Society of Aviation and Flight Educators eNewsletter  
May 2017

SAFE represents more than 1,300 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.  

From The SAFE House

by David St. George, SAFE Chair

David St George
It has been a wonderful spring so far for SAFE.  Thank you for your generous support.
Sun 'N Fun 2017 was one of the best ever. We had a celebrity appearance by SAFE member and supporter Patty Wagstaff , and AOPA's National Flight Excellence CFI Brenda Tibbs spent a morning at the booth greeting fellow SAFE members.  SAFE Board member and   DPE Ken Wittekiend joined SAFE member Chuck Gensler, this year's   FAA National CFI of The Year , on the big AOPA stage for a wonderful show highlighting CFI/DPE collaboration on flight tests. Other SAFE members presented over 40 forums at this year's Sun 'n Fun.  We are definitely blessed to have the "movers and shakers" of aviation in the SAFE organization.
I'm so proud SAFE was supporting the AOPA fly-in last month in Camarillo   Master CFI Mike Phillips met members and spread our mission of CFI professionalism and safety education. We also have great news on the upcoming Oshkosh 2017. Despite threats of construction displacement , we will again be able to share the terminal with the Blue Angels on Thursday July 27th for our annual SAFE meeting and dinner extravaganza.
Also, please review the six nominees for this year's SAFE board positions ; three of them will be joining us as new board members during the Oshkosh show.  Remember, YOU elect SAFE leaders and determine our organization's future!  Also, spread the word about SAFE's four (up from two last year) STEM scholarships for teachers . Be SAFE out there!

SAFE Rocks Sun 'n Fun, Camarillo

Famed aerobatic champion Patty Wagstaff (left) and Board Member Dr. Donna F. Wilt at Sun 'n Fun 2017.

Long-time SAFE supporter Hal Shevers of Sporty's Pilot Shop (left) and Mike Jesch met other SAFE members at the AOPA Camarillo fly-in.

SAFE Board Members Ken Wittekiend, Chair David St. George, Vice Chair Eric Hake and Secretary Mike Garrison at Sun 'n Fun 2017.

CFI Robin Lindstrom (left) at Sun 'n Fun 2017 with two CFIs he has taught over the years. Robin is a charter SAFE member and 10X Master CFI .

Job Of The Week: CFI At KMWC

The newest job listings on the SAFE members-only job opportunities board include an ad for CFIs to instruct at Gran-Aire, Inc., at KMWC in Milwaukee.  

You must be a SAFE member to see the job opportunities listings.  For information on the Gran-Aire listing, contact Chief Instructor Daniel Gerard at 414-461-3222 or go to the company's web site .

FAA Asks CFIs To Complete IACRA Info Promptly

The nationwide problem of scheduling delays for flight tests with an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner has led the FAA to request that CFIs complete the IACRA recommendation form promptly, rather than waiting until the day before the checkride. 
The FAA tracks when an applicant is signed-off in IACRA and when the actual practical test is completed, helping the agency gauge how long an applicant has waited for a practical test. "Of course we know that it's not always possible for flight training professionals to complete the IACRA signoff immediately, but doing so whenever practical will help the FAA evaluate scheduling problems," said Kevin D Murphy, SAFE Communications Director.  
Basic Med Is Here, But Devil Is In The Details

The FAA's new Basic Med - sometimes called the Driver's License Medical - is officially here, but many pilots do not understand the requirements and will no doubt be asking you about it.  Here's what you can tell them.  First, yes, you WILL be able to provide them flight instruction with just a driver's license medical.
To qualify for Basic Med, the pilot must have a valid US driver's license and have held a valid FAA medical certificate on or after July 15, 2006.A medical exam from a doctor  (NOT necessarily an AME) and completion of an online course is required before exercising flight privileges using Basic Med.  Thereafter, a medical exam from a doctor and completion of the online course will be necessary every four years.
Airmen with a suspended or revoked medical and beginning students must still pass a one-time FAA medical from an FAA Airman Medical Examiner (AME) before flying under Basic Med.
The FAA has a checklist for the state-licensed doctor to complete, and the completed checklist and certificate of online course completion must be kept with your logbook.
AOPA has produced an 8.5 minute video summarizing the requirements .and has additional information on Basic Med available.  

Sporty's Adds Take-Off App Features, Content

Sporty's Pilot Shop is adding new features and content to its Takeoff App , which was launched at last year's Sun 'n Fun.  The app helps keep pilots current with fresh aviation content delivered to an iPad or iPhone every day.  Pilots may customize topics in the content feed to match their preferences. 
The latest added features include a widget for quick access to the latest stories and 3D touch shortcuts.  Longtime Aviation International News contributor Amy Laboda will now be adding articles on general proficiency topics and aircraft ownership, joining the other eight regular contributors.
The Takeoff App is free, but a $59.99 subscription is available for a year's worth of ad-free viewing and premium content is available.
Fresh SAFE Blog Entries
Amazing Patty! Lessons For Learning How did famed aerobatic champion Patty Wagstaff go from a new private pilot to the National Aerobatic Team in only five years?  SAFE Chair David St. George reveals some of her secrets to success in this SAFE blog entry.
˜Google Planes and Switch Off ˜The Magic"   Aviation has always led the way in automation, with both technology and the challenges of our problematic "human interface."  As modern media is trumpeting the arrival of self-driving automobiles, aviation has already handled similar challenges for over a century; the first autopilot was demonstrated in 1914, just before 'The Great War' launched. 
But the challenges we aviators now face are no longer mostly mechanical, but how to interface the technology with the human pilot so his or her vigilance and skill are retained despite hours of monitoring the machines.
  PIREPs Save Lives: Please Report!    There's a good reason for providing PIREPs, says SAFE Chair David St. George.  The NTSB revealed during last year's safety forum that between March 2012 and December 2015, the NTSB investigated 16 accidents and incidents that exposed PIREP-related areas of concern.  "The PIREP information," said the NTSB, "if disseminated, would have increased the weather situational awareness of the incident flight crews, which could have helped them avoid the weather hazards and prevent the aircraft-damaging events."

Free Money Not Enough Incentive?

For CFIs who have aircraft-owning clients, the question of ADS-B equipage is likely to come up.  The deadline for ADS-B Out to be installed in GA aircraft is January 1, 2020, about two-and-one-half years away.  The installation will be required to fly in some controlled airspace.
However, an FAA program offering up to 20,000 ADS-B equipment rebates of $500 rebate has suffered a poor response, according to a report from the agency.  The 'free money' program expires on September 18 this year, and any remaining rebates will be lost.  Details are on the FAA's Rebate Page

SAFE Board Election:
Six Candidates, Three Openings

Six SAFE members are competing for the three 2017-2018 positions open on the SAFE Board of Directors.  The election will be held electronically, and all current SAFE members will receive an individual email with instructions for voting later this month or in early June
The six nominees are: Taylor Albrecht, Hartsel, CO; David Dempsey, New York, NY; Charlie McDougal, San Antonio, TX; Charlie Rockwell, Pawlet, VT; H.C. "Hobie" Tomlinson, Huntington, VT and Mike Vivion, Bozeman, MT.  All have extensive general aviation experience and special expertise in other areas of business and industry that are expected to benefit the organization.  The three winners will take their seats immediately at the end of the annual SAFE membership meeting at AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI.
Each nominee's resume, along with their answers to three specific questions, is posted on the SAFE website, so SAFE members can read about the nominees' professional experience and qualifications to serve on the Board as well as learn more about their vision for SAFE's future.  Each nominee's email address appears at the top of his Q&A statement in case any SAFE member would like to contact the nominee to ask a question or get more information about something said in the nominee's written statement.  All six nominees were approved earlier this year by the SAFE Governance Committee and the slate accepted in mid-April by the current Board of Directors. 
"We're hoping for an exceptional turnout at the virtual polls this year," said SAFE Chair David St. George.  "Last year's election had the highest member participation to date, at 20 percent of all eligible SAFE members voting, and we'd like to top that this year."
STEM Through The Lens of Aviation
New Jersey airport aims for greater value to its community

" Airports are natural environments for learning many basic scientific theories," says SAFE member Linda Castner, the long-time co-owner/operator of Alexandria Field (N85) in Hunterdon County, NJ. Her outreach to area schools is proving that airports can have social impact in addition to their economic impact, addressing the vital social challenge of improved Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education.
Castner  (R) has students from Tanya Brook's sixth grade class demonstrate air density by representing air and water molecule reactions in hot and cold weather.

Castner's motto is "STEM Through The Lens of Aviation," which drives several Alexandria Field outreach programs, including Cleared for Take-Off summer camps, the Aerospace Club for students, and Living Lab programs for schools around the airport.  The airport also sponsors Take Flight Workshops for teachers from area schools and universities.

Cost Of Learning To Fly: How Does Your School Compare?

Every CFI knows one of the first questions from a prospective primary student pilot will be, "how much will it cost?"
If the answer at your school is "under $10,000," here is a fact that may make your pitch more attractive.  According to the latest research by AOPA, the average cost nationwide for a private pilot certificate is $9.990.  

SAFE Goal: More Professional CFIs

SAFE Board Chair David St. George was interviewed  by FAA Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) Diego Alfonso on the Florida Aviation Network (FAN) during Sun 'n Fun 2017, explaining SAFE's role as a professional organization providing resources and education for aviation educators.
"In our profession right now, there's a giant sucking sound from the airlines," explained St. George.  "As soon as a CFI reaches the magic 1,500 hours, they're off to the airlines, which means that many CFIs just don't have much experience to pass along to students. SAFE is working to get more experienced, professional aviation people into the field."
Indeed, SAFE's membership has an inordinately high percentage of FAA DPEs and others who have climbed the rungs of various aviation career fields. 

Flight School Scams, Top Student Error Videos Available

Two short videos available on YouTube are fresh looks at issues in today's flight training environment: shady flight schools and common student errors.  (SAFE does not recommend or endorse any videos mentioned here, but believes they may be valuable in helping school operators and flight instructors improve professionalism in our industry.)
Five Ways Flight Schools Cheat Students is an 8 minute review of how a few shady flight schools leave students disappointed and unable to regain their cash.  Produced by Nicholas C. Cyganski of Friendly Skies Films,  it points out five of the ways students can be treated poorly by such flight schools, which reflects very badly on the whole flight instruction industry.

Top Ten Student Pilot Mistakes , narrated by US Sport Aircraft dispatch manager and CFI Samantha Haslacker, spends just over five minutes explaining 10 common student mistakes.  Are the mistakes she presents on your Top 10 list?  If most are, this may be a worthwhile video for your students to watch. 

Inhofe Sponsors Fairness for Pilots (And CFIs) Act
Sen. Jim Inhofe

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), whose efforts last year enabled third class medical reform, has introduced a new Fairness For Pilots Act to broaden protections for GA pilots involved in an FAA investigation or enforcement action. 
Inhofe is an 11,000-hour pilot and CFI.  According to a release from his office, the new act will build on past gains by allowing pilots the right to appeal an FAA decision through a new, merit-based trial in Federal Court.  It would also require the FAA to "articulate the specific activity under investigation" and provide specific documentation.
Other provisions in the bill would expedite updates to NOTAMs and require the FAA to include the effective duration of TFRs in NOTAMs as well as certify the accuracy of posted NOTAMS.  Pilots accused of an infraction would also have easier access to ATC recordings, radar information from contract towers and FSS information.  ATC training programs would also be upgraded.  General aviation's two major alphabet groups - AOPA and EAA - voiced support for the bill, as did SAFE.
"Instructors have higher-than-average exposure to potential FAA enforcement actions and deserve the better protection this bill offers," said SAFE Chair David St. George.  "We applaud Senator Inhofe's to ensure fairness for all GA pilots, especially CFIs."  

ICAO Flight Plans Become Mandatory June 5

Instructions for the use of the international (ICAO) flight plan Form 7233-4  are now available.  The new form will become mandatory on June 5 for all pilots filing either VFR or IFR flight plans.  The requirement does not affect pilots who do not file a flight plan.
The FAA's international flight plan has been required for IFR filers under certain circumstances since 2012, and is already well utilized by the airlines and others taking advantage of adva nced navigational services.
"CFIs will want to ensure that they are familiar with the international form before June 5," said Kevin D Murphy, SAFE Communications Director.  "This new form does NOT mean that flight plans will be required for VFR flight."   New guidance  is also expected to be included in the November 2017 edition of the Aeronautical Information Manual, and pilot knowledge exams are being updated.  In addition, AOPA is making available an ICAO Tip Card    and an updated version of the ICAO flight plan  Helpful Hints video .
Pilots filing Washington, D.C., SFRA flight plans will see numerous changes, so the FAA has updated its  online SFRA training course .   Instructors who have already taken the SFRA course required to fly within 60 NM of Washington DC are not required to repeat the course, but SAFE encourages them to do so as a way to learn more about the new form.  

SAFE Member Celebrates 4,000 Hours Dual Given

A SAFE member and 5-time Master CFI who last month celebrated 4,000 hours of dual given says she became an instructor in 2003 because "I was tired of flying with airline-bound time-builders."   Ann Margaret Godlewski, 51, known as Meg, reached that dual-given milestone on April 5 in Puyallup WA.
Unusual for a career-oriented pilot, Meg chose to be a full-time flight instructor.  After a very brief stint as an airline first officer, she returned to full-time instructing in 2015 and now works at SpanaFlight at Pierce County Airport - Thun Field (KPLU) in Puyallup.  "I teach because I love it," she says. "I want my clients to succeed."  (See Meg's first-hand account of the decision to forgo airline flying to become a career CFI, below).
For the 4,000-hour event, the Star Trek aficionado was dressed as Captain Janeway of the starship USS Voyager in the TV series Star Trek: Voyager.  SpanaFlight's Doug Miller, who claimed the honor of receiving dual from Meg for her 4,000th hour, dressed as Mr. Spock with a rubber headpiece for the Vulcan's hair and ears.  They practiced specialty takeoffs and landings, which Meg described as "glorious."

I'm A Career CFI.  And I Love It!
by Meg Godlewski

On April 5, 2017 I reached 4,000 hours dual instruction given.
Note that is DUAL GIVEN and not total time. I am a career CFI and the dual given numbers are the most important to me. Most people get the CFI certificate as a means to gain experience for corporate or airline positions, but I got it to teach.
I became a CFI on July 23, 2003 at 4:48 p.m. At the time I was a full-time reporter for General Aviation News. I became a CFI because I was tired of flying with time-builders who disappeared during training, forcing me to start over with someone else.
I soon learned that I loved to teach. There is something empowering and joyful about teaching someone to fly. Most of my clients have wanted to fly their whole lives. I consider it an honor and privilege to enable that dream.

Master Instructor Activity

CORRECTION: Master Instructors LLC has informed SAFE of an inadvertent error in last month's article on the MCFI renewal of 6-time double Master CFI Ray Spengler.  Spengler has taken DPE training but is not currently designated as a DPE.


Thomas Michael Garrison of Port Saint Lucie, FL, an 8-time Master and charter SAFE member, renewed his Master CFI accreditation in April through the Master Instructor's LLC MICEP program
Mike holds the coveted FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award and serves as a designated pilot examiner(DPE)and FAASTeam representative in the FAA's Orlando FSDO.  A US Navy veteran and professional engineer, Mike is an independent flight instructor specializing in instrument, multiengine and Cirrus training at Saint Lucie County International Airport.  

  Randall L Brooks of Hurst, TX, a 2-time Master as well as a member of SAFE and IAC, recently earned his Master CFI-Aerobatic accreditation through Master Instructors LLC.   A 13-year member of the aerobatic Red Baron Squadron, Randy is now vice president of training and business development with Aviation Performance Solutions LLC at Arlington Municipal Airport (GKY) in Texas.  He specializes in stall / spin as well as upset prevention / recovery training and formation aerobatics training.     

Timothy J Carter of Trophy Club, TX, a 2-time Master as well as a member of SAFE and IAC, recently renewed his Master CFI-Aerobatic accreditation through the Master Instructor LLC.   Tim teaches aerobatics, upset prevention and upset recovery with A viation Performance Solutions LLC at Arlington Municipal Airport and is a former US Air Force instructor pilot.  Additionally, he serves as an IAC national aerobatic judge and mentors other judge candidates.


Karl A Schlimm, of Chandler, AZ, a 3-time Master and a member of IAC as well as SAFE, recently renewed his Master CFI-Aerobatic accreditation through the Master Instructors LLC.   Karl is a Part 141 chief instructor and Director of Operations with   Aviation Performance Solutions LLC at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.  A US Air Force veteran and F-16 Fighting Falcon instructor pilot, he specializes in upset recovery, spin, and aerobatic training.

The Master Instructor designation is a national accreditation recognized by the FAA and revered by industry.  It is earned by a candidate through a rigorous process of continuing professional activity and peer review.  Much like a flight instructor's certificate, it must be renewed biennially.  This process parallels continuing education regimens used by other professionals to enhance their knowledge base while increasing their professionalism.


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