Kurt Kleiner

by Kurt Kleiner on March 24, 2020

SAFE #: S0003428

Hometown: Victor MT, United States

Home Airport: 32S, MSO

Occupation: retired BLM Aviation Mgr. Currently part-time CFI.

Education: BS Degree, U of Montana. Aviation Safety Certificate from USC (2002)

Pilot Certificates: Commercial ASEL, ASES, AMEL, Glider

Airplanes Flying/Flown: Light singles including tailwheel, sailplanes, float planes.

Educational Specialty: Flight instruction, Risk Management and Airspace. backcountry operations.

Q & A

What drew you to aviation?: Began flying airplanes after several active years of technical rock and ice climbing, sport skydiving, and paragliding.

How long have you been involved in aviation education?: Owned/operated a paragliding school from 1987 to '91 in Jackson, WY.
Airplane CFI since 2006. As a career Aviation Manager for BLM, I instructed a variety of Aviation Safety courses for US Dept. of Interior and USFS employees from 1990-2019. Currently very active as a FAASTeam Rep. giving presentations for WINGS credit in Missoula, MT.

What's your favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: Watching students improve and succeed. Helping pilots fly beyond their comfort zone and gain confidence with operations such as crosswind landings, landings on short grass airstrips, and spin training.

What's your least favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: Turning students away when my schedule and workload are maxed out. Now that I am retired, this should no longer be an issue.

Do you have a memorable aviation experience you'd like to share?: There are too many to list. However, I have really found it rewarding to apply soaring skills to airplane flight whenever an opportunity is presented, such as occasionally gaining significant altitude on mountain wave or in strong thermals in an airplane with the throttle at idle, or ridge soaring in high winds.

Why did you join SAFE?: To increase networking opportunities with other professional instructors
and because SAFE has a significant positive influence on training the next generation of professional pilots and instructors. I am also very impressed and supportive of the national efforts that SAFE is involved in working with the FAA and industry. In my own small way, I strive to be a positive contributor to this commendable and collective effort.

What would you like to see change in aviation?: I would like to see a decline in the rate and occurrence of human-factors-related accidents. I would also like to see a renewed emphasis among more CFIs on basic stick and rudder skills in the effort to reduce LOC accidents.

Any suggestions on how the above might be accomplished?: Seeking out upset recovery training, aerobatic training, earning a tail-wheel endorsement, and acquiring some glider experience (if not the rating) would all be extremely helpful for any pilot looking to improve their stick and rudder skills. I also believe the overall level of quality instruction would increase if every CFI accomplished these goals.

Any accomplishments in, or noteworthy contributions to aviation and/or aviation education you'd like to mention?: In 2017, I led a committee to edit and rewrite the NWCG PMS 520 – 'Interagency Standards for Airspace Coordination" which is a document for government land management agencies (USFS and DOI) that assists flight crews and air crews, dispatchers, and fire/aviation managers to thoroughly understanding Airspace, deconfliction procedures, and Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR's).

Who are your role models in aviation?: Mary Schu, Rich Stowell, Bob Hoover, and many more.

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