Volume 10 | November 2019
SAFE eNews
The Monthly Bulletin of the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators
SAFE is a 501(c)(3) educational, not-for-profit professional organization building aviation educator excellence and aviation safety. Our more than 2,300 members include many of the best-known, best-credentialed and most experienced CFIs and many FAA Designated Pilot Examiners.
CFIs Enrico Bernoni of Maryland, David Thompson of California and DPE Doug Stewart of Massachusetts debated issues critical to training pilots during the 1.5-day SAFE CFI-PRO™ workshop at AOPA in Frederick, MD in October. The next workshop, set for June 10-11 at Sporty's Flight Academy in Batavia OH, will be expanded to two days.
SAFE CFI-PRO™ Workshop
and they all wanted...
Better Airmanship!
Yes, That's What We're Talking About
There were 51 aviation professionals - largely CFIs and FAA DPEs - who gathered in Frederick MD October 2 and 3 for SAFE's first SAFE CFI-PRO™ workshop. Five were nationally known aviation training speakers, including 'Spin Doctor' Rich Stowell, and five were almost-CFIs. The rest was a broad mix of training industry veterans and rookies, almost all CFIs at some point in their career.

Among comment sheet accolades for the first SAFE CFI-PRO (tm):

  • “live safety-oriented aviation seminar with fresh, level-appropriate knowledge for CFIs… Excellent!”
  • “This is an outstanding program for both experienced and new aviation educators.”
  • “Excellent opportunity to discuss subjects in flight training with flight instructors from across the country”
  • “this is a great event that really helps increase your tools for teaching“

"The barbeque at the National Aviation Community Center at AOPA and happy hour were also quite popular," dryly observed SAFE Executive Director David St George. "It was a perfect balance of lecture, class, socializing and meeting new exciting friends."

Attendees freely shared their vast-and-not-so-vast experience with each other throughout the day-and-a-half seminar, both in presentations and during breaks. How much experience was in that room? "That is one thing we did not survey," said St George, "but the presenters alone had over 100,000 total flight hours, and half the attendees reported they'd been CFIs for more than 20 years."

Represented among attendees were flight school owners, chief pilots, maintenance professionals, ex-airline CFIs and other instruction-related fields.

The winner of this year's 2019 AOPA Flight School Of The Year, AeroVenture of Massachusetts, brought several of his young CFIs. "We were happy to have five people working on their CFI certificates," said St. George.

As GA maintenance expert Adrian Eichhorn was pointing out real-world examples of mechanical issues that should be explained to students, one silver-haired participant wrote on the evaluation form, "finally, a training-oriented aviation seminar with fresh, level-appropriate knowledge for CFIs...excellent!"

SAFE's next SAFE CFI-PRO™ workshop will be held June 10-11, 2020 at Sporty's Pilot Shop Academy in Batavia, OH. Workshops are held on Wednesday and Thursday to give working CFIs - who are usually busiest on weekends - the best chance to attend.

Knowledge Test
'Look/Feel' Changing
FAA Adds ACS Codes, Practice Test
Dr. Donna Wilt, SAFE's current representative on the FAA ACS Working Group, reports that that two improvements high on SAFE's list for improving the knowledge test process should launch January 13.

First, computerized FAA airman knowledge tests will be changing format. Although the questions remain the same, the look and feel of the test will be different. However, a SAFE-advocated practice site on the FAA web site will let test-takers experience that new 'look and feel,'' with feedback on their test performance. Wilt cautioned that the practice test should not be used to judge student readiness for the actual exam, since it has a limited question set. 

Second, ACS codes indicating which subject areas were missed on knowledge exams are expected to be added starting that day.

SAFE CFI Insurance
Employee Promoted
Victoria Neuville Earns CFI, Manager Job
Long-time Aviation Insurance Resources employee Victoria Neuville had a very good October, earning her CFI certificate and being promoted to Manager of the SAFE CFI Insurance Program. All of AIR agents are pilots and many are also CFIs. SAFE developed the CFI Insurance Program with Aviation Insurance Resources shortly after SAFE was organized in 2009.

The SAFE CFI Insurance quickly became and remains one of the most-sought of SAFE member products and services. It is comprehensive, and designed (and sold) by aviators incentivizing safety and currency. Discounts are provided for FAA WINGS and Master Instructor Status. AIR also covers aircraft owners and pilots.

"You will hear about new changes and innovations as we tweak the benefits and coverages to incentivize and reward our SAFE educators with the absolute best coverage," said SAFE Executive Director David St George. "Please examine this program carefully, and utilize this exceptional SAFE benefit."
How Much Will It Cost?
Signature Plans "Big Airport" Trip Estimator
As every CFI knows, a visit to a nearby 'big' airport is both a thrill and a monumental learning experience for fledgling eagles under your tutelage.

Old CFIs may remember when such short training stops at large airports incurred only a small fee or none at all if the CFI was good at communicating with desk personnel. That has changed, and large FBO Signature made it official two weeks ago when they announced an online Trip Estimator for GA pilots to estimate costs of fuel, handling and infrastructure fees up to a week in advance at specific locations. The chain recently instituted significant mandatory minimum fees for all transient aircraft.

Signature expects the Trip Estimator to be available in early 2020.
Panic Button!
Garmin Unveils GA Autoland System
Garmin has introduced its Autoland system, an autonomous flight technology designed to land an aircraft when the pilot is incapacitated. "Sort of like ASI's "Pinch Hitter" course for fearful spouses, which teaches flight basics and how to find an airport, except Autoland will find its own runway and land itself," said Kevin D Murphy, SAFE Communications Director.

"All without human intervention except pushing the 'Engage Autoland" button," sniffed SAFE Executive Director David St George, wryly. "Will our students now want to learn only the challenging parts of flight, like takeoff?" SAFE member comment has so far been muted, but several Facebook posts pointed to Autoland as yet another high-tech nail in the coffin of flying as a career.

For now, Autoland will be found only on the new Piper M600 SLS and the Cirrus Vision Jet. Piper, which has opted to make the feature standard in its single-engine turboprop, is calling it "Halo." The Vision Jet version is branded "Safe Return." Both buttons are presumably protected by a shield to prevent accidental activation.

However, Autoland will be available for other aircraft manufacturers to incorporate in their airplanes equipped with Garmin G3000 avionics and autothrottle. According to Garmin, their system determines the most optimal airport and runway, taking into account factors such as weather, terrain, obstacles and aircraft performance statistics, then lands the airplane.
FAA Publications Update
Helicopter Flying Handbook
Deleted Knowledge Questions
The October 30 edition of the FAA's " What's New And Upcoming In Airman Testing." issued just after closing time Thursday, spills the beans: rotor wing flying is catching up with all the revamped fixed-wing publications.

Helicopter Flying Handbook is now coordinated with the ACS series.

The notice also has a long list of subject areas on the Aircraft Dispatcher knowledge test that were deleted in June, and a full update on the progress of various ACS initiatives.
Redbird GIFTs CFIs IFR
Repetitious Reminders Automated
Redbird answered questions about its new Guided Independent Flight Training (GIFT) Instrument Rating software at Migration this year. The company's GIFT Private Pilot has been available for about two years. GIFT runs on any Redbird simulator with recent Navigator software, the company says.
GIFT has lessons, practice and feedback for specific flight maneuvers or skills designed to be practiced solo in the simulator. In its Private version, maneuver lessons, practice and feedback modules cover 33 lessons, from straight and level to S-turns, slow flight, rectangular course and crosswind landings. According to the company, GIFT responds to routine student errors as a 'virtual instructor.'

"Much of a CFI's time in the cockpit is spent issuing rote instructions, such as watch your altitude, check your airspeed or the ever-popular more right rudder. Why not develop a computer program to do that?" asked Kevin D Murphy, SAFE Communications Director. "Redbird did and it can free CFIs while their students are independently honing skills the CFI has previously taught them."

Murphy said SAFE doesn't see the software replacing CFIs in the near future, but as a productivity enhancer for flight instructors at busy flight schools where demand for CFIs continues to outstrip supply.

The program grades the simulator pilot on elements such as altitude, airspeed, frequency tuning, and CDI deflection, measuring against the tolerances in the ACS. The CFI can track the pilot's progress through an online portal and join her in an airplane when her grades show she's ready.
NTSB Offers Free Podcast
Behind The Scenes Look At Investigations
Although most CFIs try to avoid situations involving the NTSB, most instructors have at least some interest in how the NTSB conducts accident investigations.

A podcast called " Behind-The-Scene@NTSB" highlights staffer's work to advance transportation safety. Each episode features an interview with staff (including investigators, researchers, recorder specialists, and others) or Board Members about recently completed investigations. 

Also reported on by the podcast will be the NTSB's Most Wanted List topics and other transportation safety issues in the news--providing a unique opportunity to go behind-the-scene at the NTSB. 

The latest episodes are available on Apple Podcasts ,on Google Play, Stitcher,or your favorite podcast platform. ore Info
Pilot Pay Increasing
Even Faster Than Cost of Living, Darby Says
Even as pay and hiring incentives are becoming more attractive for flight instructors looking for a job, airline pilots are sharing the wealth with pay raises exceeding the increase in the cost of living.

So says airline employment specialist Kit Darby. who announced the good news October 24 on his company's Linked In page. The survey returns average monthly salaries for airline Captain and First Officer positions across all major carriers, by size of the aircraft flown.

Overall average yearly pay for first officers ranges from $71,981 a year for those flying the smallest aircraft to $172,521 a year for those flying the largest in the fleet. Captain salaries range from $253,516 to $288,870.

Average salaries for pilots who fly cargo range from $302,025 to $338,223.

Monthly salaries are reported by kitdarby.com.
Aiming Corporate? Great!
But Don't Let Your CFI Lapse, SAFE Warns
The job market for pilots and instructors in corporate flight departments is expanding with the economy, SAFE Executive Director David St George said last month, but warned that flight instructors dreaming of big iron should keep their CFI certificate current and knowledge updated, because this is all useful and valuable training and "you never know when the party will end."

"The current corporate hiring is a reflection of a healthy economy," he said, noting that a rising tide lifts all boats, and "these particular boats are named Gulfstream, Bombardier, Cessna, Dassault and Embraer." He urged SAFE members to remember that there is no free lunch when the economy turns sour, and that corporate flight operations tend to grow or shrink with the economy.

"If you keep your CFI certificate and knowledge current, you'll be better-equipped to survive during an economic downturn," he said. "Even though most of aviation is affected by the economy, the vastness of the current pilot shortage worldwide is going to ensure that good CFIs will be needed for some time to come."

Want To Be CFI Of The Year?
Apply Now For 2020 National Honorees
The General Aviation Awards Committee is now accepting nominations for the 2020 class of National Honorees, including CFI Of The Year, Aviation Technician Of The Year and FAASTeam Representative Of The Year. 

The application deadline is November 30, 5PM, EST. To submit nominations and learn more visit www.generalaviationawards.org.

The GA Awards are annual awards are a joint effort by aviation industry/organizations and the FAA. For over 55 years, the program has recognized aviation professionals in the fields of flight instruction, aviation maintenance, avionics, and flight safety for their important contributions to the general aviation community. These awards highlight the outstanding leadership roles these individuals play in promoting aviation safety, education, and professionalism.

The Industry-FAA GA Awards should not be confused with the "Best CFI" and "Best Flight School" awards given annually by AOPA. Many pilots do not realize these FAA awards are not blind selections; recipients actually campaign to be awarded these national honors - get your application package in now.

National GA Award winners are recognized locally, regionally and nationally, and national winners receive recognition at AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI. They also receive gifts provided by sponsors and contributors.
DPE System Review Starts
Congress Required This Investigation
A fresh look at the FAA's Designated Pilot Examiner program is now underway, reports SAFE Executive Director David St George. It will be led by Sean Elliott of EAA.

The Designated Pilot Examiner Reforms Working Group (DPERWG), a subcommittee of the powerful Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee, has one year to produce a report on improvements needed in the DPE system.

Members of the group include representatives from AOPA, EAA and other GA groups. It is charged with, in the words of the legislation, "to provide advice and recommendations on the most effective ways to...ensure an adequate number of DPEs are deployed and available to perform their duties to meet the growing public need." The panel must make its recommendations no later than 12 months after its first meeting.

The legislation came after an uproar around the country over the perceived paucity of DPEs in some areas of the country and high prices being charged for flight tests by the private examiners.

Does the DPE system need some fixing? "SAFE is 100% behind the effort to make the system fairer for everyone," said St George. "A fair and functional DPE system is vital to aviation growth and future safety. This review is justified to examine and improve the system. We hear many horror stories, and wait times are still unacceptable in many parts of the country."

The DPE program started in the 1960s. Prior to that time, most flight evaluations were done by FAA inspectors, who do not charge a fee. But the end of WW II, the booming, optimistic spirit of the 1950s and good economic conditions fueled student pilot starts.

ForeFlight Adds TO, LDG Data
Performance Plus, Biz Performance Subscribers Only
If you have ForeFlight's $300-per-year Performance Plus or Business Performance package, $100 off for SAFE members, you'll appreciate the company's latest software enhancement: precise performance calculations.

If a runway is too short or a twin’s single-engine climb performance is inadequate, ForeFlight highlights those “areas of concern” before a pilot attempts a takes off or landing.

But even if you lack those two popular ForeFlight packages, don't panic. These are the same performance chart and E6B calculations you learned in ground school. They include ground roll, accelerate-stop distance, climb rate and gradient, and other measures. Before landing, such calculations are to forecast the proper reference airspeed, landing distance over a 50-foot obstacle, ground roll, and other measures dealing with possible go-arounds. You remember how to figure those, don't you?

From a safety standpoint, it's not just that the new ForeFlight enhancement's calculations are more accurate than your E6B estimates. Multiple-decimal accuracy on a landing distance doesn't matter nearly as much as the fact that it's calculated at all after a pilot wins his or her private pilot wings.

“All pilots learn how to read performance tables and spaghetti charts as part of flight training,” said Angela Anderson, ForeFlight marketing director. “But pilots may not feel the need to always do these calculations for every takeoff and landing...even though it contributes to safety.”
Last Month's SAFE Poll
Just over two years ago, the FAA reluctantly approved Basic Med, the Congressionally-mandated program allowing pilots who have had at least one AME-conducted exam to fly with subsequent medicals every four years from any state-licensed physician. AOPA has said that more than 50,000 pilots have now taken advantage of the relaxed standards.

But what has been in the effect for CFIs in the real world? We asked SAFE members:

Have you seen more clients and potential clients in the last two years, since Basic Med become available?

The largest single chunk of responses - 33% - came from CFIs who said they have seen more clients and potential clients since Basic Med went into effect two years ago. Just 3% reported more Basic Med flying locally but a decline in the CFI's business.

But 26% said they hadn't notice much change in business or local flying, and 18% reported that they hadn't noticed much Basic Med influence in their area, but business was good overall.

"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 the continuing education regimen used by other professionals to increase their professionalism. The designation must be renewed biennially and significantly surpasses the FAA requirements for renewal of 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.
Kelly Lynn Manzani, MCFI
Kelly Lynn Manzani of Temecula CA, a first-time Master CFI and SAFE member, earned her Master Instructor accreditation October 25 from Master Instructors LLC

Kelly works as an FAA certificated flight and ground instructor primarily with Executive Flight Institute, a Part 141 Cessna Pilot Center at Murrieta's French Valley Airport (F70). When not serving as an aviation educator, she is a longtime classroom teacher with the Temecula Valley School District as well as a founder and advisor for the Scouts Aviation Explorer Post 7500.
Bill Gross, MCFI
A SAFE member who is also a holder of the FAA's coveted Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award has renewed his Master CFI accreditation via Master Instructors, LLC for the ninth time.

William Ralph Gross of Salina KS renewed his Master CFI on October 27, marking 18 years of professional recognition and achievement. He is the Part 141 Chief Instructor as well as a professor of aviation at Kansas State University's Polytechnic Campus at Salina Municipal Airport.

He specializes in flight and ground training, as well as classroom instruction, and serves as an FAA designated pilot examiner (DPE) and FAASTeam representative for the Wichita FSDO.
Nick Treglia, MCFI-Aerobatic
SAFE member and two-time Master Instructor Nick "Nick-Outback" Treglia of Enterprise AL renewed his Master CFI accreditation last month through Master Instructors LLC.

A veteran with both the Marines and Navy, Nick is a retired Naval Aviator who specializes in upset prevention, recovery, stall/spin and aerobatic training in Dothan AL, with Aviation Performance Solutions.