Flight Instructors Model Code of Conduct Now Available

by Rich Stowell (Lifetime Member) on April 19, 2011

Barry Schiff: “an outstanding document that belongs in every instructor’s flight kit”

The Flight Instructors Model Code of Conduct (FIMCC) was released on April 18, 2011 by the project’s Permanent Editorial Board. Developed by a team of aviation professionals and drawing upon decades of research and experience, the Code recommends operating practices designed to improve the quality of flight instruction and the safety of flight training operations.

Support for the FIMCC has been widespread. “It is an outstanding document that belongs in every instructor’s flight kit,” said Barry Schiff, retired airline captain and regular columnist for AOPA Pilot magazine. His colleague Rod Machado added “If a flight instructor follows even a few of these principles, he or she will be a much better person for it. Those that use the model code of conduct to help align their moral compass will make significant contributions to our industry.” And the AOPA Air Safety Institute’s Director of Safety and Chief Flight Instructor, JJ Greenway, commented “Very nicely done! I think if you can get this widely distributed into the aviation education community and get CFIs to heed the advice, it would go a long way toward improving the overall flight instruction experience, particularly for primary students who are just starting out and gaining their first impression of general aviation.”

A professional code can help users achieve new levels of proficiency, and the FIMCC is just such a tool, a set of guidelines that is adaptable to each flight training organization and flight instructor. The FIMCC:

  • promotes flight and ground instructor safety, professionalism, and instructor contributions to the aviation community and society at large,
  • encourages the development and adoption of good judgment, ethical behavior, and personal responsibility,
  • supports improved communications between instructors, students, regulators, and others in the aviation industry, and
  • promotes recognition of instruction as a highly respected and rewarding profession.

The FIMCC is designed for flight instructors at all levels–from light sport to instrument, multiengine; at large flight schools or as independent operators. Most pilots look to flight instructors as experts. The manner in which instructors teach and the examples they set impact the safety culture of aviation. The Code of Conduct will help instructors serve as role models for the entire aviation community.

The Code of Conduct received extensive industry review and presents a vision of flight training excellence within its seven sections: (1) General Responsibilities of Instructors; (2) Students, Passengers, and People on the Surface; (3) Training and Proficiency; (4) Security; (5) Environmental Issues; (6) Use of Technology; and (7) Advancement and Promotion of Aviation Instruction. The Code of Conduct is a living document and will be periodically updated to reflect changes in standards, practice, and the aviation environment.

The Flight Instructors Model Code of Conduct is the latest in a family of similar codes including the Aviation Maintenance Technicians Model Code of Conduct, the Aviators Model Code of Conduct, the Glider Aviators Model Code of Conduct, the Light Sport Aviators Model Code of Conduct, the Seaplane Pilots Model Code of Conduct, and the Student Pilots Model Code of Conduct. Each is available as a free public service along with supporting materials at <www.secureav.com>.

The Permanent Editorial Board is presented at <www.secureav.com/PEB.pdf>. For more information about the Code of Conduct, contact <PEB@secureav.com>.

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