Thomas Benenson

by Thomas Benenson on February 29, 2012

Thomas Benenson

Thomas Benenson

SAFE #: S0000010

Hometown: Columbiaville NY, United States

Home Airport: 1B1

Occupation: Writer/journalist

Education: BS (Beloit) MA Drama (UNC)

Pilot Certificates: SE, Comm, ME, CFII, GI, AGI, Glider

Airplanes Flying/Flown: C150, C172, C177RG, KA300, etc.

Q & A

What drew you to aviation?: The joy and wonder of being able to slip the surly bonds of earth!

How long have you been involved in aviation education?: More than 30 years

What's your favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: Seeing the moment of understanding when a student understands a concept or masters a procedure.

What's your least favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: Dealing with students who aren’t willing to prepare for lessons or don’t show up on time for lessons.

Do you have a memorable aviation experience you'd like to share?: Flying the New York Corridor at midnight. Riding in an F-14 with Dale Snodgrass during a performance at Oceana Naval Air Station.

Why did you join SAFE?: In order to be able to better serve my students. To improve the quality of aviation education and make learning to fly and flying safer.

What would you like to see change in aviation?: A better–and more realistic–understanding of the risks inherent in aviation….and ways to mitigate them.

Any suggestions on how the above might be accomplished?: Scenario training that presents various situations that require the student to consider the options available and make a decision whether to continue the flight or make a precautionary landing.

An increased effort by instructors to prepare their students for the need to continue their education–do post-graduate work–and to assess the risks realistically.

Any accomplishments in, or noteworthy contributions to aviation and/or aviation education you'd like to mention?: For more than 20 years I wrote for Flying magazine, including a monthly column, "Airwork" that addressed training issues. 15 years with Aviation International News writing the "accident" column.
Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Business Aviation Association.

Who are your role models in aviation?: Bob Hoover, Bessie Coleman, Patty Wagstaff, Wiley Post, Max Conrad, Beryl Markam, Ernest Gann

Anything else you'd like to add?: I've proudly served on the SAFE Board of Directors since its inception.

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