Kurt Kleiner

by Kurt Kleiner on July 8, 2018

SAFE #: S0003428

Hometown: Gresham OR, United States

Home Airport: 7S3

Occupation: Aviation Manager, Bureau of Land Management

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. (working on MEI)

Educational Specialty: Risk Management and Airspace. short field operations.

Q & A

What drew you to aviation?: Childhood dream and comfort in high places. Began flying airplanes after several active years of technical rock and ice climbing, sport skydiving, and instructing paragliding.

How long have you been involved in aviation education?: Independently owned and operated a paragliding school between 1987 and 1991 in Jackson, WY.
I have been an Airplane CFI only since 2006, but average 250-300 hours a year flying weekends and occasional weekday evenings outside of a regular full time career job as a government Aviation Manager. I have instructed Aviation Safety courses for US Dept. of Interior and USFS employees since 1988 (including Airspace, aviation planning, risk management, CRM, human factors, and policy.)

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, operations at short grass airstrips, and spin training.

What's your least favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: Turning students away because my schedule and workload are maxed out.

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 wind.

Why did you join SAFE?: To increase networking opportunities with other professional instructors
and because of the influence this small organization has already had on significant national efforts such as the development of the ACS.

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 on teaching basic stick and rudder skills after the recent increases in emphasis on automation. I believe our industry is turning out many great "airborne automation system managers" and not as many "pilots."

Any suggestions on how the above might be accomplished?: It would be magnificent if it became a requirement to acquire a tail-wheel endorsement and some level of glider experience (if not the rating) before a commercial pilot is eligible to become a CFI. I realize this will probably never be introduced or considered by the FAA, and would be unacceptable in the industry where we already have a shortage of CFIs.

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 Interagency Standards for Airspace Coordination which is a USFS and BLM Fire Aircraft Dispatcher's guide to thoroughly understanding Airspace, how to deconflict Airspace, and how to build 91.137 (a.) (2.) TFRs for wildfires.

Who are your role models in aviation?: Mary Schu, Rich Stowell, Bob Hoover, Max Trescott

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