SAFE Vision Statement:
Promoting Excellence in Aviation Education
SAFE Mission Statement:
The Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE) works to create a safer aviation environment by
- Supporting aviation educators with mentoring opportunities, educational resources, and other benefits
- Inspiring professionalism through promotion and recognition of excellence and enhanced education
- Representing aviation educators through interaction with the aviation industry and government
- Promoting learning in all areas of aviation for everyone at every level
Organizations are defined by their Vision and Mission. Some have a life-limiting reach and die off when meeting their goals. Others redefine their goals as they achieve each new milestone. Then there are some that never have goals but only a vision that is beyond reach. So, I looked at the Vision and Mission of the S.A.F.E. organization and was so heartened.
Let me explain what I mean. The five words define an ongoing endeavor. When does one achieve excellence in aviation education? That is the question. Does that happen when the finite number of members and other stragglers who happen to hit the website learn a thing or two before tuning out from the digital universe. Partially, it does, but not at a sustainable level. Indeed, one should always think this through a bit for achieving excellence in perpetuity. Ask any aviator if he or she has achieved the pinnacle of their abilities and the answer, if they are honest about it, will be no. Why do people like Sean Tucker or Peggy Wagstaff continue towards the journey to redefine themselves with their ever increasing knowledge of the finite bounds of the aerodynamic envelope? Because there is an infinite incrementalism yet to be achieved. It is akin to the Zeno’s Paradox, you never really get there. So, S.A.F.E. as an organization seems to have a vision that forever will shine like a beacon that can never be reached, yet the pursuit will always remain worthwhile. But if someone comes along and professes that that vision has been achieved, then the game of excellence is over and the organization like many others might cease to exist.
I also happen to belong to the MAPA Safety Foundation as one of the director. The motto of that organization is “Safety is No Accident.” That motto was coined by one of the directors, Theodore Corsones. Now if you look at that Vision, you will find a similarity to one at S.A.F.E. . Safety is defined as “NO” accident. But as we all know, that is impossible. As one safety-oriented pilot drops off from the role of flying another one not yet well versed in the nuances of flight takes over. Add that to the “To err is human” adage and the fact that errors are universal and inevitable then you have recipe of never really achieving that vision. But you try and keep trying, finding new mechanisms and tools to educate and fill the starved human mind with ideas of safety. You get closer and closer but never get there. And that is the pursuit of excellence. At S.A.F.E. the vision is aligned in the same vein as well. Educate the mind to veer away from the unsafe acts. Keep educating with the latest of tools and methodologies for they are in flux all the time!
At S.A.F.E. as a fledgling organization that is seeing a blossoming growth in its membership roster, we are fortunate to have a vision that defines the infinite view of safety in flight through education. As long as, we continue to view that vision as something worth hunting down and achieving, the prospect for sustainability as an organization will remain in the mission.
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