Members: Please “Step Up” to Support SAFE
By David St. George, SAFE Chair
Welcome to autumn and a challenging new season for flight.
We are asking all dedicated SAFE members and supporters to “Step Up” and go “all in” as we transition to the fall season with increased membership levels, contributions and volunteering. We’ve had an amazing year with many successful projects (group hug and cheers all around) including an almost 20% increase in membership! Many years of hard work have finally blossomed into some stunning successes.
Most notable was the June 15 publication of the ACS for Instrument and Private pilots. Judgment and risk management are now integrated into pilot training as additional required pilot skills. These are combined with the traditional skill and knowledge requirements of the older PTS. This initiative grew from the SAFE Pilot Training Reform Symposium in Atlanta in 2011 and SAFE’s continual representation in Washington on the Airman Certification Standards (ACS) Working Group (thank-you, Doug Stewart!). My personal take on this is here in the SAFE blog. This testing standard continues to evolve at this writing. Please see the story of SAFE’s successful response to the ACS slow flight issues in this edition of eNews.
Other successful projects include two teacher scholarships to promote STEM and aviation interest in younger grade-school children (see article on this year’s winning teachers in this issue). We’ve received commitments from generous supporters to double the number of teacher scholarships we offer next year. We’ve launched a wildly popular blog and added more amazing benefits and discounts for members (see articles in this edition). Hopefully you have seen our beautiful new show booth at Oshkosh and Sun ‘N Fun. Our talented media designer is finishing up our new SAFE website which we hope to launch in the next month…and stand by for more improvements.
All this, of course, comes at a cost. Fortunately SAFE is more financially secure than ever before, thanks to our recent growth. But I am asking all SAFE members to “Step Up” this year and go “all in” to support your organization. I would love to see SAFE represented at every AOPA regional event next year, meeting members and spreading our message. We continue to send representatives to Washington to work on the improvements to the ACS (as you see below) and the rewriting of the FAA Handbooks, but we need your help.
Please go “all in” and “Step Up” to the next level of SAFE membership. If you are a Regular member you probably are making money with just your ForeFlight discount, in addition to the nearly two dozen other SAFE member discounts. Please consider a Bronze (supporting) membership at $100 to support our important work. A lifetime membership is a very good deal since most of our members are so passionate and committed.
Donations are welcome (and needed) and are in most cases fully tax deductible (check your individual situation but we are an educational 501(c)3 organization). So “Step Up” and volunteer at Sun ‘N Fun and Oshkosh. We also need volunteers for FLYING’s Palm Springs Aviation Expo this month and to contribute articles to the SAFE blog or magazine. Please go “all in” for aviation safety and support SAFE’s growth and the amazing programs we have planned. More on that soon. Thanks for all you do.
Volunteers Needed for FLYING Aviation Expo at PSP, October 20-22, Thursday-Saturday
SAFE‘s display booth at this year’s FLYING Expo in Palm Springs, CA on October 20-22, Thursday through Saturday, needs volunteers to staff the booth.
Booth volunteers may serve for three hours or more, one, two or all three days. It’s a great opportunity for you to meet other pilots and CFIs and distribute SAFE literature.
Admission is included, so this is your opportunity to attend the FLYING Aviation Expo for free.
Are you willing to help at this year’s FLYING Expo at PSP? Sign up now!
NEW BENEFIT FOR SAFE MEMBERS
Free Subscription to Aerovie Electronic Flight Bag
Aerovie, the creator of a top GPS flight planner, navigation and electronic flight bag, is now offering SAFE members a FREE subscription to the service. A year’s subscription is usually $69.99.
In addition to features commonly found on flight planners, Aerovie offers electronic PIREP submission to Lockheed Martin Flight Service for entry into the National Airspace System. The app also includes a full electronic flight bag for iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch including charts and filing flight plans.
A powerful pre-flight weather briefing capability includes such things as radar, satellite, radar simulations for days ahead, Skew-T soundings, TAF Discussions, and much more.
The free Aerovie application works only with iOS products, and there is no word whether a version for Android tablets is in the works. Aerovie is available at the Apple Play Store. For more information and to get your free SAFE member subscription service to Aerovie, go to the SAFE Member Benefits page. (A member log-in will be necessary to see that page)
SAFE MEMBER ADVOCACY
SAFE to FAA: Here’s How to Fix the ACS Slow Flight Task
As reported in last month’s SAFE eNews, members were surprised when the FAA changed a key element in the new Private Pilot Airplane Airman Certification Standards for evaluating slow flight. The ACS called for “an airspeed approximately 5-10 knots above the 1G stall speed, at which the airplane is capable of maintaining controlled flight without activating the stall warning.”
The change brought howls of protest from some experienced SAFE members and other flight instructors. Many pointed out that FAR Part 23 requires stall warnings in light aircraft to activate at no less than 5 knots above stall speed, thus making it impossible to teach or perform slow flight (i.e., flight on the back side of the power curve) without activating the stall warning horn. The FAA responded with Safety Alert For Operators (SAFO) 16010 which changed the evaluation standard for the slow flight maneuver in the ACS and gives a procedure to establish a speed for the maneuver.
SAFE asked its members about the contentious issue during September and found that 93 percent of CFIs responding agreed or strongly agreed that the purpose of slow flight for private pilots is to demonstrate the ability to control and maneuver an airplane at high angles of attack in the area of reverse command. The poll also showed that 63 percent wanted the FAA to return to the long-established PTS definition of slow flight, while only 24 percent thought the new ACS guidance was good.
SAFE’s Government Affairs Committee composed a letter to the Co-Chairs of the ACS Working Group recommending ways to revise the ACS so that pilots are properly trained. The response was presented to the committee in September by current SAFE ACS Working Group member and former SAFE Chair Donna Wilt. At the same meeting, SAFE co-founder and Director Emeritus Doug Stewart presented letters from distinguished flight instructors requesting changes in the slow flight task as other industry representatives weighed in on the important aspects of slow flight and stalls
Read more…(ACS slow flight)
SAFE’s recommendations ask the FAA to revise the ACS so that pilots will learn the skills essential for safely controlling an aircraft at very low speeds. The recommendations ask the FAA to:
* revise the entire ACS Area of Operation Slow Flight and Stalls section so it is a complete, cohesive set of tasks, elements, completion criteria, and standards needed for safe flight.
* reorganize the objectives of slow flight and stalls with (a) the Slow Flight Task treated as a normal operation with objectives appropriate to ‘region of reverse command’ and strong yawing moments, and (b) the stall tasks treated as a non-normal operation with objectives appropriate to stall recognition, avoidance, and recovery.
* investigate and address diversity of stall warnings in primary trainers to (a) validate that the objective of controlling an aircraft at speeds slow enough to be in the ‘region of reverse command’ can actually be met in the current primary trainer fleet without activating the stall warnings; (b) establish how to specify the training environment and evaluate learning objectives in aircraft without stall warning devices, and (c) establish alternative methods to mitigate the risk of negative training with the stall horn engaged in aircraft where the only way to fly at speeds in the region of reverse command is with the stall warning engaged.
* form an FAA ‘Tiger Team’ to implement a solution no later than the first scheduled revision of the ACS.
“Time is of the essence,” said Wilt,. “Having a tiger team, including professional curriculum designers, SMEs and pilot examiners, will enable the Area of Operation to be revised in time to be released with the first revision of the ACS. It will also send a message to the training community that the FAA is committed to aviation safety and resolving this issue.”
The FAA, in response to early concerns that the slow flight task could not be performed as described in the ACS, recently published a Safety Alert For Operators (SAFO) 16010 which changes the evaluation standard for the slow flight maneuver, calling for a flight speed just high enough to avoid activating the stall warning horn.
SAFE’s full recommendations through the Working Group to the FAA are shown below. The full text of the letter is also available under the NEWS section of the SAFE website.
To: Ms. Susan Parson and Mr. David Oord, Co-Chairman ARAC ACS Working Group
From: Society of Aviation and Flight Educators
Date: September 9, 2016
This letter proposes revision to the Area of Operation VII, Slow Flight and Stalls, in the Private Pilot Airplane Airman Certification Standards (ACS), (FAA-S-ACS-6) so training and evaluation will include maneuvers that enable learning all essential skills to be a safe pilot.
Everyone (Industry and FAA) agrees the goal of flight training is to create pilots who fly safely. Everyone agrees the pilots need to be properly trained to recognize all the indications of a stall and automatically correct to maintain aircraft control.
For the past several decades, the task of Minimum Controllable Airspeed has been used to allow students to learn and practice several new skills. While the Private Pilot Practical Test Standards for Airplane (PTS) (FAA-S-8081-14B) did not use the term ‘Minimum Controllable Airspeed’, it is clear from the elements that the maneuver was the Minimum Controllable Airspeed as described in the Airplane Flying Handbook (AFH) (FAA-H-8083-3A).
SAFE agrees with the statement in Safety Alert For Operators SAFO 16010 regarding high angle of attack and low airspeed situations which states: “It is essential that pilots learn: (1) the airplane cues in that flight condition, (2) how to smoothly manage coordinated flight control inputs, and (3) the progressive signals that a stall may be imminent when deviating further from this condition.” (p.l, SAFO 16010). SAFE affirms pilots need to learn this as a skill to a level of automaticity in order to be safe pilots.
The change implemented in the Task VILA, Slow Flight, in the new ACS may have changed only one element, but compared to the PTS, has had the effect of eliminating several of these essential skills from the maneuver as stated in the SAFO. Changing only one element in the Slow Flight Task in the ACS without adjusting the entire Task and Area of Operation has created a new set of issues and questions the validity of the task.
A SAFE representative met with members of the ACS Focus Team, shortly after the ACS went into effect June 15, 2016, to discuss this issue. Since then, many flight instructors and examiners have contacted the FAA, separate from SAFE, with their concerns that this change will reduce safety and lead to more, not fewer, loss of control accidents. SAFE agrees that the current change, as implemented, will indeed reduce safety.
The skills needed to be a safe pilot are well covered in the FAA’s own documents as well as numerous letters to the FAA regarding the importance of pilot learning. The purpose of this letter
is not to cover why these skills are important to know and perform. The purpose of this paper is to recommend how to revise the ACS so that essential skills for new pilots continue to be evaluated on the practical test flight and so training recommendations in the Airplane Flying Handbook will officially include maneuvers that enable learning all essential skills.
The PTS and ACS Both Lack Clearly Stated Educational Goals and Objectives
Educational theory stresses the importance of having clearly defined goals and learning objectives for
successful training. The Aviation Instructor Handbook (AIH) actually covers this well in Chapter 4 (FAA-H-8083-9A).
The knowledge and skills necessary to be a safe pilot, generate the goals and learning objectives for pilot training. These learning objectives should then be divided among the Area of Operations and Tasks in the ACS so that all objectives are evaluated.
For each learning objective, there should be learning outcomes with standards that define satisfactory performance. Evaluating the learning outcomes determine if the pilot meets the goals and learning objectives. The Aviation Instructor Handbook states “Standards are closely tied to objectives since they include a description of the desired knowledge, behavior, or skill stated in specific terms, along with conditions and criteria” (p.4-4 AIH). Standards, however, are not objectives.
In considering goals and learning objectives, the PTS was lacking in several areas considered important for a well-designed training and evaluation standard. In trying to keep the ACS as close to the PTS as possible, the ACS suffers from the same issues. In particular, the Tasks do not have clear objectives or purpose that relates to the goals of being a pilot.
In general, the objective of a maneuver task is to know and perform the maneuver. For example, in the ACS, the objective of Slow Flight Task is “To determine that the applicant exhibits satisfactory knowledge, risk management, and skills associated with maneuvering during slow flight.” The maneuver itself is not the objective. A better objective might be
The objective of the Slow Flight Task is to determine a pilot can safely
1. Control an aircraft at speeds in the ‘region of reverse command’
2. Recognize and respond to the progressive signals of an imminent stall
3. Control the aircraft in situations where there are strong yawing tendencies
The Airplane Flying Handbook (AFH) describes maneuvers and gives some objectives, but the term ‘objective’ is used generally. Also, the AFH does not explicitly state all the objectives of a maneuver. There are statements about the training conditions and ancillary information that may or may not be construed as objectives. As a result, instructors have variations in what they believe should be learned from practicing a particular maneuver.
If there were clear educational objectives established for each Task, then it would be easy to determine how a particular change in the ACS will effect evaluating the objectives. If there are clear educational objectives for each Task, then when a change in the ACS does effect an objective, it should be possible to move the objective and evaluation to a different Task in the same Area of Operation.
Currently, there is some overlap in the elements of the Stall Tasks and the Slow Flight Task and it may be possible to move some of the objectives from the Slow Flight to the Stall Tasks so that slow flight can be performed without the stall warning activated.
Another concept in education theory is test validity. Test validity is the concept of how well a test actually evaluates what it purports to measure. SAFE believes the Slow Flight Task in the ACS is no longer valid based on criteria for test validity. Even with the changes in the SAFO, the Slow Flight Task, as currently in the ACS, is no longer valid for the following reasons.
• It does not evaluate whether the applicant has learned to recognize and respond to the progressive cues associated with an imminent stall at a level where the response is automatic. Simply having an understanding of declarative knowledge is not sufficient.
• It assumes that it is possible to fly at a speed in the ‘region of reverse command’ without activating the stall warning device.
• It assumes the training aircraft has a stall warning device.
To make the Slow Flight Task valid, SAFE believes the Slow Flight Task, along with the Stall Tasks need to be revised in their entirety to create a cohesive set of objective, elements, completion criteria, and standards. The Stall Tasks could be revised to include the objectives and outcomes no longer being evaluated in the Slow Flight Task.
Negative Transfer of Learning
Key educational psychology theories on Transfer of Learning are in Chapter 2 of the Aviation Instructors Handbook. While positive transfer of learning is always desired, curriculum design may result in negative transfer of learning or unintended learning. Designing training to avoid one negative outcome should not introduce a different negative outcome.
AC 120-111, Upset Prevention and Recovery Training, defines “negative transfer of training” as “the inappropriate generalization of knowledge or skills learned in training to line operations.” (p.3, AC 120-111). Performing a maneuver with the stall warning continuously engaged could indeed result in negative transfer of learning where the student learns to ignore the stall warning. However, in reducing the potential for negative transfer of learning, it is important to not
introduce unintended consequences such as failing to cover other important learning objectives or creating a new negative transfer of learning in other area.
Negative transfer of learning is a threat to learning just as there are other threats to learning. As such, the risk due to negative transfer of learning can be mitigated in various ways. Alternative mitigation methods to reduce negative transfer of learning should be researched and could include, for example, briefing the student prior to a maneuver.
Stall Warning in Primary Trainers
The stall warning device on a primary trainer aircraft is designed as the first alert of a possible stall. While a good safety tool, it has limitations and some aircraft, depending on age or certification category, may not be equipped with a warning device. Initiating a stall recovery every time the stall warning activates will actually preclude a pilot learning the skills associated with learning “the progressive signals that a stall may be imminent” as part of this task.
The change in the ACS Slow Flight Task is based on the assumption that primary trainer aircraft can actually be flown at speeds slow enough to be in the ‘region of reverse command’ without activating the stall warning device. SAFE believes this is not a valid assumption.
The region of reverse command occurs at airspeeds below the minimum power-required speed, also referred to as maximum endurance speed. The speed is between stall speed and glide speed (L/D max) varies with weight, power, and altitude and is not a published V speed.
The requirements for stall warning for virtually every training aircraft in use today are contained in 14 CFR 23.207 as amended in 1969 that requires the stall warning should come on between 5-10 knots before a stall. This was further amended in 1996 to remove the upper limit and instead issue guidance that the stall warning should not come on so far in advance of the stall as to be a nuisance.
Therefore, in order to fly in the region of reverse command without a stall warning, the minimum power speed needs to be at least 15 knots faster than stall speed.
As an example, a clean C-152 at maximum weight, has a glide speed of 60 knots, and stall speed of 40 knots. With just a 20 knot difference between stall and glide speed, it is very unlikely the minimum power speed is more than 15 knots faster than the stall speed and it is unlikely the aircraft can be flown in the region of reverse commend without the stall warning engaged.
A possible solution is to thoroughly brief the student regarding the stall warning prior to performing the slow flight maneuver with the stall warning activated. This would allow the student to perform this maneuver while minimizing negative transfer of learning.
Finally, is the state of the stall warning simply a condition of the training environment the same way flap configuration is a condition for a maneuver? Or is the state of the stall warning an evaluation criteria? This is something that needs to be addressed. In addressing it, consideration needs to be given to aircraft without stall warning devices and how to evaluate the absence of an alert.
SAFE’s recommends that the ACS be revised immediately so that pilots will learn the skills essentials of stall recognition and avoidance as part of the Stall Tasks. To accomplish this, SAFE makes the following four recommendations.
1. SAFE’s recommends that the FAA revise the entire Area of Operation Slow Flight
and Stalls, so it is a complete, cohesive set of tasks, elements, completion criteria, and standards needed for safe flight in the flight regime covered by this Area of Operation. The revision needs to
a. Clearly establish the objectives related to Slow Flight and Stalls
b. Edit and/or create new task elements or even a new task if necessary, to insure that, taken together, the A/O meets ALL of the objectives needed to achieve the goal of a safe pilot
c. Clearly establish any restrictions on the training environment separate from the objectives
d. Clearly establish the evaluation criteria for meeting each objective, separate from any restrictions on the training environment
To do anything less is a band aid that will only make the problem worse. Trying to change just one element of the Slow Flight Task is how this problem started.
2. SAFE recommends that the FAA reorganize the objectives of slow flight and stalls
a. Slow Flight Task be treated as a normal operation with objectives appropriate to ‘region of reverse command’, and strong yawing moments.
b. Stall Tasks be treated as a non-normal operation with objectives appropriate to stall recognition, avoidance, and recovery.
3. SAFE recommends the FAA investigate and address diversity of stall warnings in primary trainers.
a. Validate that the objective of controlling an aircraft at speeds slow enough to be in the ‘region of reverse command’ can actually be met in the current primary- trainer fleet without activating the stall warnings.
b. Establish how to specify the training environment and evaluate learning objectives in aircraft without stall warning devices
c. Establish alternative methods to mitigate the risk of negative training with the stall horn engaged in aircraft where the only way to fly at speeds in the region of reverse command is with the stall warning engaged.
4. SAFE recommends the FAA Form a ‘Tiger Team’* to implement a solution no later than the first scheduled revision of the ACS.
Time is of the essence. Having a tiger team, including professional curriculum designers, SMEs and pilot examiners, will enable the Area of Operation to be revised in time to be released with the first revision of the ACS. Having a tiger team will also send a message to the training community that the FAA is committed to aviation safety and resolving this issue.
*A tiger team is a small group of experts put together to solve an immediate, specific problem. The members are key players with the experience, knowledge, and authority to cut through the bureaucracy, make decisions, and take action in order to solve the problem.
Respectfully submitted, Donna Wilt
Former SAFE Director Ray Spengler Named Top CFI in US Southwest
Former SAFE Board of Directors member Ray Spengler has been named the 2016 Southwestern U.S. Regional Flight Instructor of the Year by the FAA as part of the GA Awards Program.
Spengler, a long-time SAFE member, owns and operates Skypark Aviation at the East Texas Regional Airport near Longview, TX, where he offers flight training. He is the lead representative for the Lubbock FSDO’s FAASTeam and provides designated pilot examiner services. He has been a corporate pilot, owner and manager of flight schools and serves on various aviation-related boards.
“Ray is also one of just 30 instructors worldwide, and the only one in Texas, to hold five-time Master Aviation Educator certification from Master Instructors, LLC.,” said David St. George, SAFE Chair. “Ray’s contributions to SAFE during the year or more he served as a SAFE Board member were invaluable.”
“These awards highlight the important role played by these individuals in promoting aviation education and flight safety,” said GA Awards Chair Arlynn McMahon.
$500 FAA ADS-B Rebate Program Underway
The FAA web site offering $500 rebates for ADS-B Out equipment installation is now available, with a total of $10,000,000 available. Since CFIs are likely to be asked for information about this ‘free money’ program, SAFE is providing this summary.
As you’d suspect, the $500 rebates come with conditions. First, the rebates are limited to the first 20,000 aircraft owners who qualify, or one year, whichever comes first. Payment is limited to one owner per aircraft, and only single-engine piston-powered aircraft registered with the FAA before January 1, 2016 qualify. Owners should check their airplane’s registration in the FAA aircraft registry database to make sure the information is correct, since their application will be cross-checked against that data.
Also, the installed equipment must be TSO’d, which makes most of the lower-priced ADS-B Out equipment ineligible for the rebate. Nearly 7,000 qualified installations are listed on the FAA’s ADS-B equipment search page but may be narrowed by searching by manufacturer or aircraft make and model. A sample search for a Cessna 172P model returned eight approved installations from Avidyne, Garmin, Peregrine and L-3 Aviation.
To apply for the rebate, owners must complete an online form available through a link on the FAA’s Rebate page. The form requires information about their aircraft, as well as the make and model of ADS-B equipment planned for installation, and the scheduled installation date. That installation date is important, because owners will have just 60 days from that date to fly with the equipment and validate that it is working properly. After the flight, owners must obtain a performance report, available through the FAA’s Public Performance Report Request page. The rebates are actually issued by the Aircraft Electronics Association, which is working with the FAA on the program.
Reminder: Transponders, Mode C, ADS-B Out On For Taxi
Are you still teaching pilots to turn their transponder to ‘ALT’ just prior to entering the runway for takeoff or letting the ‘auto’ feature squawk STANDBY on the ground? That’s been standard practice for many years. However….
As a result of recent changes in Chapter 4 of the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM), the correct procedure is now to turn on your transponder, including Mode C and ADS-B Out (if installed), before entering any part of the airport movement area at a towered field. Movement areas are normally everywhere an aircraft travels on the airport except for FBO or private ramps.
The change is part of the ATC Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) and includes the coordination of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) and Airport Surface Surveillance Capability (ASSC), although currently only 35 major airports now have ASSC installed.
So why does the FAA want your transponder on in movement areas at all towered airports? It’s part of the FAA’s efforts to reduce runway incursions through ground surveillance and pilot’s use of the ADS-B IN feature to see other aircraft.
In a short article in the September 13 issue of AOPA eBrief, Mike Yodice, director of Legal Services Plans at Yodice Associates, said that there was little likelihood of an FAA enforcement action, at least for the time being, if a pilot forgets the new procedure.
Inhofe Working To Further Ease Requirements of Driver License Medical
A pro-GA senator is trying to relax medical requirements added during negotiations for the so-called “driver’s license medical,” created by legislation signed on July 15, 2016. The driver’s license medical opportunity is expected to allow many lapsed pilots frustrated with the FAA’s medical certification process – the AP estimates up to 200,000 – to return to active flying, creating an active market for CFIs offering currency training.
The requirement in the new legislation Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma would like to eliminate is the one requiring pilots to get a statement from their doctor every four years saying they don’t have any medical condition that would interfere with their ability to safely fly. Officials say the elimination could encourage even more lapsed pilots to rejoin the active flying community.
The law signed April 15 will allow pilots to conduct non-commercial flights in aircraft of up to 6,000 pounds gross weight and with as many as six seats using a valid state-issued driver’s license to prove fitness, as soon as the FAA writes rules for that legislation. The legislation will take effect automatically one year from the signing date if the FAA does not promulgate new rules by then.
AOPA and other aviation alphabet groups had long sought the changes, saying the medical certification process was overly bureaucratic and expensive, and discouraged pilots from flying. They pointed to a drastic decline in number of GA pilots, from 827,000 in 1984 to 593,000 in 2014.
Survey Shows The Times, They Are A-Changin’
But ‘a la carte’ briefings may be deficient, SAFE warns
Older CFIs may recall the 1970s and 1980s, when many pilots were forced to hang on the phone for long periods waiting to talk to an FSS briefer, since there was no other choice for a preflight briefing. At busy flight schools, a lucky student who finally reached the FSS briefer would tell that briefer to hold on and pass the phone to the next pilot lined up. And the next, and the next and so on.
Today, nearly one in five pilots report they don’t even bother to call an FSS before flight. Nearly a third say they won’t countenance a phone delay of more than one minute, and almost as many won’t wait more than three minutes for a phone briefing. Those figures are from a late-August to early-September AOPA survey of its members. AOPA warned that the survey was not scientific.
“The Internet is now full of sources for weather briefings, and it’s saving pilots both time and money,” said St. George. “SAFE loves improvements like that, but beware of ‘a la carte’ internet briefings using unofficial sources. Make sure the site you’re using is timely and presents full information.” He recommended the web site www.1800wxbrief.com, which is the portal to the official Flight Service.
He also noted that although many factors were involved in the decline of the GA accident rate from the 1970s to the 2000s, easier access to weather information was a leading factor. The total GA accident rate fell from about 16 accidents per 100,000 hours flown in the 1970s to just 6.79 accidents per 100,000 hours flown in the first 10 years of the 2000s.
“SAFE has consistently advocated use of technology in GA as a way to reduce the accident rate,” he said, “but it has to be used intelligently.”
SAFE Awards Grants to Educators in Arizona and Illinois
A third grade teacher from Illinois and a high school teacher from Arizona were named this year’s recipients of SAFE’s 2016 K-12 Classroom Teacher Grant Award competition.
Josh Miller of Skokie, Illinois and Dr. Paul McElligott of Fountain Hills, Arizona will both be using the $250 grant awards to pay for special projects that incorporate aerospace and/or aviation-themed lessons into their classroom science curriculums.
Miller teaches third grade at the Hillel Torah North Suburban Day School in Skokie, and will use his grant to foster enthusiasm for future aerospace studies by building rockets to study Newton’s Laws of Motion and Bernoulli’s Principle in relation to aerodynamics, along with weather and rocket construction variables.
McElligott teaches advanced placement (AP) physics and chemistry courses in Fountain Hills, in addition to teaching an innovative engineering course. He will be purchasing inexpensive remote controlled flying robots, called micro drone bots, and have his students reverse engineer the product in order to learn about a dynamic aerodynamic system. During this project, students will learn and apply computer-assisted design (CAD) technology and how to 3D scan each structural part for reproduction. McElligott’s wrote that his goal for this classroom project is to “inspire engineering students with project centered learning on all aspects of aviation, aerospace, and reverse engineering.”
SAFE Chair David St. George said the organization is planning to double the number of scholarships awarded next year to four.
A total of 15 grant applications were received for this year’s competition. Each application was read and ranked by SAFE’s selection committee based on the uniqueness of the proposed lesson or class project, the anticipated learning outcomes, and whether the lesson could be replicated by another classroom teacher.
SAFE’s goal in awarding these $250 grants to K-12 teachers is to encourage the use of aviation-themed lessons and class projects in the classroom. Aviation and aerospace are an integral part of the latest efforts to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education at all levels.
SAFE Blog Highlights CFI Purpose, Tools
The Instructor’s Purpose by MCFI and 2006 National Flight Instructor of the Year Rich Stowell, aka “The Spin Doctor,” asks what a CFI’s purpose should be. The succinct answer in this blog post has three points. Read about them here.
Two Pilots; Support Excellence in Aviation by SAFE Chair David St. George is a thoughtful analysis of the state of aviation training, comparing the training and experience of Captain Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberg with that of Colgan Airways flight 3407 pilot Captain Marvin Renslow.
“I can’t help but think this is a ‘teachable moment’ for all pilots, as well as motivation to try harder every day,” St. George writes. “I presented this story of contrasting pilot skills at Oshkosh and Sun ‘n Fun in just this manner with the question, “Who would you rather be?” Obviously, we should all strive for excellence and professionalism and channel “The Sully” in our flying.”
Experience ‘Slow Flight’ for Safety by Sherry Knight Rossiter, presents a look at the current ‘slow flight’ flap between many CFIs and the FAA from the viewpoint of a Doctor of Psychology who is also an ATP, CFI and experienced flight school operator.
“An angle of attack indicator may be nice to have, but it should not be the only way a pilot can detect an impending stall,” she writes in the blog entry. All the technology in the world can’t save a pilot from stalling the airplane if he/she doesn’t (a) recognize the wings are no longer producing lift, hence stalled, and (b) know the most basic fix, which is to reduce the wing’s angle of attack.”
The ACS Slow Flight Controversy, also by Rossiter, reviews how the whole argument got started, what’s involved in the controversy and what CFIs should do about it. (Hint: it involves sending your opinion to the FAA’s ACS Focus Team. There’s an easy clickable link in the blog allowing you to do just that.)
Regional Carriers Raising Pilot Salaries
Move May Brighten Flight Training Outlook for CFIs
Flight schools may see a boost in enrollment as more regional airlines boost pay for new first officers. American Airline subsidiaries Envoy Air and PSA Airlines announced September 14 that they are raising starting pay by as much as 50 percent. At PSA, the pay will increase from $24.62 per hour to $38.50 per hour, with additional signing and retention bonuses worth up to $35,000 over several years. Envoy is raising its base from $25.84 per hour to $37.90 with the chance for additional bonuses.
Both carriers said first-year pilots can now make about $58,000, the highest in the historically abysmal history of regional carrier pilot wages. About 2,800 pilots are now employed at the carriers.
“As pilot pay at regional airlines rises to a living wage, flight schools will likely see an uptick in training demand,” said SAFE Chair David St. George. “There are fewer ex-military pilots available, so CFIs will be key to picking up the slack.”
The number of pilots eligible to be hired by regional carriers has dropped significantly in recent years as both the supply of ex-military pilots and enrollment in civilian flight training programs has dropped. Many blame long-standing starvation wage pay at regional carriers for the decline in pilot supply, but a Congressional mandate for an ATP pilot certificate for new hires, the result of the 2009 Colgan 3407 accident, exacerbated the situation.
One airline, Republic Airways, filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, blaming a shortage of qualified pilots, and others have reported having to cancel flights for lack of pilots. A recent study by the University of North Dakota estimated that without changes there will be a deficit of 15,000 pilots by 2026.
Aviation Conferences Scheduled for October
FLYING Expo – Oct 20-22
The third annual 2016 FLYING Aviation Expo in Palm Springs, CA is scheduled for October 20-22, bringing together pilots, aircraft manufacturers and pilot products and services.
SAFE members presenting at the event will be:
* Donna Wilt will present “Tips for Avoiding Runway Incursions.”
* Kay Sundaram will present “iPad In The Cockpit 101” at noon on Friday, Oct 21.
* Gary Reeves will present “Avidyne IFD and Garmin 430/530 Pro Tips” at noon on Saturday, Oct 22.
* Judy Phelps will present “Stalls, Spins and Unusual Attitudes” at 1:00 pm on Saturday, Oct 22.
Registration for the Flying Aviation Expo is available now.
International Rotorcraft Safety Conference – Oct 25-27
The FAA’s second annual free International Rotorcraft Safety Conference will be held October 25-27 in Fort Worth, TX. It is intended for rotorcraft pilots, mechanics, small company owners, industry executives, operators and government regulators from the U.S. and abroad. Topics planned for discussion include:
* Improving decisions
* Creating a culture of safety
* Performing autorotations
* Choosing the best protection equipment
* Basic helicopter safety and maintenance
* How flight training schools promote safety
Information and registration for this conference is available now.
Annual Redbird Migration – Oct 25-26
The seventh annual Redbird Migration, billed as “the leading conference for flight training professionals,” has been scheduled for October 25-26, 2016 at Redbird Skyport in San Marcos, TX.
Speakers scheduled to appear this year include CEO Dale Klapmeier of Cirrus Aircraft; CEO Jim Barry of PASSUR Aerospace, Paul Harrop of AOPA Live, Redbird Flight Board Chair Craig Fuller and Redbird Founder Jerry Gregoire.
Information and registration for this conference is available now.
Five Top CFIs Earn, Renew Master Aviation Educator Accreditation
Five top flight instructors, all SAFE members, renewed their Master Aviation Educator certifications in July, August and September, and another earned his initial certification through Master Instructors, LLC, of Colorado. They are part of an elite group of fewer than 800 aviation educators nationwide to earn the FAA-recognized accreditation.
In addition, Michael G Gaffney, a 7-time Master and SAFE member who lives in Australia, earned his Master Instructor Emeritus (MIE) status.
Read more…(Master Instructors)
Raylene B Alexander of Lindsborg, KS., renewed her accreditation in September. Alexander is one of only 26 Kansas aviation educators to earn one or more of the prestigious titles. In the words of former FAA Administrator Marion Blakey, “The Master Instructor accreditation singles out the best that the right seat has to offer.”
She is an associate professor of aviation maintenance and avionics in Kansas State University’s Department of Aviation Technology at Salina Municipal Airport. The Marine Corps veteran is also active in the University Aviation Association and Women In Aviation.
Donald E Kaye of Santa Clara, CA, renewed his Master CFI accreditation in September. He first earned this national professional accreditation in 2002 has held it continuously since then. He is one of only 10 people worldwide to earn the credential eight times.
Specializing in avionics, instrument, recurrency, and complex aircraft training, Don is an independent San Francisco Bay area flight and ground instructor. Additionally, he serves as a FAASTeam representative in the FAA’s San Jose FSDO.
George P Felix of Maple Grove, MN, earned his initial Master CFI accreditation in September. The newest Master Aviation Educator owns and operates Felix Flight Services at Crystal Airport and several others where he specializes in primary and advanced flight training.
Felix also serves as a volunteer Angel Flight Mission Pilot as well as a FAASTeam representative for the Minneapolis MN FSDO.
Michael G Gaffney of Bedford, TX, a 7-time Master and SAFE member, earned his Master Instructor Emeritus (MIE) status in September. Mike, a global project manager for CAE Oxford Aviation Academy, is serving as general manager for China Southern Airlines Western Australia Flying College in Perth. He is one of only nine people worldwide who have earned a Master Instructor certification seven times in a row.
The 2007 National CFI of the Year, he has also served as a FAASTeam lead representative for the North Texas (Dallas / Fort Worth) FSDO.
Robin H Lindstrom of Huntsville, AL, a 10-time Master and SAFE member, renewed his Master CFI and Master GI accreditations in September through MI LLC’s MICEP program https://MICEP.FluidReview.com/ Rob is the assistant chief flight instructor and a ground instructor with the Redstone Arsenal Flying Activity (http://www.FlyingActivity.com/) at Redstone Army Airfield (HUA). He is also an aviation instructor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and serves as a FAASTeam representative in the FAA’s Birmingham FSDO area. He was one of the first aviation educators to earn the Master designation when the accreditation program was first introduced in 1997 by then-FAA Administrator Barry Valentine at Oshkosh AirVenture.
Douglas Carmody of Beaufort, SC, a 5-time Master and SAFE member, renewed his Master CFI accreditation in September.
Doug owns and operates Executive Flight Training based at Beaufort County Airport (ARW) where he specializes in Citation, King Air, TBM, and Pilatus initial and recurrent training. Additionally, he is a Citation and CJ pilot proficiency examiner and serves as a FAASTeam representative for the FAA’s Columbia SC FSDO.
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