Pilot Proficiency Symposium 2016

In 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.

SAFE-Symposium

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@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.