Alan Davis

by Alan Davis on October 14, 2011

SAFE #: S0000014

Hometown: Shepherdsville, KY United States

Home Airport: KLOU – Bowman Field

Occupation: Director of Safety, Training, & Quality Control (Retired)

Education: BS, MA, MBA

Pilot Certificates: CASEMELIASES, CFIAIMEI Gold Seal, AGI/IGI, Flight Engineer Turbojet

Airplanes Flying/Flown: Piper — Cherokee/Arrow/Six/Saratoga, Comanche, Twin Comanche; Cessna — 150/152, 172, 175, 182, 310, 337, 337T, 402; Beechcraft — Bonanza, Duchess, Baron, D-18; Aeronca — 7AC, 7EC, 7FC Tri-Traveler; Boeing — 707, 727

Educational Specialty: I have been a teacher most all of my life. I enjoy seminar/classroom teaching as well as flight training. I especially enjoy working with students needing “finesse” training, refresher training, and new and aspiring CFIs.

Q & A

What drew you to aviation?: A fellow by the name of “Whitey”, who lived down the block from me when I was a kid. He was rebuilding an airplane in his garage and I am sure I bugged the heck out of him. One day he asked if I would like to go for an airplane ride, which we did after he cleared it with my parents. Little did I know that that two seat Luscombe had three occupants — Whitey (and he DID have white hair AND a white scarf), me, and the “Aviation Bug” which BIT me major big time and never let go!

How long have you been involved in aviation education?: I became a CFI in 1968 — so 43 years now. Even when I was not directly involved in aviation education for my job, I remained active as an avocation.

What’s your favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: Meeting the people and helping them to attain their aviation goals. This is especially true when I work with existing pilots on finesse work and with new CFIs to add to their knowledge.

What’s your least favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: Being beaten to death in a too small airplane in hot, bumpy weather.

Do you have a memorable aviation experience you’d like to share?: I have so many of them over the years that trying to pick one is almost impossible. But get me going in conversation and … look out!

Why did you join SAFE?: I had strong concerns about the direction and management of the association to which I belonged at the time, and felt that this was a professionalism step that was needed and not being addressed. I’m proud to have been one of the founding members of SAFE and I am proud to serve it currently as a Board Member. I think SAFE, in its short existence, has already proven its worth!

What would you like to see change in aviation?: I would like to see the “dumbing down” of aviation reversed. I may sound very old in saying this, but I see fundamentals and fundamental knowledge lacking in many with whom I work and talk.

Any suggestions on how the above might be accomplished?: We need a professional attitude and good ways to explain WHY the fundamentals are so very important. AND the instructors/educators need to know that material cold so that they can truly explain it well to their students. Finally we need to DEMAND that students learn them so that they will know them readily when needed. Minimum standards, passing at minimum standards = less than minimum standards shortly thereafter – in ALL parts of aviation.

Any accomplishments in, or noteworthy contributions to aviation and/or aviation education you’d like to mention?: Gold Seal, Master CFI (one of the originals) for 10+ years, Master CFI — Emeritus (First), Two times in “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers” while working at the College/University Level (ERAU Prescott & Cochise College); FAASTeam Rep of the Year DEN FSDO/Northwest Mountain Region.

Who are your role models in aviation?: All GOOD pilots. I learn from all of them, many of whom have a lot to teach. Jimmy Doolittle, all the astronauts, Lindberg, Bach, how many do you want me to name? Michael Harmon McCardell — the most professional flight instructor I have ever met and to whom I owe more gratitude than I could ever give. May he reside peacefully “out West.” Robert Brown, who taught me how to land the Beech D-18. Chesley R Sullenberger, not only for his excellent airmanship, but also the professional and civil way in which he has handled all that has come since. He has done us all proud – and is a credit and example to us all. The many other aviation professionals who have been willing to put up with me through the years and share their knowledge and examples.

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