September e-News; “Read More”

FAA Rotorcraft Safety Conference Set for October

The FAA’s second annual International Rotorcraft Safety Conference will be held October 25-27 in Fort Worth, TX. The goal of the conference is to reduce the helicopter accident rate in the U.S.

The free event 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 at the conference 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

Read more… (Rotorcraft)

“(There will also be) a presentation by a pilot who safely landed his helicopter after the engine failed,” said Gene Trainor, a technical writer/editor and conference coordinator with the FAA’s ASW-112 Safety Management Group. He added that the FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute will bring its Helicopter Spatial Disorientation Demonstration exhibit that allows participants to experience various – including dangerous – flight scenarios.

Conference attendees will receive Inspection Authorization credits and WINGS pilot proficiency program credits. For more information about the FAA conference and to register, visit http://faahelisafety.org. For general questions, contact Eugene Trainor.

Redbird Migration Flight Training Conference Set for October

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.

This year’s Migration will feature presentations from a wide range of industry leaders in the mornings and small group break-out sessions in the afternoon, focused on providing solutions to the real-world problems facing flight schools and universities. Company spokesperson Brittney Miculka said new Redbird technology for the company’s Parrot and Scarlet products will be featured, as will tips and tricks for enhancing flight school marketing tactics.

Read more… (Redbird Migration)

Other breakout sessions will include information on enhancements to the VTO simulator and topics covering pilot proficiency, scenario-based training, effective flight reviews and how to integrate simulators in training programs.

“This three-day conference sponsored by Redbird has become the industry’s ‘must-attend’ event of the year,” said SAFE Chair David St. George. “Speakers last year included FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, Joe Brown of Hartzell Propeller and John and Martha King.”

Is The New ACS “Slow Flight” Slow Enough? Please Weigh In

An FAA change made in the Airman Certification Standards (ACS) in the way ‘slow flight’ should be performed is causing much controversy within the flight training industry. The issue is whether new pilots will be properly trained, given the new slow flight standard, and how the ACS should be revised to ensure safe, well-trained pilots.

SAFE has been and is continuing to work toward resolving the issue. As a member-centric organization, SAFE is asking members to weigh in on whether the slow flight task in the ACS should be revised. Please take the SAFE Online Slow Flight Survey to register your opinion anonymously.

SAFE’s representative on the ACS Working Group is Donna Wilt. SAFE’s Director Emeritus Doug Stewart and other SAFE members, who represent other organizations, are also part of the working group. Wilt says that while the working group discussed the slow flight maneuver several times, she and Stewart were surprised by the wording in the new ACS when the final version came out.

Since then, SAFE has been working with the FAA and other members of the ACS Working Group to address the slow flight issue. SAFE has requested that the issue be on the agenda for the September 14-15 ACS Working Group meeting, so the group itself can address these concerns.

Where the old Practical Test Standards (PTS) defined slow flight to be at “an airspeed at which any further increase in angle of attack, increase in load factor or reduction in power would result in an immediate stall,” the new ACS calls 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.”

Read more … (Slow Flight)

The FAA made this charge based on an FAA policy that pilots should avoid maneuvers that require the pilot to intentionally ignore a warning, such as the stall warning. “With the exception of performing a thoroughly briefed full-stall maneuver, a pilot should always perform the stall-recovery procedure when a stall warning is activated,” the agency wrote in the August edition of DPE Tips, a publication for FAA Designated Pilot Examiners. The FAA also just published Safety Alert For Operators (SAFO) 16010, that explains the agency’s reasoning for the change in slow flight training.

Noted aviation educator Rod Machado counters “In most training airplanes, eight to 10 knots above the 1G stall speed is in the region of positive command, not reversed command. It’s entirely possible, based on ACS requirements, that students will never be exposed to flying an airplane on the back side of the power curve.”

Stewart, Machado and others argue that the ACS should return to the description in the old PTS requirement because it’s impossible to teach new pilots the ‘feel’ and control of an airplane near stall without activating the stall warning horn.

As SAFE works through the process to resolve the question of the ACS requirement for slow flight, Wilt urges SAFE members to participate in the SAFE Online Slow Flight Survey.

SAFE Member Input Helped Shape Response to NPRM

SAFE’s August 10 response to the FAA’s proposal for rule changes affecting flight instructors largely reflected SAFE member opinions, based on response gathered at the SAFE booth at AirVenture in Oshkosh in late July. SAFE’s response was written by the organization’s Government Affairs Committee, made up of members Donna Wilt, Doug Stewart, Tim Busch and Mike Coligny.

While FAA NPRM-2016-6142-0001 had numerous proposed changes, the most significant were:

* Changing the definition of a technically advanced aircraft (TAA) to an aircraft with an advanced avionics system including a PFD, MFD and an integrated two axis autopilot;
* Providing the option of a TAA to meet the 10 hours of instruction and practice currently done in a complex airplane for a single-engine commercial pilot certificate;
* Substantially reducing the requirements for instrument recency in an aviation training device, including allowing six months between recurrency sessions instead of the now-required two months;
* Eliminating the need for an instructor to provide oversight during recency practice using a simulator or ATD;
* Allowing sport pilot instructors to provide instrument instruction required for sport pilot certificate.

In the response, SAFE recommended that the use of a TAA instead of a complex aircraft be allowed provided the FAA requires commercial pilots to log at least 10 hours of PIC time in a complex aircraft prior to using such an aircraft for commercial purposes or giving flight instruction.

The FAA’s comment period on the NPRM closed August 10.

Read more… (SAFE NPRM Response)

The full text of SAFE’s official response to the FAA is reprinted here.

The Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE) submits the following comments on Docket No. FAA–2016–10168, “Regulatory Relief: Aviation Training Devices; Pilot Certification, Training, and Pilot Schools; and Other Provisions”. SAFE is a member-centric, professional organization for aviation educators. SAFE facilitates the professional development of aviation educators, seeks improved learning materials for all aviation students, and seeks a safer aviation environment. This is a compilation of comments from SAFE members.

Provisions: various: SAFE concurs the proposed change of wording to ‘‘full flight simulator’’, “flight training device” and the addition of “aviation training device” in all the places it is proposed.

Provision 2. Amend § 61.1(b) as follows: ? a. Add a new definition of ‘‘aviation training device’’. ? b. Revise the definition of ‘‘pilot time;’’ and, ? c. Add new definition of ‘‘technically advanced airplane’’.

Response: Concurs with Provision 2.

Provision 5 g. Amend § 61.51 Add paragraph (g)(5);as follows: (5) A person may use time in a full flight simulator, flight training device, or aviation training device for satisfying instrument recency experience requirements provided a logbook or training record is maintained to specify the approved training device, time, and the content.

Response to Provision 5.g. SAFE concurs with provision 5.g.

Discussion: Simulators and training devices are proven tools for staying proficient, and are under-utilized in general aviation. With this provision, pilots are more likely to use an ATD and be a more proficient pilot. Pilots are trusted to properly log instrument recency in an aircraft – they should also be trusted to do so in an ATD or other device. With today’s devices you do not need an instructor to make sure you are safe. If a pilot does not have to coordinate with an instructor, they will be more likely to use an ATD to maintain their skills. Members have expressed the potential loss of revenue by instructors if this proposal goes through. This should not drive the regulation. Simulator owners may require an instructor when pilots rent an ATD or other device regardless of this regulation. While pilots should be encouraged to hire an instructor in the ATD or other device in order to enrichen the experience, this should not drive the regulation. Five SAFE members provided a response to this proposal. Three agreed or strongly agreed, and two disagreed with this proposal.

Provision 6: Add § 61.57 (c)(2) as follows: § 61.57 Recent flight experience: Pilot in command. * * * * * (c) * * * (2) Use of a full flight simulator, flight training device, or aviation training device for maintaining instrument experience. A pilot may accomplish the requirements in paragraph (c)(1) of this section in an approved full flight simulator, flight training device, or aviation training device provided the device represents the category of aircraft for the instrument rating privileges to be maintained and the pilot performs the tasks and iterations in simulated instrument conditions.

Response SAFE conditionally concurs with Provision 6, provided it be clear that the requirements in paragraph (c)(1) can be met by combining recent experience in any combination of aircraft, FSS, FTD, or ATD.

Discussion SAFE strongly concurs with having recent flight experience requirements the same across platforms – aircraft, FFS, FTD, and ATD. By having the requirement, the same across platforms, it would be possible to meet the requirements by having a combination aircraft or other platforms. For example, it should be clear that a pilot could meet the recency requirement by having six hours of instrument time in an aircraft and six approaches in an ATD.

Provision 7: Revise § 61.99 to read as follows: (b) The holder of a sport pilot certificate may credit 10 hours of flight training received from a flight instructor with a sport pilot rating toward the training requirements of this section provided the flight training is accomplished in the same category and class of aircraft as the recreational pilot certificate rating sought.

Response: See Provision 8

Provision 8: In § 61.109, amend paragraph (k) to add paragraph (l) to read as follows: § 61.109 Aeronautical experience. * * * * * (l) Permitted credit for flight training received from a flight instructor with a sport pilot rating. The holder of a sport pilot certificate may credit flight training received from a flight instructor with a sport pilot rating as follows: (1) For a private pilot certificate with an airplane category single engine class rating or private pilot certificate with a rotorcraft category gyroplane class rating, a person may credit 10 hours of flight training received from a flight instructor provided the flight training is accomplished in the same category and class of aircraft for the rating sought. (2) For a private pilot certificate with a lighter-than-air category airship class rating, a pilot may credit 12.5 hours of flight training received from a flight instructor with a sport pilot rating provided that training was accomplished in an airship. (3) For a private pilot certificate with a lighter-than-air category balloon class rating, a pilot may credit 5 hours of flight training including 3 training flights received from a flight instructor with a sport pilot rating provided that.

Response: SAFE concurs with both Provision 7 and Provision 8 to allow credit for some training received with a light sport instructor.

Discussion: Light Sport, Recreational, and Private have several similar areas of operation that must be performed to identical proficiency standards. Pilot certification under Part 61 is based on demonstrated performance. If a Sport Pilot meets the required performance standards, the pilot should not have to engage in additional training solely because the instructor was a Subpart K instead of a Subpart H instructor.

Provision 9: Revise § 61.129 paragraphs (a)(3)(ii) and (b)(3)(ii), regarding training in a complex aircraft, to read as follows: § 61.129 Aeronautical experience. (a) * * *(3) * * *(ii) 10 hours of training in a complex airplane, a turbine-powered airplane, or a technically advanced airplane (TAA); or for an applicant seeking a single-engine seaplane rating, 10 hours of training in a seaplane that has flaps and a controllable pitch propeller; (b) * * *(3) * * *(ii) 10 hours of training in a multiengine complex or turbine powered airplane; or for an applicant seeking a multiengine seaplane rating, 10 hours of training in a multiengine seaplane that has flaps and a controllable pitch propeller.

Response: SAFE conditionally concurs with Proposal 9. If this proposal is enacted, then SAFE recommends: ? 61.195 be amended such that: o a flight instructor be required to have at least 10 hours of PIC in a complex aircraft in order to give instruction in a complex aircraft, o a flight instructor be required to have at least 10 hours of PIC in a technically advanced aircraft in order to give instruction in a TAA. ? That a commercial pilot have a restriction that they must have at least 10 hours of PIC in a complex aircraft in order to exercise commercial privileges in a complex aircraft.

Discussion: As proposed, a pilot could obtain a commercial pilot certificate with no experience with a constant speed propeller engine and/or no experience with retractable landing gear. This leads to two issues. First, a commercial pilot could engage in commercial operations in a complex aircraft with no more than the time and experience required to obtain a complex endorsement. Second, as a result of this change, a pilot could obtain a single-engine flight instructor certificate with no experience with a constant speed propeller engine and/or no experience with retractable landing gear. Finally, this instructor could then provide training in a complex aircraft by simply getting a complex endorsement. The experience obtained in getting a complex endorsement is not sufficient to then teach in a complex aircraft. Seven SAFE members provided a response to this proposal. Five agreed or strongly agreed with the proposed change, one was neutral, and one disagreed. One SAFE Member commented: “The complex and TAA should be CFI endorsements. The applicants should not be required to bring the aircraft to the check ride. A higher minimum time in the complex and TAA should be accomplished prior to teaching in complex or TAA”

Provision 12: In § 61.195, revise paragraphs (b) and (c) to read as follows: (b) Aircraft Ratings. Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, a flight instructor may not conduct flight training in any aircraft for which the flight instructor does not hold: (1) A flight instructor certificate with the applicable category and class rating; and (2) A pilot certificate with a type rating, if appropriate. (c) Instrument Rating. A flight instructor may conduct instrument training for the issuance of an instrument rating, a type rating not limited to VFR, or the instrument training required for commercial pilot and airline transport pilot certificates if the flight instructor holds an instrument rating appropriate to the aircraft used for the instrument training on his or her flight instructor certificate, and: (1) Meets the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section; or (2) Holds a commercial pilot certificate or airline transport pilot certificate with the appropriate category and class ratings for the aircraft in which the instrument training is provided if the pilot receiving instrument training holds a pilot certificate with category and class ratings appropriate to the aircraft in which the instrument training is being provided.

Response: SAFE concurs with Proposal 12.

Provision 14. In § 61.199, add paragraphs (a)(3), (c) and (d) to provide an additional method for recent military instructors with an expired FAA CFI to reinstate their certificate.

Response: SAFE concurs with Proposal 14.

Provision 15: Add a new regulation to conditionally allow a sport pilot instructor to provide instrument instruction required for sport pilot certificate. New § 61.412 to read as follows: To provide flight training on control and maneuvering an aircraft solely by reference to the instruments for the purpose of issuing a solo cross-country endorsement to a sport pilot applicant under § 61.93(e)(12), a sport pilot instructor must: (a) Hold an endorsement under § 61.327; (b) Receive and log a minimum of 1 hour of ground training and 3 hours of flight training from an authorized instructor in an airplane with a Vh greater than 87 knots CAS or in a full flight simulator or flight training device that replicates an airplane with a Vh greater than 87 knots CAS; and (c) Receive a one-time endorsement in the sport pilot instructor’s logbook from an instructor authorized under subpart H of this part who certifies that the person is proficient in providing training on control and maneuvering solely by reference to the instruments in an airplane with a Vh greater than 87 knots CAS. This flight training must include straight and level flight, turns, descents, climbs, use of radio aids, and ATC directives.

Response: SAFE does not concur with Proposal 15 as currently written.

Discussion: SAFE agrees with the concept of a “one-time endorsement in the sport pilot instructor’s logbook” to certify “that the person is proficient in providing training on control and maneuvering solely by reference to the instruments in an airplane with a Vh greater than 87 knots CAS.” However, SAFE’s opinion is that the minimum training specified is not sufficient to for a sport-pilot instructor to have the depth of knowledge and experiences to have the skills an instructor needs when providing instrument instruction required for the § 61.93(e)(12). SAFE suggests that in order for a sport-pilot instructor to receive the endorsement, the sport-pilot instructor should, at a minimum be able to: ? perform and teach all the Tasks in the Private Pilot ACS Area VIII Basic Instrument Maneuvers. ? simulate a controller in order for the student to learn to contact, request and follow ATC services available to VFR pilots. ? understand, manage, and mitigate the risks of of acting as a safety pilot while simultaneously giving flight instruction o teaching attitude instrument flying.

It is not clear what “use of radio aids and ATC directives” means and what should be covered to meet this endorsement. SAFE suggests that the Private Pilot ACS Area VIII, Task F, Radio Communications, Navigation Systems/Facilities, and Radar Services be used to more clearly define what is expected.
It is not clear what type of instructor would be “authorized” under subpart H. Would this be any flight instructor that meets category and class, an instrument flight instructor, or an instructor who meets the requirements to provide instructor for the initial flight instructor certificate? SAFE believes this training be provided by an instructor with substantial experience teaching. Therefore, SAFE suggests that an instructor who meets the requirements to provide instructor for the initial flight instructor certificate should provide the instruction required for this endorsement.

SAFE members were split on agreeing with this proposal. One SAFE Member commented: “Sport pilot instructors with no commercial or instrument ratings should not be doing instrument instruction period!”

Provision: 21. In § 91.109, Flight instruction; Simulated instrument flight and certain flight tests. Revise paragraph (c)(1) to read as follows: (c) * * * (1) The other control seat is occupied by a safety pilot who possesses at least: (i) A private pilot certificate with category and class ratings appropriate to the aircraft being flown; or (ii) For purposes of providing training for a solo cross-country endorsement under § 61.93 of this chapter, a flight instructor certificate with an appropriate sport pilot rating and an endorsement under § 61.412 of this chapter.

Response: SAFE conditionally concurs with Proposal 21 provided the new 61.412 is created.

Discussion: If 61.412 is not created, then there is no need for this revision.

Proposal 31. In § 141.5, revise paragraph (d) to read as follows: § 141.5 Requirements for a pilot school certificate. * * * * * (d) Has established a pass rate of 80 percent or higher on the first attempt for all: (1) Knowledge tests leading to a certificate or rating, (2) Practical tests leading to a certificate or rating, (3) End-of-course tests for an approved training course specified in appendix K of this part; and (4) End-of-course tests for special curricula courses approved under § 141.57 of this part.

Response: SAFE concurs with Proposal 31. However, we request the wording be examined to be sure it is worded so the 80 percent is computed properly as the change of wording may have unintended consequences.

Discussion: The old wording of 141.5 (d) says: “(d) Has established a pass rate of 80 percent or higher on the first attempt for all knowledge tests leading to a certificate or rating, practical tests leading to a certificate or rating, or end-of-course tests for an approved training course specified in appendix K of this part.” Grammatically, the “all” in “all knowledge tests leading to a certificate or rating” can be taken to only apply to knowledge tests, while the “or” means each item is considered separately. In the proposed wording, not only has paragraph (4) been added to the list, but the “all” clause has been rewritten and the “or” in the last clause has been changed to “and”. This substantially changes the meaning and how the pass rate should be calculated.

Substituting a technologically advanced aircraft (TAA) for a complex aircraft for commercial pilot training earned approval from nearly three-quarters of the SAFE members who participated in a survey on FAA NPRM-2016-6142-0001 at the SAFE booth at AirVenture 2016.

SAFE sponsored the survey at AirVenture to get member input on the NPRM, which proposes substantial changes affecting flight training and will include the results as part of the organization’s official comments to the FAA.

2016 AOPA Flight Training Poll Closes With Record Sample Size

More than 11,000 pilots participated in the 2016 AOPA Flight Training poll, a record for any survey of flight training providers. The poll closed at noon on August 22.

SAFE supported the AOPA outreach effort, promoting the poll in eNews and elsewhere and providing a polling station for SAFE members at this year’s EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh in late July. The poll was designed to measure the performance of flight instructors and schools in four categories: educational quality, customer focus, community, and information sharing.

According to Chris Moser, AOPA Senior Manager for Flight Training Initiatives, analysis of the data will start soon and is expected to be completed by the beginning of October. “We’ll be crunching the data and doing the selection process for the Best and Outstanding level winners during September,” said Moser.

Read more… (AOPA Excellence Poll)

AOPA Communications Director Joe Kildea added that when the winners are announced, AOPA will also be issuing “report cards” to flight schools to help make the feedback most constructive for the flight training providers. All schools who receive at least five qualifying poll-taker students will receive the report.

“This wasn’t just a popularity contest,” said David St. George, SAFE Chair. “The team at AOPA has gone to great lengths to scientifically calibrate the survey and weigh the results to defeat attempts to “game” the system. They have gathered real data on what makes CFIs and flight schools the top performers. Their analysis of the data will provide some of the most useful information ever for serious aviation providers.” A deeper look into factors that go into instructional excellence are in the SAFE Blog.

SAFE expects to report both the winners and the results of the data analysis in the November issue of eNews.

SAFE Asks Members to Inform New Operators on sUAS Rules

SAFE is asking its members to help aspiring commercial drone operators with current information on proper use of the devices to minimize hazard to aircraft.

“The new FAR Part 107 gives great freedom for aspiring unmanned aviators,” said David St. George, SAFE Chair, “but the peril will be more activity in the airspace and virtually undetectable conflicts for larger aircraft.” He pointed out that CFIs are more likely than most aviators to be exposed to low-altitude hazards due to requirements for teaching turns about a point, S turns across a road, takeoffs and landings and other low-altitude maneuvers.

St. George said that a short FAA information sheet summarizing the information for commercial drone operators is available free from the FAA, and that aviation attorney Jonathan Rupprecht of Palm Beach, Florida has a well-organized drone web site that includes a free FAR Part 107 test study guide. A guide for pilots operating near drones is available free from SecureAV, where the organization also has a PDF poster warning pilots of the growing drone population.

One of the new issues in drone regulation is that while commercial drone operators are restricted within five miles of a towered airport, there are NO limitations for drone operators around non-towered airports, which make up the bulk of airports where flight training takes place.

Read more… (sUAS Rules)

The new FAR Part 107 requires certificated pilots to pass an online test, found on the FAA Safety web site, Pilots then complete an IACRA application and meet with a Designated Pilot Examiner to have the UAS rating added to their current pilot certificate.

The new rules also open the door for non-pilots to earn a ‘remote pilot certificate’ allowing them to fly the devices. Requirements for an ‘ab initio sUAS pilot’ certificate include a minimum age of 16, taking a more comprehensive knowledge test at an FAA-approved testing center, then completing the IACRA application and meeting with a DPE, a process similar to applying for a Part 61 student pilot certificate.

“We’re hoping SAFE members will be able to spread the word about requirements for legal and safe operation of drones in the national airspace system, at least by pointing aspiring commercial drone operators to the correct information,” said St. George. “It’ll be a public service benefiting everyone, particularly CFIs and students who must operate at low altitudes in training.”

A SAFE Special Interest Group_(SIG) for CFIs and other pilots interested in flying drones is available on the SAFE website. In addition to stimulating discussion on the subject, the site offers SAFE members a UAV pilot educational package telling pilots where drones may be flown in U.S. airspace and the legal complications involved.

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!