Society of Aviation and Flight Educators eNewsletter  
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May 2018

SAFE represents nearly 1,700 of the industry's top aviation professionals in 49 states and nine foreign countries, including the majority of Master Instructors and numerous General Aviation Awards winners in all three awards categories.  

Chair's Corner
by David St. George, SAFE Chair
Hello SAFE members and supporters. We had a wonderfully busy April with Sun 'N Fun and all the FAA excitement. It was great to meet so many members at the show in Florida.
Our collaboration with Gold Seal to broadcast live video from the booth was well received and featured  Patty Wagstaff, Mark Baker from AOPA, Hal Shevers from Sporty's, Richard McSpadden from ASI  and many other SAFE members and sponsors. These videos will be added to the  SAFE YouTube Channel soon.
Watch for new "teaching videos" coming soon. Your ideas and submissions are welcome here! We are growing our resources for members daily! Enjoy the spring flying season and fly safely.
FAA Deletes Requirement For Complex Aircraft for Commercial, CFI Checkrides

In a surprise move last month, the FAA removed the requirement for an applicant to furnish a complex airplane (controllable pitch prop, flaps and retractable landing gear) for the Commercial and CFI practical tests. The new policy applies to practical tests under both Part 61 and Part 141.
The required 10 hours of time in a complex airplane is still in effect.
However, a move to allow time in a Technically Advanced Aircraft (TAA) to substitute for the required complex airplane time is moving forward. A draft NPRM for that change has been pending for more than a year at the FAA.
Dr. Donna Wilt, a professor at Florida Institute of Technology and SAFE representative on the FAA Airman Certification Standards working group, notified SAFE of the impending change shortly before the new policy was issued. Lowering the cost of a commercial or CFI certificate was a consideration in the change, she said.

No Checkride Complex Airplane Needed
Yes, But Is It Safe?

For older pilots especially, there has been grumbling about "lowering standards" and future safety implications of the just-implemented policy removing the requirement for a complex airplane for FAA Commercial and CFI practical tests. 

But SAFE Chair David St. George pointed out that time in complex airplanes was not required for an FAA Commercial or CFI certificate until the mid-1970s. Before then, it was possible to complete an entire Commercial or CFI flight test in a relatively inexpensive aircraft such as a Cessna 150 or Piper J-3 Cub.

Although removal of the requirement for a complex airplane for checkrides was a surprise, a draft NPRM allowing technically advanced aircraft (TAA) time to substitute for complex aircraft time has been lingering at the FAA for more than a year. 

"Obviously there is always a compromise between safety and proficiency in all our training standards but I think the recent  Piper Arrow accident in Florida  tipped the scales on this decision," said David St. George, SAFE Chair. "Given grave concerns about the Arrow wing spar separation, many flight schools are already operating under an FAA Waiver that eliminates the complex requirement. Why should Part 61 candidates not have this same relief from this regulation for a complex aircraft on tests?"

Support SAFE - At NO Cost To You
Online behemoth Amazon is continuing its SMILE program, allowing members of a charitable 501(c)(3) organization (yes, SAFE) to contribute to that organization with every purchase, at no expense to the purchaser.
Any item approved for the Amazon SMILE program returns a small percentage of the sales price to SAFE, helping continue and improve aviation safety and education programs. SAFE is registered for this program on Amazon SMILE.
To start contributing to SAFE at no cost to you, sign up today.

SAFE Co-Founder Testifies at NTSB Hearing

An April 24 roundtable meeting of subject matter experts in flight training featured veteran CFI and Master Instructor Doug Stewart, who co-founded SAFE in 2009.
Inflight loss of control has been on the NTSB's "most wanted list" for several years, and SAFE organized the SAFE Pilot Training Reform Symposium in Atlanta in 2011, which explored how judgement and risk management should be embedded in flight training. That conference began the years-long process that resulted in the new Airman Certification Standards.
A complete video of the conference is available on the NTSB site .

WINGS $10,000 Sweepstakes Underway
Cash For SAFE and NAFI CFIs Who Encourage WINGS Program
It's a go! A sweepstakes with prizes up to $10,000 in cash is now available to CFIs who persuade their flight review clients to complete a phase of the FAASTeam WINGS Pilot Proficiency Program. 

The privately-sponsored initiative is called " The Paul and Fran Burger 2018 Point Of Sale Sweepstakes.""

The program will run through December 31 and is being personally funded by Mr. Burger, who is chair of the WINGS Industry Advisory Committee (WIAC). One additional sweepstakes bonus chance is available to any SAFE or NAFI member who offers a contest suggestion implemented prior to December 31, 2018.

Initial interest in such a program was gauged through a survey of SAFE and NAFI members several months ago, returning hundreds of enthusiastic responses affirming that such a program would substantially increase participation in the FAA WINGS program by GA pilots.

"Pilots come to YOU for flight reviews," explained SAFE Director of Communications Kevin D Murphy, "and you benefit by earning a chance to win a cash prize." Other benefits include reduced CFI liability exposure because the CFI is approving a WINGS phase, not a flight review, using a standardized syllabus with verifiable completion standards. Also, the client benefits with possible insurance premium reductions and enhanced recurrency training.

AOPA Flight Training Awards 2018 Underway

AOPA's flight training experience survey is underway. The annual survey seeking CFI and student opinions started last month and will continue through August 13.
The survey leads to awards for individual CFIs and flight schools exhibiting leadership, passion, and dedication in the flight training industry. Winners are honored through AOPA's magazine, web site and video magazine. Most past winners in Best Flight School and Best CFI categories have been SAFE members.
In addition to recognition, prizes are offered by Sirius XM, Aircraft Spruce, Hertz Rental Car and SAFE supporters Sporty's Pilot Shop and Pilot Workshops. They include a 12-month subscription to weather from Sirius XM, a $720 value; a Sporty's Private or Instrument Rating course worth $200, three Pilot Workshops courses each valued at $149, an Aircraft Spruce $100 gift card and a $100 Hertz Rental Car certificate.
"This survey is meant to provide feedback for flight schools, identifying areas of opportunity in customer service and communicating with your customers," said Kevin D Murphy, SAFE Communications Director. "It's valuable for the industry and we encourage SAFE members to take the survey ."

SAFE Offers Four Teacher Grants in 2018

This year, SAFE is offering four $250.00 grants designed to encourage K-12 classroom teachers to use aviation-themed lessons . SAFE has awarded grants since shortly after the organization's founding in 2009, and last year doubled the number of grants to four, two for teachers in grades K-7 and two for teachers in grades 8-12. The grant application deadline this year is August 31.
"Aviation and aerospace topics are the perfect adjunct for teaching science, math, history, and even art," said Kevin D Murphy, SAFE Communications Director. "Aviation and aerospace are topics that generate enthusiasm with all types of learners and all ages of students."
Any credentialed teacher in a public, private, or charter school may apply for a grant .  Local STEM coordinators and homeschooling cooperatives may also apply for a grant. Grants must be used within one year of the award.
Murphy said an individual teacher or a group of teachers from the same school may apply for a grant to design an aviation-themed classroom unit or complete an aviation-themed project.  For example, a SAFE grant could be used to pay for a bus and admission fees to take students to visit an aviation museum, go on a field trip to the local airport, buy materials to build a balsa wood glider or model rocket, or fund another type of project with an aviation or aerospace theme.

SAFE Revitalizes YouTube Site

Fresh video content has been added to the SAFE YouTube site .
Among the new offerings are videos showing advantages of the SAFE CFI Toolkit application, a review of SAFE member benefits, an explanation of SAFE's K-12 Teacher Education grants and a short tutorial on connecting with SAFE Social Media.
There is also a direct link to SAFE's Public Resources Center, the free side of the organizations aviation education library.
Videos to be added soon will include several SAFE interviews with aviation celebrities, industry leaders and SAFE members done at this year's Sun 'n Fun airshow. More video interviews will be added after other major GA shows nationwide.
Privatized ATC Narrowly Averted
This Time.....

Concerted action last month by pilots and aviation alphabet organizations nationwide, including SAFE, narrowly defeated a last-minute amendment to the FAA reauthorization bill Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA) that would have laid the groundwork for privatizing the US ATC system.

Shuster backed down less than 24 hours after introducing his amendment to HR 4, the FAA reauthorization bill, after a storm of calls and emails from angry pilots and other GA interests fearing airlines would be given control of the ATC system. He had added the amendment to HR 4 just hours before a planned vote on the reauthorization.

Shuster had originally proposed privatization two years ago, but in February pulled his reauthorization bill when he could not gather enough votes to advance it in the House.

"I'm sure every active CFI is aware by now the damage that a privatized ATC could do to our industry," said Kevin D Murphy, SAFE Communications Director. "It would effectively put airline interests in the drivers seat and likely push busy flight schools off air carrier-served airports."

Pilot Weather Displays Inadequate, ERAU Says
A study by Embry Riddle Aeronautical University concludes that general aviation pilots are not as proficient in interpreting preflight weather briefings as they should be. In the April 2018 study, pilots missed nearly half of questions on 23 types of weather information ranging from icing forecasts and turbulence
reports to radar interpretation.
Instrument-rated commercial pilots averaged the highest scores on the ERAU evaluation, with 65 percent of questions correctly answered. Instrument-rated private pilots were second, answering 62% of the questions correctly. Non-instrument rated private pilots scored 57 percent and student pilots answered 48 percent of questions correctly.
In 2014, the National Transportation Safety Board named "identifying and communicating hazardous weather" a top priority for improving safety. Currently, however, the FAA's allows pilots to pass knowledge exams even if they fail the weather portion of the test.

SAFE Board Nominations Closed
Bios To Be Posted On SAFE Website Soon

Nominations for the three open SAFE Board of Directors positions closed April 30. Each director position is for a three-year term, starting at the end of July 2018. New Board members will be seated at the Annual Members Meeting during AirVenture 2018 in Oshkosh, WI.
"We have five well-qualified individuals nominated for Board positions this year, and all will be posted soon on the SAFE website for your consideration," said David St. George, SAFE Chair. "The election to decide which three of the candidates will serve will be scheduled soon."
SAFE members in good standing will be notified and will receive a ballot when the one-week election period begins.

The CFI Shortage: "Worst I've Ever Seen"
SAFE: "Best Market For CFI Employment Ever"

Flight schools and regional airlines are being forced out of business due to a shortage of pilots and CFIs.

Executive Flyers Aviation, which has locations at Laurence G. Hanscom Field and Norwood Memorial Airport in Massachusetts, ceased operations at Hanscom Field on April 22, citing a shortage of qualified CFIs. Other flight schools nationwide are facing similar problems, choking the supply of new pilots and causing problems for regional airlines.

Great Lakes Airlines, based in Cheyenne, Wyoming, suspended flights on March 26, stating that it could not find enough pilots. Alaska Airlines subsidiary Horizon Air canceled more than 300 flights over two months in 2017 for lack of pilots. Republic Airways filed for bankruptcy protection in 2016, citing a pilot shortage.
On the upside, almost any instructor has a choice of jobs. "In my nearly 50 years as a pilot, I've never seen the market for CFIs better than it is now," said SAFE Director of Communications Kevin D Murphy.

Airline Offering Tuition Reimbursement, Guaranteed Job

Piedmont Airlines and Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus have partnered to offer career-oriented new pilots help with tuition and a job guarantee at the regional airline.

The program, at the university's Salina, KS campus, scheduled interviews in April to select students for the school's professional pilot program who have their CFI certificates. Students can receive tuition reimbursement after 500 hours of flight time, then a financial incentive for every 100 hours of completed flight time after that, up to 1,000 hours. At that point, students are eligible for graduation as well as their ATP certificate and guaranteed a spot in Piedmont's next new hire training class for first officers.

Piedmont, a regional airline, wholly owned by American Airlines, also provides a guaranteed job path to American Airlines once student pilots are ready to transition in their career, estimated at about five years.

More info about the program is available on KSU's website

New Four-Year Aviation Degree Program Claims To Cut Cost In Half
Discounts Questions on Durability of Tecnam P2008

International Aero Academy and Kansas-based Central Christian College have signed an agreement with Tecnam Aircraft to establish a new, four-year aviation degree program based in Lakeland FL that will cut the cost of a four-year aviation degree in half.
Despite concerns that the Tecnam P2008 light sport aircraft to be used in the program may not hold up under tough training usage, International Aero Academy president Steve Markoff pledged that students would be on the flight line making money as instructors "within eight months" of beginning the program and that participants would quickly regain their education investment as instructors.

CFIs: Crime Doesn't Pay

Onerous FAA requirements for becoming a certificated flight instructor, operating charter flights or running a flight school apparently didn't concern the owner of Boca Raton, Florida-based Beach Aviation, who pleaded guilty last month in US District Court to operating an aircraft without an airman's certificate, wire fraud, and falsification of records.

Robert Charles Jones Brady, who had suffered revocation of all his FAA certificates in 2016, fraudulently endorsed student logbooks and directed his employees to do the same, even though he and many of his 'flight instructors' were not CFIs. Those students have had their training hours disallowed by the FAA.

"Crime doesn't pay," observed David St. George, SAFE Chair. "At least not for very long, and it's the students who are paying the price for this operator's criminality," The FAA has disallowed all the hours accumulated by students of the school, forcing them to either quit flight training or start over.

The investigation by the US Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General also revealed that Brady had made more than 700 paid charter flights to and from South Florida, the Bahamas and other locations, using a fleet of aircraft, including business jets, to defraud the government, airmen and the flying public.

A sentencing hearing is set for the middle of this month.

Master Instructor Updates

Kyle Vincent Thomas of Durant OK, a seven-time Master Instructor, renewed his Master accreditation in March through Master Instructors.

Kyle is an aviation professor and chief flight instructor with  Southeastern Oklahoma State University's aviation institute   a t Eaker Field .  He is also a coach for the university's NIFA flight team and an advisor to the local Women in Aviation chapter.  

In addition, he serves as a pilot examiner (DPE) and FAASTeam lead representative for the FAA's Oklahoma City FSDO.

He first earned this national professional accreditation in 2006, has held it continuously since then, and is one of only 21 CFIs worldwide to earn the credential seven times. 

Tiernan Timothy Siems of Omaha NE earned his Master CFI accreditation April 10 through Master Instructors, LLC.

The SAFE member is a practicing attorney and partner with Omaha's Erickson/Sederstrom law firm, Tiernan is also an assistant chief flight instructor and a Part 135 charter pilot with Advanced Air   at Council Bluffs Municipal Airport.  

Additionally, he serves as a volunteer pilot in Angel Flight's central region .

Again, thanks for your support and Fly SAFE!

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