SAFE’s Pilot Proficiency Project a Success

by Rich Stowell (Lifetime Member) on August 1, 2012

More than 650 Participated during AirVenture

Based on surveys taken of participants, the proof-of-concept Pilot Proficiency Project spearheaded by the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE) during AirVenture was a resounding success. Conceived by SAFE, presented in partnership with Redbird Flight Simulations, and hosted by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), SAFE member-instructors presented a total of fourteen forums to more than 650 attendees, at times to overflow crowds in the limited venue. All 58 simulator training sessions in the Redbird FMX were filled as well, with daily slots booking completely within the first two hours each day, while more than 50 pilots received instruction in Redbird’s Crosswind Trainer. Pilots who participated in the project also qualified for WINGS credit.

Feedback from project participants included comments such as:

I have attended forums here all week and this has been the most educational and dynamic of any of them.

I attended four pilot proficiency program forums and liked them all.

Great presentation! Helps me connect the dots with my flight training.

Excellent knowledge and engaging presentation skills.

SAFE’s Pilot Proficiency Project offers targeted forums as well as simulator training sessions that address key safety of flight topics such as angle of attack awareness, type-specific aircraft issues, glass panels, aeronautical decision making, CFIT, and much more. The simulator sessions are co-developed by SAFE and RedBird educators, and present a variety of challenging scenarios for VFR and IFR pilots alike. Scenarios include high density altitude takeoffs and landings, instrument approaches requiring good decision making and attitude flying skills, and several scenarios that incorporate emergencies requiring solid stick and rudder skills as well as good decision making to achieve successful outcomes.

SAFE is now exploring other venues for the Pilot Proficiency Project. Founded in 2009, SAFE represents nearly 700 of the industry’s top aviation educators, including the majority of Master Instructors as well as numerous local, regional, and national General Aviation Awards winners.

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