December 16

SAFE Update 12/16/2009

From the SAFE Chair

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Greetings SAFE Members,

Here we are at the end of the year and in the midst of the Holiday Season. It is a time for rejoicing and giving, a time for reflecting on things achieved during the past year, and a time for thoughts on future growth and plans. For many of us it can also be a hectic time of the year, and thus the pilot’s ability to multi-task becomes a very useful skill. For those of us involved with the evolution of SAFE that skill has been a definite prerequisite.

Heading the list of accomplishments would certainly be the work of Director Donna Wilt. I am thrilled to report that Donna has submitted a proposal to the Wolf Aviation Fund through the Hampton University Department of Aviation, for working with SAFE to develop an aviation instructor mentoring program. A decision from the Wolf Fund is expected in the spring. If her proposal is approved, it would greatly aid SAFE in being able to host a mentoring program that would not only improve the quality of aviation education, it wouldprovide ways for educators in one area of aviation to share knowledge with educators in other areas of aviation. It could also lead to a reduction in student pilot attrition, a reduction in the accident rate, and help to make aviation education a more viable career goal. Where Donna found the time to do this, what with all her other responsibilities leaves me in awe. Kudos to Donna for a job well done!!

Director Alan Davis has been busy as well. As the Chairman of the Library committee he, along with the rest of the committee, areworking on the mechanics necessary to provide protection for contributors and their materialas well as contribution agreements. Theyhope to have something up fairly soon pending that work being done. In the meantime I would like to ask all of you to give some thought as to whether you might have anything to contribute to the library in the way of documents, power point presentations, syllabi, etc. Thus as soon as the committee is ready to accept documents for review, you will be ready to send them. We have the potential within the SAFE membership to put together one of the greatest sources of aviation information available to aviation educators. To achieve that it will require all of us to participate. Forewarned is forearmed.

I too have managed to find time to continue discussion with two major sponsors for SAFE. I am very happy to report that those discussions are moving ahead in a very positive fashion. I cannot disclose who these sponsors are, pending the signing of agreements, but I hope to have that accomplished before the end of the year. Just know that this mouse will keep on stirring through the night, regardless of what night it might be…

I am very aware that many of you are eager to hear that our insurance program is ready to be cleared for departure. Unfortunately we still have to “hold short”. But… in a communication from Jim Anderson, of Starr Aviation, last week, he told me that he had “sent a detailed executive summary to Chubb (per their request) which explains in detail the product we are offering, market, expected experience etc. This will be put in front of one of the top folks in the organization which should give us a green light to move forward as rapidly as possible.” Jim has been keeping me updated on the progress with weekly reports, and I am able to say that whereas the progress is no where near as fast as any of us would like, we are making definite progress.

This is a time of year when gifts are often exchanged, and I feel as if the FAA has given us a gift in the form of a new Instrument Practical Test Standard. This new PTS brings guidance for instrument instruction and testing into the 21st century. Some of the highlights include the acceptance of an LPV approach as a precision approach; adding the hazards of icing, and the use of anti-icing and de-icing equipment to the special emphasis areas; and providing guidance on objectively evaluating Single Pilot Resource management, automation management, and the use of flight simulators and FTDs in training and testing. To download the new PTS go to this link:http://www.faa.gov/training_testing/testing/airmen/test_standards/media/FAA-S-8081-4e.pdf

As I said at the beginning of this update, this is a time of rejoicing. Considering that SAFE is not even one year old, and that we are an organization completely run by volunteers, I think we have many reasons to rejoice. We have come an incredible distance in this short time, and have achieved quite a bit. I also said that this a time for giving, and SAFE has some opportunities for those of you who might be so disposed, particularly in giving of your time and knowledge. With the acceptance of the by-laws by a majority vote of the membership we now have to move ahead in the formation of several standing committees. The by-laws task me, as chairman of the Board, to appoint members of three different committees: the governance; finance; and awards committees.So that you might have some sense of your responsibilities if you volunteer to serve, here is what would be expected of you.

The governance committee is responsible for ongoing review and recommendations to enhance the quality and future viability of the board. The focus of the committee revolves around the following five major areas: 1. Board Role and Responsibilities; 2. Board Composition; 3. Board Knowledge; 4. Board Effectiveness; 5. Board Leadership. In addition, per the by-laws, the governance committee also serves as the nominations committee. Thus it is the governance committee that will select the slate of nominees for election to the Board of Directors. Governance committee members shall serve three year staggered terms.

The finance committee is responsible for assisting the board in ensuring the organization is in good fiscal health. The work of the committee revolves around the following six major areas: 1.Ensure that accurate and complete financial records are maintained; 2.Ensure that accurate, timely, and meaningful financial statements are prepared and presented to the board; 3.Budget and oversee financial planning; 4. Safeguard the organization’s assets; 5. Help the full board understand the organization’s financial affairs; 6.Ensure compliance with federal, state, and other requirements related to the organization’s finances.

The awards committee is responsible for the nomination and selection of candidates for all SAFE awards.

The by-laws state that each of these committees shall have two at large members, selected from the membership. So if you would like an opportunity to give to SAFE here is a great one. If you have any interest, and especially expertise. in the areas of governance and / or finance and would like to serve on any of these three committees, please send me an email, letting me know. This can be a great opportunity for you to play an essential role in the growth and direction that your organization takes. Please don’t be shy in stepping up to the plate. As the saying goes… “as ye give… so shall ye receive.”

In ending this update I would just like to say that I, for one, definitely rejoice in the fellowship afforded me by belonging to SAFE. I humbly consider it an honor and privilege to be able to play a part in our growth, and I sincerely thank all of you for being a part of our organization. I would like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you the Warmest of Holiday greetings and may we all have a SAFE New Year!

Sincerely,

Doug

About the author 

Doug Stewart (Lifetime Member)

MCFI/ DPE, 2004 National CFI OTY. Specializing in instrument training, tailwheel training, and sport pilot training. Currently SAFE Executive Director.

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