hypothesizes that a continuous turning approach from downwind to final will reduce accidents.  The idea originated at a recent panel discussion with the NTSB on ideas to reduce inflight loss of control accidents (LOC-I), which have the highest lethality of any GA accident type.

Many CFIs have expressed strong opinions on such a change, both pro and con.

SAFE Blog Updates

CFI Professionalism: The Little Things! by g uest aviation safety professional Gene Benson, who has more than 8,000 hours of dual given, shares his lessons learned about how little things can grow into major problems unexpectedly .  "A pilot begins with a full bucket of luck and an empty bucket of experience," Benson says, quoting the old axiom. "The challenge is to sufficiently fill the bucket of experience before the bucket of luck is emptied."
The FAA New 'Not So Slow' Slow Flight Procedure by Rod Machado. Now that the FAA has included its new definition of 'slow flight' in the official Airplane Flying Handbook, despite widespread complaints from the flight instruction community, true 'slow flight' is likely to be a dodo bird.  "The fact is that slow flight at MCA will disappear from aviation's cultural knowledge base in the same way that the knowledge to perform steep spirals disappeared from the aviation community many years ago when the FAA removed steep spirals from the PTS," writes Machado. "When...(they put steep spirals back into the PTS about 10 years later), very few instructors knew how to perform, much less teach this maneuver."
Metacognition: What Am I Doing Here ? also by Benson, this should be required reading for any pilot who has ever found him or herself in a challenging flight situation and suddenly realizes it's beginning to sound like an NTSB accident report.  Metacognition may be the answer to breaking the accident chain. 

CFI Toolkit App Updated With All Experience, Endorsement Requirements

The SAFE CFI Toolkit App,  free to all CFIs in both Apple OS and Android  ,now contains all experience requirements for every FAA certificate and rating and a complete library of FAR 61.65(f) endorsements.  "I can hardly count the number of flight tests I couldn't even start because the CFI sent the applicant without the correct endorsements," said David St. George, a long-time DPE.  
The FAA repeatedly reminds CFIs that they are responsible for correct preparation and his or her reputation is on the line with every flight test.  "As aviation professionals in the flight training business, CFIs and DPEs work as a team; we all want more good pilots.  But when an applicant fails, we all have failed this person," said St. George.  "That's the main reason I built this app."
The SAFE CFI Toolkit also has links to the FAA's mobile device site, weather sites, the SAFE Blog and much more.  For more information, read the   SAFE Blog entry on the CFI Toolkit.  

The Modern Pilot Offers 68% Discount To SAFE Members

The Modern Pilot, a company that provides training for users of the industry-leading navigation program ForeFlight, is offering SAFE members its Power User Series of 26 videos   bundled with a one year Premium Modern Pilot subscription for just $67.  The offer is $140 off the retail $207.83 price tag, a savings which will by itself pay for three years' worth of SAFE membership. 
Purchasers will also get a 33% discount on any future course purchases.
"Unless a CFI limits him or herself to sport pilot, tailwheel instruction or flight reviews, tech savvy is essential in today's aviation environment," said SAFE Chair David St. George.  "It's unacceptable to have the student teaching the CFI how to use an application like ForeFlight, which we know happens every day in the real world."
"Tragic" CFI Error Prominently Displayed in November 21 Washington Post

The 2014 fatal crash of a Cessna 172 on a night training flight in rugged terrain in southwest Virginia, which the NTSB blamed squarely on the CFI, was prominently featured in the widely-read Washington Post Newspaper on November 21. 
"This kind of bad publicity is a reminder for all of us to maintain professionalism at all times," said Kevin D Murphy, SAFE Communications Director.  "We never know when our instructional mistakes might become fodder for another 'GA is dangerous' story in a major publication."  
The crash occurred at night at an elevation of about 3,100 feet in an area where mountain tops rise to 5,100.  The 49-year-old CFI was an ATP with nearly 6,000 hours who apparently had done little or no preflight planning for the trip.  According to the NTSB report, when the student asked about terrain elevations, the CFI responded that he wasn't certain because the airplane was not equipped with a G-1000 navigation system.  No aeronautical charts were found in the airplane. The CFI then continued instruction on use of the autopilot until impact.

"It's a clear cry for increased professionalism in flight instruction," said David St. George, SAFE Chair.  "It was a tragic error in piloting judgment.  How many pilots has this CFI taught in this manner?"

John King Revives Instructional Concept: TLAR

In a September, 2016 article in FLYING Magazine , well-known aviation educator and SAFE member John King re-introduced a concept useful for flight instructors that he dubbed TLAR, for "That Looks About Right."

King wrote that success in emergency situations is often attributable to the pilot's skill at using TLAR. 

In "Miracle On The Hudson," the TLAR concept was vividly demonstrated at the movie's climax when an NTSB simulation of the emergency repeatedly showed that Sullenberger and Skiles could have made it back to the airport after losing all power due to a bird strike.  Faced with that damning evidence, Sullenberger coolly tells the NTSB hearing panel that the computer simulation was wrong because it had left out the human factor, failing to allow a short time for the pilots to make a decision.  Once a 30-second delay was added to reaction time, the simulation showed the jet crashing into approach light stanchions, short of the runway.

There wasn't time for pulling out time-and-distance-to-glide charts or making other calculations in the powerless jet, only time for the crew to eyeball the situation (TLAR) and decide that the Hudson was the best choice.

"I know several instructors who have long passed along that concept to their students, even if they don't call it TLAR," said Kevin D Murphy, SAFE Communications Director.  "We appreciate John King refreshing that concept and reminding instructors of it."

November/December FAA Safety Briefing Answers Rules Questions

The newest edition of FAA Safety Briefing magazine is devoted to answering frequently asked questions (FAQs) from general aviation pilots.
Among the questions answered in this issue are:
  • Why is the Federal Register important?
  • Why does it take so long to process a rule?
  • What if a rule doesn't fit?
  • Who's in charge of your airplane?
  • What to do if you see someone doing something wrong.
  • Why you don't have a pilot license and never have.
  The issue also has a feature article by Tom Hoffman answering questions about operations with small UAS (unmanned aircraft systems), or drones.

Shorter Days Are Here
Are Your Clients Night-Current?

A poll conducted through the AOPA eBrief publication in October revealed that even though winter is approaching, only a little over one-third (38 percent) of pilots reported being current for night flight.  AOPA cautioned that the self-selecting poll should not be used for research.
"CFIs know that more GA flights involve night operations as the days get shorter, but not every pilot considers that before launching," said David St. George, SAFE Chair.  "A query about planned night operations before a flight review may save him or her embarrassment or worse when the dark catches up with them."

St. George added that simply riding along with a student doing the required three takeoffs and landings to a full stop won't serve to bring a CFI current.  The rules require that the pilot getting refreshed be "sole manipulator of the controls" as PIC.
SAFE recommends at least the required three takeoffs and full stop landings as a bare minimum for night recurrency, even though FAR 61.57(b) requires night currency only if carrying passengers.

Newest SAFE Step-Up Campaign Member:
Deb Minnock

Deb Minnock 'stepped up' last month as the newest SAFE Lifetime Member.  Currently living in Singapore, Deb is a world traveler, a relatively new pilot and the mother of five launching on new adventures in life, like learning to fly.
Click here to become a SAFE Step-Up Lifetime Member, or just donate to the ongoing effort toward instructor professionalism.

Master Instructor Renewals

Todd Underwood  of Prescott, AZ, a 4-time Master and SAFE member, renewed his Master CFI accreditation in November through   Master Instructors, LLC.  
Todd instructs with Wright Aviation  at Deer Valley Airport  and other venues where he specializes in initial and recurrent turboprop and turbojet training.  He also serves as a volunteer Angel Flight pilot and is a designated pilot examiner  as well as a FAASTeam representative for the FAA's Scottsdale FSDO.


Brian L Robbins of Columbus, NJ, a 6-time Master and charter SAFE member, renewed his Master CFI accreditation in November.  Brian is an instructor at Trenton Robbinsville Airport as well as Medford's Flying W Airport and Resort.  He specializes in instrument, cross country, and avionics training primarily in Diamond aircraft.  He also serves as a FAASTeam lead representative for the Philadelphia FSDO.   

William G Gregory, a 2-time Master as well as a member of IAC and SAFE, renewed his Master CFI-Aerobatic accreditation in September.  A graduate of the US Air Force Academy, Bill is an instructor pilot with APS Emergency Maneuver Training, a Part 141 flight school at Mesa's Williams Gateway Airport (IWA).  A retired US Air Force instructor pilot and former NASA astronaut, he specializes in upset recovery, spin, and aerobatic training.

Ken Fukayama , a 3-time Master and SAFE member, renewed his Master CFI accreditation in November.  A former instructor with Prescott's Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) , Ken is now an assistant chief flight instructor, Cirrus Training Center instructor, and Citation II pilot with Independence Aviation ( at Denver's Centennial Airport (APA) .  He also serves as a FAASTeam representative in the FAA Denver FSDO.   


David St. George, Chair
Society of Aviation and Flight Educators
Copyright SAFE, Inc. 2016. All rights reserved.
SAFE, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Public Charity

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