Society of Aviation and Flight Educators eNewsletter  
SAFE at Quarterly ACS Working Group Meeting
SAFE Has a New Blog Site
Flight Instructor Compensation Survey
SAFE Website to be Remodeled
Institutional Membership
Latest SAFE Member Benefits
Sun 'n Fun 2016
Important Reminder
ACS Explained
New Guidance on Flight Reviews
Recent Master Instructors
1 February 2016

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.


NEWS FLASH - New FAA Rule on Student Pilot Certificates Will Impact Schools
Starting April 1, the wait time for the issuance of a student pilot certificate will go to several weeks, potentially impacting both Part 61 and Part 141 flight schools. One reason for the added wait time is due to the requirement that TSA now vet the pilot applicant prior to the issuance of the student pilot certificate by the FAA.
The FAA's new final rule removes airman medical examiners from the student pilot certificate issuance process.  Prospective pilots must now submit applications to the FAA through a Certificated Flight Instructor.  No temporary certificates will be issued, and applicants still will be required to see an FAA-designated AME to obtain a medical certificate.
SAFE recommends that prospective pilots apply for their student pilot certificate as soon as they consider learning to fly.  The entire rule may be found here .

SAFE Represented at Quarterly ACS Work Group Meeting
Many of the nation's most qualified aviation experts met for the quarterly face-to-face meeting of the Airman Certification System Working Group (ACSWG) held in Washington, DC on January 12th and 13th. The group included SAFE Chairman of the Board, Donna Wilt and past SAFE Executive Director Doug Stewart, along with six other SAFE members.

The meeting kicked off with a greeting from John Duncan, Director of the FAA's Flight Standards Service. Mr. Duncan thanked the ACSWG for the great work it has done creating the new ACS, and stated that the credit goes to everyone in the group. He recognized the ACSWG as a remarkable group that has been able to work together to have a positive change on aviation, and expressed how pleased he was with the level of cooperation among the different members of the group. 
Mr. Duncan alluded to the 2011 SAFE Symposium as one impetus for the ongoing work to modernize FAA training doctrine and standards. The soon to be implemented Airman Certification Standards are one result of this impetus. (See Project 3 in the "Pilot Training Reform Symposium" report ).
He also discussed Flight Standards Service's decision to adopt the process of " Change Management " to ensure the success of major projects such as the ACS. The work of the ACSWG reflects this change in that the working group's numerous industry partners and stakeholders have been able to establish a high level of trust and partnership with the FAA representatives to the work group, especially the enlightened leadership of AFS 600 manager Van Kerns, AFS 630 manager Robert Newell, and AFS 800 manager James Viola. The result is a new way of integrating Knowledge, Risk Management and Skills into the way we teach and test pilots as reflected in the ACS.

The process has moved forward quickly because of this partnership of industry and agency (as suggested in "Project 3").  At the meeting there was consensus between the ACSWG and the FAA to proceed with the intended goal of June, 2016 as the date for implementing the ACS for the Private Pilot Airplane Certificate and the Instrument Rating Airplane. There are still questions to be answered and problems to be resolved, but considering the commitment, passion and cooperation of all those involved with this effort the goal can be achieved. Stay tuned...

SAFE Has a New Blog Site
Thanks for the enthusiastic response to our new SAFE blog. This portal is for quick news on relevant issues for pilots and flight educators, so please follow for notification of new articles. We enthusiastically encourage you to comment and write for us here.  This site has been well received and very busy...any interested advertisers please ask about supporting us.

Flight Instructor Compensation Survey
The Flight School Association of North America (FSANA) is conducting a survey of flight training providers (instructors and business that provide training) to learn more about current compensation trends in the industry. They are inviting all providers who are willing to share information about compensation at their operations to take the following short survey (12 questions).

Click here  to take the survey. 

All data will be reported by FSANA and shared with other industry associations (including SAFE)  in upcoming articles to help the overall flight training industry have better data about current trends. Any data will be de-identified from respondents in the reporting of the survey data.

Your help in providing as much feedback for this survey to increase the data set is greatly appreciated.

Work Begins to Remodel SAFE Website
We are beginning work on a remodeling of our SAFE website and our overall on-line presence. This should mean greater functionality and resources to members as well as easier and faster membership renewals.   More details here...

SAFE Now Offers Institutional Membership
East Hill Flying Club in Ithaca, New York, became the first flight school in the nation to take advantage of SAFE's new Institutional Membership.  The reduced-cost membership option for flight schools and aviation colleges extends SAFE benefits to the designated employees of the institution. For more information on the cost and benefits of the Institutional Membership, click here.
Latest SAFE Member Benefit
Air & Space Magazine, the premier aviation and astronautics publication of the Smithsonian Institute, is now available to SAFE members for just $14 per year, a savings of 66% off the newsstand price.  Subscription to the magazine automatically makes you a member of the Air and Space National Associates and eligible for certain other perks such as discounted Smithsonian IMAX and Planetarium tickets. To take advantage of this newest SAFE benefit, you must log in to and click on Members Only, Benefits and Promo Codes. 
Sun 'n Fun 2016
Mark your calendars for April 5-10, 2016, and join us at Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland, FL.  This year SAFE will be in exhibit hall space A-059.  SAFE needs volunteers to help staff our booth.  If you are able to work a few hours in the booth, please sign up on the daily schedule, which is available through Doodle. 
Are you conducting a forum at Sun 'n Fun?  If so, SAFE would like to help you publicize it.  Please email your forum information to Jack Vandeventer at .

Important Reminder
SAFE members are eligible to receive emails of SAFE news, activities, events or membership benefits.  Your email address will NOT be rented or sold, and you may opt out at any time.  To get these aviation education news updates, please click here.

SAFE and the New Airman Certification Standards (ACS) Series - Part 2
by Kevin D. Murphy
This is the second in a series of three articles on the new Airman Certification Standards (ACS), which are replacing the venerable Practical Test Standards.  You can also find these articles on the SAFE blog site at

In Part 2 we look at questions about how the new ACS will change the written and practical tests.


With the new ACS, you'll have clearly defined standards for the knowledge, proficiency and risk management skills needed for your student to become a safe, competent aviator. 
One of the big changes you'll see is how you prepare your students for the knowledge test.  If you typically tell your student to memorize all the possible questions and answers, you'll need to change your ways.  Now that training and testing are aligned, the best test prep will be a thorough review of the ground school curriculum you've used to prepare your student rather than a separate all-nighter to memorize FAA questions and answers.
The new ACS documents will not change any of the rules in FAR Parts 61 or 91.


No.  The new ACS documents do not change the skill or performance requirements of the current PTS, and will not lengthen the practical test because the ACS requires the examiner to assess only ONE knowledge element and one risk management element in each task.


Nothing.  Really.

With the old knowledge test questions, you spent far too much time teaching out of date topics.  For instance, there were questions on use of NDBs for private pilots and NDB approaches for instrument applicants.  
Now, with the ACS providing a knowledge standard for each area of operation, plus standardized integration of standards, guidance and testing, you'll know exactly what your student needs to learn.  The new ACS may actually save your student money.


The FAA is establishing a regular schedule for updates to the ACS and all testing and study materials.  These include the ACS itself, the FAA handbooks and the knowledge test materials.


There is an ACS brochure at  that includes examples of knowledge test subjects keyed to exact references in handbooks.

If you'd like to dig a little deeper, take a look at the well-illustrated and easy-to-understand PowerPoint presentation at

Next month: Soon you'll be an "Authorized Instructor," not a CFI.

FAA Issues New Guidance for CFIs Conducting Flight Reviews

A new FAA Advisory Circular (AC 61-98C) is providing new guidance for how CFIs should conduct flight reviews and instrument proficiency checks (IPCs).  The recommendations came from a high-level FAA committee that included SAFE representatives.  The new AC is available free  here.

AC 61-98C reminds CFIs that flight reviews and IPCs should include a check of the pilot's proficiency in English, urges CFIs to help pilots develop a personal currency program and strongly suggests that an FAA form 8710-1 be completed for each flight review and filed through the IACRA system.

Under the heading Reducing GA Accidents, the AC notes that inflight loss of control is the most common single cause of GA fatalities, lists typical areas where loss of control can occur and asks instructors to pay particular attention to those areas in flight reviews.  They include:

  1. Pilot Proficiency, where CFIs can help pilots develop personal currency programs.
  2. Traffic Pattern, specifically departure stalls, attempts to return to the field after engine failure and uncoordinated turns from base to final.  It asks CFIs to emphasize the difference between Vx and Vy, go-arounds, and stabilized approaches.
  3. Criteria for Stabilized Approaches including proper glide path, heading, airspeed, configuration, rate of descent, power setting and checklists.  It recommends a go-around if approaches become unstable at 300 feet AGL or below.
  4. Instrument Meteorological Conditions, where vertigo can affect both non-instrument-rated pilots and non-proficient instrument rated pilots.
  5. Manual Flight after Automation Failure.  The FAA cites over-reliance on automation, including FMS systems or coupled autopilots, as a significant cause of loss of control.  It urges CFIs to emphasize knowledge of the equipment and navigation systems installed and proficiency in manual aircraft control.
The new AC also notes that CFIs are required to be knowledgeable and up-to-date on issues critical to aviation safety and that staying current on that information will help build a positive safety culture to reduce GA accidents.  It suggests that CFIs use the free booklet  Conducting An Effective Flight Review to prepare individual pilots.

SAFE has been promoting awareness of loss of control accident causes for several years.  There is material in the SAFE online Resource Center on loss of control, including the seminal works on the subject completed by SAFE's Rich Stowell,  here.  Additional advanced material for CFIs is available in the members-only section of SAFE's resource center (must sign in to access SAFE members-only information).

Recent Master Instructor Designation
Congratulations to this SAFE member!

Larry Stephen BOTHE, Master Instructor Emeritus
(Emeritus:  1Jan16) 
Seymour  IN
Larry S Bothe, an 8-time Master and a founding member of SAFE, 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.  A US Army veteran, Larry is an independent flight instructor with Cherry Hill Aviation at Freeman Municipal Airport (SER).  Additionally, he is a designated pilot examiner and a FAASTeam representative in the FAA's Indianapolis FSDO area.

Robert Kloman "Bob" GAWLER, Master CFI      (Renew:  1Jan16) 
Bethesda  MD
Robert K Gawler, a 9-time Master and charter SAFE member, recently renewed his Master CFI. Bob is an independent flight and ground instructor at Gaithersburg's Montgomery County Airpark (GAI).  He also works with the Maryland Wing of the Civil Air Patrol and serves as a FAASTeam representative as well as a pilot examiner (DPE) in the FAA's Baltimore FSDO area.

Timm PREUSSER, Master CFI     (Renew:  31Dec15) 
Kleinwallstadt  Germany
Timm Preusser, a 9-time Master and SAFE member, recently renewed his Master CFI. A mechanical engineer, Timm is the chief flight instructor and president of the Darmstadt Flying Club as well as the chief instructor for the Cirrus Owners & Pilots Association (COPA) in Europe.  He also serves on COPA's board of directors and is a Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot (CSIP).

John Wesley "Jack" VANDEVENTER, Master CFI     (Renew: 1Jan16) 
Zionsville  IN
John W Vandeventer, a 6-time Master and a founding member of SAFE, recently renewed his Master CFI. Jack is an independent CFI who instructs with Montgomery Aviation at Indianapolis Executive Airport
 (TYQ)  where he specializes in technically advanced and high performance flight training.  A former member of SAFE's board of directors, he also serves a FAASTeam representative in the FAA's Indianapolis FSDO area. 


Donna Wilt, Chair
Society of Aviation and Flight Educators
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