Handouts at the Frederick SAFE CFI-PRO™ included SAFE’s “Extended Envelope Training,” designed to rebuild basic skills and move pilots out of their comfort zones. Multiple DPEs told CFIs attending depressing tales of unprepared applicants, and each provided CFIs ways to improve student readiness.
Presentations, and much of the break chatter, were focused on how to cure the airmanship woes identified nationally just the week before the workshop by William Langewiesche, son of Wolfgang Langewiesche of “Stick And Rudder” fame. On September 22 in the New York Times magazine, the respected aviation writer declared that the two 737 Max crashes were “a textbook failure of airmanship.”
Other presentations at the workshop included “Learn To Turn” course by Rich Stowell, internationally known as The Spin Doctor. Other presentations connected training and testing with the newest ACS, GA maintenance and a presentation on managing the production of new pilots.
Read More….Knowledge Tests Changing
“SAFE and others had expected ACS codes to accompany knowledge test results from the beginning,” said Dr. Donna Wilt, former SAFE Chair and the organization’s representative on the ACS committee. “But the legacy system is so obsolete, it’s taken until now to start implementing the upgrades . I’m just glad it will be available for CFIs and students in mid-January.”
The upgrades are part of the FAA’s Airman Certificate Testing Service (ACTS) contract with test provider PSI to modernize airman testing. The changes complement the new Airman Certification Standards, an effort started at SAFE’s large government-industry meeting in Atlanta in 2009 where the need for reform of airmen testing, especially knowledge testing, was first recognized.
She added that, because of the new test format and capabilities, including a field for test-takers to make real-time comments about a question, availability of the costly and cumbersome FAA “hand scoring” option is expected to be very limited. Test-takers can still email the FAA later with a comment or question, but those emails will no longer trigger a formal hand re-score of the entire test.
Read More….Corporate Pilot
Corporate jet manufacturers reported a 13 percent growth in sales and an average seven percent production backlog in the first half of 2019, and the Honeywell Aerospace 2019 Business Jet Outlook sees 7,600 new business jet deliveries in the next 10 years, worth $248 billion. The company also said their projected seven percent rise in 2020 sales is being fueled by buyer desires for longer ranges and amenities such as beds and hot showers at FL 400. In addition, Boeing’s latest forecast of demand for airline travel says it will take some 800,000 new air carrier pilots needed over the next 20 years.
Read More…DPE System Starts Review
“The FAA was overwhelmed by the numbers,” said St George. “The boom of the 1950s and 1960s eventually produced the largest number of active pilots ever in the history of GA, well over 800,000 at its peak in the late 1960s. So the FAA designated a few local business pilots to help the agency cope with the demand for checkrides, as they were then called.”
Since then, a complete reversal of certification procedure has occurred, with DPEs giving nearly all checkrides, and including most CFI initial certification rides. But now that demand for certificated pilots is once again at an all-time high and forecast to continue that way, the DPE system has been under strain.
“The DPE program is a 1960s-era effort to help the FAA certificate pilots when they were overwhelmed by the largest-ever boom in general aviation that lasted into the early 70s,” St George explained. “Now, we have another boom in new students, thanks to the current severe demand for pilots and increasing wages.
In October 2018, the FAA attempted to alleviate the reported shortage of DPEs in many locations by issuing a policy notice allowing DPEs to travel outside their designated geographical area. The agency also abolished the two-checkride-a-day limit, replacing it with a three-flight-test-a-day maximum “without additional approval.” The limit does not include retests.
“I know from my recent experience with our SAFE CFI-PRO™, that there are many amazing, committed professionals out there doing a great job educating future pilots,” said St George. “Good examiners working closely with new CFIs to build their skills and enable excellence. We were all a bit clueless when we started out as CFIs and good mentors and a helping hand made the essential difference.” SAFE’s popular CFI Mentor Program is available to all SAFE members.