Jack Stevens

by Jack Stevens on August 19, 2016

Jack Stevens

Jack Stevens

SAFE #: S0002222

Website: http://moorecountyairport.com

Hometown: West End NC, United States

Home Airport: KSOP

Occupation: Flight Instructor

Pilot Certificates: Airline Transport Pilot – airplane; Commercial – helicopter; Certified Flight Instructor: Instrument – airplane, Single & Multi-engine Land – airplane

Airplanes Flying/Flown: Cirrus, Cessna (SMEL), Beech (SMEL), Piper (SMEL), Mooney, Decathlon

Educational Specialty: Instrument airplane

Q & A

What drew you to aviation?: Looking up as a child and fantasizing as aircraft flew in the skies above Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Meeting Alby Cornell, CFI & FBO owner at Warrington Airport (8N9) and obtaining my Private Pilot Certificate in a PA 22-108 in 1969. Sadly, the airport has long since scummed to stone quarry & homes.

How long have you been involved in aviation education?: My initial CFI training was under the tutelage & mentorship of David Orr, CFI in 1981, flying out of Mt. Sterling Airport (KIOB) in Montgomery County, Kentucky.

What's your favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: I'm passionate about mentoring others in aviation and I keep in close contact with past clients. It is so rewarding to receive a call, an e-mail or text from a past student telling me about a new job, obtaining an additional rating or successfully and safely dealing with an untoward situation.

What's your least favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: 1) The high (~70%) student drop-out rate, which mostly can be attributed to underestimating the commitment and cost or possibly mis-representing the cost & commitment to a spouse or benefactor, or to inadequate Instructor Pilot mentorship or ability. 2) The low proficiency rate. Twenty hours a year(on average) is unacceptable and unsafe.

Do you have a memorable aviation experience you'd like to share?: A family two week cross country trip in 1989 in our Seneca 3, touring Texas, Grand Canyon in Arizona, flying the Grand Canyon to Page Arizona, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park in Utah, over the Great Salt Lake enroute to Jackson Hole Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park.

Why did you join SAFE?: To make a contribution to aviation safety and education. To add opportunities as a mentor to aviators and novice instructor pilots.

What would you like to see change in aviation?: An increase in pilot proficiency. Sadly some pilots show up at Flight Review (frequently because it is required every two years), unprepared, woefully rusty, uninformed relative to current regulations, having forgotten required knowledge items and with a pittance of recent flight experience. Therein, however, an opportunity presents.

Any suggestions on how the above might be accomplished?: Commitment to a defined and disciplined schedule of recurrency training at least every six months. If it's good enough for the pros, general aviation should follow suite. A Flight Review (or alternating Flight Review and Instrument Proficiency Check every six months) is a good initial plan. Encourage participation in the Pilot Proficiency Awards Program (WINGS).

Any accomplishments in, or noteworthy contributions to aviation and/or aviation education you'd like to mention?: Currently sitting on the advisory council for establishing an aviation degree program at Sandhills Community College in Southern Pines, NC, volunteering as a SAFE mentor, serving as an FAASteam representative, instructing clients of all levels and writing a monthly column in the Moore County Airport Customer Newsletter are all rewarding endeavors.

Who are your role models in aviation?: So many! Accomplished as well as neophyte aviators. As instructor pilots we know that there are four stages of learning: Rote, Understanding, Application and Correlation. I contend that the fifth & highest level is Teaching.

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