Essential Safety: Determining PIC

By Chris Hope, MCFI and 2015 National FAASTeam representative of the year.

Whos-Flying-copySo, you’re flying with a friend in their aircraft. Although you have more total time and experience, it is their plane and they have a lot more experience in it than you have. The ATIS is calling for some strong, gusty crosswinds at the destination airport, but you continue, anyway. After a rather scary landing, you say to each other, “I never would have done that by myself, but I figured you knew what you were doing.” Hmm.

Or maybe this: Your buddy is flying from the left seat, when you notice that he seems engrossed in his iPad. You notice the plane has wandered off course and altitude a bit, so you nudge it back to wings-level. Your partner notices, but doesn’t say anything. After a while, you again notice it’s off, and you correct again. Then, a few minutes later Center asks if you are on the heading and altitude you really want. And the two of look at each other and say, “I thought you were flying.”

Here’s another one: maybe most pilots don’t know that a flight instructor without a current medical can still administer a flight review. The FAA, in a bit of logic understood by no one, maintains that flight instruction is totally separate from…flying. And using this logic, a CFI can exercise the privileges of his CFI certificate even though he might not be legal to exercise the privileges of his pilot certificate. Under this thought process, a CFI can give instruction as long at the person receiving instruction can legally act as Pilot-in-Command (PIC). This scenario usually comes into play when a pilot, still within his 24-month flight-review window, asks for a flight review. Under th0se circumstances, the CFI can conduct the review.

This was the situation that one CFI saw. A pilot he knew asked for a flight review, and he knew that he personally could not act as PIC. The pilot knew that the CFI did not have a current medical, but he did not consider the ramifications further. The CFI knew that the pilot knew that he did not have a medical, but he assumed that the pilot was legally current in the plane. Both thought the other was PIC. OOPS!

All of these situations have one common thread that can lead to a deterioration in safety, “Who is in charge…who is PIC?”

According to FAR 1.1:

Pilot in command means the person who:
(1) Has final authority and responsibility for the operation and safety of the flight;
(2) Has been designated as pilot in command before or during the flight; and
(3) Holds the appropriate category, class, and type rating, if appropriate, for the conduct of the flight.

Note that nothing in this definition relates to actually manipulating the controls.

FAR 61.51, on the other hand, deals with logging PIC time, and it states in part, that a person can do so:

(e) (i) When the pilot is the sole manipulator of the controls of an aircraft for which the pilot is rated, or has sport pilot privileges for that category and class of aircraft, if the aircraft class rating is appropriate;

So there is a bit of conflict between who logs PIC time, and who acts as PIC. For the purpose of this discussion, let’s concentrate on “Who’s in charge here?”

First of all, who has “the final authority”, and who has been “designated as pilot in command?” I think that when two pilots fly together, the topic does not usually come up, because one or both are embarrassed to bring it up. After all, when you declare who is PIC, that’s who will be responsible to the FAA and the insurance company when things go wrong. And secondly, you are agreeing that in an emergency, one of you will be telling the other what to do. Could be touchy.

I often see the situation myself when I fly as an instructor in my student’s plane. We decide the PIC question on a case-by-case basis. If my student is legally qualified to act as PIC, and we both feel that he is competent to act as PIC, generally we agree that he will be PIC. If, on the other hand, I am conducting a checkout or a flight review for a pilot who is really not comfortable with acting as PIC, I will take on that role. (And whenever I fly another person’s plane, I ensure that I am covered to act as PIC by his insurance.) In either case, before we walk out to the plane together, we settle the question. Note that establishing who is PIC does not mean that the non-PIC is supposed to sit back and be a spectator when the situation deteriorates. But the designated PIC is the final authority on the course of action. Need to swap roles in flight? No problem. Just make sure that both of you agree.

Then, there is the question of who is actually in charge of manipulating the controls, and this can be the occupant of either front seat. Obviously, the person who is actually flying needs to be qualified to do so, but again, both of you need to agree on this. A simple solution – This conversation:

“Would you take the plane for a minute?”
“Sure. I’ve got it.”
“Right. You have the flight controls.”

Then, when you are ready to take the plane back:

“OK, I’ve got the flight controls again.”
“Roger, you have the flight controls”
“I have it.”

A little communication goes a long way. Go Forth. Fly safe. Have fun.

“Follow” our blog to receive notification of new articles and write us a comment please if you see a problem or want to contribute. Write us also if you have an article to contribute on aviation excellence or flight safety. Most importantly, please Join SAFE and support our mission of generating aviation excellence in teaching and flying. Our amazing member benefits alone make this commitment painless and fun.

Chris Hope has taught flying for more than 40 years. He holds flight instructor certificates for single-engine land and sea airplanes and multi-engine land planes, as well as for instrument training. He holds ground instructor certificates for advanced and instrument training. Chris is an FAA Gold Seal Instructor and a Master Certified Flight Instructor and is the 2015 National FAASTeam representative of the year.

Understanding Pilot Fatigue

Be mindful of fatigue; this slow insidious dread that has caused many a pilot to lose their way.

Fatigue, is the final frontier in our modern too-busy lives. No, seriously, from that threshold nothing is achieved, nothing improved and nothing is gained. Only problems ensue.

Definition: “Fatigue is a condition characterized by increased discomfort with lessened capacity for work, reduced efficiency of accomplishment, loss of power or capacity to respond to stimulation, and is usually accompanied by a feeling of weariness and tiredness.”

It is a burnout, or feeling tired…minor change in mood, energy, or sleep; the lowest reaches of wellness. Fatigue is a symptom of your brain reaching a point of dysfunction…a large spectrum of dysfunction. The spectrum ranges from momentary blips on the radar of simply needing a break, a catnap for instance, or needing to eat lunch, to more severe, devastating, life-altering, neurodegenerative disorders of complete exhaustion…Yikes!

There are two kinds of Fatigue:  Acute (short-term) and Chronic (long-term).  Short term acute fatigue is easily cured by a sound sleep and is a normal daily occurrence. The chronic fatigue however has deeper psychological roots and causes significant psychosomatic ailments, which can lead to long term disability from debilitation. Some of these include: tiredness, heart palpitations, breathlessness, headaches, or irritability. Sometimes chronic fatigue even creates stomach or intestinal problems and generalized aches and pains throughout the body and even depression. Self-help cures in these circumstances are rare.

Above all, when in the throes of chronic stress, don’t fly!

Let’s look at some of the common issues encountered: sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, apathy, feelings of isolation, annoyance, increased reaction time to stimulus, slowing of higher-level mental functioning, decreased vigilance, memory problems, task fixation, and increased errors while performing tasks. Fatigued individuals consistently underreport how tired they are, as measured by physiologic parameters. No degree of experience, motivation, medication, coffee, other stimulants, or will power can overcome fatigue. Nine hours into his 33-hour flight, Charles Lindbergh wrote in his journal that, “…nothing life can attain, is quite so desirable as sleep.”

A special kind of fatigue that can afflict a pilot with profound ramifications is “Skill Fatigue.” Skill Fatigue involves two main disruptions:

  • Timing disruption – Performing a task as usual, but with the timing of each component is slightly off, makes the pattern of the operation less smooth and fluid. There is a higher chance of disruption in finishing the task.
  • Disruption of the perceptual field – You concentrate your attention upon movements or objects in the center of your vision and neglect those in the periphery. This leads to loss of accuracy and smoothness in control movements. The effects are magnified in high task saturated environments eg. turbulent weather in instrument conditions.

Other symptoms include: memory fog (where did I leave my keys), difficulty following instructions, lowered retention, lack of motivation, tire easily, poor focus, emotional meltdown and psychosomatic pains and digestive complaints. And while it is felt in the peripheral muscles as weakness it is a central dogma arising in the brain; Brain (Central Governance Model-CGM) generates the sensations of fatigue during exercise (MIND OVER MATTER) – Fatigue is a Brain-Derived Emotion that Regulates the Exercise Behavior to Ensure the Protection of Whole Body Homeostasis. ( Timothy David Noakes,* Front Physiol. 2012; 3: 8)  While initially fatigue causes a reduction in muscular force, the brain executes a second phenomenon of fatigue as a sensation. The central psychical station influencing the peripheral muscular network might appear as an imperfection, yet it is an extraordinary perfection of support and self-preservation.

IMAGE

Imaging brain fatigue from sustained mental workload: An ASL perfusion study of the time-on-task effect. Julian Lim et.al. NeuroImage 49 (2010) 3426–3435

Fatigue as a phenomenon has been extensively studied by the FAA in Commercial Pilots flying over multiple time zones and the Rules require mandatory rests crossing over 4 time zones and 8/9 accumulated flight hours. (Prevalence of fatigue among commercial pilots Craig A. Jackson 1 and Laurie Earl 2 Occup Med (Lond) (June 2006) 56(4): 263-268.)

The current regulations are:

“The new regulations, which don’t apply to cargo pilots, require that pilots get at least 10 hours of rest between shifts. Eight of those hours must involve uninterrupted sleep. In the past, pilots could spend those eight hours getting to and from the hotel, showering and eating. Pilots will be limited to flying eight or nine hours, depending on their start times. They must also have 30 consecutive hours of rest each week, a 25% increase over previous requirements.”

We must remember that the ultimate risk of pilot fatigue is an aircraft accident and potential fatalities, such as the Colgan Air Crash that occurred in early 2009 (http://aviation.about.com/od/Accidents/a/Accident-Profile-Colgan-Air-Continental-Connection-Flight-3407.htm)

What is the ultimate antidote to Fatigue?  Answer: SLEEP.

Here are some Dos and Don’ts for pilots and surely-bonded- land-lubbers to live by:

Do…

  1. Be mindful of the side effects of certain medications, even over-the-counter medications – where drowsiness or impaired alertness is a concern.
  2. Consult a physician to diagnose and treat any medical conditions causing sleep problems.
  3. Create a comfortable sleep environment at home. Adjust heating and cooling as needed. Get a comfortable mattress.
  4. When traveling, select hotels that provide a comfortable environment.
  5. Get into the habit of sleeping eight hours per night. When needed, and if possible, nap during the day, but limit the nap to less than 30 minutes. Longer naps produce sleep inertia, which is counterproductive. 6. Try to turn in at the same time each day. This establishes a routine and helps you fall asleep quicker.
  6. If you can’t fall asleep within 30 minutes of going to bed, get up and try an activity that helps induce sleep (watch non-violent TV, read, listen to relaxing music, etc).
  7. Get plenty of rest and minimize stress before a flight. If problems preclude a good night’s sleep, rethink the flight and postpone it accordingly.

Don’t…

  1. Consume alcohol or caffeine 3-4 hours before going to bed.
  2. Eat a heavy meal just before bedtime.
  3. Take work to bed.
  4. Exercise 2-3 hours before bedtime. While working out promotes a healthy lifestyle, it shouldn’t be done too close to bedtime.
  5. Use sleeping pills (prescription or otherwise).

Fatigue is a slow inebriation of senses and its harm lies menacingly in the wings. Early recognition and prevention is the key to flight safety!

“Follow” our blog to receive notification of new articles and write us a comment please if you see a problem or want to contribute. Write us also if you have an article to contribute on aviation excellence or flight safety. Most importantly, please Join SAFE and support our mission of generating aviation excellence in teaching and flying. Our amazing member benefits alone make this commitment painless and fun.

FAA Restores Aviation “Sim” Time!

FMX_2Training time credited by the FAA for flight simulation devices is a moving target caught in a web of regulatory confusion. Even the names and levels have been changed continuously as this process has evolved. Finally, the new rule will be published today April 12th, taking effect on May 12th with a strong move in the right direction. The FAA has restored the 10 hours of credit for BATDs (Basic Aviation Training Devices) and 20 hours for AATDs (Advanced) previously permitted by manufacturer LOAs. Time with a professional educator on even a modestly priced machine can provide a wide variety of challenges unavailable in flight with much greater efficiency, economy and safety. SAFE has advocated continuously for greater “sim” time credit.

ATC-610-CopySince the 1970s, the FAA has gradually expanded the use of various forms of flight simulation for training. The venerable ATC-610 with realistic “steam gauge instruments” was a mainstay for training all kinds of approaches. Computer based training devices have dramatically expanded the realism and also the utility of these devices with companies like Mindstar even networking devices into a virtual environment (demonstrated at the Pilot Proficiency Center at Oshkosh last year). The realism of the new hardwareFMX_1  is exceptional with motion incorporated in models from Redbird, Frasca and many other progressive manufacturers. SAFE has led the charge for approval of increased simulation credit and we are proud our proposal to the FAA is quoted extensively in the current NPRM. Flight simulation provides a huge opportunity for aviation educators and a superior, less expensive, training environment for clients at all courses and levels. For both initial and recurrent flight training, increased FAA credit for simulation is a huge win.

Incidentally, the requirement for a “view limiting device” was thankfully dropped in the most recent rule (can’t see the ground anyway!) The FAA NPRM again mentioned helpful input from SAFE. Also, per 61.51 (g)4 you do need an “authorized instructor” (we presume that would be a CFII) to observe and sign your logbook to log legal training time or maintain currency. There was lots of confusing interpretations circulating but the recent legal letter of interpretation makes this abundantly clear.

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 12.11.14 AM“Follow” this blog to receive notification of new articles. and write us a comment. And please Join SAFE in our mission of pursuing aviation excellence. Our amazing member benefits alone make this commitment painless and fun.

 

 

 

Pilot Proficiency Symposium OSH 2016

SAFE-SymposiumIn 2011, SAFE and other key industry leaders took the initiative to develop and conduct the Pilot Training Symposium in Atlanta that focused on the myriad challenges that face general aviation. These included decreased student starts, increased student attrition, the flatlined fatal accident rate, and stagnated growth. This Symposium devoted equal time to the “Big Six” topics, but since much of the work that has followed has focused on Doctrine and Standards the focus must now shift to Curricula and Aviation Educators with the goal of elevating these areas to the level that Doctrine and Standards are reaching as a result of the SAFE initiative in Atlanta.

To meet this challenge, members of SAFE, along with other concerned educators in the aviation community, have come together to begin developing a new Symposium to focus on the critical elements of Curricula and the Educators responsible for teaching others to fly and to maintain their skills. The stubborn fatal accident rate remains a particular concern, so the upcoming symposium will focus on strategies designed to at drive the fatal accident rate downward.

This event will encourage collaboration among stakeholders to accomplish goals that are focused on learning and teaching best practices for all phases of flight, enhanced communication among Aviation Educators and to develop the foundation for this Symposium to become an annual “must attend” event for all Aviation Educators.

The overarching philosophy guiding the focus of this and future events is to provide guidance and training methods for all facets of the aviation training community which will

• Complement the new ACS system with training methods and curricula that will ensure that applicants are able to conduct safe operations in the real world. Examples include using effective risk management techniques and improving stick and rudder skills during maneuvering flight.
• Ensure that flight school operators, flight instructors, and designated pilot examiners hold applicants to the performance standards contained in the new ACS. This includes ensuring that operators, instructors, examiners, and others in the training delivery system themselves are held to high standards of professionalism and competency.
• Devise new approaches to reach the current pilot community to ensure they meet the standards in the ACS as well. This could include a more robust process for conducting flight reviews and improved delivery of safety information, seminars, and on-line courses.
The specific focus for the 2016 event will be:

1. Loss of Control and the “Learn, Do Fly” approach to applying the core curriculum and the need to create a culture of recurrent training and proficiency as the foundation for improving the safety metrics of General Aviation.

2. The importance of the CFI/DPE relationship and the role it plays in improving the quality of pilot training.

3. Best practices for preparing pilots pursuing their initial CFI designation as well as on-going training after the receipt of the certificate.

The event will be held in Oshkosh, Wisconsin just prior to AirVenture 2016 on Saturday and Sunday July 23-24 at the Fox Valley Technical College, S.J. Spanbauer Aviation & Industrial Center located on the east side of Wittman Field. There will also be follow-up seminars, offered at the Plot Proficiency Center located on the AirVenture venue, for educators incorporating simulation and discussions lead by subject matter experts.

The planning and execution of this event is a core principle of SAFE and is a tangible example of what we as Aviation Educators are committed to each and ever day. Take a look at your schedule and if you can put these dates on your calendar and plan to join us for this important event. Also, as we move forward with our planning we will be asking for volunteers to help us with both the Symposium and in the Pilot Proficiency Center. If you have questions, comments or would like to volunteer please email Michael Phillips at mcfimlp[a]gmail.com.

We are excited about the potential of this event and trust that many of you will be able to join us and contribute your collective genius to the success of this initiative.

How to Apply in IACRA for a Student Pilot Certificate

Student_PilotAccording to the new FAA rule, as of April 1st, 2016 all new pilots will have to apply for their student pilot certificates through IACRA or on a paper 8710-1 (not encouraged). It helps to repeat after me “IACRA is my friend” because a positive attitude helps immensely when navigating this website for the first time. All DPEs (and many FAA Inspectors) initially struggled with this process but it works amazingly well once you understand the logic. You have probably worked this site recommending pilot applicants, this is a similar process. There is actual necessity for the complexity when you consider how many diverse certificates and ratings it needs to produce. Full disclosure; this is how this site operated when we did this as a DPE, I am assured the site uses the same process with “recommending instructor” as validator. I just spent considerable time with the help desk and they checked this description for accuracy. When I head home from SnF I have two students to enter so we shall see! The pdf manual for IACRA is here. The help desk number is now (844)322-6948.

First, remember you (CFI, DPE, ACR) are the validator of this applicant’s identity. This is from the 61.65F “In accordance with §61.193(b), before processing an application for a student pilot certificate, the authorized individual must ensure the applicant meets the eligibility requirements of § 61.83 as well as verify the applicant’s identity. The authorized individual should use AC 60-28 and the ICAO Web site to prepare for the assessment.” (And yes, you do need to meet face-to-face not a virtual arrangement)

Every “validator” or agent will login for this process with the role of “recommending instructor” (as DPE I have done many glider and sport pilots with that role but that is gone). Before starting, remember your applicant will need valid proof of identity: an unexpired government ID with a photo and printed expiration date is required. For young people without a license or passport that can be a sheriff’s ID so get that process started early. Make sure you have a fairly new web browser (without a pop-up blocker activated) and you have a pdf reader installed on your computer.

This whole process begins with your applicant. They need to access the IARA website and establish a login and password and obtain their FTN (Federal Tracking Number). The new 61.65F is a little misleading here.

IACRAStudentRegisterAcquireFTNFTNsucess

Your student will now log out and then back into IACRA with this unique FTN and apply for their student pilot certificate. This is simple with 6 fields to complete.

StudentPIlotSelection

They are applying for a “pilot certificate” and the selection should be “student.” Like gliders and sport, no medical is needed here. The medical travels separately and could be acquired later (before solo obviously) according to the help desk. Here are some FAQs from the FAA guidance.

Once all six tabs in the application process are green, click “review”. This button should pop up a pdf of the application (depending on your internet connection this might require some waiting). Make sure you do not have a pop-up blocker set in your browser. This “review” step is required first before “submit” to make that button active. Once the applicant has reviewed the application (opened the pdf) close the document at the top of the pdf and they click “submit.” Once this is complete it should be available on-line for the CFI , DPE or ACR to retrieve and validate.  All validators for a student pilot certificate will enter IACRA in the role of “recommending instructor.”

So now finally it’s the CFI’s turn to login. You will need to meet with your student here since you validate their identity and command of English for this certification. This process should not be performed remotely. ON the IACRA site, put in your (CFI) username and password and accept the “terms of service” in the role of “recommending instructor.”

CFIlogsInRCFI

When the page loads you will enter the student’s FTN in the box and it should bring up their application for action. There should be a pull down with several options here. This will open a page with a list of hyperlinked actions you need to complete in order. First is verification of identification. You must enter the data from the approved government ID accurately…check it twice!

There will be a link for the applicant to now login again to “review” and “sign” their application (in each case “close” the pdf with the button on the top). The “signature” is a blue hyperlink which will center on the pdf and only requires a mouse click. If this does not appear, check for a pop-up blocker or suitable pdf reader installed on the computer. This can be slow depending on your internet connection. Once the application is “signed”, close this at the top of the document and the student’s part is complete.

As the final step, the CFI logs back in (with your CFI login/password) and again enters the student’s FTN as before. Now you should be able to complete the certification process with a “review” and “sign”. Both are pop-up pdfs and you might again need to wait.

There is lots of discussion about which browser to use for the IACRA process but most webkit versions work fine. My favorite, that seems to work on Mac or PC, is Firefox. Remember in every step you will always have to “review” before you “sign” or the field will be gray and inoperative. Check your browser for a “pop-up blocker” or the pdfs will not load. Take your time and remember to always scroll to the bottom of the page for the action buttons…be patient and good luck!

Personally I would copy the final result with the date so you can track the progress on the application. There are many guesses on how long the plastic student pilot certificate will take coming from the FAA.

Let me know if you discover snags in this description and I will update this so we create a clean and usable document for all CFIs and move this process forward. When I put a student through this process I will add any details that differ in the new sequence…good luck. If you have a problem, please write a comment and we can all learn something. Thanks…I hope this helps.

Please “follow” our SAFE blog to receive notification of new articles and please write us a comment if you see a problem or want to contribute an article. We always need more input on aviation excellence or flight safety. There are many highly qualified SAFE members out there! If you are not yet a member, please Join SAFE and support our mission of generating aviation excellence in teaching and flying. Our amazing member benefits alone make this commitment worthwhile fun!

Necessary “Tough Love” in Flight Training

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 8.23.50 AMThe most dangerous CFI is not necessarily the one you would expect! The person lacking skills or with a history of safety issues is usually obvious through reputation and avoided by serious pilots. The real sleeper is the popular CFI who is everyone’s friend and cannot say “no.” This CFI lacks the ability to set standards and firmly guide behavior with occasionally disappointing news. I know this sounds harsh but this person is too often giving away privileges that are not earned and compromising our whole safety culture. Being a professional necessitates some “tough love” and it’s usually uncomfortable to be the bearer of disappointing news (as a DPE these are my darkest days)! Sometimes hostility can occur no matter how gently you convey the need for “more training” but it is a necessary burden of the job and essential to aviation safety.

Screen Shot 2016-04-02 at 12.17.04 PMMany clients are (unfortunately) “shopping for a yes” or permission to get signed off for a test or to fly their shiny new plane. The “tough love” of necessary skill and knowledge can be a bitter pill keeping them from their goal. But every CFI conveys amazing power with each endorsement placed in a logbook and holds the keys. That privilege granted cannot be a gift but must be earned through demonstrated skill, knowledge and judgment.

Most new flight instructors start out with this tendency due to a need to please and to acquire new students. The “newbie CFI” will fly at any hour and endure all kinds of abuse from students (those who are chronically late and unprepared) to generate business. This usually leads to a chaotic co-dependency and the student training fails to progress. This new instructor will be very busy and popular but generates no progress in student skills. Safety can be seriously in question while this new CFI learns to calibrate their standards and gains confidence. This is one reason why CFI oversight or mentoring is so vital for new instructors.

SuperCessnaPanelThis same “need to please” can also happen with an entire flight school. Most often this is “the new guy on the block” with shiny equipment and an attractive new facility. This school can sometimes be desperate to attract new students and make money rather than create safe pilots with real skills. For the parents among our readers think “spoiled child” and the modern cultural meme of “everyone is above average” deserving of a trophy. Successful flight training requires a little “tough love” to be safe. Privileges must be earned not purchased.

Hopefully, as a new CFI (or school) grows and becomes more confident and knowledgeable, they realize the need to set real standards and emphasize the personal growth of skill, knowledge and judgment in their students. Unfortunately, I have also met the CFI that never gets the message and continues to massage everyone’s ego and promote “universal happiness” over true aviation safety and progress toward a rating.

SuperCessnaIf you are a client or student, watch out for the “pathological pleaser” who too easily gives away privileges you do not earn. There are no gifts in aviation and safe progress requires some serious work and discipline to earn achievement. If your CFI is overly helpful or continuously complimentary, seek a new coach on your way to your certificate or rating. And for your flight review find someone that makes you work, your personal safety hangs in the balance.

“Follow” this blog to receive notification of new articles. and write us a comment. And please Join SAFE in our mission of pursuing aviation excellence. The amazing member benefits alone make this commitment painless and fun. See you at Sun ‘N Fun Hangar A Booth 59.

SAFE Working For You! Visit Us at Sun ‘N Fun!

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 8.23.50 AMSAFE (Society of Aviation and Flight Educators) is a relatively new and dynamic not-for-profit. Our mission is to promote excellence in aviation education and thereby raise the level of safety and professionalism in our whole industry. We want nothing less than to change the aviation world for the better. Thank you for reading our blog. We have enjoyed a tremendous following here thanks to your interest. Please “follow” us for notification of new content. We also publish a quarterly magazine for members edited by the very talented Mark Phelps. Our SAFE Toolkit App SAFE Toolkit Video Introduction has received amazing activity and rave reviews. Utilizing this FREE software makes all CFIs better prepared in the field. It contains the FAA endorsements and pilot experience requirements (and so much more) right in your pocket to do your job more professionally. [See it at work].

One of our proudest and most effective safety programs is our SAFE mentoring system. This enables a new CFI to sign up and gain an experienced guide in the process of becoming a really effective and excellent instructor. A lot of learning as an educator is necessarily an apprenticeship. This program passes on the wisdom from experienced, sage-like wizards to fresh excited beginners. Become a mentor and pay it forward.

SAFE_SnFMapWe are currently working with a talented web and media designer, Chris Palmer, to entirely revamp our web presence and make it as exciting and inviting as all of aviation; a portal for member participation. And lastly, we are organizing, with other aviation partners the Pilot Proficiency Aviation Symposium to occur in Oshkosh on July 24-25, just before Air Venture. This gathering will actively engage all aviation professionals and help us discover a better way forward in flight training (just as our last gathering in Atlanta did.) Expect great things, join us and help support our mission of raising the bar on aviation education professionalism. Our amazing member benefits pay you back and make this commitment painless and fun. Visit us at Sun ‘N Fun in Building A Booth #59. Attend a seminar by a SAFE member, we would love to meet you!