Paul Gretschel

by Paul Gretschel on September 2, 2013

Paul Gretschel

Paul Gretschel

SAFE #: S0000073


Hometown: Coram NY, United States

Home Airport: KISP/KFRG

Occupation: FAA Inspector


Airplanes Flying/Flown: ASEL/AMEL PISTON, KING AIR GTI


Q & A

What drew you to aviation?: While working as a hairdresser in the 1970's I had a number of male clients that were aircraft owners. They sparked my interest. I took a demo flight with a local Cessna Pilot Center and was hooked. Within four years, i had attained my initial CFI.

How long have you been involved in aviation education?: I earned my initial CFI in 1986. I worked part-time for a flight school at ISP from 1986-2010. I have worked for Beechcraft Pilot Proficiency Program and American Bonanza Society for over ten years. I belong to the NYC Masters Group, we meet quarterly. I am a 5 time Master Instructor. I was a FAASTeam Rep prior to my employment with the Farmingdale FSDO. I speak monthly at a local FIRC at Long Island MacArthur (ISP) Airport.

What's your favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: My favorite part is when I get a non-pilot motivated to learn to fly and a few short years later, he/she is now a airplane owner and an active pilot.

What's your least favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: My least favorite part of being a CFI is speaking to older pilots to let them know that they should be considering giving up their flying. At least giving up flying without a suitable, qualified co-pilot.

Do you have a memorable aviation experience you'd like to share?: ALL my aviation experiences are memorable. Too many to recollect here. One that comes to mind was a successful off-airport landing at Myrtle Beach at night in a Cessna 172.

Why did you join SAFE?: I joined out of respect for Doug Stewart and the Hills. I have always respected their commitment to aviation.

What would you like to see change in aviation?: Many things. I am in favor of doing away with the third class medical for certain aircraft like the Cessna 172 when exercising privieges of a private pilot. I would prefer a way to monitor CFI's a little closer. There are many instructors who have lost touch with their responsibilities to the FAA and the students.

Any suggestions on how the above might be accomplished?: Let's push through the regulation to loosen up third class medical requirements on low horse power, simple piston engine aircraft. Some method of industry self-monitoring of all CFI's. The current system whereby we require renewal every two years seems to have too many loopholes. Less than competent instructors are slipping through the cracks.

Who are your role models in aviation?: Instructors and DPE's that have been "in the trenches" for many years helping GA, many without getting the recognition that they deserve.

Anything else you'd like to add?: I want to thank SAFE for their effort in raising the level of aviaition education.

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