Gregory Woo

by Gregory Woo on March 12, 2022

SAFE #: S0008155


Hometown: Danvers MA, United States

Home Airport: KBVY

Occupation: Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot (CSIP)

Education: Ph.D. in Aviation Safety and Human Factors – Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Pilot Certificates: ATP-Multi-Engine Land, Commercial-Single-Engine Land & Sea, CFII/MEI, Remote Pilot (sUAS)

Airplanes Flying/Flown: Cirrus SR20, SR22, SR22T

Educational Specialty: Cirrus Aircraft Perspective+ (also qualified for Avidyne and pre-G2 aircraft)

Q & A

What drew you to aviation?: Ever since I was a kid in grade school, I've always loved the ideas of freedom, technical mastery, and lifestyle enablement that come with the ability to safely, proficiently, and elegantly operate an advanced aircraft. I spent hours reading and dreaming about flying airplanes and helicopters.

How long have you been involved in aviation education?: I've been a flight instructor since 2005 and have been engaged with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University students since 2010 – most recently helping other students with their advanced research ideas and/or Ph.D. dissertations. Most of my education-related time is spent as a flight instructor however – helping Cirrus students learn how to safely and professionally fly Cirrus aircraft.

What's your favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: My favorite wins in aviation education are helping students become safer pilots by overcoming operational, learning, or skill-related hurdles so they master the knowledge, skills, and techniques needed to consistently demonstrate proficient operation and sound judgement.

Actually, the best part is the smile and excitement that radiates from them when they achieve proficiency!

What's your least favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: Administrative rework due to record-keeping software bugs and failures – but that isn't constrained to aviation education.

Do you have a memorable aviation experience you'd like to share?: Earning my Ph.D. in Aviation (Safety and Human Factors) from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is my most memorable and intense aviation experience by far. It was a demanding seven-year journey that connected me with amazing experts from all areas of the aviation industry who I still learn from and interact with. Looking back, I don't know how I completed that endeavor successfully but that outstanding program is the source of numerous memories of learning, collaboration, and achievements that I will never forget.

Why did you join SAFE?: I joined SAFE to be a part of this special group of professionals committed to refining and driving continuous improvement and evolution in aviation and flight education. The networking potential and the professional support resources are a huge draw for me.

What would you like to see change in aviation?: Aviation will become an increasingly important component and factor in EVERYONE's life as technology and social norms evolve. This is true whether or not they are involved with flight operations.

I would like to see aviation education become more relevant and accessible to everyone – with an emphasis on operational safety and human factors-driven safety considerations.

Any suggestions on how the above might be accomplished?: Passionate outreach and communication to all members of our communities on topics related to:
– aviation benefits and impacts on our lives,
– operational safety in aviation (for both traditional aircraft and drones),
– understanding human factors and how it impacts aviation operations and safety

Any accomplishments in, or noteworthy contributions to aviation and/or aviation education you'd like to mention?: – Ph.D. dissertation on "Visual Detection of Small Unmanned Aircraft: Modeling the Limits of Human Pilots (2017)"
– FAA Safety Team Representative
– Achieving Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot (CSIP) designation
– General Chair – Integrated Communications, Navigation, and Surveillance (ICNS) Conference (2020 and 2021) engaging over 1200 people from more than 20 countries around the world

Who are your role models in aviation?: The Honorable Robert Sumwalt, retired chair of the NTSB,
Doug Stewart,
Rob Haig,
Ralph Amero,
Jack Keenan,
Dr. Mica Endsley

Anything else you'd like to add?: I'm energized by those who share their passion for aviation, aviation education, and aviation safety by inspiring others (especially school-aged youth and young adults) to respect, engage-in, innovate, and embrace aviation as a means of enhancing everyone's lives. Spread the passion!

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